Ask a Pro
Q. What are the Advantages of HDMI 1.3a Inputs?
Should the HDMI version - 1.3 or 1.2a - influence your decision when purchasing a TV?
April 29, 2009 by Dan Fulmer

Q. I am trying to decide if I should purchase a Samsung 46-inch LCD TV in the 65-, 750 or 850 series. Many have suggested the 650 series has a better picture, thinner bezel, and better glass panel. However, the 650 does not have HDMI 1.3a inputs, where the 750 and 850 series do. Can you explain to me any advantages or disadvantages of having those updated inputs? Am I better off getting the 750 or 850 series with them, or the 650 series without? - David

A. I am not familiar with the different series of specific Samsung models, however, HDMI has made some software/firmware improvements over the past several years, which allow for improved communications between devices (video, audio, control) in the newer version of the HDMI protocol. This is mostly relegated to future use, some distant future use, as most of these advances aren’t available to any products at this time.

The more recent version of HDMI - 1.3a - will allow for these advances, while the older model with HDMI 1.2a (or older), will not.

1.3a (introduced in November of 2006) offers several major improvements over prior versions, although all versions are backwards compatible, all the way back to DVI.

The advantages are:

Higher Transfer Speed: To 340MHz/10.2Gbps. For life beyond 1080p.

Supports Deep Color: Better color rendering system. Expands colors from millions to billions. Not currently supported.

Supports Automatic Audio Synching: This gets rid of the sometimes noticeable delay between video and audio.

Supports Output of Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD Master Audio streams: Not really necessary if your existing equipment can decode the signal.

The 1.3a standard also provides a new mini-connector for new consumer electronic devices.

Basically, most of the 1.3a advancements are for future use, and probably won’t affect anything you buy or do over the next few years.

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FulTech Solutions is a high-end, custom, systems integration, design & installation firm, offering unique systems for more than a decade. FulTech is an award winning and nationally recognized company offering it's services across the East Coast and Carribean.

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