Apart from USB 3.0, there’s another new spec/update that you should keep an eye on, and that’s HDMI 1.4 [original press release]. Oh yeah, didn’t know those had versions, did ya?! Yes they do, and it can become quite confusing as products with the older technology remain in stock on store shelves.
HDMI 1.4 has a few new cool improvements over its predecessor (v1.3):
- First is its much much higher 4k resolution (4096 x 2160).
- Next is its Ethernet channel so gadgets will be able to take advantage of the cables to push extend your network that way as well.
- Third is the audio return channel which will reduce the # of cables you’ll need for audio playback/recording, which will be nice to cut down on the rat’s nest behind your AV center.
- HDMI 1.4 will have specs to support the latest buzzword du jour, 3D.
- There’s even a new micro HDMI connector that’s even smaller than the current micro connector.
- It will have support for use within cars.
HDMI 1.4 products (particularly cables) started showing up last year, but you should really be buying 1.4 products this year and not shoring up on 1.3 or older inventory. Yes, upgrading is a fact of life when it comes to technology. Just wait till HDMI 1.5 comes out!