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Xbox One with HDMI in/out, overlays for live TV

Today Microsoft revealed the Xbox One, and confirmed rumors that its new game console is ready to take over as the heart of your home theater. The new box features HDMI in and out for passthrough with your cable or satellite box. It’s even able to control connected devices with Kinect 2.0-detected voice and gesture commands thanks to IR blasters and HDMI-CEC. On stage, executives showed off the Xbox OneGuide, demonstrating a way to pull up information including trending programming or fantasy sports stats while watching live TV. There’s also a live TV show for Halo in the works, and Microsoft brought NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on stage to talk about integration with the number one pro sports league. There’s no word on exactly which cable, telco or satellite TV systems this will integrate with, but Microsoft’s PR states it “is committed to bringing live TV through various solutions to all the markets where Xbox One will be available” and mentions HDMI is required for the feature to work. It’s supposed to be available at launch in the US, with “global scale” anticipated over time. Check after the break for a few pics of the guide and the back of the Xbox One showing its IR output.

 

Microsoft unveils Xbox One: the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system
Blockbuster titles, Steven Spielberg-produced Halo TV series, and exclusive agreements with the NFL transform games, TV and entertainment for the 21st century living room.

REDMOND, Wash. – A new vision for the future comes to life today as Microsoft Corp. unveils Xbox One , the all-in-one gaming and entertainment system created for today and the next generation. At Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., the company showcased how Xbox One puts you at the center of all your games, TV, movies, music, sports and Skype.

“Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device,” said Don Mattrick, president, Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “Our unique, modern architecture brings simplicity to the living room and, for the first time ever, the ability to instantly switch across your games and entertainment.”

Introducing Xbox One

With Xbox One, games push the boundaries of realism, and TV obeys your commands. Say “Xbox On” to launch your personalized Xbox One Home screen, discover what is popular on TV or see friends’ latest gaming achievements all using the most natural interface – your voice. The more you interact with Xbox One, the more it gets to know you and learns what you like. Some of the breakthrough Xbox One features that put you at the center of your living room entertainment include the following:

• TV on Xbox One. Navigate and watch live TV from your cable, telco or satellite set-top box through your Xbox One. Microsoft is committed to bringing live TV through various solutions to all the markets where Xbox One will be available.3

• Home. Turn on your entertainment system with two powerful words, “Xbox On,” and a custom-tailored Home dashboard welcomes you with your favorite games, TV and entertainment.

• Snap. Do two things at once on the biggest screen in your home. Use Snap to jump into a multiplayer battle while watching your favorite movie, talk with friends on Skype while watching live TV, or track your fantasy team on TV as you watch the big game and more.

• Skype for Xbox One. Specially designed for Xbox One, talk with friends on your TV in stunning HD, or for the first time ever, hold group Skype calls on your TV.

• Trending.Stay on top of what is hot on TV by discovering the entertainment that is popular among your friends, and see what is trending within the Xbox community.

• OneGuide. Find your favorite entertainment easily, searching by network, name or time, all with the sound of your voice and presented in a tailored program guide.

To create the most advanced Xbox system ever designed for games, TV and entertainment, Microsoft created a state-of-the-art gaming operating system and fused it with an equally amazing entertainment platform, so you will not have to switch inputs to watch TV or play a game. An eight-core, x86 processor and more than 5 billion transistors helps make lag and load times a thing of the past, so you can instantly jump between a game and your entertainment at lightning speed or run a host of apps right alongside your game with no loss in performance.Introducing Xbox One titles and exclusives

Gaming on Xbox One immerses gamers in cinematic worlds that look like real life, with characters that feel more human than ever before. AAA blockbuster titles unveiled for Xbox One include the following:

• “Forza Motorsport 5″ from Turn 10 Studios is the latest edition of the highest-rated racing franchise of the past 10 years.[3] Built from the ground up to take advantage of Xbox One and the infinite power of the cloud, no game better delivers the sensation of being behind the wheel. “Forza Motorsport 5″ sets a new bar for racing games and will be available exclusively for Xbox One at launch.

• “Call of Duty: Ghosts” is the next generation of “Call of Duty” and a stunning leap forward for the franchise. It delivers an all-new world, an all-new cast of characters and an all-new story, built on a new, next-generation engine. The next-generation technical innovations built to support the incredible gameplay advancements make this the most beautiful and immersive “Call of Duty” experience yet. Activision and Microsoft also announced the renewal of their close partnership that will see both the return of the “Call of Duty® Championship,” presented by Xbox, as well as all-new downloadable content debuting first and exclusively on the Xbox platform.

