Business, Graphics, Hardware

HDMI Developing New Specs, Wanna Help?

HDMI Forum was born October, 2011 with an 11 member board installed the following month. It grew out of the HDMI Consortium which included founding members Sony, Panasonic, Phillips, Hitachi, Silicon Image, Technicolor and Toshiba who put forth the HDMI Specification in 2003.

The HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) Specification combines uncompressed high-definition video, multi-channel audio, and data in a single digital interface to provide crystal-clear digital quality over a single cable. HDMI enabled devices permeate our lives ? cameras, PC?s, mobile phones, game consoles, AV receivers, BluRay and DVD recorders and players, and recently, automobiles. More than 2 billion HDMI enabled devices had been sold by 2011. It became obvious that a common, all encompassing specification needed to be developed, thus emerged the HDMI Forum.

Arnold Brown, Chairman of the HDMI Forum, says their purpose is to create HDMI specifications for future versions. They have 43 members and are encouraging others to join and have their say. The Forum is open to any entity according to Brown. They are aiming for open, fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing. Their mission is to create new versions of the HDMI Specification and the Compliance Test Specification towards new and improved functionality.

New face of HDMI Forum calls for collaboration between members

Rambod Jacoby, President of the HDMI Forum  said: "How consumers interact with displays is evolving. Content is changing, we no longer have passive devices, displays are active extensions of hand held devices because of that content. What is needed is more fluid connections between devices and displays."

At the heart of the HDMI Forum is insight into trends which are indicating that a high quality bandwidth must exist between devices. They are looking proposals from the membership to meet the most immediate needs of the marketplace, mainly higher bandwidth to achieve higher display resolution. They are looking for friendlier and more compatible features, such as command and control capabilities and bidirectional communication.

Steve Venuti, HDMI President, moderated Q&A beside Andrew Brown and Rambod Jacoby
Steve Venuti, HDMI President, moderated Q&A beside Andrew Brown and Rambod Jacoby

The audience received the following responses to questions they posed:

  • Yes, putting a power component is on the list of requirements that were provided to marketing work groups, but timing to rollout is not known.
  • To expand product from original specs revolving around a single company requires broader participation. Jacoby says "pushing HDMI forward, with input from cable industry, from PC and chipset manufacturers will make it a better brand."
  • Expansion is to include 4K x 2K, but right now need to double bandwidth.

When questioned about competition between HDMI and Thunderbolt, Jacoby responded that Thunderbolt serves a specific high performance computing market whereas HDMI is synonymous with the consumer. "It?s a different market, we don?t view it as competing."

Rambod Jacoby, HDMI ForumThen a question was raised about AMD versus Nvidia going towards 1080p gaming Jacoby, Notebook Product Market Manager at Nvidia, sidestepped the debate responding that AMD was a part of the HDMI forum. [in other words, we all play well together. Ed.]

Brown told the audience that as to the name of the new specifications:

"We are not sure yet, HDMI brand is strong and we will be leveraging it, but haven?t decided yet."

Companies in the Forum are asking to be able to get high resolution. As the social networking connection improves, high resolution photography sharing will require a smooth interaction. Compatibility between the display and the phone for charging the battery, improved command and control is what companies are asking for.

There was concern in the audience regarding the frequency of releases with new features. Variables in versions ? high speed, with or without internet, caused confusion for cable makers and uncertainty among consumers. Venuti said that:

 "As of Jan 2010, no HDMI product was to have a version number on it. They are still there, so the HDMI Forum must let them know it is not ok now. The old versions didn?t mean anything versus the features. Whatever we do needs to take minimizing customer confusion into consideration."

Jacoby ended by encouraging those who had opinions to ?participate to push the specs through?. To request a membership packet go to their website.

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