Understanding the Differences between HDMI Versions

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admin

Audioholics Robot
Staff member
Ratings
1,632
#1
HDMI has changed versions so many times it's been hard to keep up for most people. We've talked about the versions as part of other articles and documents, but it seemed fitting that we'd formulate and maintain a definitive document outlining the changes in a straightforward and easy-to-digest manner for all concerned. Hopefully this article helps you understand the format differences and aids in your ability to discern what features are important to you as you shop for HDMI-equipped products.


Discuss "Understanding the Differences between HDMI Versions" here. Read the article.
 
D

Dezoris

Audioholic
Ratings
14
#3
What are the different physical character differences between the cables?

As mentioned that HDMI 1.3 caused a problem with older cables not passing the bandwidth needed for 1080p transmission.

What makes them physically different?
 
A

autoboy

Audioholic
Ratings
15
#4
Most of us know this already, but you might want to clarify that HDMI 1.0 also passes regular DD and DTS just fine. You indicate that it only supports up to 8 channel PCM and that could lead to some confusion.
 
Biggiesized

Biggiesized

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
67
#5
I thought the PS3 is unable to bitstream DTS-HD. How can it be HDMI 1.3 compliant then?
 
B

brulaha

Audioholic
Ratings
25
#6
I thought the PS3 is unable to bitstream DTS-HD. How can it be HDMI 1.3 compliant then?
The PS3 is limited by hardware architecture to pass bitstream. The HDMI port is however a 1.3 port and is not the limiting factor. Manufactures can choose what parts of the HDMI spec they want to enable on a given product.
 
A

autoboy

Audioholic
Ratings
15
#7
Because the PS3 was the first product to feature HDMI 1.3 they used a preproduction HDMI chip that did not support HD bitstream audio. The regular production HDMI chips now feature bitstream, but the PS3 continues to use the proprietary chip.
 
goodman

goodman

Full Audioholic
Ratings
13 1
#8
So, if I'm shopping for a flat-screen tv, and I want it to support 8, 10, or 12 bit deep color, then it must be either 1.3 or 1.3a compliant, right?
Unfortunately, the only flat screens I know of that meet the spec are Sony XBRs. I really wanted a Panasonic plasma.
Does anyone know which displays are 1.3 or 1.3a compliant?
 
Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

Banned
Ratings
857 3
#10
What are the different physical character differences between the cables?

As mentioned that HDMI 1.3 caused a problem with older cables not passing the bandwidth needed for 1080p transmission.

What makes them physically different?
This is how it works:

1. Organization A states that a flow of 3 gallons per minute of oil will go down a tube.

2. Company B builds a pipe to handle a flow of 3 gallons per minute

3. Organization A now decides that it will now send 5 gallons per minute down the tube.

Oops. Pipe has already been built, it just can't handle the additional oil flow.

That is what happened. New cables had to be made to handle more bandwidth, or existing ones had to be re-spec'd to state that they can't go as far with the higher speed signals.
 
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timtooltay

Audiophyte
#11
HDMI 1.1, Onkyo TX SR-804, PS3....Please help

I am new to this forum, and not a very estute audiophile, but I recently built a Home Theater and have also recently taken the BluRay plunge via a PS3.

Here is my dilemna. I am running with an Onkyo TX SR-804 with a 7.1 total set up with HDMI from the PS3. I assumed that when I set up my PS3 and began watching BRD movies, that I could at least get to take advantage of the uncompressed audio that many of the BRD's offer. I set up the PS3 settings to HDMI and went through that setup in the Sound Settings menu. I then proceeded to the specific BRD menu and changed the output to be Linear PCM for HDMI.

When choosing the uncompressed audio settings on the BRD's, I can only get my 2 fronts and center to operate, no 5.1 :(

Bottomline is at this point, the only way I can get my surround to function is to set the PS3 in the BRD settings to Bitstream and then thus receive the THX sound out put from the 804.

I have been told that my 804 cannot handle the PCM uncompressed sound coming from the PS3 and play it in a 5.1 set up.

Can anyone weigh in on this? I am frustrated as hell......
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
7,483 17 25
#12
I am new to this forum, and not a very estute audiophile, but I recently built a Home Theater and have also recently taken the BluRay plunge via a PS3.

Here is my dilemna. I am running with an Onkyo TX SR-804 with a 7.1 total set up with HDMI from the PS3. I assumed that when I set up my PS3 and began watching BRD movies, that I could at least get to take advantage of the uncompressed audio that many of the BRD's offer. I set up the PS3 settings to HDMI and went through that setup in the Sound Settings menu. I then proceeded to the specific BRD menu and changed the output to be Linear PCM for HDMI.

When choosing the uncompressed audio settings on the BRD's, I can only get my 2 fronts and center to operate, no 5.1 :(

Bottomline is at this point, the only way I can get my surround to function is to set the PS3 in the BRD settings to Bitstream and then thus receive the THX sound out put from the 804.

I have been told that my 804 cannot handle the PCM uncompressed sound coming from the PS3 and play it in a 5.1 set up.

Can anyone weigh in on this? I am frustrated as hell......
I don't have a PS3, but I can't find anywhere in the specs that it claims to have a True Dolby HD decoder and I don't think your receiver has either. So I think you have upgrades in your future if you want to enjoy lossless multi channel audio.
 
#13
This is how it works:

1. Organization A states that a flow of 3 gallons per minute of oil will go down a tube.

2. Company B builds a pipe to handle a flow of 3 gallons per minute

3. Organization A now decides that it will now send 5 gallons per minute down the tube.

Oops. Pipe has already been built, it just can't handle the additional oil flow.

