By now most of us are familiar with HDMI, the standard for exporting HD video to a TV from a Blu-ray player, computer, Xbox 360, PS3, etc. It never seemed like it really needed much improvement. Just showing HD video seemed like it should have been enough, but apparently not according to the HDMI Licensing group that sees the need to add a bunch of new features to the standard.
HDMI will be going up to version 1.4 sometime next year. Not only will it export HD video, but it will be able of transferring data between devices using HDMI Ethernet Connection (“HEC”). HEC will be able to transfer data at 100Mbps which can be useful for devices in the same room or short distances. The upgrade also brings support for compressed surround sound so you won’t need optical sound cables if you don’t want them, and up to 4K resolution.
It’s nice to see that HDMI Licensing is pushing forward with the standard, but it seems almost a bit overkill right now. Even without the recession getting users to upgrade to HD has been difficult enough. The differences in functionality may confuse some people who don’t know the feature differences between 1.3 and 1.4. not to mention the fact that it goes up to 4K. Do we really need 4K resolution for home use yet? So yes, HDMI 1.4 is nice, but it just seems like a bit of bad timing to upgrade it to include the same features that other cables can do. The reduced cable clutter would be nice, though.