Like earlier HDMI cables, the version 1.4 is backward compatible which means that it can work with devices that support earlier HDMI features. This means that even if your HDTV has HDMI 1.3 or even 1.1, you can use the HDMI 1.4 cable with it. However, you won’t be able to enjoy the improved features of the 1.4. Let’s examine some of the features supported by the HDMI 1.4 cable.
The HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC)
This is a major addition. With the HEC, it is now possible to enjoy high speed, 2-way digital communication. For instance, if you have an internet-enabled device, you can receive and send signals or data through the 100mbps Ethernet in order to enjoy IP-supported applications. The good thing about this feature is that you don’t need an extra cable for this transmission; your high speed or standard cable (with Ethernet) is all you need. Furthermore, it also lays down the necessary platform if you want to share content between different HDMI-enabled devices.
The Audio Return Channel (ARC)
I personally don’t like seeing wires cluttering or lying about and with the new HDMI 1.4, this is a forgotten issue. The ARC makes it possible to send excellent audio signals in two ways. First, it delivers audio signals upstream from a HDTV to an audio/video receiver and for HDTVs with inbuilt DVD players or tuners; the ARC also ensures that audio signals from the TV are received upstream at the A/V receiver – with the same HDMI cable. Secondly, the ARC’s lip sync feature corrects lapses that occur during transmission and matches the audio to the video.
With the HDMI 1.4 specification, you can watch 3D content on your HDMI devices. Whatever the content—3D movies, 3D programs and 3D games—you have the opportunity of watching them in popular formats such as field method, line method, alternative method, side by side method and frame method. You can also watch them at display resolutions of up to 1080p.
Watch digital content on your home entertainment systems at resolutions rivaling those seen at cinemas. Thanks to the 4K support (which simply means that you can watch at a resolution 4 times that of a 1080p display supported device), you can watch videos in two formats: 3840 pixels wide by 2160 pixels high and 4096 pixels wide by 2160 pixels high.
Additional Color Spaces
With the 1.4 specification, you can view digital photos taken by digital still cameras on your HDMI device. The color spaces supported are Adobe RGB, Adobe Ycc60i and sYCC601.
This smaller 19 pin connector supports up to 1080p and can be used on portable digital devices like cameras and media players. It’s about half the size of the mini connector.
Automotive Connection System
Designed for use in cars and other vehicles, this feature particularly addresses problems with noise, heat and vibration and it’s a good platform for vehicular HD content that is sure to come sooner than later.