Now your even your home network isn’t safe from HDMI’s unreliable, copy protected connection nightmares.
Silicon Image, Inc. today introduced the SiI9387 port processor and the SiI9334 transmitter, the first semiconductor products to incorporate the latest HDMI 1.4 specification features for digital television (DTV) and home theatre applications. The new devices offer a richer, more interactive HDMI entertainment experience by enabling new connectivity applications via Ethernet, such as Silicon Image’s LiquidHD technology.
The SiI9387 port processor and the SiI9334 transmitter support the following HDMI 1.4 specification features:
HDMI Ethernet Channel Devices using these chips will be able to transmit and receive full duplex data at 100Mb/sec over an HDMI cable.
Audio Return Channel Drives a high quality S/PDIF signal through a single HDMI cable, simplifying connectivity in the home theatre.
Content Type Bits Optimize and enhance the HD viewing experience by automatically matching content type to video mode.
Silicon Image’s port processors are platforms for innovation that offer new features, technologies and standards for DTV HDMI ports that go above and beyond the basic HDMI switch function offered by analog switches. Port processors support multiple HDMI inputs and interfaces to the System-on-Chip (SoC) over HDMI technology. In addition to the HDMI 1.4 features, the SiI9387 port processor also supports key differentiating Silicon Image technologies such as InstaPort• for faster port switching between HDMI-enabled consumer electronics devices, and MHL Mobile High-Definition Link technology, a low pin count HD audio and video interface that connects portable electronics devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras, camcorders and portable media players to HDTVs.
The SiI9334 transmitter also supports full 48-bit Deep Color despite the fact that none of the mainstream video companies have Deep Color based sets on the market today nor are there any sources or content commercially available with deep color. Moreover, HDMI 1.3 supported Deep Color despite its poor connectivity and lack of retailer/installer support and “handshake” issues.
While its widely known that retailers typically hate HDMI and would gladly use analog component video cable for their connections – specialty AV manufacturers also have a solid loathing for HDMI as a format.
Its hard enough for the electronic conglomerates to keep up with the laundry list of features like the latest HDMI version however specialty AV companies simply don’t have the design resources or move enough volume of equipment to keep up with the next generation HDMI features. Often communication between Silicon Image and audio-video makers is poor on just how to make the latest version of HDMI work.
The most important problem that HDMI has is that in its fourth main version – it doesn’t offer consumers a reliable connection that is 100 percent guaranteed to connect. Selling consumers on vaporware features like Deep Color was why HDMI 1.3 was picking up momentum. Consumers know that if they want HD content that they will have to accept copy protection. What do consumers get with HDMI 1.4 other than an out of date system?
Silicon Image needs to be less focused on new technologies and more on making the ones they have rammed down consumer’s throats work with a publically stated goal of a reliable, fail proof connection every time when using the copy protection that the Hollywood studio’s demand. Vaporware isn’t good enough this far down the technological road.