HDMI: Its problems and its promises ** From My Perspective **

Discussion in 'CEDIA EXPO 2005-2007' started by RAF, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    We've all heard about the problems with HDMI (I'm talking about the problems with connecting HDMI devices reliably and all of the finger pointing.) Some of us with somewhat elaborate HDMI connections have already experienced this first hand while others are in for some surprises when the day comes that they connect their various HDMI devices. One of the nice things about CEDIA is that you get to talk to experts in the field and get some straight answers. In this case, we talked for a long time with Jano Banks of Radiient Technologies (his name is listed second on the patent for HDMI) as well as with people at Simplay who are involved in trying to set certification standards for HDMI.

    Rather than trying to present the entire HDMI connectivity scenario (which would fill pages on its own) in this thread I'll try to answer specific questions, if I can, regarding what I found out about how the industry is responding to the first wave of HDMI connectivity problems.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    When will we have 1.3 HDMI audio processors?
     
  3. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    when will cable mfr's make/sell Type B cables? the reason is because everyone keeps yapping about "convergence" between HT and PC (hence our HTPC forum). many of the HTPC users like playing PC games at insane resolutions. i know most HDTV's can't display more than 1920x1080 but it'd help convergence if HDMI type B were made available so people who own displays like Dell's 3007 (2560x1600) can utilize HDMI cables to play nice with the rest of the HT gear.

    above is from:
    http://www.hdtvmagazine.com/articles..._exi sted.php
     
  4. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Right now there are no 1.3 HDMI audio processors because there are either no 1.3 chips or they are in very short supply (I suspect the former). From what we heard, the earliest that you might see some processors with 1.3 actually on board is by CES or certainly by CEDIA. This is compounded by the fact that many of the audio codecs (the main reason at this point for 1.3) aren't even out yet. Video capabilities of 1.3 are beyond anything currently available. Besides, if you let the player do the decoding then you don't need 1.3 on the processor. A lot of the sound can be handled by earlier versions of HDMI once decoded and PCM always allows the analog option as long as your processor contains 7.1 analog inputs.

    There will be some people who insist on keeping everything in the digital domain so PCM is not an option for them. I predict that this will be one of the biggest points of contention as we all wait for HDMI 1.3 to arrive on the scene in processors. Personally, I think it's wise to wait to see how and when all this sorts itself out. With today's audio sources you can still listen to all of them if you are willing to go the PCM route. Of course, as soon as the new audio codecs are on a lot of media then the industry will respond with equipment to handle it - either outboard (the players) or after the fact (the receivers).

    Even having HDMI 1.3 on a processor doesn't do anything if the sources aren't there. But they will come and, as I said, the "buzz" on the floor was CES 2007 or CEDIA 2007.
     
  5. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    You make some very good points. Although most of the talk about HDMI 1.3 was about the future audio codecs and their implementation there is also increased video bandwidth and bit rates for video built into the spec. There was some mention of TruColor and other video sources that will go way beyond the 8 or 10 bit current color. However, since this was a Home Theater show and since none of the monitors that we saw were showing more than 1920 x 1080 resolution I think most of the focus was on moving everything from 720p to 1080p for displays rather than moving things beyond that for the serious gamers and their HTPCs.

    Last year, at a Runco demonstration, we saw a clip from what was supposed to be a 2K (1920 x 1080) digital "print" from Star Wars (ROTC) that TI had shown at a local theater. It turned out that the file was actually a 4K source (3840 x 2160) and the particular projector that Runco was using for the demo was capable of handling 4K digital. Of course, that projector cost $265,000. So I'm not saying that the display technology isn't out there for something more than 1080p - it's just either very expensive or a niche market.

    But to get back to your original question - if the specs for HDMI 1.3 contain the ability to provide higher bandwidths for greater resolutions, even with a dual cable approach or similar, then nothing would be stopping a manufacturer from bringing this to market. However, this would definitely be a niche market at this time and most of the people at CEDIA were aiming toward a larger audience. Of course, maybe five years from now we will be looking back on the "old days" when we were "only" dealing with 1080p. It wasn't that long ago when 480p (remember line doubling?) was considered state of the art. And lets not forget VCRs with about 240 lines of resolution (shudder). [​IMG]
     

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