HDMI 1.4 has been just announced and it we’re in for some changes. One important added feature is the HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) which allows transfers of up to 100Mbps between the connected devices. That means that HDMI 1.4 will let a “broadband-connected television using its HEC-enabled HDMI port to provide internet connection sharing with another HEC-enabled device such as a game console or DVR.”
The Audio Return Channel, ARC, will transmit broadcast audio to any external amplifier easily. The Automatic Content Enhancement, ACE, will bring support “future 3D video standards, increased resolution support (up to 4,096 x 2,160 pixels at up to 30Hz), and content recognition that promises to automatically optimize the TV’s picture settings based on content type.”
In order to have all that HEC going on, you will need new HDMI 1.4 spec cables, either low- or high-data rate. Silicon Image will ship chip samples to manufacturers in the second quarter and HDMI 1.4-enabled products will be available for early next year.