HDMI Signal Details
HDMI is the newest connection medium for transferring high definition audio and video. HDMI stands for “high definition multimedia interface” that transfers data in a digital format. HDMI has numerous advantages over its competitors and is tailor made for the latest technologies that require large amounts of bandwidth.
HDMI has become popular due to the fact that it can transmit high definition video without compression. It supports up to 16-bit color depths which produces over one billion colors. HDMI can transmit over 10 gigabytes per second which is double the amount of bandwidth needed to display 1080p resolutions.
In addition to the high definition audio that HDMI supports is its audio transfer capabilities. HDMI is able to transfer lossless audio signals in the Dolby Digital and DTS formats. As well, HDMI is able to transfer uncompressed HD audio.
HDMI is also a “smart” transfer technology, which means that it can communicate between devices. For instance, a Blu-ray player and television can communicate with one another to automatically set the resolution and screen size for the disc being played. It can also transfer different audio channels of “closed captioning” and data between devices. This is useful for all aspects of viewing as there is quite a bit of variation between games, movies, etc.
The main technology that utilizes HDMI is the high definition television. LCD, plasma, and other HDTV formats are increasing the amount of HDMI connection points on their units. This increase is due to HDMI’s growing use in other technologies using HDMI such as DVRs, blue-ray players, and gaming systems.
Another major advantage that HDMI has is its smaller form factor. Unlike other high definition transfer formats, HDMI cables are very small and only require one wire that houses both audio and video. Other formats--DVI and component video-- require separate connections for audio and video. This ability for HDMI to transfer audio and video in one small cable frees users up from the considerable clutter that is created from the other cable formats.
As HDMI becomes more popular its connectivity compatibility grows. Its audio and video transfer is compatible with a growing number of PCs with HDMI ports included on their graphics card. HDMI is backwards compatible with DVI as well for easy conversion with DVI based PCs. As well, a smaller form factor HDMI connection will be available for mobile phones and other mediums requiring a smaller connection. This connection is similar to USB and mini-USB connections.
The only real disadvantage to the HDMI format is its availability on older products. Since HDMI is a fairly new data transfer medium it may not be included on all electronics. This can cause compatibility issues when attempting to connect an older product to a newer one.