Posted August 14 2006 - 01:07 PM
| Originally Posted by LanceJ |
Honest question: are there plans on the horizon for HDMI version 1.4?
Because after seeing how HDMI has been so incompetently executed so far, I wouldn't be surprised in the least that another "new & improved" version is in the works.
Excellent question, Lance
As a regular user of HDMI (with two digital displays in my HT, an HDMI equipped scaler, several HDMI switches and a host of HDMI sources) I can personally attest to the fact that HDMI presents the user with a host of new (and sometimes frustrating) experiences. A lot of this comes from the fact that it is a "handshake" protocol which relies heavily on two-way communication between all the HDMI sources and displays. But not every manufacturer has been consistent in the HDMI implementation so there are many, many cases of idiosyncracies or incompatibility. Very often a proper video signal locking in depends not only on the order in which the various components are turned on, but also on the time between each event. This can become an absolute nightmare for someone programming universal remote macros until HDMI matures a bit.
To give you just one example that I became aware of relatively recent and which shows some of the extent of the problem - I found out that my Toshiba HD-DVD player (the XA1) evidentally does a continuous handshake between itself and the display. While this might not normally be considered a problem here's what happens. If, while playing a DVD on the Toshiba, you happen to switch your display to a different HDMI source the Toshiba actually stops playing after a couple of seconds! I discovered this by accident one day while watching a DVD movie and briefly switching to catch a baseball score on ESPN-HD via my Dish Network HDMI HD DVR. Even though I paused the movie before switching, the player stopped when it "lost" the signal. This is something completely different from the "normal" DVD player experience and can be quite a nuisance when going back to the movie unless you first create a bookmark, etc. etc. etc. My point here is that HDMI, even when it works properly, presents a whole new paradigm for the HT experience and this is bound to cause massive confusion as more people begin to experience this.
Ironically, the "one wire" solution is still, in my estimation, not quite yet ready for prime time - especially for the audio end of things. It's going to take quite some time for the HDMI 1.3 standard to be implemented and since we have already gone through at least 4 versions (1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and now 1.3) can you blame manufacturers for being a bit wary about 1.3 being the "final" version? Yes, HDMI has the potential of making A/V connectivity better in the long run, but it's not really there just now.
Incidently, a real expert in this HDMI arena is my friend Rodolfo La Maestra
who is in the process of writing an excellent series of articles on the whole HDMI scenario. I strongly recommend that people who want to learn more about the field read these articles because Rodolfo has the ability to cut through the Electronic Tower of Babble
to get to the core of the matter. The articles appear at the HDTV Magazine Articles site HERE
and can be very informative. So far Rodolfo has posted six articles there with more to follow. I believe that even non-members of HDTV Magazine can access the articles (I'm a member so I get right through) so if you click on the link I provided above you should be all set. Let me know if this isn't the case and I'll see to it that the articles are posted over here. A person reading through all of the HDMI articles in the series (as well as a wealth of other information over there) will probably be better equipped to enter the HDMI Age.
Here's to the day when HDMI finally is working as it should. But we are in for a bit of a bumpy road until all players get on the same page and, in the interim DVI (or just the video side of HDMI) with a separate audio path might be a less frustrating way to go (handshaking issues aside.)