Just two months after forming, the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) group has unveiled a draft of its next-generation digital interface for consumer electronics specification.
The HDMI format is a single, high-speed connection designed to carry full-bandwidth digital video and audio from set-top boxes to TV sets.
Two major studios, Fox and Universal, announced support for the standard, along with satellite TV providers DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp. "HDMI is the first video and audio standard to amass support from the entire CE (consumer electronics) value chain, from content providers to system operators to CE manufacturers," said Wanda Meloni, president of M2 Research. "Consumers have been eagerly awaiting more compelling high-definition content, and HDMI should unlock the floodgate," she said.
Many view the specification as a step in the right direction, but believe that other issues must be ironed out — how the technology would be implemented, what home users will and will not be permitted to do, and how much control Hollywood will have over those uses — before Hollywood fully embraces a new broadcast standard.
The HDMI group was formed in April. The founding members include Hitachi, Matsushita Electric (Panasonic), Philips, Silicon Image, Sony Corp., Thomson multimedia and Toshiba Corp. Details about the review process can be found at www.hdmi.org.