• “FIFA 14,” “Madden NFL 25,” “NBA LIVE 14,” and “EA SPORTS UFC” from EA SPORTS will change the way consumers experience and play sports games. Driven by the new EA SPORTS Ignite engine, these new EA SPORTS games will deliver massive innovations in human intelligence, true player motion and living worlds. Adding to its commitment to Xbox One, EA SPORTS also announced the promise of exclusive content to be revealed in the coming months.

• “Quantum Break” from Remedy Entertainment is a revolutionary entertainment experience from the creators of “Max Payne” and “Alan Wake” that blurs the line between gaming and TV by integrating drama and gameplay into one seamless, uniquely immersive experience. How you play the game impacts the show, and the show informs how you play the game.

In addition to the amazing lineup of games coming to Xbox One, Microsoft unveiled exclusive content partnerships with some of the top names in TV, sports and entertainment.

• “Halo” television series. Award-winning filmmaker, director and producer, Steven Spielberg will executive-produce an original “Halo” live-action television series with exclusive interactive Xbox One content, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Xbox Entertainment Studios.

• National Football League (NFL). A multiyear, landmark partnership will deliver the ultimate interactive NFL television experiences for the next-generation Xbox One and leverage Microsoft devices and services to evolve both in-game and on the sideline. The NFL on Xbox will redefine broadcast experiences through innovations around Skype, Xbox SmartGlass and player-worn technology; add an all-new fantasy football solution for the biggest screen in the house; and create a personalized NFL destination only available on Xbox One.

Introducing a new generation of Xbox Live

Xbox One is built to amplify an all-new generation of Xbox Live that is more powerful, more personal and more intelligent. Unleashing the virtually unlimited power of the cloud makes everything more convenient and accessible, from allowing games to be installed in segments so that gameplay can start quickly to updates downloading in the background. Save and store your personalized profile, games and entertainment in the cloud to access them anytime, from any Xbox One console. In addition, existing Xbox Live Gold Membership for Xbox 360 will seamlessly carry over to Xbox One. Xbox Live takes you deeper into the games you love with all-new features.

• Smart Match. A new Smart Match matchmaking system virtually eliminates waiting in lobbies by estimating wait times and finding people you want to play with while you are enjoying other activities – reputation fundamentally matters and helps find best matches.

• Game DVR. A dedicated Game DVR captures and accesses your magic moments, all saved to the cloud. Along with sharing tools, you will have the most amazing bragging rights with Xbox Live.

• Living Games. Dynamic, living worlds evolve and improve the more you play, and advanced artificial intelligence can learn to play like you, so friends can play against your shadow.

• Expanded achievements. A new and expanded achievements system captures video of your epic moments, continues to grow a game’s achievements over time and rewards you in new ways, and your Gamerscore carries over from Xbox 360.

• Xbox SmartGlass. Xbox SmartGlass is natively part of the Xbox One platform, built in from the beginning with the ability to quickly render content directly onto your device, and now more devices can connect at one time for multiplayer and shared entertainment.

Introducing the Xbox One look and feel

New Xbox One hardware is sleek and modern and complements any décor. The console is shaped in the 16:9 aspect ratio and employs a horizontal orientation optimized for its high-speed Blu-ray™ disc player. It is molded in a deep and rich liquid black color and includes a distinctive beveled edge.

The completely redesigned, revolutionary 1080p Kinect is more precise, more responsive and more intuitive. Its unparalleled vision, motion and voice technology let you reach into games and entertainment like never before by dramatically expanding its field of view and fidelity. It works in nearly any lighting condition, recognizes precise motion control from a slight wrist rotation, and distinguishes your voice even in a noisy room using advanced noise isolation.

The class-leading Xbox controller is refreshed with more than 40 technical and design innovations. Updated directional pad, thumb stick and ergonomic fit immerse all gamers in ways that are uniquely Xbox, and precision and control have been dramatically increased with all new vibrating impulse triggers.6 The Xbox One Wireless Controller is designed to work in concert with the new Kinect, allowing the two to be paired automatically to create seamless player syncing.

