The ABCs (and 3Ds) of HDMI 1.4a

HDMI 1.4a isn’t just industry buzz, but also a time-saver. Because of HDMI 1.4a, there will be no format wars. This is the one and only spec to feature support for upcoming 3D broadcasts. To access the new content, users will need a device that’s HDMI 1.4a-compliant. Manufacturers have been announcing compatible TVs, Blu-ray players, receivers, and other electronics for quite some time now. Of course, you will also need an HDMI cable.

This article was written by tech geek and wired writer Rachel Cericola – consider her for your next project.

The article was first seen at the L-Com Global Connectivity website.

The difference between the old 1.4 and 1.4a is not what’s in the cable, but inside the spec. What’s so special about that little letter? Aside from being the first in the alphabet, there are two things that make 1.4a different:

  • The addition of Top-and-Bottom to the Specification
  • The addition of two mandatory formats for broadcast content: a) Side-by-Side Horizontal; and b) Top-and-Bottom

By creating the new spec, manufacturers and content providers will work together (and on the same page) to deliver 3D content. The mandatory 3D formats are:

  • Movies – Frame Packing: + 1080p @ 23.98/24Hz
  • Games – Frame Packing: + 720p @ 50 or 59.94/60Hz
  • Broadcast TV – Side-by-Side Horizontal: + 1080i @ 50 or 59.94/60Hz;

According to the 1.4a spec, displays must support all mandatory formats, sources must support at least one of the formats, and repeaters need to pass through all of the formats.

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