HDMI Connections and Interface - A Beginner's Guide

Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

Banned
<P><FONT face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><FONT size=2><A href="http://www.audioholics.com/education/display-formats-technology/hdmi-interface-a-beginners-guide"><IMG style="WIDTH: 200px; HEIGHT: 157px" alt=[HDMI_female] hspace=10 src="http://www.audioholics.com/education/display-formats-technology/hdmi-interface-a-beginners-guide/image_mini" align=left border=0></A>Starting around 2003 we saw a rapid adoption of the Digital Visual Interface (DVI) across the digital consumer market. This included DTVs, high definition set –top boxes and computer graphics boards. By the end of that year, well over 500 consumer electronics products featured a DVI connection, with approximately 80% of DTVs shipped to the US using that technology. Later in the year, HDMI also emerged as a digital transmission format, but addressed some specific needs tailored to the consumer electronics market. Read on to learn everything there is to know about HDMI.</SPAN></FONT></FONT></P><P><FONT face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><FONT size=2><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">[Read About HDMI]</SPAN></FONT></FONT></P>
 
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racquetman

racquetman

Audioholic Chief
Beginner's guide??!!

If that's the beginner's guide, people's heads are going to explode when you post the expert guide :D
 
Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

Banned
Haha, well its written a bit for both I suppose.

It covers much of the spec while interjecting explanations in more simplified language for much of the important stuff. We've been talking with people at HDMI.org and wanted to make some of the aspects and capabilities of the relatively new format available so readers could understand why it's such a big deal.

The Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) features are especially impressive and should really revolutionize home theater systems once effectively implemented.
 
HookedOnSound

HookedOnSound

Full Audioholic
keeping it simple

Thanks for posting the guide,

I myself can't wait until all connections are the same (HDMI), imaging the real estate retrieved in the back of receivers!

I have never been satisfied with the spacing for speaker posts/terminals (I got big/clumsy hands), I have gone with banana plugs strictly for ease of installation, this should give them no excuse (spacing). :p
 
R

rockymtnman

Enthusiast
hdmi switching or upscaling?

What is the difference bitween switching and upscaling and up conversion? Also, if I buy a receiver that has switching, do I need to get a dvd player that is already hdmi capable to have the hdmi quality? I am getting the Westinghouse lvm42w2.
 
M

MDS

Audioholic Spartan
rockymtnman said:
What is the difference bitween switching and upscaling and up conversion?
- Switching: all receivers switch between sources. If you have a dvd player and a set-top box connected to the receiver, when you press 'dvd' the receiver switches to the dvd player; ie the video and the audio now comes from the dvd player. Press 'Video1' (if that is the input where the set-top box is connected) and now all the audio and video comes from the set-top box.

- Upscaling: Changing from one resolution to another. If eg you are viewing Standard Definition video from a DVD with a resolution of 480i and you have the receiver or dvd player set to upscale to 720p, then it adds lines to the image so that its resolution is now 720 lines instead of 480. The purpose is to match the resolution of the TV. Some receivers and dvd players include upscaling and all HDTVs scale.

- Upconversion: The technical term is actually 'transcoding'; ie changing from one format to another. Upconversion is sort of the simplified colloquial term that everyone uses instead. Upconversion is for the case where you have different source devices using different connections and you want to output using one common connection. For example, the dvd player is using s-video and the set-top box is using composite video but you have component video connections to the TV. The receiver can convert composite and s-video to component video.

Also, if I buy a receiver that has switching, do I need to get a dvd player that is already hdmi capable to have the hdmi quality?
The dvd player has to have hdmi outputs. If your receiver has hdmi inputs and outputs you can connect it to the receiver instead of directly to the tv and the receiver can switch between it and other connected devices. If you want to use HDMI output to the TV along with other devices that do not have HDMI outputs, then the receiver must also be able to transcode the other formats (composite, s-video, component) to HDMI.
 
R

rockymtnman

Enthusiast
MDS said:
- Switching: all receivers switch between sources. If you have a dvd player and a set-top box connected to the receiver, when you press 'dvd' the receiver switches to the dvd player; ie the video and the audio now comes from the dvd player. Press 'Video1' (if that is the input where the set-top box is connected) and now all the audio and video comes from the set-top box.

- Upscaling: Changing from one resolution to another. If eg you are viewing Standard Definition video from a DVD with a resolution of 480i and you have the receiver or dvd player set to upscale to 720p, then it adds lines to the image so that its resolution is now 720 lines instead of 480. The purpose is to match the resolution of the TV. Some receivers and dvd players include upscaling and all HDTVs scale.

- Upconversion: The technical term is actually 'transcoding'; ie changing from one format to another. Upconversion is sort of the simplified colloquial term that everyone uses instead. Upconversion is for the case where you have different source devices using different connections and you want to output using one common connection. For example, the dvd player is using s-video and the set-top box is using composite video but you have component video connections to the TV. The receiver can convert composite and s-video to component video.


The dvd player has to have hdmi outputs. If your receiver has hdmi inputs and outputs you can connect it to the receiver instead of directly to the tv and the receiver can switch between it and other connected devices. If you want to use HDMI output to the TV along with other devices that do not have HDMI outputs, then the receiver must also be able to transcode the other formats (composite, s-video, component) to HDMI.
thanks for your help....is there a device that will upscale and/or transcode that can be added to a system if the receiver doesn't have that capability?
 
