Short for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, it is the first industry-supported uncompressed, all-digital audio/video proprietary interface. It is a single cable and user-friendly connector that replaces the maze of cabling behind the home entertainment center. An HDMI cable provides an interface between any audio/video source, such as a set-top box, DVD player, or A/V receiver and an audio and/or video monitor, such as a digital television (DTV), over a single cable. HDMI supports standard, enhanced, or high-definition video, plus multi-channel digital audio on a single cable. It transmits all ATSC HDTV standards and supports 8-channel digital audio with bandwidth to spare to accommodate future enhancements and requirements. [Source: Adapted from HDMI.org, Nov 2005]
HDMI was defined to carry 8 channels, of 192kHz, 24-bit uncompressed audio, which exceeds all current consumer media formats. In addition, HDMI can carry any flavor of compressed audio format such as Dolby or DTS. HDMI has the capacity to support existing high-definition video formats such as 720p, 1080i, and 1080p, along with support of enhanced definition formats like 480p, as well as standard definition formats such as NTSC or PAL. Since the original release of HDMI in 2002 there have been several HDMI versions however all use the same cable and connector.
HDMI Founders and Licensed Adopters
HDMI was developed by Developed by Sony, Hitachi, Thomson (RCA), Philips, Matsushita (Panasonic), Toshiba and Silicon Image. The 7 HDMI founders began development on HDMI 1.0 in 2002. The HDMI specification is not an open technology standard. This means manufacturers need to be licensed by HDMI LLC in order to implement HDMI in any product or component. Companies who are licensed by HDMI LLC are known as HDMI Adopters. Adopters have access to the latest HDMI standards, while earlier versions of HDMI specifications are available to the public for download. HDMI development is overseen by the HDMI Working Group.