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New HDMI 1.4 Spec Set To Confuse

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the avoid-confusion-stick-with-coax dept.

Displays 357

thefickler writes "HDMI Licensing LLC, the company that determines the specifications of the HDMI standard, is set to release the HDMI 1.4 spec on 30 June. Unfortunately it could very well be the most confusing thing to ever happen to setting up a home theater. When the new cables are released, you're going to need to read the packaging very carefully because effectively there are now going to be five different versions of HDMI to choose from — HDMI Ethernet Channel, Audio Return Channel, 3D Over HDMI, 4K x2K Resolution Support and a new Automotive HDMI. At least we can't complain about consumer choice."

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Set fail... (3, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155059)

For HD.

Re:Set fail... (4, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155065)

There will be 12 different MONSTER cables.

I look forward to the Audiophile gold ends.

Re:Set fail... (4, Funny)

bmo (77928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155099)

Oxygen free "magnetically aligned" copper, hand twisted, and manually rubbed between the breasts of virgins for extra "lustre."

They just won't tell you that the virgins look like Rush Limbaugh.

--
BMO

Re:Set fail... (1, Troll)

Megane (129182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155171)

They just won't tell you that the virgins post on Slashdot.

Fixed.

Re:Set fail... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155185)

They just won't tell you that the virgins post on Slashdot.

Fixed.

i dont know whats worse, the repetitive joke that somehow never gets old with you people even though it quit being funny a long time ago, somewhere around the 50th time I saw it ... or, the nigger moderators who give it a +5 Funny

Re:Set fail... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155445)

i dont know whats worse, the repetitive niggers that somehow nigger gets old with you niggers even though it quit being nigger a long time ago, somewhere around the 50th nigger I saw it ... or, the nigger niggers who give it a +5 nigger.

Re:Set fail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155737)

Should I feel bad for laughing at this?

Re:Set fail... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155597)

Don't get so uppity, Boy. I drag yo wormy ass home to yo mama, and she beat the last of the nigga blood OUT yo ass!! What you do THEN, boy? Widout da black in yo face, you look jus like dat no-good white boy, Hitler!!

Re:Set fail... (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155919)

Oxygen free "magnetically aligned" copper, hand twisted, and manually rubbed between the breasts of virgins for extra "lustre."

They just won't tell you that the virgins look like Rush Limbaugh.

They just won't tell you that the virgins post on Slashdot.

Fixed.

They post on slashdot? Well that means they're men... Lustrous man boobs, eeew!!

Re:Set fail... (4, Funny)

Qubit (100461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155183)

They just won't tell you that the virgins look like Rush Limbaugh.

Well they are Monster cables....

Re:Set fail... (3, Funny)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155187)

They just won't tell you that the virgins look like Rush Limbaugh.

Rush Limbaugh has been married (and divorced) three times - but he has no children (cite [about.com] )... so he may in fact be the virgin in question.

Re:Set fail... (2, Funny)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155209)

Now if you let people pay TO rub them between the breasts of virgins I don't think any of us would be mocking them quite so much.

Re:Set fail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155541)

dear god... now i get to and fix every irate customer who complained about 1.3 not working... well they said 1.4 is better...

a million cable guys scream in terror

Re:Set fail... (2, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155549)

Oxygen free "magnetically aligned" copper, hand twisted, and manually rubbed between the breasts of virgins for extra "lustre."

That's required if you want to watch porn over the cable, it's sorta like how you have to magnetize a screwdriver with a magnet if you want screws to stick to it.

Re:Set fail... (4, Insightful)

Reikk (534266) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155085)

The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from

Re:Set fail... (2, Informative)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155297)

Actually set stupid article to fail.

They aren't releasing 72 different cables.

They're releasing 3:

1.4 (ethernet, 4k, etc)
1.4 Mini. (Won't be used in a home theater. This will come with your ZuneHD, Sony HD camcorder or cell phone.)
1.4 Automotive. (When would you ever buy that thinking it would work in your home theater system?)

So in reality they're releasing 1 new cable that customers will ever encounter. And it'll make things MUCH less confusing for the customers. Buy a new home theater. Plug an HDMI cable from your receiver to your XBox 720, BluRay Player and TV. Done! No ethernet cable into your xBox 720, BluRay Player and TV. Now need to run an audio out cable from your TV to your receiver. Just one easy cable between every system and all the features should work.