Xbox One will launch in markets around the world later this year. Visit the new Xbox Wire blog at http://news.xbox.com for in-depth features on the new system, including photos and videos from the unveiling event and new and rotating content from Xbox. More details about Xbox One and blockbuster games will be explored at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.

 

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Panasonic 65-inch Smart VIERA UHD TV with HDMI 2.0

 

 

Panasonic Unveils Smart VIERA WT600 – World’s First1 Ultra HD TV with 4K2 60p Input Designed Based on HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort™1.2a Specifications

WT600 is the first 4K Ultra HD TV in the world with a 4K 60p input designed based on HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 31.2a specifications offering outstanding picture quality and a wide range of other Smart VIERA innovations

Newark, NJ (September 4, 2013) – Panasonic, a leader in High Definition technology, unveiled today the Smart VIERA TC-L65WT600, the world’s first Ultra HD TV with a 4K 60p input designed based on HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort™1.2a specifications. Offering up to 60 frames per second 4K playback, the WT600 is the ultimate choice for consumers looking to access the next level in home entertainment, or for anyone for who picture quality is imperative.

The 65-inch class (64.5 inches measured diagonally) Panasonic Smart VIERA WT600 Ultra HD TV will be available in mid-October on shop.panasonic.com (http://shop.panasonic.com/pr/tc-l65wt600) and at select retailers.

With its THX™4 4K certification, the Smart VIERA WT600 is perfectly tailored for home cinema enthusiasts. The WT600 panel’s 2,400 Back Light Scanning (BLS) technology provides incredibly high motion sharpness, even in fast action scenes. The TV also features a minimalist design, with a thin metal frame that focuses attention on the stunning 4K images. Even when not in use, the WT600 presents an elegant and stylish addition to the living room.

4K Content at Your Fingertips

The WT600 offers access to a wide range of 4K content to make the most of its screen innovations allowing users to dramatically expand their 4K experience with not only video content, but also groundbreaking games, Internet content, and their photos, all in stunning 4K quality5.

The next generation 4K 60p input, designed based on HDMI 2.0 and Display PortTM1.2a specifications, helps assure compatibility with future 4K-players, set-top boxes and next-generation gaming consoles.

PC gaming enthusiasts can easily connect their PC to the WT600 via the 60p-capable DisplayPortTM, allowing them to enjoy the latest blockbuster games in incredible detail and with high motion clarity. The WT600′s built-in HTML5 web browser can also show Internet pages in crisp 4K quality5.

As an industry leading-edge technology, the WT600 has a built-in 4K H.264 (MPEG4) decoder, which not only enables the playback of 4K video files via USB and SD Memory Card, but – even more importantly – enables the playback of 4K content directly from the Internet5. Photo enthusiasts can access their photography either via an SD card with the 4K Photo Viewer SD6, or use 4K Swipe & Share6 to wirelessly transfer photos from their mobile phone or tablet in Ultra HD resolution.

Superior 4K Image Quality

To ensure the best 4K home cinema viewing experience, the WT600′s THX4K™-certified 4K display demonstrates its ability to reproduce the colors, tones and resolution intended by the Hollywood directors. With 4K Intelligent Frame Creation, the WT600 achieves smooth panning of up to 120 frames per second, even with Ultra HD sources. Panasonic’s 4K Ultra HD TV also analyzes complex scenes – with movement from a variety of directions – and optimizes each object independently.

The Local Dimming Pro enhances overall image by improving control of details in both darker and brighter areas. Meanwhile, the new 4K Fine Remaster Engine maximizes the image quality for content created with resolution lower than 4K. The circuit processing technology produces images with higher definition by interpolating the missing parts of the images and re-producing the non-existent data, bringing them to a level of quality that approaches 4K sources.

The WT600 features ISFccc Calibration Mode10 and is compatible with CalMAN™ calibration software, ensuring precise color neutrality. The Panasonic TV Remote 2 App also offers Smart Calibration, a powerful function which enables the viewer to set detailed correction curves for gamma, white point, and color saturation on the TV via their Android or iOS7 Smartphone or tablet.

Easy Operation

Thanks to the intuitive user interface, the WT600 is designed to ensure your Smart TV experience is as easy as possible. The personalized My Home Screen feature enables every family member to easily access their TV favorites through their own personalized home screen.

Following the success of the Smart VIERA My Home Screen feature, Panasonic has also developed new pre-set Home Screens. The Smart VIERA Home Screen Collection function offers users quick and easy access8 to content from their favorite providers including YouTube.