M

MDS

Audioholic Spartan
rockymtnman said:
thanks for your help....is there a device that will upscale and/or transcode that can be added to a system if the receiver doesn't have that capability?
Sure. DVDO is one that seems to be highly regarded. I have no experience with any of them personally but you might try a search of the forums because they have been discussed many times. Use search terms like 'video scaler', 'upconversion', 'transcoding', etc or even post a new topic and you're sure to get good replies from those knowledgeable about video.
 
R

rockymtnman

Enthusiast
thanks again MDS, I appreciate all your insight.
 
P

pjviitas

Audioholic Intern
HDMI is a good send for folks who connect computers to their A/V systems
 
avliner

avliner

Audioholic Chief
MDS said:
- - Upscaling: Changing from one resolution to another. If eg you are viewing Standard Definition video from a DVD with a resolution of 480i and you have the receiver or dvd player set to upscale to 720p, then it adds lines to the image so that its resolution is now 720 lines instead of 480. The purpose is to match the resolution of the TV. Some receivers and dvd players include upscaling and all HDTVs scale.
According to the above explanation, I'd like to say that on another thread on this forum (CD / DVD) , I described my new DVD (Pioneer DV -696-AS) as being an upconverting unit, but it's an upsacling one, as I can match the resolution of my TV from it. The upconversion is done by the 3806 (HDMI to TV).

That makes much more sense now, as I've seen a considerable picture improvement after using HDMI connections though (HDMI out from dvd to 3806 & HDMI monitor out to TV). It really makes a difference!

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Cheers / Avliner.
 
avliner

avliner

Audioholic Chief
3806 HDMI Signals / Instructions Manual

Does anybody knows whether my conclusion is right??


avliner said:
According to the above explanation, I'd like to say that on another thread on this forum (CD / DVD) , I described my new DVD (Pioneer DV -696-AS) as being an upconverting unit, but it's an upsacling one, as I can match the resolution of my TV from it. The upconversion is done by the 3806 (HDMI to TV).

That makes much more sense now, as I've seen a considerable picture improvement after using HDMI connections though (HDMI out from dvd to 3806 & HDMI monitor out to TV). It really makes a difference!

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Cheers / Avliner.
 
M

MDS

Audioholic Spartan
What conclusion - that your picture quality was considerably improved using HDMI? Only you can make that conclusion.

If you have HDMI out from the DVD player to the receiver and HDMI out from the receiver to the TV, then there is no upconversion. Upconversion ('transcoding') would occur if it were component video to receiver and HDMI to TV.

If you were playing a standard def DVD, then either the player or TV must scale the image to the TV's resolution. You would have to verify that the player is set to upscale because if it isn't the TV will do it anyway.
 
avliner

avliner

Audioholic Chief
Thanks MDS,

yeah, that's what I tought, after reading your explanation in another thread.
So, it's also correct to say that "upscaling" will only occur thru HHDMI?

Cheers / Avliner.
 
paradox

paradox

Enthusiast
Can somebody please elaborate on what effect the HDCP content protection will have? If I want to run mythTV under linux on my HTPC, will I not be able to use HDMI? Will my expensive TV suddenly stop displaying HDMI content because I plugged in a new device that marked my TV as a 'compromised display device'. What exactly is a 'compromised display device' anyway?

I must say that I like HDMI but the HDCP and in particular the 'renewable' part of the content protection sounds pretty Orwellian.
 
P

pjviitas

Audioholic Intern
I have been pumping HDMI video and digital coax sound out of my MythTV box through my Sony STR-DG800 for a couple of weeks now without any problems.

I will run some illicit material through my MythTV box and let you know if something blows up.
 
P

pjviitas

Audioholic Intern
Dual layer copy of Star Trek Nemesis-No problems
DIVX of Star Wars Revenge of the Sith-No problems

Now as long as no one tells on me I should be fine.
 
paradox

paradox

Enthusiast
Hey, thanks for that, thats great news! I guess the other thing I was worried about was if it all works now can't it be arbitrary 'turned off' in the future? Can anybody give me more information about what the media companies would regard as a 'compromised display device'?

I guess what I am worried about is I will invest in a fancy and rather expensive HDTV. 6 months after it is released somebody will figure out you can pry a panel off the back and plug into some output there and make copies of all your DVDs, etc. My model of TV gets marked as a 'compromised display device' then sooner or later bam! No more HDTV for me.

Does anybody know if thats the way its supposed to work?
 
P

pjviitas

Audioholic Intern
I think DTCP and HDCP will be more of a battle between content providers than anything and prbably doomed to failure.

Consider this:
Content provider "A" streams HDCP content devices while content provider "B" streams non HDCP content.

So for arguments sake lets just say that everyone who has been watching content provider "B" streams has their devices locked out from watching HDCP content because they where watching content provider "B".

This will result in content provider "A" losing viewers and the battle begins.

This scenario does not even take into account people who for one reason or another decide to stream their content over coax, composite, s-video or component. All of these non HDCP capable streams would technically lock their devices out from watching HDCP content.

I think the only way that HDCP content will work is if every single content provider streams it and if every single content user is conected via HDMI...and whats the odds of that happening?

Just my 2 cents.

Best Regards, Hedgehog

P.S. When I say "stream content" I mean from any A/V source which would include CD player, DVD player, Cable and SAT sources, etc.
 

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