HDMI cables (High Definition Multimedia Interface) allow the transmission of digital signals between devices such as HD TVs and computers, games consoles, cameras and other video/audio equip products.
The first HDMI cables became available in 2002 and in the past eight years the technology has improved at a rapid pace. HDMI cables were initially developed by technology and electronics firms to improve on DVI (Digital Visual Interface) products by using a smaller connector, adding support for digital audio and allowing connection with other consumer products.
Authorized Testing Centres (ATCs) were set up to ensure high standards across all HDMI cable manufacturers and since the launch of the technology millions have been sold around the world.
Versions of HDMI cables
The first versions of HDMI cables have been continuously improved upon and the very latest products offer wireless support, high quality video and audio and can transmit data at incredible speeds without loss of information.
Version 1.0 - 1.2
HDMI cables version 1.0, released in December 2002, offered a single-cable digital audio/video connector and were followed by 1.1 five months later with added support for DVD-Audio. Just three months after that 1.2 was developed, giving increased audio support and PC connectivity. Version 1.2a came on to the market a year after the very first HDMI cables and demonstrated further the pace of development in the HDMI market.
In June 2006 Version 1.3 was released with increased single-link bandwidth and boosted colour support. Audio was also enhanced with output for DolbyTrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio and audio syncing capability. A Type C Mini connector was also added for use with portable devices. Version 1.3a came in November of that year, with 1.3b, 1.3b 1 and 1.3c following over the next nine months, representing the differences in testing and compliance that were introduced.
HDMI 1.4 came out in May 2009 with increased resolution, bringing HDMI cables into the home cinema arena. This version also enabled Ethernet connection and a micro HDMI connector. Version 1.4 also supported 3D technology with 1.4a, the very latest HDMI cable released in March 2010, adding further 3D formats.
HDMI cables are set to develop even further in the coming months and years, having already become a hugely important technology in homes around the world. As increased demands are placed on consumer electronics the products will have to keep up and offer further advantages and improvements to stay in the market. HDMI cables are already future-proof with the ability to transmit 10.2Gbps and have proved their worth and popularity.