In early 2009, HDMI version 1.4 rolled out, and with it some updating capabilities of the traditional as well as adding newer features, which made it more competitive in emerging standards such as DisplayPort. One of the most notable changes that comes with version 1.4 is the increased single kink resolution right from 2560×1600 to 2160×4096. While these resolutions are very far beyond what you’ll expect from a HDTV, they are well within the expectations from computer screens, especially larger ones, where HDMI faces rife competition from others like DisplayPort.
When it comes to television side, HDMI greatly enhances the support of 3D, which rapidly increasing in popularity because of some big 3D animation movies. Version 1.4 of HDMI supports 3D movies across different resolutions and has even added standards on how the information would be relayed across interfaces. Not taking anything away from its predecessor, HDMI version 1.3 did also enable some 3D, but only at resolutions of 1080i.
Apart for the improvements we’ve just mentioned, two more interesting features were added on version 1.4, and these are the Ethernet channel and the audio return channel. The audio return channel allows for audio data to move in both ways. This feature was developed to remove the need to add other audio connections between TVs and players as well as to enable sound from TV to be heard clearly from the speakers of the audio player. The Ethernet channel on the other hand allows for HDMI enabled devices to create a small network, needed to route information. Rather than having Ethernet connections for every device that’s already connected through HDMI, you simply and easily use a single connection on a single device and have the information move across your HDMI cable, and with that reducing the amount of cables required.
All the features and attributes of the HDMI 1.4 can used with older cables that were initially designed for HDMI version 1.3. This however doesn’t include the Ethernet channel. For the Ethernet channel, you will a cable that was specifically designed for HDMI 1.4. Version 1.4 also saw the micro HDMI connector getting introduced. The connector is very similar to other bigger connectors and pretty much resembles micro USB connectors.
The following are to keep in mind between HDMI 1.4 and HDMI 1.3:
1. HDMI 1.4 has higher resolution than its predecessor, version 1.3.
2. Version 1.4 wholly supports 3D while 1.3 supports 3D only in 1080i.
3. 1.4 comes fully equipped with audio return channel, something not featured in HDMI 1.3.
4. HDMI 1.4 also has an Ethernet channel, something not available on 1.3.
5. HDMI 1.4 has newer cable standards, unlike in 1.3.