HDMI are the initials that stand for High-Definition Multimedia Interface. HDMI is the newest digital interface standard, supported by the industry, to be used when connecting components of consumer electronics, like high definition television or home theater systems. HDMI allows personal computer manufacturers and audio/visual consumer electronics to bring to the market products that are rich in features and innovative.
HDMI is a signal that is all-digital and not compressed. All the predecessors of HDMI were analog interfaces. Using an analog interface means that a clean digital signal is converted into a “not as precise” analog, and sent out to the T.V, where the signal is translated back again into digital signal to show the screen display. Each time that the signal is converted, the digital signal weakens and loses strength and integrity. This causes some distortion of the quality of the picture. With HDMI the source digital signal is preserved, and there is no conversion of the signal to create the richest, sharpest picture quality available.
Standard HDMI cable is made up of 19 separate wires and is capable of carrying 5 gigabits per second. This bandwidth is more than two times what is needed for transmitting multi-channel video and audio, which means that HDMI has the capabilities needed for quite some time into the future. This is just one of the various factors that make HDMI so much more sought after than composite video, component video, and S-video, which are all 3 analog interfaces.
Because of the abundant speed and bandwidth, HDMI carries up to eight audio channels as well as all video for incomparable surround sound. This replaces numerous separate audio cables for a home theater system with only one or two cables. Previous video interfaces would require separate audio cords for sound, with most people using the usual RCA Left / Right analog audio jacks. One HDMI cable can replace the tangle of numerous wires behind your audio/video entertainment system.
There is a “Type B” of HDMI that is intended for use in the motion picture industry and other professional applications. While “Type A” (standard) HDMI has 19 wires in a cable, “Type B” HDMI will have 29 wires in a cable.
Both types of HDMI are considered “Intelligent HDMI”. This refers to the capability that is built in for components that are HDMI-enabled and allows these components to communicate with each other by using the interface.
HDMI is intended to support all personal computer and television formats. This includes high-definition format, standard format, and enhanced format, as well as multi-channel digital audio all on a single cable. HDMI is also backwards compatible with Digital Video Interface (DVI). This means that any products that still use the analog technology are compatible with HDMI. HDMI will work with the older technology so that these products do not have to be replaced but can be incorporated in with HDMI. High-end graphics cards that feature a DVI port can be connected to an HDMI interface using a DVI/HDMI cable. This specific cable is a simple cable that has a DVI connector attached to one end and an HDMI connector attached to the other end of the cable.
Products that are available and use HDMI technology include Plasma televisions, LCD televisions, DVD players, set top boxes, and DVD recorders. HDMI enabled products have been on the market for over two years now. Currently, everyday electronics products are being incorporated with HDMI technology by most of the household name brand manufacturers for consumer purchase.
HDMI cables should only be run a specific length before additional components are installed. These components include HDMI signal boosters, HDMI signal equalizers, and HDMI extenders. An HDMI extender is placed at the display end of a long HDMI cable and compensates completely for any signal degradation due to the long cable. An HDMI signal equalizer is a device that repairs the signal at the end of the transmission instead of just boosting the signal. An HDMI signal booster is a device that sits between two cables or at the end of a long run of HDMI cable and boosts the digital signal to ensure 100% signal transmission with no degradation.
The HDMI products listed above are all intended to extend and/ or boost the signal to ensure that the full signal gets through the length of a longer than suggested cable with no degradation. This guarantees crystal clear audio and video of the best quality.