Re:Set fail... (5, Funny)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155331)

Yes, much less confusing.

Hey, if I want to use a ZuneHD in my car which cable do I need?

Re:Set fail... (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155343)

Probably the cable that came with your zune.

Re:Set fail... (4, Funny)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155409)

Ha! TRICK QUESTION! I would never buy a Zune.

Talking about Zunes (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155459)

Is the Zune the Windows Vista of media players, or is Windows Vista the Zune of operating systems?

Re:Talking about Zunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155557)

ERROR: Buffer overrun on "FAIL"

Re:Set fail... (5, Informative)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155367)

My mistake. They are in fact releasing 5 + mini plug:

o Standard HDMI Cable - supports data rates up to 1080i/60;
o High Speed HDMI Cable - supports data rates beyond 1080p, including Deep Color and all 3D formats of the new 1.4 specification;
o Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet - includes Ethernet connectivity;
o High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet - includes Ethernet connectivity;
o Automotive HDMI Cable - allows the connection of external HDMI-enabled devices to an in-vehicle HDMI device.

But. Standard HDMI cable == HDMI 1.1 cable and I don't even see those for sale anywhere. I assume it's pin compatible. So really the only new cables that people will encounter are:

1.4 Highspeed (1080p -> 4k, 3D, Deep color etc)
1.4 Highspeed + Ethernet.

Automotive will be built into your car hidden away from view. So unless you work at crutchfield you can ignore it.

Mini will be the same cables just with a differently sized plug.

Ethernet (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155743)

What's the ethernet connectivity in the monitor for? I suppose it could be well-intentioned, for cable or IPTV say, but I'm concerned it might be for validating DRM against public key servers.

Re:Set fail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155913)

And ... how does the ethernet work? Does it include a built in switch? or are we talking about a hub type of setup?

article summary is very poor (5, Informative)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155079)

There are 5 cables in the spec, but the descriptions are incorrect.

There 4 cables which are the 4 possible combinations of low-bandwidth (often referred to as HDMI 1.1) and high-bandwidth (capable of 1080p/60, deep color, etc., often referred to as HDMI 1.3) with the possibilities of supporting ethernet in the cable (100mbit) or not.

So there are:
low-bandwidth no ethernet (effectively an HDMI 1.1 cable)
high-bandwidth no ethernet (effectively an HDMI 1.3 cable)
low-bandwidth with 100mbit ethernet
high-bandwidth with 100mbit ethernet

Now, in reality, it's already difficult to buy an HDMI 1.1 cable, and likely few going to make a low-bandwidth cable with ethernet added, since low-bandwidth cables aren't popular already.

So that leaves two of these cables to decide between:
HDMI 1.3 cable
high-bandwidth with 100mbit ethernet (perhaps to gain the popular name HDMI 1.4 cable?)

and then there is one final cable, the wildcard, the automotive HDMI cable.

So 3 cables to choose from, one of which is a weirdo cable (automotive).

I don't think this will cause much of a problem.

The options listed in the article, return channel, etc, are all things added to the spec that can be there for an HDMI 1.4 device but without needing a specialized cable.

I'm a geek, but... (5, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155197)

Ugh. Maybe you can explain why I'd want to buy an HDTV with all of the accoutrements rather than buy a vastly cheaper flat panel display, and use it with my far more flexible computer. In my opinion, TVs and computers are converging, and new revisions of HDMI are a way to keep them differentiated. Is there really an advantage to an HDTV? This is the thing that has stopped me from buying an HDTV.

Now, as far as cabling goes, I suspect most of this is driven by a marketing department. If you look at computer display technology, which has been in rapid flux for at least 20 years, they've managed to standardize on TWO different connectors: one for analog and one for digital. Sure, there are some weirdo ones out there, like ADC and 13W3, but they never really had any real relevance. But with TVs, which is ostensibly simpler than computer displays, we have this panoply of cables. Why?

Now, Cat5e-- that's an impressive technology. The data rates people have been able to squeeze out of plain ol' twisted pair! But seriously; we do everything in software now. Why does television insist on having cable after cable to do functions that we could do with a single one?

