HDMI 1.4: 10 things you need to know

6. HDMI 1.4 boasts two new connection options

The first new HDMI format is a Micro Connector aimed at bringing HDMI connectivity to dinky devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras and portable media players. The HDMI Micro Connector (designated Type D) retains the original HDMI Connector's 19-pin interface. HDMI 1.4 also specifies a Type E Automotive Connection System to be used in distributing HD content around a vehicle.

Micro hdmi

FIRST OFF: The new Micro HDMI Connector is designed to add HDMI connectivity to phones and multimedia gadgets

7. HDMI 1.4 won't work with your existing HDMI-equipped gear

The official word from HDMI.org is that "most of the new features introduced in HDMI 1.4 will require a new HDMI chip to enable, and cannot be upgraded via firmware." That said, with 3D TV in its infancy and 720p/1080p HD TV only just gaining a consumer foothold, HDMI 1.3 still delivers the goods. You could argue that you don't even need an integrated data channel, as new TVs and set-top boxes are now including Ethernet jacks as standard.

8. You'll need to buy a new high-def TV

It's all very well providing support for 4K x 2K resolutions and 3D, but this means that your current 1080p telly just won't cut it in tomorrow's Ultra HD/3D future.

9. You'll need to buy new HDMI cables

The new HDMI 1.4 spec will muddy the waters with new cables – a Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet (which supports data rates up to 720p/1080i) and a High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet (featuring 1080p support, Deep Color and 3D support). An Automotive HDMI cable will also be available for in-vehicle video distribution. Oh, and don't expect them to come cheap.

10. We won't see HDMI 1.4 devices until mid-2010

Next year's Consumer Electronics Show should see several HDMI 1.4-compatible devices introduced from the big CE manufacturers. We might even see HDMI 1.4 on show at IFA in Berlin. Bizarrely, NXG has already announced a Black Pearl Series HDMI 1.4 cable, despite the fact that there's absolutely nothing to plug it into.

NXG hdmi 1.4 cable

EARLY: NXG has already produced an HDMI cable that's compatible with the forthcoming HDMI 1.4 standard