2 August 2013 by Shifali Rao
By replacing the existing analog video standards and with the integrated data connectivity and 3D support, HDMI (High-definition multimedia interface) has become one of the most widely used inter-connectivity interfaces in new generation flat panel TV's and home theatre systems. Here, the flat panel TV's display takes the HD multimedia content as the input via an HDMI port from set-top boxes, Blu-Ray player or DVD player high-end gaming consoles and even PC's. This multimedia content input such as from Apple TV or Google TV, could also help you connect your TV to the internet using the HDMI Ethernet channel (HEC) or Wi-Fi.
There are various versions of HDMI but currently HDMI 1.4 is the standard being implemented. HDMI's version 2.0 has been released but is yet to be implemented along with the main stream products releasing into the market. While transferring the HD content into the TV, it sends uncompressed video and compressed/uncompressed audio from the source (HDMI-compliant device). The HDMI supported video resolution is 4K x 2K and 3D TV resolution of 1080p.
Some of the new features introduced with HDMI 1.4 are Ethernet channel and audio return channel (ARC), both of which are detailed below.
Ethernet channel, also referred to as HDMI Ethernet channel (HEC), offers you the facility of watching movies on your TV, from the internet at a speed of 100 Mbps (bidirectional). This integrated feature in HDMI 1.4 permits the web-enabled devices to share their internet connection with your HDTV, and also eliminates the need for a separate Ethernet cable.
Audio return channel
Let's say you're using a TV with a built-in tuner as an input and you want to upstream your TV's audio output through an A/V receiver to a sound system. Now, if you have an HDMI port on your TV labelled "ARC", all you have to do is use two cables: one from the TV to the AVR and another from the AVR to the sound system. This basically means the ARC feature eliminates the need for a third cable which would otherwise be needed to connect the TV to the sound system.
The best flat panel TVs using HDMI offer uncompressed and high quality TV format. HDMI not only carries HD, but also helps in streaming standard, enhanced and 3D video signals. Hence go for a flat panel TV with atleast two HDMI ports.