Re:I'm a geek, but... (2, Insightful)

wintermute000 (928348) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155275)

er, because a 42 inch computer flat panel will cost far more than a 1080p LCD of the same size??

Here in Oz you will be paying 1000AUD for a 30inch monitor. That cash will get you a 42" 1080p plasma. Heck 1080p is fine for couch computing. Can you even get 42inch monitors?
Also the TV will most likely have tuners built in. You and I run a media center. Most people do not.

And for your final question: do you really want average consumers to wrestle with ethernet and a TCP/IP stack just to get a signal from their 'video player' to their telly.
Simple example: what about networked players? Do you add a switch into the unit and have both the TV and the player on the same subnet/VLAN? Or does the player and TV have its own subnet and the unit acts as a router? Or should the TV? WHich address space should it pick? What if it clashes with the existing network? What if there are duplex negotiation bugs/issues? why the ---- would you want to deal with any of those potential issues than just cable goes in, select the channel, works out of the box.

Please don't start talking about myth and streaming same input into multiple outputs or muxing channels etc. for most people THAT'S COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT

Sorry its a bit of a silly question IMHO

Re:I'm a geek, but... (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155425)

They actually made a few 30 and 40" CRT monitors. Those pry had to have like 10 lbs of lead in them.

Re:I'm a geek, but... (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155685)

I still use my 38" RCA HDTV.

It's been running fine since September of 2002 when I bought it. One reason I haven't replaced it yet is that it weighs over 200 pounds ( although I don't know how much of that is lead) and so getting it moved would be a real pain.

Re:I'm a geek, but... (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155311)

I want DVI back. I wont buy a TV with out DVI. HDMI is easy to get. DRM makes HDMI that works much more expensive. I repeat, i want DVI back.

Re:I'm a geek, but... (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155349)

My LCD Monitor has a DVI-D port with HDCP (DRM)... basically its HDMI without the audio signals. You do realizes DVI to HDMI cables and adapters exist, right?

Re:I'm a geek, but... (2, Interesting)

trum4n (982031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155505)

Its the HDCP that is the problem. The more fragile cable is just stupid, but good old DVi can go well beyond "HD" without DRM. And that is how is should be. And yes, i have the adapter, came with my GFX card, but my GeForce7900 can't to HDCP, so its useless. I'd trade any of our "freedoms" in America for a DRM free life. As soon as DRM hit bigtime, i stopped buying content. They have lost a customer for life.

Re:I'm a geek, but... (1)

egregious (16118) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155337)

Yeah, TV and the desktop might be merging for you, but the rest of the world still sits on the couch for TV and at a desk for the computer. Until I can type comfortably in the same position I watch the TV the two are never going to be the same thing in use or purpose.

Computer video *ports* might be simply divergent, but the same criticisms you're aiming at HDMI can be extended to computer video, too. There's DVI, dual link DVI, HDMI (so computers can play in the travesty that is HDCP), mini DVI, plus a lot of other proprietary variants and the "VGA port" was just a common plug design. Analog computer video signals were and are a mess. Those port designs had next-to-nothing to do with the signals they could transmit.

Re:I'm a geek, but... (2, Informative)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155395)

Actually thanks to the computer folks who felt HDMI didn't meet their "needs", we have yet another NIH standard: Display Port. It of course is not compatible with HDMI/DVI monitors, but hey its royalty-free.

Re:I'm a geek, but... (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155437)

There is a direct converter you can get for DVI to DisplayPort.

Re:I'm a geek, but... (2, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155427)

I bought a 52" 1080p LCD *AS* my Computer Monitor.

Computer DVI -> HDMI.

Works great. I have a little 19" LCD off to the side that isn't even plugged in. Just in case.

For BluRay and HD-DVD I have a combo driver which cost $90 in my computer. Everything is run through a single harmony remote and wireless keyboard/mouse.

I also have a laptop in case I want to browse the web while watching TV. Just about the perfect setup if you ask me. Perhaps not for work when I want dual displays but more than adequate for all home computer activities.

Re:I'm a geek, but... (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155601)

I also have a laptop in case I want to browse the web while watching TV

I assume trying both on the 52" via split-screen is a no-go?