The WT600′s control and input options are further boosted with the innovative Voice Interaction feature, allowing users to control their TV by speaking into the microphone of the touch pad controller, or into a smartphone or tablet with the installed Panasonic TV Remote 2 App. This allows users to quickly access their internet content or browse their home network for their favorite music, video and photo. In addition, the photo-sharing capabilities of Swipe & Share mean that users can share images in 4K-resolution on the WT600′s large screen with just a swipe of their finger6.

Advanced Networking and Connectivity

As with all Smart VIERA TVs, the WT600 features built-in Wi-Fi as a standard. Users can quickly and easily access multimedia content on their home network via DLNA streaming, as well as the Apps for the Smart VIERA platform with its continuously expanding range of Smart TV applications including popular social networking TV apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype™. With the WT600′s automatic pop-up camera, video calls can be made with just the click of a few buttons.

The WT600 includes a 4K web browser. For easy text and web address input, users can connect a keyboard to the WT600, using a USB adapter or wirelessly via Bluetooth™9. The Bluetooth® module provides users with additional wireless connectivity options, allowing them to connect compact speakers or headphones.

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Microsoft Xbox One Digital TV Tuner

Microsoft pitches the Xbox One not as a run-of-the-mill games console, but as a fully fledged home entertainment hub. For most Americans, making use of the One’s TV integration features is as simple as plugging the HDMI output from their set-top box straight into the console. Europeans don’t have it quite as easy. With old-school coaxial cables still in common use, Microsoft cooked up the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner: a small USB peripheral that turns coaxial outputs into something the console can understand. Today, the TV Tuner has finally gone on sale in the UK for £25, and in France, Germany, Italy and Spain for €30. Once set up, you can start watching TV through your Xbox One, using the console’s OneGuide EPG to browse channel listings with a controller, or with voice commands if you have a Kinect camera. The Xbox also becomes a make-shift DVR, allowing you to pause and rewind live TV. And when you absolutely have to spend time in another room, you can continue to watch live TV on mobile devices by streaming it through the Xbox One SmartGlass app.

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Cablesson SAP- 3 Digital to Analogue Audio Converter PDIF – TOSlink / Coaxial to Stereo Left/Right RCA

SAP-3 Digital to Analogue Audio Converter – PDIF – TOSlink / Coaxial to Stereo Left/Right RCA is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 63/100 = Good quality.
This very useful device can convert either digital optical TosLink or coaxial SPDIF signals to analogue stereo left and right phono output ports. Both optical and coaxial cables can be connected at the same time although only one can be active at a time. A simple switch control determines which signal is active.

The Digital to Analog Audio converter is designed for either home or professional audio switching. It converts Coaxial or Toslink digital audio signals to analog L/R audio and connects to an external device such as an amplifier via standard RCA jacks. For home or professional audio switching, the New Cablesson Digital to Analog Audio Converter (Superior Audio Processing – SAP) is designed small in size and quite easy to install. (Plug and play)

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Octava very useful device can convert either digital optical TosLink

The Octava TS-A11-UK Digital Audio Converter allows bi-directional conversion between Optical and Coaxial digital audio (S/PDIF). Simply connect a Toslink or Coaxial. This very useful device can convert either digital optical TosLink or coaxial SPDIF signals to analogue stereo left and right phono output ports. Both optical and coaxial cables can be connected at the same time and a simple switch determines which signal is active. Simply connect a Toslink or Coaxial audio cable from your audio source and connect either output to your audio system. The Octava TS-A11-UK Digital Audio Converter is an active (externally powered) device and regenerates the audio signal for best performance. The Octava TS-A11 Toslink SPDIF digital audio converter allows you to converter between optical and coax audio format and vice versa. Simply connect Toslink or Coax SPDIF audio cable from audio source and connect the 2 outputs to your audio systems. Both Toslink and Coax SPDIF audio are available on the outputs simultaneously.

The Octava TS-A11-UK Digital Audio Converter allows bi-directional conversion between Optical and Coaxial digital audio (S/PDIF).
The Octava TS-A11 Toslink SPDIF digital audio converter allows you to converter between optical and coax audio format and vice versa. Simply connect Toslink or Coax SPDIF audio cable from audio source and connect the 2 outputs to your audio systems. Both Toslink and Coax SPDIF audio are available on the outputs simultaneously.

