HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) is a digital interface for transferring uncompressed, high-definition multimedia data (audio and video). Some have called it "high-definition SCART."
Initiated by a consortium of manufacturers including Hitachi, Matsushita, Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, Thomson and Toshiba, the HDMI interface was standardized in 2002 as version 1.0, then revised in May 2004 (version 1.1) and finally in August 2005 (version 1.2).
As time goes by, it will be included little by litle with audio and video equipment, which will carry this logo:
The HDMI standard brings with it a new compact connector, compatible with DVI (Digital Video Interface), which looks like this:
In terms of capacity, the HDMI interface can reach speeds of about 5 Gbps (HDTV at 2.2Gbps). This can be used to transmit:
The DVI transports a native digital signal between the source and destination devices, which makes it easy to copy the multimedia stream. For this reason, the major film studios and music labels have made data encryption a requirement of the HDMI standard.
This mandatory copyright-protection mechanism is named HDCP (High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection).