What is HDMI?
For a few years, and when the euro connector seemed to have won the game over the rest of the audiovisual connection systems, a new type of connection has managed to gain a foothold and even win the market for audiovisual connectors: HDMI.
HDMI stands for “High-Definition Multimedia Interface” and is neither more nor less than a type of connector that allows an improvement in the display of DVD devices, Blu-ray, consoles, computers, televisions, monitors, video projectors and a long etcetera. The concept of this cable is to be able to dispense with having to use several cables to connect audio and video signals from a computer or HD/DVD/Blu-Ray device to a TV or monitor. To give an example: a blu-ray player connected to our television, using only a single cable that transmits audio and video simultaneously.
Because the connections are digital, the audio/video quality is the best.
Several companies collaborated in the development of this type of connection, among others: Hitachi, Sony, Thomson, Toshiba, Silicon Image and Philips. Now practically all devices are equipped with this connection, which has gradually replaced the rest.
At this point some readers may be wondering what the difference is between HDMI and DVI, since the latter is also capable of transmitting digitally, since the first difference is easy to find, since the DVI system does not convert audio signals requiring an extra cable to connect the audio. But this is not the only difference, as HDMI allows resolutions that DVI does not yet have, and will presumably never carry. The DVI cable is designed for use with PCs or similar devices, while the HDMI cable was developed to be used for any audiovisual device.
However, if something differentiates both systems, it is the fact that the HDMI is equipped with a copy protection system popularly known as HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Copy Protection), created by Intel, and with a high level of effectiveness, which has caused the support of this system not only from the audiovisual industry but also from film production companies such as Fox, Universal, Warner Bros and Disney.
According to the specifications of HDCP 1.10, all manufacturers of HDMI equipment must request an authorization code that will be withdrawn if at any time they manufacture equipment that allows copying, so from that moment on, HDMI equipment from other manufacturers does not transmit audiovisual content.
It was introduced in 2002 and consisted of a single digital audio/video connection cable that supported up to 165 Mpixels/s in video mode (1080p 60Hz or UXGA) and 8-channel/192 kHz/24-bit audio.
It was released in 2005 and included support for One Bit Audio up to 8 channels, but the most important thing was compatibility with PC connectors.
Release on June 22, 2006. Apart from the increase in operating bandwidth and the increase in data rate, support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD, low-loss audio formats, was already included. However, the most important advance was the release of the mini-connector for camcorders.
Devices that work with this type of cable are the Playstation 3, the first to use 1.3, the Xbox 360 and some media players.
With this standard, 3D video and resolutions such as FullHD and XHD, Extended High Definition, enter the scene, supporting resolutions such as 4096 x 2160 pixels at 24fps, 3840 x 2160 pixels at 30fps. In addition, there were improvements in the color system and improvements in the system for video cameras that allow high resolution in moving images, making it possible to use them in cars and public transport.
In addition, this standard already establishes an audio return channel, which makes it easier to have a surround sound system (4.1, 5.1, 7.1) connected to the television. It is this advance that allows that when we have, for example, a blu-ray on our TV, we can have an option that allows us to listen to the TV through our sound system.
The latest standard to date and it became operational on September 4, 2013. Features of this standard include 4K@50/60(2160p) video, up to 32 audio channels, up to 1536kHz audio frequency, simultaneous delivery of 2 video streams, for multiple users on the same screen, audio streaming for up to 4 users, 21:9 aspect ratio support, dynamic synchronization of streaming video and audio, CEC command extensions to control multiple devices from one point unique.
Types of HDMI connectors
There are four types of cables that we will list below.
It is the most common HDMI connector and the most commonly used. It is made up of 19 pins.
It is a version prepared for future screens, although its use is not yet widespread. The type B connector has 29 pins.
It is a reduced version of the type A (Mini-HDMI) connector and is designed for laptops. (Video cameras, photos…). The type C connector has 19 pins.
It is a micro version of the type A connector (Micro-HDMI) and has been designed to support the most compact and innovative designs of mobile devices. (smartphones etc.)