Re:I'm a geek, but... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155753)

I bought a 52" 1080p LCD *AS* my Computer Monitor.

That's gotta be sore on the neck.

Re:I'm a geek, but... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155863)

I'm still using 15-pin D-SUB on my 32" 1080p LCDTV. What's this DVI you talk about? ;)

Re:I'm a geek, but... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155605)

LCD monitors are not cheaper than HD TVs.

As for computer displays, the cables currently in use are, what, at least different flavours of DVI (analog, digital, dual link), display port and VGA. HDMI basically has the cheap low bandwidth cables that are pretty hard to find now, and the ones everyone uses that can handle 1080p. Apparently the new ones may or may not have ethernet support built in, which seems kind of dumb to me, but whatever.

The cable confusion seems about equal to me.

Re:I'm a geek, but... (5, Informative)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155673)

That's the way to go. When I bought my HDTV I mainly used it solely as a HTPC monitor and console monitor (have cable now so its a TV too).

The biggest offense of HDMI is the simple fact that multiple HDMI inputs on a TV/monitor are useless. If you want to use a home theater receiver for surround sound then you have to upgrade to one that has HDMI inputs. Why? Well Hollywood decided that HDMI cannot have its digital sound passed through the optical or coaxial output of your TV. So if you are thinking of using that shiny new HDTV with four HDMI inputs as your AV switch box then your out of luck. Even though that TV has an optical/coaxial output it will be disabled for HDMI, only analog outputs will work. You need to buy an expensive HDMI receiver for that setup to work.

My friend learned the hard way after purchasing a 47 inch HDTV with four HDMI inputs. He connected his XBox 360, PC and cable box. After digging through menus and testing his receiver he emailed the manufacturer of the TV and found out that his perfectly working Dolby digital receiver was now useless. He wound up getting an optical switch box to switch between inputs but OH wait the XBox 360's optical port is blocked when using the HDMI port. Fuck them for screwing us like that. HDCP and all the other copyright protection is a fucking sham.

Re:I'm a geek, but... (3, Informative)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155931)

OH wait the XBox 360's optical port is blocked when using the HDMI port.

I agree with your general sentiment, but that statement is untrue. I'm using 360->HDMI->TV and 360->optical->receiver and it works fine. HTH!

Linked article is wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155081)

The linked article is wrong; it confuses the logical concept of data channels with physical cable/connector types. FAIL

HDMI Ethernet (4, Insightful)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155107)

â HDMI Ethernet Channel
"The HDMI 1.4 specification will add a data channel to the HDMI cable and will enable high-speed bi-directional communication. Connected devices that include this feature will be able to send and receive data via 100 Mb/sec Ethernet, making them instantly"... OBSOLETE

Thanks for coming out.

Re:HDMI Ethernet (2, Informative)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155165)

OBSOLETE

Thanks for coming out.

100Mb/s bandwidth for a 40Mb/s signal. What is the problem?

Re:HDMI Ethernet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155213)

The problem is that even cat5e cable supports gigabit. It's difficult to even find regular cat5 cable anymore.

I suspect it has something to do with gigabit interfering with the other data channels. I dunno though.

Re:HDMI Ethernet (2, Informative)

wintermute000 (928348) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155317)

Gigabit is a lot more fussy about a lot of things. All four pairs are used and the standard (twist spacing etc.) is designed so all the crosstalk etc. cancels out nicely.

The classic is a gigabit cable that someone cut into a small 1m cable which borks it (sometimes). This is because over that short length all 4 pairs happen to have the same twist or section of twist which means the interference cancellation is not working. You will notice Cat6 cables specify where you should cut them and the segment lengths are clearly defined. If you buy a premade short gigabit cable they're manufactured to make sure they work properly over that short length.

Basically its fussier with finer tolerances and you want to KISS for the non techie home consumers. That's how I would look at it.

Of course I also agree that is stupid

Re:HDMI Ethernet (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155257)

100Mb/s bandwidth for a 40Mb/s signal. What is the problem?

Well, for starters, 1080p (keep in mind this involves "raw" devices, not sending an MPEG4 down the line) uses just shy of 1.5 Gbps.

We can follow that up with "anyone not using wireless already upgraded to gig-E switches about five years ago".