Specifications

  • Convert Toslink to Coax SPDIF Audio
  • 5.1 digital audio, 2 Ch pcm.
  • Regenerates the audio signal for best performance
  • Power line filtering – eliminates switching power supply noise
  • Convert Coax SPDIF Audio to Toslink
  • Coax SPDIF and Toslink output simultaneously.
  • Active circuitry for best performance – no signal loss for best performance on both outputs.
  • Bi-directional conversion – Optical to Coax and Coax to Optical
  • Dual output – Optical and Coax Outputs are both active.
  • Steel chassis – no poor quality plastics.
  • Optical Toslink Input 1
  • Coax SPDIF Input 1
  • Optical Toslink Output 1
  • Coax SPDIF Output 1
  • DC adapter(included) 5VDC adapter included

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Faster hookups for Digital Audio Cable, Coaxial Or Toslink?

Digital connections minimise cables and make wiring A/V sound simpler and easier. Instead of the two cables (for stereo) or even five cables (for surround) that would be needed for analogue audio connections there is just one cable, with no risk of getting channels swapped.

Choosing the Optical or Coaxial Digital Audio Interface
Many digital audio sources offer electrical and optical connections. An optical output cannot be directly connected to a coaxial (electrical) input or vice versa. The choice of which one to use is often made by what the audio destination accepts. If it takes only a coaxial electrical connection then coaxial is the only option, likewise if it only takes a Toslink optical input use an optical cable.

If an optical output has to drive an electrical input or vice versa, then optical/electrical and electrical/optical converter boxes are available, however they add complication to an A/V setup and need ther own mains power supply.

Do Optical or Electrical Connections Sound different?
Each type of connection can reliably transfer the digital data from source to receiver, so there is no good reason to expect a sonic difference. However, optical connections tend to have a lower bandwidth, which can smear data transitions, making it a little bit harder for the receiving device to recover the digital clock from the signal.

This can result in more digital clock jitter in the receiver, which can theoretically impair the accuracy of the output of a digital to analogue converter. Whether or not this has a sonic impact depends on the implementation of the receiving device. It shouldn’t make any difference to the sound, but some audiophiles assert that there are slight sonic differences between optical and electrical connections. Those who feel this is an issue will do their own listening tests – the cost of the cables is not great!

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Why HDMI? All you need to know before going digital

High Definition Multimedia Interface, or HDMI, is hailed as the next generation of audiovisual cabling. Simply put, HDMI is an all-digital connector that can carry high definition video and several digital audio channels all on the one cable. HDMI was first officially unveiled in 2003, but it’s only now that we’re starting to see widespread support for the standard. Is it something you should be seeking out?

2. How is it different from my current analog cables?monsterhdmihd

Analog video cables, such as component, composite or S-Video, are currently the main methods used to transfer picture signals in an average home system. Component is the highest quality analog cable as it breaks down the picture signal into three different cables — one each for red, blue and green. When you’ve got analog cabling connecting digital sources (such as an LCD or plasma screen with a DVD), the digital video or sound signals have to be converted into analog to travel through the cable, before being re-converted back into digital at the receiving end. This could lead to some signal degradation and a resulting loss in output quality.

3. What are the advantages of going digital with HDMI?

HDMI can deliver high quality sound or vision without the risk of quality loss due to the conversion or compression of a video or audio signal. HDMI pictures should be smoother and sharper, with a distinct reduction in video noise. Sound should be crisp and taut, without any distortion. And of course, using the single cable HDMI can get rid of a lot of messy cables snaking around your home theatre kit.

Because of its digital nature, HDMI also works well with fixed-pixel displays such as LCD, plasma or DLP screens and projectors. A HDMI cable allows you to exactly match pixel-by pixel the native resolution of the screen with whatever source device you’ve got connected. HDMI systems will also automatically convert a picture into its most appropriate format, such as 16:9 or 4:3.

HDMI has some built-in smarts that allow you to control any device connected via HDMI through the one remote. Since the HDMI connection allows two-way communication between devices, it gives you basic universal remote-like functions which, for example, can tell the components in an HDMI-linked system to turn on when you want to watch a DVD, just with the press of a button.

