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Difference Between HDMI 1.3 and 1.4

HDMI 1.3 vs 1.4

In May of 2009, version 1.4 of the HDMI specification was released, updating the capabilities of the standard as well adding new features that make it a bit more competitive with the emerging standards like DisplayPort. The most significant change that we get with version 1.4 is the increase of single link resolution from 2560×1600 to 4096×2160. Although this resolutions are far beyond what you can expect from an HDTV, they are still well within what you would expect from computer monitors, especially large ones, where HDMI is facing stiff competition from DisplayPort.

On the TV side, HDMI improves the support for 3D, which is becoming very popular due to some giant 3D animated movies. HDMI 1.4 supports 3D in all resolutions and even added standards on how the information would be sent across the interface. HDMI 1.3 did allow some sort of 3D but only for the 1080i resolution.

Aside from the improvements mentioned above, two new features were also added in version 1.4, the audio return channel and the Ethernet channel. The audio return channel is used to allow audio to travel both ways. This was created to eliminate the need to add another audio connection between a TV and player to allow the sound from the TV to be heard from the better speakers of the player. The Ethernet channel allows HDMI enabled devices to form a mini network so that they can route information. Instead of having an Ethernet connection for each of your device that are already connected via HDMI, you can simply use one connection on one device and have the information travel across the HDMI cable, thereby reducing the number of cables that are needed.

All of the features of HDMI 1.4 can be used while using older cables that were designed for version 1.3. That is except the Ethernet channel. For that you need a cable that was built for version 1.4. HDMI 1.4 also saw the introduction of the micro HDMI connector. It is identical to the bigger connectors and is pretty much like the micro USB connectors.

Summary:

1. HDMI 1.4 has a much higher resolution compared to 1.3
2. HDMI 1.4 totally supports 3D while 1.3 only supports 3D in 1080i
3. HDMI 1.4 is equipped with an audio return channel not present in HDMI 1.3
4. HDMI 1.4 has an Ethernet channel while 1.3 does not
5. HDMI 1.4 defines a newer cable standard than in 1.3


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13 Comments

  1. Nice job of explaining. Not too technical, easy to understand. Good summary.

  2. Nice explanation…very informative and easy to understand!

  3. Well written article.
    i’ve read on about.com and wiki.
    found that this article summarize all the info and provide the necessary understanding.

    it’s sufficient enough to know the differencess between 1.3 and 1.4
    this is very helpful

    good work.

  4. Well,
    Im still confused.
    How can a v1.4 cable have different physical channels, there is still only 19 pins?
    I also have seen in other places that the ARC is present in 1.3 too.
    Is it really another physical cabling in a V1.4 cable vs a V1.3?
    Isnt it only more demand for bandwitdth to handle the ethernet traffic without disturbances?

  5. And when it comes to the
    , here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI, its written that the Maximum total TMDS throughput (Gbit/s) including 8b/10b overhead, is 10.2 Gb/s for both v1.3 and v1.4.
    This leads me to beleive that the cables are identical with onle the possibilty that there would be another physical channel for ARC and Ethernet, but this is not the case….Still 19 pins…

  6. Can people tell it a HDMI1.3 or HDMI1.4 cable from its appreance?
    I heard some manufacturers they do the HDMI1.4 testing in QC. Sell it as HDMI1.4 if passed, and sell as HDMI1.3 if not passed. Is it ture?

  7. Whilst there may be 19 pins in both versions, there may not necessarily be 19 wires in both (or either, as a future version may eventually use all all 19 perhaps)… I haven’t researched it to know, but I dare say the 1.4 has a couple more wires pin-connected for its increased functionality.

    No doubt someone on here will enlighten us.

  8. Pinouts are the same in both version but that doesn’t mean they are the same if you take wire and fabricate your own hdmi cord(assuming you are talented enough) you would be under the A version release (A is not good considering hdmi is at D). Could have a controller chip imbedded. Computers are not the only thing that need code to work, revisions can be both mecha and ware oriented. Reminds me of the time apple took all the ground pins out of IBM serial cable and called it revised when it worked half as good. Fail

  9. Nice post. Thanks for taking time to explain.

  10. If the purpose of an HDMI cable transmits coded data ( 1′s & 0′s ) digital format, then also the same data ( 1′s & 0′s ) from being transferred using a hard drive in a computer ( SATA Cable ). My understanding is that the IC’s used to code and decode HDMI data, have different pinouts from the IC then in turn to the connector. But the cables used to connect the 2 devices are the same. 19 Pins. If you have two HDMI 1.4 devices, then it will automatically designate which pins are used for what. I have been using an 1.3 Cable in 1.4 devices. Works flawless. Just my 2 cents. David L.

  11. Still nobody physically took the cables apart and looked inside for differences?

  12. It seems that pin #14 & #19 is where the 1.4 Ethernet is added. In previous versions they were unused, reserved, or the additional throughput was added in 1.4.

    But I still don’t know if you can tell a 1.3 cable from a 1.4 cable by looking at it.

    • OK, thanks for that info at least.
      If the ethernet where added in one or 2 previous unused pins, it should be possible to use a simple multimeter to be able to tell if its a 1.3 or 1.4 then.

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