HDMI 1.4 Requires Increased Bandwidth: True or False?

It's unbelievable how much confusion and paranoia HDMI Rev 1.4 has stirred up.

HDMI 1.4 Requires Increased Bandwidth: True or False?
Jeff Boccaccio · October 1, 2009

The amount of confusion and paranoia HDMI Rev 1.4 has stirred up is just unbelievable.

There are a heck of a lot of great features that Rev 1.4 is bringing to the table. The main features include:

  • Ethernet capabilities for networking
  • Bi-directional audio transmission
  • Content enhancement for 3D TV
  • Increased resolution supporting 4096x2160
  • Increased color space specifically for DSLRs

It wasn’t long before ridiculous claims came. However, they often aren’t accompanied by real facts.

One major claim is about the increased bandwidth needed to support Rev 1.4. After all, HDMI is now offering the ability to support increased resolutions up to 4Kx2K, right?

Well, not really.

HDMI Rev 1.4 supports bandwidths up to 340 MHz or 3.4 GB for each color, 10.2 GB in total just like Rev 1.3. However, if 1080p 16-bit deep color consumes the entire 10.2 GB, how can it possibly support 4Kx2K under the same rules?

If you think about it, you will realize that 1080p 16-bit uses a frame rate of 60 Hz. However, 4Kx2K comes in at 30 Hz, not 60 Hz, which requires only half the bandwidth it would normally need. Doubling the resolution would in fact double the bandwidth by dividing the frame rate in half and allows for operation under 10.2 GB.

Will these people ever grow up? Like my father use to say, some people grow up while others just grow.

  About the Author

Jeff Boccaccio is president of DPL Labs. Jeff can be reached at [email protected] Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jeff at [email protected]

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