We can then finish it off with one of my favorites (actually not, but in this case it really does serve the described need) - Any attached devices needing bidirectional communication can use plain ol' ubiquitous USB. And really, do my speakers actually need to talk back to my receiver under any even remotely plausible scenario that doesn't scream "DRM, mother fucker, do you speak it?"

Re:HDMI Ethernet (1)

russasaurous (928447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155403)

HAH!...you're exactly right re. DRM.

Re:HDMI Ethernet (2, Interesting)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155525)

And really, do my speakers actually need to talk back to my receiver under any even remotely plausible scenario that doesn't scream "DRM, mother fucker, do you speak it?"

Off the top of my head, I imagine you could have a mic each speaker so the system can dynamically adjust for ambient noise, or something silly like a surround sound system pinging itself during setup to concentrate the "surround" effect on the desired area.

I also guess you could work this into some type of karaoke/Rock Band game.

Re:HDMI Ethernet (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155727)

Then, too, wouldn't it make a lot more sense to connect your XBox, PS3, etc., all directly to the network to stream videos from a computer, so that the data moves:
computer==>XBox==>receiver
rather than
computer==>receiver==>XBox==>receiver

It's not like Cat6 cables are heavy or expensive, and a 8-port switch is less than $50.

Re:HDMI Ethernet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155173)

Who the hell mod'd this insightful? How is 100mbit Ethernet OBSOLETE? Did I miss a decade?? I'll let the network guys in the data center know its time to remove those 100mbit lines, we need 100gigabit baby!

Re:HDMI Ethernet (1)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155657)

I'd agree that 100 Mbit is far from obsolete in the home market, but who still has 100 Mbit in the data center? Unless your "data center" is a closet with 3 servers in it, you should have moved to gigabit years ago.

Retrofits and upgrades for all! (3, Informative)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155119)

I know technology never really stops, but the salesdroids/scammers will milk this mercilessly to generate sales. You only have 1.3 devices on each end, but if you don't have some flavor of 1.4 cable, it'll never work. And only $10 per foot. Scumsuckers preying on the ignorant.

I probably shouldn't be surprised (2, Interesting)

kithrup (778358) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155123)

But the main article is fairly wrong. The Audio Return channel doesn't require a different cable, and the higher resolutions and 3D will both work over the high-bandwidth version. The ethernet options will be different cables, as will the automotive, so there will be quite a few new cables, but I don't think that's particularly confusing. (That's normal HDMI; HDMI plus ethernet; high-speed HDMI; high-speed HDMI plus ethernet; and automotive HDMI.)

dvice.com [dvice.com] has some analysis and the press release.

The Audio Return thing will allow your display to send audio to your receiver, instead of using a second audio (e.g. optical or coaxial) cable. Why that wasn't there from the beginning is beyond me, since the connection was already bidirectional (to negotiate DRM).

Re:I probably shouldn't be surprised (2, Informative)

Kizeh (71312) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155261)

The reason I always found when griping that my plasma couldn't send audio, or even output SPDIF, was that it was a DRM restriction imposed on the manufacturers. No clue if that was true, and what might have changed.

Re:I probably shouldn't be surprised (1)

kithrup (778358) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155283)

The "Audio Return Channel" should allow that -- the normal HDCP negotiation can go on. Hopefully, this will let you plug HDMI devices into your TV, and have the receiver be able to handle the audio.

That'll require a new TV and a new receiver of course. sigh

Yah but (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155127)

Are they gold plated?

The TV manufacturers are simply screwing themselves over. They're dreaming. The new standard is going to be a computer screen attached to a PC streaming from youtube or similar.

 

Re:Yah but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155237)

And how will the computer screen be attached?

HDMI

Re:Yah but (1)

richdun (672214) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155319)

And how will the computer screen be attached?

It'll be built-in. CPUs, RAM, and storage are such commodities, I'll be surprised if in 5 years we buy many displays without "computers" built-in.

Re:Yah but (3, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155471)

"I'll be surprised if in 5 years we buy many displays without "computers" built-in."

Worst prediction ... ever ...

I would not be surprised... (1, Interesting)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155133)

...If those 5 connector types came in 7 different versions...

One that can only be used on Mondays, One for Tuesdays only.. etc... etc...

