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Advantages of HDMI |

  • Higher color bit depth. HDMI 1.3 supports 48-bit color depth. DVI supports only 24-bit (VGA, S-Video, and component signals are analog so this measure doesn’t apply). This higher color bit depth allows for smoother color gradations without unwanted color banding.
  • Both YCbCr and RGB color space support. The YCbCr color space is better for transporting decompressed video data such as that from a DVD/Blu-Ray/HD-DVD disc or from a DVR or digital television service. RGB is better for transporting raw computer generated video from a computer or game console. VGA and DVI are RGB only. S-Video and component are YPbPr only (the analog version of YCbCr). HDMI can transport both and switch between the two to provide the ideal transport depending on what you are displaying.
  • Digital Video Transport. DVI is digital as well, but S-Video and Component are both analog transports. The source for all game or movie content is digital, so a digital transport preserves more data on the way to the display. Fixed resolution displays such as LCDs must otherwise convert an incoming analog signal back to digital, so a digital transport provides more benefit on such devices since it eliminates a complete lossy conversion from digital to analog and back to digital.
  • Display Interrogation. The video source can interrogate the capabilities of the display. This can assist in automatic configuration and synchronization.
  • Hi-def multi-channel Audio: Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DSD, and DTS-HD. This is the best that Blu-Ray/HD-DVD and SACD/DVD-Audio have to offer. This hi-res audio content can also be transmitted over multi-channel analog output but not over toslink optical or coax digital connections.
  • Integrated Video and Audio on the same cable.

The disadvantage is that since PS3 is the first HDMI 1.3 device, compatibility problems are a worrisome possibility.

1080p and copy-protection related functionality have already been talked to death, so I avoided those.

Can any hi-fi buffs, find any further omissions or corrections? Henning?

  • I thought dual link DVI can also have a higher color depth, but I could be wrong though (as often :D)

    Theoretically, RGB is better than YCbCr, because it correlates more directly on how people see, but RGB is a bitch to compress, thats why usually DVDs and whatnot are compressed in YCC (short for YCbCr). (And, normal RGB only supports 24 Bit color depth, but systems like sRGB can do more)

    The problem here is, that analogue systems dont understand YCC, only RGB (at least in Europe thats the case. Here, there was no Component cables until HDTV arrived. Thats why you cant watch dvds thru a RGB cable with your PS2, because it always (at least without chip) sends a YCC signal. So the picture gets a green tinch.). Thats why YCC (Component connection) is preferably used with DVDs, as it is also used within the DVDs color space and needs not to be converted to RGB first (which, like almost any consumer hardware does, is lossy).

    Ok then, I hope I could clear things up a bit 😀 (although I am not a 100% sure if all my stuff here was correct… I am tired and need sleep, so no research today)

  • Sporty

    From my understanding, Being one for the first HDMI 1.3 isn’t really a compatibility problem since HDMI works similar to USB.

    using a 1.2 TV or reciever you just fall back to 165MHz, 24-bit and loose the Lip-sync, color depth TrueHD and DTS-HD etc but are still better off then Component. The HDMI agrees on the settings during the initial ‘handshake’ when the devices are first powered on.

    But then again WTF do I know 😉 I only read stuff. But I know my HDMI 1.2 TV doesn’t have a single problem with the PS3 so far

  • Darrin

    Segitz, I disagree that RGB is “better”.

    All compressed video formats (JPG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC-1) use YCC.
    Most displays (including CRT and LCD) are fundamentally RGB.
    Computers and game consoles typically generate RGB image data (HDR games are an exception to this)

    Color data is lost during conversions between RGB and YCC so it is best to eliminate as many conversions as possible. It is also better for the display to do color space conversions rather than the source as each display is different and the display knows more about how to represent specific colors than the video source does.

    For this reason, movies and JPEG images are best transported via YCC (with only one YCC->RGB conversion in the display), while games and computer imagery are best transported via RGB (without ever going through color space conversions). I think it’s nice that HDMI actually can switch between both. However, I don’t know if the PS3 actually does this.

    Sporty, you may be totally right that there will be no compatibility problems. I hope that is the case. I don’t have any hard data to show otherwise. I’m just skeptical based on past experiences with new technologies.

  • Fundamentally, thats exactly what I said 😀

    My saying was, RGB is better for US regarding of how our eyes see and interpret images (they are also RGB sort of).

    YCC is preferred in this regard, because it is easier to compress (try it with a simple mpeg2 test. YCC looks better, because it “sort of” is only 2 colors plus luminance (luminance or hue is easier to compress), as RGB is 3 colors with integrated hue) and hence needs less space on already limited media like DVDs and such.

    If RGB was used always, the overall looks of our movies would be better and more cinema like, but thats not yet feasable.

    The problem mostly is however is not YCC but our TVs that always want and RGB image, before it can be displayed (and or post processed like deinterlacing and such).

    Thats why RGB would be better, but is unlikely to be used nowadays.

  • Darrin

    Not to beat a dead horse, but I still don’t understand this:

    “RGB is better for US regarding of how our eyes see”

    Our eyes detect visible light radiation. RGB and YCC are abstract representations of color. Physical light doesn’t use RGB or YCC, it’s just light. Are you saying that RGB is a more accurate representation of light? That’s probably true.

    Also, when you view YCC content such as a DVD or Blu-Ray, it is ultimately converted to RGB for display. The point is, it’s better for the display to do the YCC -> RGB conversion rather than the DVD player since the display knows more about the precise physical capabilities and properties of the color it displays, where the DVD player would just do a generic color space conversion for a generic device.

  • No, I did this in Biology class back in school…

    There are 4 types of “detectors” in your eyes. 3 for the 3 basic colors (red green and blue, hence RGB) and one for luminance. That way, a RGB encoded media is a direct representative of the way we see 😀

    Yes, the display should do the conversion, as it is calibrated to the panel, but I didnt talk about that at all 😀

    I just mean, media should be encoded using RGB colorspace instead of YCC, because 1) you wouldnt need to convert at all and 2) the way we see also is sort of RGB.

    I think, we just talked at cross-purposes (took this out of a dictionairy 😀 never heard that before)

  • matt

    Great info guys. It is a shame because their isn’t a lot of HDMI 1.3 1080p HDTVs available. With the few that are available I can’t afford one in a size that takes advantage of 1080p. Still though, good info, because in a few years this will all be cool stuff.

  • BTW, HDMI 1.1 supported SACD and DVD-Audio, IIRC.