4. How does DVI fit into the equation? Is it better than HDMI?

You may have heard of digital video interface (DVI), which is another all-digital connector for video. DVI has been around for longer, and can be found in many more televisions and other devices than HDMI. DVI was initially developed as a connector between PCs and monitors, but eventually found its way into the home entertainment world.DVIandHDMIhd

The HDMI standard is actually based on DVI, so picture quality should be identical. Where HDMI has it over DVI is its audio capabilities — DVI can only carry video signals. HDMI cables can also be made longer than DVI — HDMI can go up to 15m in length. And from an aesthetic viewpoint, HDMI connectors are less bulky than DVI ones. HDMI connects like a USB device for PCs, while DVI still has screw pins on its connector. However, this means that HDMI connections are more prone to damage from accidental knocks so more care needs to be taken with them.

5. I’ve got some gear with DVI connectors. Will they work with HDMI?

As HDMI is fully backwards compatible with DVI, so you won’t be making your DVI products obsolete if you buy something with an HDMI connector. For example, HDMI televisions will display video received from existing DVI-equipped products, while a HDMI DVD player will play on a DVI-equipped television. All you’ll need is a HDMI/DVI adaptor. Just be aware that doing this will lose you the added functionality of HDMI, such as automatic screen format conversion and universal remote control.

6. What products support HDMI?

HDMI has been on the market for a while now, and most new DVD players, set-top boxes and TVs feature at least one HDMI port.HDMIinputsonhd

On the display side of the equation, most new screens, projectors and DVD players support the standard. If you’re looking to buy a device like a TV or AV receiver look for the most HDMI ports yu can afford. Three is the minimum you should expect from today’s devices, while DVD players and the like only usually require one output. Also, be aware that an HDMI port currently only sends information in one direction — though there are moves to change this in the future. As a result, it’s not possible to use a HDMI output port on a PC, for example, to display a PS3 signal.

7. Where can I get HDMI cables?

If you own a component with HDMI but don’t have a cable for it, then there are several cable manufacturers who sell HDMI gear. www.ukhdmi.com, for example, sell HDMI cables and HDMI to DVI cables under their Cablesson range of interconnects. www.ukhdmi.com also has a comprehensive selection of HDMI products. HDMI cables and adapters have been developed in a joint partnership with HDMI’s founder, Silicon Image.

8. What do the different versions mean?

While the latest version of HDMI is up to 1.3c, but there are four main versions that most equipment will correspond to — 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3. Notice that the versions signify changes to the types of audio they can transmit, as all versions should be able to transmit HD video up to 1080p.

1.0 This is the first version of HDMI and it was ratified in late 2002. It will decode most versions of audio contained in DVD and digital TV signals, including Dolby Digital and DTS.

1.1 This version added DVD-Audio support, which means users with compatible disks and players can listen to 5.1 channel audio streams without the need for six separate audio RCA cables.

1.2/1.2a The main improvement on 1.1 is the addition of Super Audio CD (SACD) support, which means users no longer need to rely on iLink or analog cables to listen to SACDs. The standard also adds support for an as-yet unused Type A PC connector.

1.3/1.3a/1.3b Version 1.3 adds support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio which are used in Blu-ray players. Increasingly, AV receivers are including decoding for these standards on board, while devices the PlayStation 3 will output a decoded signals. The 1.3 standard also increases the available bandwidth by a factor of two to 10Gbps. Though 1.3b and 1.3c exist they don’t add any further functionality over 1.3a, and so are interchangeable.

9.What’s this I hear about Wireless HDMI?

Eventually, every technology goes wireless, and with Wi-Fi and Wireless USB now in play it makes sense that manufacturers have turned their eyes to making HDMI clutter-free too. Only thing is, it doesn’t work yet. Belkin showed off their FlyWire technology behind closed doors at CES 2008, and it hasn’t been heard of since. There is, as yet, no standard for Wireless HDMI, and so it’s not really worth holding out for. Also, Wireless HDMI is not to be confused with WirelessHD — this is a separate technology used by manufacturers such as Sony to send signals from a media box to slim, wall-mounted TVs.

On the display side of the equation, most new screens, projectors and DVD players support the standard. If you’re looking to buy a device like a TV or AV receiver look for the most HDMI ports yu can afford. Three is the minimum you should expect from today’s devices, while DVD players and the like only usually require one output. Also, be aware that an HDMI port currently only sends information in one direction — though there are moves to change this in the future. As a result, it’s not possible to use a HDMI output port on a PC, for example, to display a PS3 signal.

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