1- What is the current HDMI standard, what are the specs, and what does this mean to the consumer?

The current HDMI standard is 1.3- 1.3 is quite a step up from the old 1.2 standard in many ways. It doubles the maximum video bandwidth to 10.2Gbps- this is nearly 400% higher resolution than a 720P HD format. It also supports lip sync correction, adds additional support for lossless digital audio formats (such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and supports up to 48 bit deep color- allowing HDTVs to go from millions of possible colors to billions of possible colors.
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2- How is Digital Rights Management (DRM) integrated with HDMI?

HDMI uses High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) to protect digital content, and has been implemented with the HDMI 1.3 standard. The HDCP repeater bit sets up a digital “handshake” to ensure content is authentic. HDCP compliance is a requirement for HDMI certification.

3- Does the DRM integration help or hinder the acceptance of HDMI?

DRM integration is really not noticed by the general public. Most consumers who rent or buy movies and play them back on their HD systems are completely unaware that the HDCP protection is there doing its job. To play it safe, consumers should make sure that their HD devices such as TV’s and other HD devices are capable of decoding HDCP-coded content.

4- Where is HDMI headed?

The future looks very bright for HDMI. As higher and higher definition TV’s are developed and sold, HDMI is the best way of transmitting HD video and audio. It is quickly becoming the standard of presenting digital media to the masses, and is far easier to install into the house than older conventional means.

5- What is Phoenix Gold doing to keep up with HDMI, both currently and for what’s coming on the horizon?

Phoenix Gold is constantly researching HD formats, and developing new, creative ways of using the HDMI technology. Together with our network of dedicated whole-house audio installers, we have brought some truly amazing products to market. Our development team works closely with installers and customers to identify market needs (such as long length in-wall approved HDMI cables) and deliver them quickly.

6- What are the current HDMI accessories (ie. wall plates and in-wall standards) customers and installers are asking for?

Phoenix Gold was challenged with the task of creating wall plate accessories that would not intrude into the homes décor. We were able to come up with simple, CL3 rated right angle HDMI wall plates that could be used behind wall mounted flat panel TVs. This allows room for the TV to be mounted right over the wall plate, and not conflict with a cable sticking out of the wall.

7- How important are Simplay and other HDMI verification and certification standards to current and future HDMI cable development and manufacturing practices and, ultimately, to customer satisfaction?

Phoenix Gold was an early adopter of both Simplay HD™ – Verified and DPL (Digital Performance Level) rating systems. With Simplay verification, Phoenix Gold has been able to guarantee that its customers are getting the best performance from High Definition digital signals shared between different A/V components. And now, with the new DPL rating system, customers will have added confidence that the HDMI cables purchased from Phoenix Gold deliver on their promises.

8- What is the effective cable length limitation for HDMI?

HDMI does not specify a maximum length, but with all signals transmitted over a cable, attenuation becomes a problem. It is possible to transmit 1080P signals over 118ft of HDMI cable when using an HDMI repeater. Other technologies in development now will allow up to 300ft of signal transmission using the HDMI format.

9- What are the limitations of HDMI?

Currently, the HDMI 1.3 format is capable of transmitting resolutions as great as 2560×1600, so the next generation of HD content will have a pipeline able to accommodate it.

10- Is HDMI the final frontier or do you see another bigger and better solution coming up in the future?

HDMI is really just getting started. HDMI 1.0 was released just in 2002, and the technology has just really gotten better and better in the last 6 years. The future will bring new, exciting technologies (such as wireless HD transmission), but for now and the immediate future, HDMI is the best wired solution available.