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HDMI 1.3 to provide better DTV images, sound in '07

Posted: 21 Dec 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:HDMI? HDMI1.3? HDTV? Dolby? Mitsubishi?

Last week, Silicon Image outlined the benefits of HDMI1.3 for 2007 and beyond. Representatives from Mitsubishi and Dolby were there to discuss as well the virtues of HDMI 1.3.

The meeting took place at the Dolby Labs office in New York, and focused on three new aspects of HDMI 1.3: xvYCC, Deep Color and next-generation audio codecs (Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master). The beauty of HDMI 1.3 is that it allows for the inclusion of all of these new features plus also passes full HD images of 1920-by-1080 or 1080p, and all other digital audio codecs on one simplified cable.

HDMI 1.3 is a bigger pipe than previous versions of HDMI allowing it to pass more bits of information. The first new feature for HDMI 1.3 is xvYCC in which the color space standard extends the color gamut for more realistic and natural color going beyond the current viewable standard by 1.8 times. This removes current color limitations and enables the display of any color viewable by the human eye. xvYCC will first be introduced on Mitsubishi HDTVs in 2007 most likely on their laser-based DLP rear projection HDTV. Sony will be also adding xvYCC to HDTV sets in 2007 also.

Deep Color adds more bits to describe each pixel, which turns millions of colors into billions of colors with 10-bit, 12-bit and 16-bit color depth up from the current 8-bit color depth. This allows for unprecedented detail and smoother images than previously realized. Deep Color reduces on-screen color banding area with subtle gradations for a more accurate reproduction of on-screen images in true life colors.

Lastly, HDMI 1.3 also passes Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD and DTS-HD. The audio landscape is changing as the next-generation optical formats feature greater storage capacity. This creates new opportunities for improved audio quality with more channels and flexibility of performance. With expanded bitrates, it allows for more channels and high quality pushing current bitrates from 384K for Dolby Digital up to a whooping 3Mbits per second for Dolby Digital Plus.

Epson has announced the first front 1080p video projector that will include HDMI 1.3 as well as Denon on its new A/V Receivers and DVD players for 2007. Initial models should start shipping late Spring. Toshiba's new HD-XA2 HD DVD player not only includes HDMI 1.3 output, but also supports 1080p resolution.

- Dennis Barker
Digital TV Designline

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