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HDMI continues to pick up momentum over other standards

The HDMI consortium announced earlier this month that it has reduced the licensing fees for using HDMI in devices from $15,000 per year down to $10,000 per year. Representatives from the organization said that the price reduction is designed to encourage companies to develop products that use the HDMI interface.

The new price will go into effect starting November of this year. The growing popularity and adoption of HDMI was also a determining factor for the price reduction. According to Leslie Chard, president of HDMI Licensing LLC, "the reduction of the annual fee, which was already minimal, will make it easier for smaller manufacturers to license the HDMI specification and will help ensure that all companies, large or small, can implement cutting edge HDMI technology into their products."

The HDMI interface carries a DVI signal along with digital audio signals for a seamless one-cable interface. HDMI devices have actually been shipping to store shelves for several years now. The HDMI interface recently received an upgrade in specification -- up to version 1.3. Improvements include higher resolution support, bandwidth upgraded from 165MHz to 225MHz, and a feature called "deep color".

More PC products with HDMI are being announced as well. PowerColor announced that its X1600 PRO HDMI video card is now available. The card features true HDMI connectivity with support for HDCP. Sapphire also announced availability of its X1600Pro HDMI, but unlike the PowerColor card, the Sapphire card lacks a S/PDIF connect for audio output in case the user is using the DVI adapter.

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RE: Not to sound stupid, but...
By Roomraider on 7/26/2006 11:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
The one very important aspect that you are not taking into account is, the digital audio signal through an HDMI cable is 2.0. Dolby Digital 5.1 and so on which is only available through toslink/fiber optic or coaxial is not possible with this application. A lot of people have been mislead into buying hardware with HDMI and later, to much dissapointment find this out.

RE: Not to sound stupid, but...
By namechamps on 7/26/2006 11:53:22 PM , Rating: 2

HDMI 1.1 added uncompressed multichannel support.
HDMI 1.3 added compressed HD audio support.

Right now I have a Toshiba HD-A1 (HD-DVD player) connected to my onkyo receiver by HDMI. It transmits uncompressed video & uncompressed audio (6 channel PCM) at up to 24/96.

HDMI 1.1 supports a max of 10 channels (aka 9.1 sound) at up to 24/192 resolution. Far beyond anything that toslink can handle. HDMI 1.1 also supports sending the compressed Dolby & DTS signal to your receiver. HDMI 1.3 adds support for the newer HD formats (although there are no receivers that can decode them yet).

Toslink will NOT support Dolby Digital PLUS, Dobly TrueHD, or DTS-HD. Only HDMI (or 6/8 channel analog) will support those formsts.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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