3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

3D Vision Blog header image 2

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

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


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

Tags: ·········

18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 3D-dOOd // Feb 18, 2010 at 00:08

    Good post. I think it’s important to let users know to be careful when buying 3D capable displays and expecting them to work with all forms of 3D when no one seems to really know if they will work or not.

  • 2 Ben // Feb 18, 2010 at 00:30

    Bottom line is that 3D Blu-ray players will output 1080p at 48fps (24 per eye). HDMI has supported 1080p at 60fps for a long time. Obviously 48fps uses LESS throughput than 60fps, so the cable really doesn’t make the difference here. What makes the difference is the ability of the hardware on each end to either send the 48fps signal or receive it.

    So no, you don’t need HDMI 1.4 to do real 3D.

  • 3 3D-dOOd // Feb 18, 2010 at 01:22

    ^Unless devices require it as a min requirement as part of the “standard”.

  • 4 Quaritch // Feb 18, 2010 at 04:11

    This whole HDMI 1.3/1.4 thing is getting a bit confusing.I’m interested in buying a 3d tv, but with this uncertainty i’m hesitant.Some clarifications would certainly help (for example from Samsung about the C7000 model, not only about the HDMI issue , but also about the 2d to 3d conversion).Btw, Panasonic announced pricing and ETA of their 3D TVs (in Europe).

  • 5 Craylon // Feb 18, 2010 at 11:28

    very nice article
    so far i believed the upgrade 1.3>1.4 was neccessarry to allow higher bandwith for delivering 1080p s3d but if ben is right this doesn’t seem to be the case.
    personally I’m waiting till novembre to upgrade my system to a nvidia fermi card and a 1080p s3d beamer, both supporting hdmi1.4
    atm I’m ok with my old card and the acer 3d readdy pj (720p) for gaming but the increased resolution would be welcomed.

  • 6 Bloody // Feb 18, 2010 at 14:16

    Yeah, regarding 3D movies Ben should be right… the 3D-ready TV will most likely receive 24 frames for each eye as that is the usual framerate for movies so 48 fps, but then again the TV should be doubling or tripling this internally in order for the viewer not to see flickering of the glasses, because if they sync to 48 Hz (maybe also 25/50 and 30/60 fps for 3D TV) the flicker of the lens should be very annoying and tiring for the eyes.

    With the above said 3D movies and 3D TV should be covered, but what about games? Surely you would not want to play FPS games at just 24 or 30 frames per second for each eye when your TV would be able to handle lets say 60Hz per eye. So this is why the partial software upgrade to 1.4 is needed to add the stereoscopic 3D support.

  • 7 Zerofool // Feb 18, 2010 at 14:53

    Guys, don’t get confused – both v1.3 and v1.4 have the same bandwidth (for video), the only difference is the addition of the stereoscopic formats (i.e. how both frames will be sent and received, it adds some flags in the stream). So in theory ANY 1.3 device can be updated to 1.4 via firmware upgrade (3d-wise). There are other features in 1.4 that can’t be added to 1.3 with simple update, like ethernet and data channels.
    To get thing even more confusing, there is HDMI 1.4a coming later this year that will add even more s-3d formats, so I personally will wait for products supporting that ;).
    If products like the upcoming v1.3 3d TVs don’t get v1.4 update in the future they’ll be stuck with only internally converted 2D->3D material, and real 3D video probably only from their own STB/BluRay Players, which is pretty lame.

  • 8 PahnCrd // Feb 18, 2010 at 21:02

    Well, hopefully by next year the industry will have its crap figured out.

  • 9 Mr Latte // Feb 21, 2010 at 23:24

    The issue with HDMI 1.3 although it has the bandwidth of 1.4 is that it did not have a max resolution to support Dual 1080p.
    See wikipedia.

    The question then was could HDMI 1.3 devices be able to carry the HDMI S3D flagging that allowed Dual 1080p and be compatible with upcoming 1.4 displays.

    Sony have now already confirmed this to be the case as thier own 3D Blu Ray players are infact HDMI 1.3 specification but of course support Dual 1080p

  • 10 Bloody // Feb 22, 2010 at 00:49

    It is actually not stored in dual 1080p frames in terms of bandwidth as the MVC compression that is going to be used by Blu-ray 3D transmits only one full 1080p frame and the delta (difference) between the two frames and then the second frame is being reconstructed based on this data. This way the storage bandwidth requirements can be lowered, but the processing needed by the hardware is more.

  • 11 Zerofool // Feb 23, 2010 at 04:13

    Bloody, you are talking about broadcasting and disc storage bandwidth, it has nothing to do with HDMI, it transmits uncompressed lossless video (already decoded by the STB/BluRay Player/PC, so it has nothing to do with MPEG-4 MVC). Transmitting full-res 3D video takes exactly 2x the bandwidth of regular 2D video.

  • 12 Bloody // Feb 23, 2010 at 10:57

    Are you sure about that, then why need a standardized set of 3D specifications… 1.4 does support full side by side frame transmission, but it is not only capable of that method of transmitting 3D content. There are a few others so we’ll need to see what exactly the different manufacturers choose to use…

  • 13 James Curcio // Sep 7, 2010 at 23:09

    Do I have to replace my existing HDMI cables with HDMI v1.4 certified cabels?

  • 14 Sablicious // Nov 21, 2010 at 05:25

    @James Curcio

    No. I am running 3D through a HDMI 1.3(x) cable from Ps3 to a HDMI 1.4 TV and it works fine.

    I think it’s only when it comes to specific newer TV models you might have problem with if the device playing the 3D content isn’t 1.4 compatible (and cannot be updated to be so).

  • 15 Chris // Apr 2, 2011 at 23:18

    OK, so the upgrade to 1.4 from 1.3 is not necessary. there are a “few” added features on the 1.4 version but if you think to the future 1.3 will soon be outdated. based on that I personally would make the upgrade.


  • 16 Ryan // Jun 9, 2011 at 10:55

    With HDMI 1.4 cables I get only 60 Hz, in full HD 1080p only 24 Hz. I have the Acer 27″ 3D Monitor with 120 Hz. I don´t understand why you need a 120 Hz monitor when 24 Hz is enough to show 3D – or is this a matter of internal “upscaling” of the monitor? Didn´t find any explanations regarding this. Is there any difference between the HDMI 24 Hz 1080p 3D vs DVI 120 Hz 180p 3D? Except problems with gaming and Vsync – more about movies.

  • 17 Barron // Sep 2, 2011 at 16:34

    I’m running a BD660 through an LG 50PZ570 using using 1.3 cables and just to add to the confusing this connected is made via a Sherwood RD-8504 which is very much a V1.3 receiver.
    In this configuration the picture (and sound) is fine. In fact I can tell no difference in picture quality by direct connecting and connecting through the Sherwood.

  • 18 james braselton // Dec 4, 2011 at 06:02

    hi there i just saw all the featuers and specs for true 3d you need hdmi 1.4 running at 6.75 gb/s thats right a hdmi at 6.75 gegabytes per second soo get the fastest hdmi 1.4 out on the market

Leave a Comment