HDMI 1.3 – everything you need to know

HDMI 1.3 was released in 2006 and it introduced a number of changes, additions, and improvements over the earlier versions. Since its first, 1.0 version, the HDMI interface and specifications have been constantly updated in order to stay abreast with the video and audio technological developments. Since the 1.3 is backward compatible with previous versions, for most users which cable version they use will make no difference.

What are the new features of HDMI 1.3?

Deep Color support – the version adds support for 30-, 36-, and 48-bit RGB (Deep Color) and even though most of the today’s displays have 24 bits RGB color depth, many of the future ones are expected to support Deep Color and when they do, the HDMI cables will be compatible with them.

Support for xvYCC – Extended-gamut YCC or xvYCC is a color space, which supports 1.8 times as large gamut as the sRGB color space.

Auto lip-sync – this feature ‘aligns” the audio and video of a movie, regardless of the way the audio is transferred and processed. For instance, if the display takes longer to process the video, then the feature will make sure that both audio and video are in perfect sync.

Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio bistream capabilities – Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio are lossless multi-channel audio codec and lossless audio codec respectively and widely used. Their support by the HDMI 1.3 ensures that the user will get the best of their audio systems.

3D over HDMI – although there is no single 3D standard yet, the 3D over HDMI capability allows the HDMI cables to be used with the most popular 3D-enabled sources and TVs. The HDMI cables are capable of transmitting the necessary bandwidth and as long as the source and the TV are compatible with the interface as well, they will ensure perfect 3D experience.

A few CEC commands were added in 1.3a, and with the release of 1.3b, 1.3b1 and 1.3c, guidelines for testing HDMI-enabled products were specified.

The latest, HDMI 1.4 version is not much different from 1.3, and it only comes with support for 4K × 2K resolution, as well as Ethernet channel and Audio return channel (ARC). None of these three features is supported by hardware yet, so they have been introduced in order to anticipate the direction that future video and audio devices are likely to take. As already mentioned, unless you need an 1.4 or 1.3 specific feature, every HDMI cable is likely to work and give you excellent picture and sound, regardless of its version.

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