HDMI 1.4 spec = fail...

Re:I would not be surprised... (1)

adosch (1397357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155729)

Agreed. IMHO, standards like that just piss off end-users and just for making it a mess, I'd like to see it fail. But it makes marketing schemes riun rampid. Can't wait to see what type of fluff the Best Buy TV sales croanies will blow up my ass when ths hits the masses... I'm sure I'll be asked to buy the super-duper-gold-monster-goliath-mega-enhanced HDMI 1.4 cable/

what was wrong with DVI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155139)

I'm still using DVI into my TV, and it seems fine. Supports high-def video and so on. I'm not sure I get HDMI. What's the point of it over DVI?

Re:what was wrong with DVI? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155195)

DRM. DVI has no DRM.

Meh (2, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155143)

The electronics shop down the road will just come out with a new rev of their HDMI-whatever to DVI converter.

Great (5, Insightful)

macemoneta (154740) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155205)

This is the 11th revision of the HDMI specification in the less-than 7 year life of HDMI. Meanwhile, the 22-year old VGA connection still works fine, at full HDTV resolution, and with none of the incompatibility or usage restrictions (DRM) that HDMI brings to the table. Um, progress?

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155339)

HDMI also moves sound.

And is digital.

Re:Great (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155393)

It also features an all new and improved DRM.

Re:Great (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155843)

It also features an all new and improved DRM.

It does? I don't see any mention of that in the cited article or in the article on HDMI in Wikipedia. AFAIK, HDCP is still a sitting duck if anyone reverse engineers 39 device keys. And probably has a few unpublished holes, in addition.

Re:Great (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155659)

HDMI is inferior at moving sound when compared to a pair of old RCA cables.

Even with an "all singing, all dancing" HDMI cable you're still better off
using dedicated audio connection path. ...and the fact that HDMI is "digital" doesn't actually but the consumer
anything. It's still inferior or at best equal to a signaling standard
that is around 20 years old. (possibly even older)

Re:Great buy why 1080p (1)

stine2469 (1349335) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155411)

why didnt they just license svga????

Re:Great buy why 1080p (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155545)

Because it feels good to add to the alphabet soup that people have to wade through on a daily basis!

Re:Great (1)

arazor (55656) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155725)

If that VGA cable could carry 8 channel audio and ethernet you might have a point. With anyDVD and the like the DRM problem is largely moot.

I can't wait. One less cable connection to worry about. Increases wife/girlfriend acceptance factor for HTPC and other nerd devices.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155895)

There are companies that make two cables in one sheath.

Agree! (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155785)

After watching friends buy new equipment because one piece was downgrading the signal, I swore HDMI off. My HDTV is connected to our $50 (well $150 after upgrades) Dell Media Server via a VGA cable with an embedded sound cable. Works wonderful and worry free.

Ethernet needed for homes theatres (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155253)

People are having a lot of trouble putting $7,000 projectors in the middle of their 80 foot by 40 foot theatres adjoining the living room. An HDMI 1.3 cable won't run from there to the media room with all of the AV equipment. How can people live? Well, pretty soon we can be civilized again. We'll have HDMI Ethernet channel, using the technology of nerds to help Wall Street barons outfit their manses.

Does any get that sinking feeling about HDMI? (3, Informative)

upuv (1201447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155333)

The most successful products all have the same qualities.

1. Simple
2. Ubiquity
3. Affordable

HDMI is not simple.
Ubiquity, Well I give it points here. It really was the first popular spec to finally include video and audio on one cable.
Affordable. Not a chance. Ridiculous prices for cables and accessories.

1 out of 3 is not good enough to survive. HDMI is setting it self up to be toppled of it's lofty perch.

Wireless HDMI would rock.
1. It would be simplish ( Some marketing guy would F&*K this up with some screwed up we must know what you are broadcasting so we can tap your wallet. )
2. Ubiquity. No real restriction here on what is on the channel. So basically everything should work with everything else.
3. NO HYPER EXPENSIVE CABLES. So that has to help the bottom line.

Oh wait. The wireless HDMI spec is already here. Can anyone say Wireless USB 3.

Re:Does any get that sinking feeling about HDMI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155513)

Wireless HDMI would rock.

