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Wednesday, August 24, 2005
HDMI v1.2 Specifications Announced

HDMI Licensing LLC announced the availability of the latest revision of the HDMI specification, version 1.2. HDMI 1.2 is the new de-facto standard that will be supported by the majority of PC/CE devices and has been designed to ensure secure audio and video transmission between playback and display units.

HDMI has also emerged as the main digital interface standard for HDTV and the consumer electronics market, and encompasses Blu-Ray devices, HD-DVD recorders/players and HDTV-enabled televisions etc. The interface delivers digital audio and video quality via a single cable and is part of the general copy-protection concept for audio/video transmission, backed by most major hardware and software manufacturers such as Intel, Microsoft, ATI, Sony, Hitachi etc.

The new HDMI 1.2 specification adds features and capabilities that increase HDMI's appeal for use in both the CE and PC industries. Specifically, the features and modifications for HDMI 1.2 include support for One Bit Audio format, such as SuperAudio CD's DSD (Direct Stream Digital), along with some changes aimed at offering better support for current and future PCs with HDMI outputs.

These changes include the use of the widely-used HDMI Type A connector that will be currently available for PC sources and displays with full support for PC video formats. This means that all the PC audio/video content (formats) will pass through the HDMI interface. However, the 1.2 HDMI specifications allow the PC sources to use their native RGB color-space while retaining the option to support the YCbCr CE color-space.

The updated specifications also require the HDMI 1.2 or later displays to support future low-voltage (i.e., AC-coupled) sources, such as those based on PCI Express I/O technology.

"HDMI 1.2 has several changes to better support the PC industry, including a minor modification to the electrical specifications to ensure compatibility of current and future HDMI receivers with a low voltage, AC coupled transmitter (for example, a transmitter in an integrated graphics chip)," said Leslie Chard, President of HDMI Licensing, LLC. "The HDMI Founders also intend to define additional HDMI electrical and connector options that would allow PC vendors to more easily develop HDMI-compatible products."

According to the announcement, products implementing the HDMI 1.2 specification will be fully backwards compatible with earlier HDMI products.

The HDMI 1.2 specification can be downloaded at no cost by visiting www.hdmi.org.

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