HDMI Licensing, LLC (the company behind HDMI) has released details of the features that will be included in the upcoming HDMI 1.4 standard.

Here’s what’s new in HDMI 1.4:
  • HDMI Ethernet channel
    This feature adds a data channel to the HDMI cable that will enable high-speed bi-directional communication. Connected devices that include this feature will be able to send and receive data via 100 Mb/s Ethernet.
  • Audio Return channel
    This feature is meant as a cable saver since it means that HDMI will be able to carry audio data to the AV receiver.
  • 3D over HDMI
    This defines a common 3D formats and resolutions for HDMI-enabled devices. The specification will standardize the input/output portion of the home 3D system and will specify up to dual-stream 1080p resolution.
  • 4K x 2K resolution support
    This feature will enable HDMI devices to support high-definition (HD) resolutions four times beyond the resolution of 1080p. Supported formats will include 3840×2160 at 24Hz/25Hz/30Hz and 4096×2160 at 24Hz.
  • Expanded support for color spaces
    HDMI 1.4 will support color spaces such as sYCC601, Adobe RGB and AdobeYCC601 which are designed specifically for digital still cameras.
  • Micro HDMI connector
    Also introduced is a smaller 19-pin connector that supports up to 1080p resolutions for portable devices. This new connector is approximately 50% smaller than the size of the existing HDMI Mini Connector.
  • Automotive Connection System
    The Automotive Connection System is a cabling specification designed to be used as the basis for in-vehicle HD content distribution.

However, there is a catch - consumers will have five different HDMI 1.4 cables to choose from.

  • Standard HDMI Cable – supports data rates up to 1080i/60;
  • High Speed HDMI Cable – supports data rates beyond 1080p, including Deep Color and all 3D formats of the new 1.4 specification;
  • Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet – includes Ethernet connectivity;
  • High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet – includes Ethernet connectivity;
  • Automotive HDMI Cable – allows the connection of external HDMI-enabled devices to an in-vehicle HDMI device.