But it would be better with Monster Wireless Gold Connector Air cables.

Re:Does any get that sinking feeling about HDMI? (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155609)

Well that's just not true. Something like a Ferrari, iPhone, XBOX, or such is just about the opposite of simple, ubiquitious, or affordable, yet each of those items is tremendously successful. That's 0 out of 3, and all of those are surviving quite well while ignoring your thesis.

Re:Does any get that sinking feeling about HDMI? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155625)

HDMI really wasn't complicated. This time there are silly variants that shouldn't be there.

HDMI doesn't have to be expensive, it's not a fault of the standard, it's just marked up a lot by retailers. It just takes a quick Google search to find far cheaper alternatives that do the job just as well. I get them for something like $5 a piece on monoprice (Google hit #1). The Monoprice cables work just fine. Amazon has cheap HDMI cables that are reputable too. The problem there is that B&M retailers are trying to make money on accessories & the hard sell because they often barely break even on the TV. That's why they push the "replacement warranties" even if the box clearly says it has a longer stock warranty than what the store is offering.

The problem with hypothetical wireless HDMI is that retailers are going to be reluctant to stock products that offer it, because they make such a profit on the cable. I've heard that this was why it was so hard to find wireless printers earlier on, retailers like to make money on the gold plated USB and Cat5e/6 cables and didn't want to sell anything that cut into that cash cow.

Wireless USB is not really a solution unless you add a lot of video crunching / uncrunching power. It is 100Mbps and 480Mbps (depending on distance), HDMI is about 10Gbps.

Re:Does any get that sinking feeling about HDMI? (3, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155639)

I thought six bucks for a fifteen foot cable was quite reasonable. You're not paying the extortionate prices for cables in the retail store, are you?

As for wireless HDMI, no, no, no. That's just what we need. Some huge bandwidth hog spewing unnecessary interference all over the little bit of spectrum we've got just because you find plugging one end of a cable into your blu-ray player and the other into your TV too confusing. Save the wireless for things that actually benefit from being wireless.

Re:Does any get that sinking feeling about HDMI? (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155833)

Oh wait. The wireless HDMI spec is already here. Can anyone say Wireless USB 3?

Please. HDMI 1.3 (single link) is 10.2 Gb/s.

USB 2.0 and Wireless USB 1.0 offer just 480 Mb/s.
Wireless USB 1.1 expands this to 1 Gb/s.
USB 3.0 is slightly faster at 4.8 Gb/s, but then, it uses fiber optics.

NO HYPER EXPENSIVE CABLES. So that has to help the bottom line.

You don't have to buy from monster cable.

Why not just use Ethernet? (3, Insightful)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155381)

Forgive me for not having kept up with the progress of HDMI, but wouldn't it have made infinitely more sense to have simply used gigabit Ethernet for all this? The data is all digital anyway, and networking technology is quite mature, so why did these folks feel the need to reinvent the wheel? Right now, you have to worry about whether your new TV will have enough HDMI inputs for the devices you have or might get later, or you need to get an HDMI switcher. With Ethernet, you just connect everything to a switch or router, and you're all set. One connection per component is all you need, and, if you use a router, everything immediately gets connectivity to the home network or Internet. And if a new component comes out that needs to talk to another component in a different way or using more bandwidth, that can all be handled in the firmware. As long as you don't flood the local network with more data than it can handle, everything is fine, and the rest of the networked devices, including the router and cables, can stay exactly the same.

Or did someone in the entertainment industry worry that using Ethernet for connecting entertainment devices would make it too easy for those evil hacker types to connect a computer to the setup and break their DRM? Or maybe that if this gear was too easily networked, we might...GASP!...use it to send video from our Internet-connected computers out into the living rooms, undermining traditional TV?

Re:Why not just use Ethernet? (4, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155481)

" ... so why did these folks feel the need to reinvent the wheel?"

To sell more wheels.

Re:Why not just use Ethernet? (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155485)

With A/V applications there are latency issues to be cognizant of. The big issue is keeping audio and video in sync. The best case scenario would be to stream the audio and video together to one destination. If the audio and video go to two locations then latency becomes an issue. Even then you have to deal with interactive latency issues for things like gaming consoles. With an ethernet based implementation there is nothing to prevent somebody from routing separate data streams through disparate switches and routers with sync lost for certain unless there is lost of buffering (not good for gaming).

