New HDMI specification to offer Ethernet support for multiple devices

Chicago (IL) –  HDMI Licensing has revealed a number of new features slated to be incorporated in the upcoming 1.4 specification. The latest version is expected to offer networking capabilities with Ethernet connectivity and will add a return channel to facilitate upstream audio connections.

According to HDMI, Ethernet support will streamline high-speed, bi-directional communication for connected devices that support the new standard.

“The HDMI Ethernet Channel will allow an Internet-enabled HDMI device to share its connection with other HDMI devices without the need for a separate Ethernet cable. The new feature will also provide the connection platform to allow HDMI-enabled devices to share content between devices,” the company explained in a statement.

Similarly, the audio return channel will reduce the number of cables required to deliver audio upstream for processing and playback. In addition, the HDTV channel is capable of routing audio to an A/V receiver.

Other features include:

  • 3D over HDMI – defines common 3D formats and resolutions.
  • 4K x 2K resolution support – allows HDMI devices to support HD resolutions above 1080p.
  • Expanded support for color spaces – compatible with sYCC601, Adobe RGB and AdobeYCC601.
  • Automotive connection system – designed for in-vehicle HD content distribution.
  • New micro connector – small, 19-pin HDMI connector to support 1080p resolution on portable devices.

“The HDMI specification continues to add functionality as the consumer electronics and PC industries build products that enhance the consumer’s HD experience,” said Steve Venuti, president of HDMI Licensing. “The 1.4 specification will support some of the most exciting and powerful near-term innovations such as Ethernet connectivity and 3D formats. Additionally we are going to broaden our solution by providing a smaller connector for portable devices and a connection system specified for automobiles, as we see both more and different devices adopting the HDMI technology.”

Venuti also explained that the company would introduce a number of new HDMI cables to the market, such as:

  • Standard HDMI cable – supports data rates up to 1080i/60.
  • High speed HDMI cable – supports data rates beyond 1080p, including deep color and all 3D formats of the new 1.4 specification.
  • Automotive HDMI cable – allows the connection of external HDMI-enabled devices to an in-vehicle HDMI device.
  • Standard HDMI cable with Ethernet.
  • High Speed HDMI cable with Ethernet.

HDMI 1.4 will be available for download at no later than June 30, 2009.