HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface)

The abbreviation HDMI refers to High Definition Multimedia Interface and is a widely used interface for the transmission of digital audio and video data. In association with televisions, a corresponding connection is the best way to achieve a high-quality reproduction. Various versions are available on the market today. Since its introduction, the interface has been continuously expanded with new functionalities and has increased in terms of bandwidth.

More Information about HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface)

HDMI as today’s industry standard for TV sets

The development of the well-known interface is the result of a collaboration between several large electronics companies. The founding members of this so-called HDMI initiative were Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, Thomson and Toshiba. These companies began developing the technology in April 2002.

The proclaimed goal: to create an audiovisual connection that is compatible with the Digital Video Interface, or DVI for short, but offers additional functions such as audio transmission and improved color space coverage. Production of the first electronic devices with this type of connection began at the end of 2003. Since then, the standard has been a fixed component in consumer electronics and is still offered in several versions today.

While inexpensive televisions with Full HD are still equipped with the comparatively old 1.4 version, more expensive entry-level and mid-range TVs are often equipped with the 2.0 solution, which is almost twice as fast. The top performance class is – with a few exceptions – practically always supplied with version 2.1.

General advantages of an HDMI interface

  • High video and audio quality possible
  • Support for SD and HD formats
  • Native HDR support integrated
  • Compatibility with many other electronic devices
  • Audio return channel via ARC / eARC
  • CEC functions available

HDMI versions since market launch

RevisionReleaseMain featuresBandwidth
1.0December 20021080p video, 8-bit color depth, 8 audio channels4,9 Gbps
1.1May 2004Support for DVD-Audio4,9 Gbps
1.2August 2005Support for SACD, PC connections4,9 Gbps
1.3June 2006Support for Deep Color and HD audio formats10,2 Gbps
1.4May 2009Ethernet via HDMI, Audio Return Channel, 3D support, 4K resolution for 24 to 30 hertz, new color spaces, HDMI micro connection10,2 Gbps
1.4aMarch 2010Improvements in 3D support for broadcast formats10,2 Gbps
1.4bOctober 2011Support for 3D transmissions in 1080p10,2 Gbps
2.0September 2013Support for 4K at 60 fps, 21:9 format, improved audio capabilities18 Gbps
2.0aApril 2015Additional support for High Dynamic Range (HDR)18 Gbps
2.0bJuly 2016Extension of HDR support to include Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG)18 Gbps
2.1January 2017Support for 8K at 60 fps and 4K at 120 fps, Dynamic HDR, increased bandwidth48 Gbps

Note: Depending on the variant and manufacturer, the bandwidth and therefore the maximum possible picture and sound quality may vary. The actual range of functions may also differ. You should also check whether your cable solution is fully compatible with the respective revision in order to take full advantage of its performance.

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