HDMI — A New Standard in Digital Audio Video

Learn What The New HDMI 4k Standard Means for The Future of A/V

By: Joseph D. Cornwall, CTS-D
Technology Evangelist — C2G

HDMI LLC was founded by Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, Technicolor S.A, RCA, Toshiba and Panasonic in 2002. Their goal was to create a connector for digital A/V devices that featured a small form factor and was capable of transporting uncompressed digital video, multi-channel digital audio and control signals while maintaining backwards compatibility with the existing DVI-D standard. HDMI-enabled devices emerged into the market in 2003.1

HDMI is based upon, and includes compatibility with DVI-D functionality in its operational specifications. No active signal conversion is needed to allow an HDMI-enabled device to connect with a DVI-D single link-enabled device. Simple, passive adapter cables are all that's necessary, but the functionality of such a connection is limited to the lesser feature set included in the Digital Visual Interface standard.2

On September 4, 2013, HDMI LLC released the much anticipated HDMI 2.0 standard. HDMI 2.0 is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI specification, but addresses several parameters that provide increased performance and functionality. Specifically, the HDMI 2.0 standard includes the following:3

  • 4K@50/60, (2160p), which provides compatibility with emerging Ultra HD and D4K video performance levels
  • Up to 32 embedded audio channels for immersive audio reproduction
  • Up to a nearly unprecedented 1536kHz audio sampling frequency, for the highest audio fidelity available in a playback format
  • Simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen
  • Simultaneous delivery of multi-stream audio to multiple users (up to four)
  • Support for the wide angle theatrical 21:9 video aspect ratio, which offers a 30% wider field of view
  • Dynamic synchronization of video and audio streams

In the decade since its introduction, the HDMI Specification has been licensed by more than 1,300 HDMI Adopters who have gone on to manufacture over 3 billion HDMI-enabled products.4 Despite this immense market penetration, the global HDMI-enabled equipment market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 19.7% over the period of 2012 to 2016. This growth will be driven by the near universal inclusion of HDMI connectivity in flat panel displays and video projectors.5 Certainly HDMI technology will continue to be a driving force in the A/V market.

1. "HDMI:: Press"
2. "HDMI:: Resources:: FAQ"
3. "HDMI:: Manufacturers"
4. "HDMI Specification Marks 10-Year Milestone as De-Facto Standard for HD Connectivity"
5. "Global HDMI and DisplayPort-enabled Equipment Market 2012-2016"

This white paper is for informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. C2G makes no guarantees, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information found in this document.