Product News
HDMI 1.4a Spec Addresses Broadcast 3D
The new version adds a 'Top-and-Bottom' spec for the 3D format of broadcast content.
March 05, 2010 by Arlen Schweiger

Cable companies are starting to comply with HDMI v1.4. Electronics manufacturers are following suit with receivers that support the latest version.

With the new spec incorporating support for 3D, the HDMI Licensing group wanted to ensure that it was good for all video formats—including broadcast TV 3D even though there isn’t any such programming, yet.

So this week it announced the latest, HDMI v1.4a spec that includes enhancements to the 3D application. After all, we’ll be ready for some 3D sports action come June on the latest ESPN channel.

“We published these latest enhancements to support the market need for broadcast 3D content,” says Steve Venuti, president of HDMI Licensing. “When we launched 1.4 in June of 2009, we deferred the selection of mandatory 3D format(s) for broadcast content until the market direction was more clearly defined. The market has spoken and the HDMI Consortium has listened and responded to accommodate those market needs.”

The enhancements call for the addition of two mandatory formats: “top-and-bottom” to the spec; and that along with “side-by-side horizontal” requirements for bringing 3D broadcast content into the home.

HDMI’s announcement notes that v1.4a is meant to offer a level of interoperability for devices that will facilitate home viewing of those 3D sports, 3D Discovery channel programming, 3D Avatar Blu-ray, 3D gaming and whatever else manufacturers and studios can stuff into our TVs.

It lists the mandatory formats now as:

  • For movies - Frame packing, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)/24Hz
  • For game content - Frame packing, 720p@50 or 59.94/60Hz
  • For broadcast content - Side-by-side horizontal, 1080i@50 or 59.94/60Hz; Top-and-bottom, 720p@50 or 59.94/60Hz and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)/24Hz

Additionally, there are requirements for devices that serve up the 3D:

  • Sources - must support at least one mandatory format
  • Repeaters - must be able to pass through all mandatory formats
Now we just have to sit back and wait for all of this 3D content to start hitting our airwaves, and now that the Olympics are over we can start thinking World Cup 2010 in 3D! Follow Electronic House on Facebook and Twitter.

Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for and Electronic House magazine.

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