Types of audio and video formats supported by HDMI cables

HDMI technology is now a widely accepted data transmission means. Due to the advantages offered by HDMI cables, they are now preferred over traditional connectivity cables. HDMI technology enables audio and video transmission using a single connectivity cable. Thus, the need of having different cables for audio and video transmission is eliminated.

The HDMI specifications support standard PAL and NTSC, enhanced and HD video formats ((720p, 1080i, and 1080p up to 60Hz). The technology also supports up to 8-channels of uncompressed digital audio at 192 kHz, 24-bit. However, based on numerous HDMI versions, the supported image resolutions, features and audio standards can differ.

It is also important to understand that the features specified by different HDMI standards are not compulsory. For instance, features like deep colour (that enhances the precision of colour information and supports brightness) and support for 1080p at 60Hz, Super Audio CD DSD support, etc, are all optional. Thus, some manufacturers might not choose to implement certain features on the HD multimedia device.

Both HDMI and DVI technology makes use of same digital encoding scheme to transmit digital video. The only difference is that DVI does not support audio transmission using the same cable.

HDMI 1.4 is the latest version that adds support to 3D with resolutions of up to 1080p. Moreover, HDMI cable can also be used as a USB cable to transmit data. Support for an Ethernet channel is also added for internet sharing. Thus, it would be wise to use HDMI cables for connecting your HD multimedia devices with other audio-visual devices.

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