New HDMI 1.4 Specs On the Horizon

According to a recent release from the HDMI Consortium, the group is preparing to add new specifications to its requirements for the HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) 1.4 cable, including support for 3D gaming and movie watching. This innovation could potentially change the way that people enjoy entertainment within their own home theater systems.

The release, which went out December 23, 2009, indicated that the HDMI Consortium, which outlines specifications for HDMI technologies and is made up of Hitachi, Panasonic Corporation, Royal Philips Electronics, Silicon Image, Sony Corporation, Thomson and Toshiba Corporation, will meet in late January 2010 to add the 3D format, currently called “Top/Bottom”, to the HDMI 1.4 specifications. Once the group decides on the format, it would be mandatory for consumer electronics to offer ports and support for 3D viewing.

Devices such as set-top boxes and HDTVs would be affected by the change, which comes as no surprise as several TV makers have forecasted showing off 3D technologies within the coming year at various electronic shows and exhibits. In fact, LG has said that it expects to ship hundreds of thousands of 3D-capable TVs in 2010 and the Blu-ray Disc Association has finalized 3D disc specifications in time for production.

As the governing body for all standards in HDMI technologies, the HDMI Consortium is responsible for all changes in the make and design of HDMI cables as well as HDMI technology advancements and standardization. Basically, they outline how HDMI cables and compatible devices are supposed to be made and used.

Many HDMI supported devices and cables are regulated and made to 1.3 specifications and most home theater owners agree – it’s time for an upgrade. Right now, the handling of legacy systems is still under discussion, however, it looks like some will be able to support the format while others may not. With the advancements in technologies coming up in 2010, it’s almost essential for home theater equipment to follow with the trend.

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