Re:Why not just use Ethernet? (2, Insightful)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155547)

It's all about the DRM, they had to make something that would fool the industry players into thinking the DRM worked. The only thing special about HDMI was to be HDMI complicit, a device has to send and receive some signal letting it know the line is not being tapped. It's all completely silly, it's quite easy to order non-complicit HDMI recorders that only pretend to play along because god forbid you buy a movie and make a back up. To get Hollywood to release their movies on blu-ray the blu-ray makers had produce something that would delude them into thinking they couldn't copy hi-def copies. This was back when that was the last thing they had to talk about. "but but VHS was different, each copy degraded with use! We can't let them have prefect hi-def copies!" That's why it became the blu-ray stranded. Of course it was the DRM.

btw I laugh whenever I refer to HD-TV's as 'hi-def' Lulz, our PC's have had better resolution for years and years

Bluray is the new Laser Disk

Re:Why not just use Ethernet? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155663)

Since HDMI bandwidth starts at 4 Gbit/s and goes up from there, gigabit ethernet might fall slightly short.

Re:Why not just use Ethernet? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155939)

Or did someone in the entertainment industry worry that using Ethernet for connecting entertainment devices would make it too easy for those evil hacker types to connect a computer to the setup and break their DRM? Or maybe that if this gear was too easily networked, we might...GASP!...use it to send video from our Internet-connected computers out into the living rooms, undermining traditional TV?

Bingo. HDMI is a giant sham.

Digital rights management, more like DigitalRights (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155387)

Digital Rights Management, more like DigitalRightsFail amirite?


god even I hate me

Re:Digital rights management, more like DigitalRig (1)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155529)

Nope, it's Digital Rights Management. The entertainment conglomerates get to manage what rights you do and don't have as they see fit. It isn't unlike your boss at work managing what you can and can't do. They manage, and you obey.

Why bother. Just use component video (3, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155407)

It amazes me how much the proles gobble this shit up when *gasp* analog component video is perfectly capable of handling a high bandwith video without all the incremental upgrades to a poorly thought out spec. Remember, a VGA cable (not quite as good as separate coax) is able to carry higher resolution and refresh rates than 1080p/60 and it could be all achieved on an early/mid 90's PC with a high end video card.

Re:Why bother. Just use component video (2, Insightful)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155495)

As I recall, early HD gear used just that, but the powers-that-be got worried that component video didn't do DRM, so those nasty evil pirates would have a far too easy time copying the video, so they decreed that any device that could output 1080 must do it only via HDMI, which supports HDCP. The side effect of this was that the early adopters who spent the really big bucks for HDTV sets got royally screwed, since no new gear that output video over 720p would connect to them. No 1080i/p cable or sat boxes, and no Blu-ray or HD-DVD. So you paid to get this tech first? Sucker!

Re:Why bother. Just use component video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155645)

Hmmmm... this Comcast HD cable box and Bluray player (PS3) must be connected to my TV through some magical 3 wire HDMI then.

Re:Why bother. Just use component video (1)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155821)

But are you getting 1080 or scaled-down 720?

Re:Why bother. Just use component video (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155591)

It amazes me how much the proles gobble this shit up when *gasp* analog component video is perfectly capable of handling a high bandwith video without all the incremental upgrades to a poorly thought out spec.

The "proles" gobble up that one HDMI wire is neater and simple than Red-Blue-Green + optical, digital coax, or analog. Especially with the last choice, as you have five plugs all the same shape, going into five sockets right next to each other, and two of them are the exact same color.

Just because you think something sucks doesn't mean it's utterly without merit.

Re:Why bother. Just use component video (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155675)

He's not talking about a bunch of color coded RCA cables, he's talking
about the ancient VGA cabling spec which is perfectly suitable for the
end user consumer rube.

Display Port? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28155613)

The solution to this problem is Display Port.

How many tv's, cable / sat boxes / sound amps, dvd (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155665)

How many tv's, cable / sat boxes / sound amps, dvd / blue ray, game systems , pc's / video cards will even support all of this and will you have to look at see what the box can do as well as the cable?

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