HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a proprietary audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio data from an HDMI-compliant source device, such as a display controller, to a compatible computer monitor, video projector, digital television, or digital audio device. HDMI is a digital replacement for analog video standards.
HDMI implements the EIA/CEA-861 standards, which define video formats and waveforms, transport of compressed and uncompressed LPCM audio, auxiliary data, and implementations of the VESA EDID.(p. III) CEA-861 signals carried by HDMI are electrically compatible with the CEA-861 signals used by the Digital Visual Interface (DVI). No signal conversion is necessary, nor is there a loss of video quality when a DVI-to-HDMI adapter is used.(§C) The CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) capability allows HDMI devices to control each other when necessary and allows the user to operate multiple devices with one handheld remote control device.(§6.3)
Several versions of HDMI have been developed and deployed since the initial release of the technology, but all use the same cable and connector. Other than improved audio and video capacity, performance, resolution and color spaces, newer versions have optional advanced features such as 3D, Ethernet data connection, and CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) extensions.
Production of consumer HDMI products started in late 2003. In Europe, either DVI-HDCP or HDMI is included in the HD ready in-store labeling specification for TV sets for HDTV, formulated by EICTA with SES Astra in 2005. HDMI began to appear on consumer HDTVs in 2004 and camcorders and digital still cameras in 2006. As of January 6, 2015 (twelve years after the release of the first HDMI specification), over 4 billion HDMI devices have been sold.
The HDMI founders were Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, Thomson, RCA, and Toshiba. Digital Content Protection, LLC provides HDCP (which was developed by Intel) for HDMI. HDMI has the support of motion picture producers Fox, Universal, Warner Bros. and Disney, along with system operators DirecTV, EchoStar (Dish Network) and CableLabs.
The HDMI founders began development on HDMI 1.0 on April 16, 2002, with the goal of creating an AV connector that was backward-compatible with DVI. At the time, DVI-HDCP (DVI with HDCP) and DVI-HDTV (DVI-HDCP using the CEA-861-B video standard) were being used on HDTVs. HDMI 1.0 was designed to improve on DVI-HDTV by using a smaller connector and adding audio capability and enhanced Y′CBCR capability and consumer electronics control functions.
The first Authorized Testing Center (ATC), which tests HDMI products, was opened by Silicon Image on June 23, 2003, in California, United States. The first ATC in Japan was opened by Panasonic on May 1, 2004, in Osaka. The first ATC in Europe was opened by Philips on May 25, 2005, in Caen, France. The first ATC in China was opened by Silicon Image on November 21, 2005, in Shenzhen. The first ATC in India was opened by Philips on June 12, 2008, in Bangalore. The HDMI website contains a list of all the ATCs.
According to In-Stat, the number of HDMI devices sold was 5 million in 2004, 17.4 million in 2005, 63 million in 2006, and 143 million in 2007. HDMI has become the de facto standard for HDTVs, and according to In-Stat, around 90% of digital televisions in 2007 included HDMI. In-Stat has estimated that 229 million HDMI devices were sold in 2008. On April 8, 2008 there were over 850 consumer electronics and PC companies that had adopted the HDMI specification (HDMI adopters). On January 7, 2009, HDMI Licensing, LLC announced that HDMI had reached an installed base of over 600 million HDMI devices. In-Stat has estimated that 394 million HDMI devices would sell in 2009 and that all digital televisions by the end of 2009 would have at least one HDMI input.
On January 28, 2008, In-Stat reported that shipments of HDMI were expected to exceed those of DVI in 2008, driven primarily by the consumer electronics market.
In 2008, PC Magazine awarded a Technical Excellence Award in the Home Theater category for an "innovation that has changed the world" to the CEC portion of the HDMI specification. Ten companies were given a Technology and Engineering Emmy Award for their development of HDMI by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences on January 7, 2009.
On October 25, 2011, the HDMI Forum was established by the HDMI founders to create an open organization so that interested companies can participate in the development of the HDMI specification. All members of the HDMI Forum have equal voting rights, may participate in the Technical Working Group, and if elected can be on the Board of Directors. There is no limit to the number of companies allowed in the HDMI Forum though companies must pay an annual fee of US$15,000 with an additional annual fee of $5,000 for those companies who serve on the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is made up of 11 companies who are elected every 2 years by a general vote of HDMI Forum members. All future development of the HDMI specification take place in the HDMI Forum and are built upon the HDMI 1.4b specification. Also on the same day HDMI Licensing, LLC announced that there were over 1,100 HDMI adopters and that over 2 billion HDMI-enabled products had shipped since the launch of the HDMI standard. From October 25, 2011, all development of the HDMI specification became the responsibility of the newly created HDMI Forum.
On January 8, 2013, HDMI Licensing, LLC announced that there were over 1,300 HDMI adopters and that over 3 billion HDMI devices had shipped since the launch of the HDMI standard. The day also marked the 10th anniversary of the release of the first HDMI specification.