That is what happened. New cables had to be made to handle more bandwidth, or existing ones had to be re-spec'd to state that they can't go as far with the higher speed signals.
I'm a bit confused by this. Your article states that 1.3 does handle the increased bandwidth as long as the cable is no longer than 20ft - down from 50ft, but your above comment seems to imply it doesn't work at all at the increased bandwidth to support the new formats. Maybe I am reading this all wrong.

Assuming it does work up to 20ft, I'm also scratching my head as to why 20ft is too short. I'm guessing my needs are far too simple to require more than 6 ft, let alone 50ft. What kind of system requires 50 ft of cable?
 
dalumberjack

dalumberjack

Audioholic
Ratings
15
#14
I am new to this forum, and not a very estute audiophile, but I recently built a Home Theater and have also recently taken the BluRay plunge via a PS3.

Here is my dilemna. I am running with an Onkyo TX SR-804 with a 7.1 total set up with HDMI from the PS3. I assumed that when I set up my PS3 and began watching BRD movies, that I could at least get to take advantage of the uncompressed audio that many of the BRD's offer. I set up the PS3 settings to HDMI and went through that setup in the Sound Settings menu. I then proceeded to the specific BRD menu and changed the output to be Linear PCM for HDMI.

When choosing the uncompressed audio settings on the BRD's, I can only get my 2 fronts and center to operate, no 5.1 :(

Bottomline is at this point, the only way I can get my surround to function is to set the PS3 in the BRD settings to Bitstream and then thus receive the THX sound out put from the 804.

I have been told that my 804 cannot handle the PCM uncompressed sound coming from the PS3 and play it in a 5.1 set up.

Can anyone weigh in on this? I am frustrated as hell......

Heres your answer,

If you have the older "FAT" ps3, then it can only send HD audio as PCM to your receiver as the PS3 had to do all the work. The older "FAT" ps3 can not bitstream HD audio as it did not have the appropriate chip to do so.

However, this changed with the newer "Slim" ps3. The "slim" ps3 can do bitstream and PCM audio to your receiver. There is no do difference between the two quality wise. The only thing bitsream does is show on the receiver front panel what its decoding and putting out DD or True HD.
 
avliner

avliner

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
141
#15
IIRC, a while back when High-Speed (Cat. II) were introduced, Monster Cable (as usual) was bragging out about the "super-extra-wider bandwidth" of their cables, and I think it was something like 18Gbps (not sure, though)... Who knows, but maybe they knew it, as well as all other manufacturers, that Hi-Speed cables would be fine for a much wider bandwidth at all... and that begs a question...
BTW, I'm not into the MC bandwagon, just for the records...
 
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nickboros

Audioholic
Ratings
32
#16
I never thought that I would say this, but I am impressed by the HDMI 2.0 specs. For the most part all that the previous versions have done is play catch-up with where new features and technology were headed. But, finally they are jumping ahead of the current offerings. I couldn't have guessed that 4k at higher frame rates and as many as 32 audio channels all over one cable would be anywhere in the near future. Not that we necessarily need (or will even likely get) that many audio channels in the future, but it is exciting that if 11.1 or 11.2 discrete channels were an option, then HDMI wouldn't be holding things up.
 
T

tvrgeek

Enthusiast
Ratings
3
#17
What does it matter if you have Cat1 cables and are playing a 2D BD?
Just because the SPEC allows 10Gb BW, does not mean the signal available has it. As far as I can tell, all 2D BD-s will play under the 1.0 standard. (1080p, 8 bit) Only the 1.4b for ARC and Ethernet to allow the TV to be a WEB server has any advantage to the consumer. 2.0 must be a theater spec.

No, the problem is a terrible connector, the control line not being a twisted pair, and low drive power. The spec looks like it was not written by folks with any experience in high speed digital transmission. Add to that really bad implementations, that were not tested, by companies not listed as HDMI licensed implementers, and the usual quality issues of Chinese manufacturing, and you get a mess. Let's add in consumers who put up with inconsistent switching. Who is to blame? EVERYONE.
 
T

tvrgeek

Enthusiast
Ratings
3
#18
Spent several days reading the HDMI specs and a couple books on digital video:

It may be of some help to clearly list what level or features one really needs.

Example:
For a BD 2D, or any STB, HDMI 1.0 with Cat 1 cables fully meets the requirements.

Deep color? Well a STB or BD video is encoded Yuv 4:2:0p or in plain speak, 8 bit color. No, not 8 bits per color as in RGB. If you look at each pixel converted, it is defectively 12 bits. More that that you need to look where you are going to get the source. A computer? , Xbox? WIKI yuv colorspace.

2.0 is for theaters. 32 channel sound? Yet I see posts where people are believing every new spec gives them something and asking when it will be out in a $500 AVR.

I have a HDMI 1.4b CAPABLE TV, BD and AVR. My source is still only HDMI 1.0 spec. I don;t use any of the other features. No ARC, CEC, Ethernet, etc. Long cat1 cables ( 40 feet) work just fine.
 
E

Edward333

Audiophyte
#19
I am having trouble getting an HDMI device (a computer stick) to work with some TVs. Is is possible that the device uses an HDMI format that some TVs (seem to be older ones) won't recognize?
 
T

tyee

Audiophyte
#20
I'm still waiting for glass fiber optic cables between all devices. How long has the communication industry been using them,...over 20 years...come on, lose the copper. You will never ever fill the bandwidth of a fiber cable to show a picture no matter how high the resolution ever gets. No further upgrades needed in hardware anyway, just protocols for the manufacturers. The cables are also cheap now. They do need a better consumer connector to hide the end so we don't get our grubby hands on them until it's plugged in, but that's it. You say oh, the transmitters and receivers are expensive, well maybe not if millions are made. It will happen sooner or later, as a matter of fact Theta digital did use them in the 80's for a while.
 

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