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Do we Need HDMI 1.3 or HDMI 1.4 for Stereoscopic 3D Support

February 17th, 2010 · 18 Comments · Other S3D Tech

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With the first wave of new 3D-ready hardware getting ready to hit us anytime now a lot of people seem to have doubts if they should get to be first in the line or wait until the summer to see how will things work out with more hardware available. One of the major concerns people are currently having is regarding HDMI 1.3 and HDMI 1.4 specifications and should they wait more to get hardware supporting the new specs or go for the first available devices that all seem to have 1.3 hardware. For example the new C7000 line of Samsung 3D-ready HDTVs or the new Blu-ray 3D players from Sony that seem to have HDMI 1.3 support. We know that HDMI 1.3 can be used to transport stereo 3D content, but since there is not standardization for it everyone can have different approach that will offer support for hardware coming from just one brand. In HDMI 1.4 specifications the stereoscopic 3D support has been standardized meaning that all hardware using it should be able to communicate with each other so you will not have to stick just to one brand of hardware producer to ensure compatibility…

This brings me to the case of PlayStation 3 console with HDMI 1.3 that is expected to receive a software update to bring stereoscopic 3D support. We’ve already got confirmation that the software update for the console will add support for the S3D features from HDMI 1.4 specifications as this is possible to be done with just a software update. Of course adding all the new features introduced with 1.4 specifications of HDMI is not possible with just a simple software update, but in the case of stereoscopic 3D support it can be done so that the different brands of 3D-ready TVs should be able to understand that the console is sending them 3D content and display it accordingly. That is of course if these new TV sets use HDMI 1.4 or at least also have their software updated so that the HDMI 1.3 hardware will be able to “understand” the Stereoscopic 3D part of 1.4 specifications. So this brings things back to new 3D-ready hardware being equipped with HDMI 1.3 specifications, which means that these can be using the older specifications hardware, but with software that can accept and interpret S3D content coming from HDMI 1.4 or other updated 1.3 devices. However don’t mistake that all of the new 3D-ready hardware will follow the path that Sony did decide on for the PlayStation 3 console to make it stereo 3D compatible with just a firmware update. It is possible that some hardware producers will stick to normal HDMI 1.3 specifications and use some other sort of processing for the S3D content,something that is still Ok, but will limit general compatibility with other hardware from other brands. So in the end it will not hurt to be extra careful if you want to be one of the earliest adopters of the new line of 3D compatible hardware as this might as well turn out to be quite an expensive experiment for you.

If you want to download the 3D portion of the HDMI Specifications 1.4

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