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What is HDMI&Reg; 1.3?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2016
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High-Definition Multimedia Interface® (HDMI®) 1.3 is a version of HDMI® that made several improvements and allowed new features to be utilized in future high-definition televisions (HDTVs) and other devices that use HDMI® technology. The improvements in HDMI® 1.3 included increased bandwidth through HDMI® cables, support for higher image contrast and increased color palettes, a smaller connector cable for handheld devices, and technology specifically aimed at increasing audio/video synchronization. These changes and improvements were made as part of an ongoing effort to continually upgrade the capabilities of HDMI® devices and to prepare for advances made in hardware technology.

Released in 2002, HDMI® was created in an effort to make a backward-compatible device connector that could work with digital visual interface (DVI) devices at the time. HDMI® was meant to allow greater video quality and allow manufacturers to increase the capabilities of the devices they were producing. Since its initial release, the HDMI® format has undergone numerous upgrades and each version has been given a different number to indicate a significant increase in features or performance.

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HDMI® 1.3 was released in 2006 and included several new features and functions for high-definition devices and formats. The single-link bandwidth through HDMI® connectors was increased from 165 megahertz (MHz) (4.95 gigabits per second) to 340 MHz (10.2 gigabits per second). This improvement was designed to allow much greater amounts of information to be sent through HDMI® cables and was specifically intended to benefit HDTVs with features like Deep Color®, higher resolutions, and higher video frame rates. The basic architecture of this performance increase in HDMI® 1.3 also set the grounds for future versions to increase the bandwidth even more.

Deep Color® support was also introduced in HDMI® 1.3, which allows HDMI® devices to utilize much greater color depths. This improvement allowed 30-bit, 36-bit, and 48-bit color depths, over the previous 24-bit color, which can allow HDTVs and other similar devices to upgrade from displaying millions of colors to billions of colors. Increased gradation between colors and shades of gray are also made possible through this type of technology. The increase from 24-bit to 30-bit color depth should create a minimum of four times greater picture quality, though it can be eight times better or more. HDMI® 1.3 also removed limits on color selection in devices, which created a wider color palette on HDTVs and similar displays.

A new mini connector was introduced as well, to make connections between smaller handheld devices like cameras and HDMI® devices easier. HDMI® 1.3 also introduced lip sync or synchronization technology to make matching picture and sound easier. As digital signals become more complicated and larger, there may be issues in ensuring that the signal can be processed properly and that picture and sound will be displayed together correctly. The improvements in HDMI® 1.3 established the capability for devices to correct these issues automatically to reduce development challenges for manufacturers.

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