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Definition: HDMI


(High-Definition Multimedia Interface) A digital interface for audio and video that provides a single-cable solution for home theater and consumer electronics equipment such as TVs, Blu-ray/DVD players and set-top boxes. HDMI is also commonly used to connect a monitor to a computer. Introduced in 2002, one HDMI cable took the place of nine different analog audio and video cables.

HDMI supports eight channels of 24-bit uncompressed audio at 192kHz and 4K video up to 4096x2160 (as of HDMI 1.4). It also provides copy protection, A/V equipment control, 5 volts of power and compatibility with DVI and DisplayPort interfaces.

HDMI Specifications
See HDMI versions and HDMI cable types. For HDMI copy protection, see HDCP. For A/V control, see HDMI CEC. For DVI compatibility, see HDMI-DVI compatibility. To turn a TV into a home theater hub, see HDMI ARC.




Common 19-Pin Connectors
Type A is for TVs, home theater equipment and monitors, while camcorders use Type C and D. A more secure Type E is used in vehicles, and a 29-pin Type B supports dual-link DVI resolution (see DVI).






HDMI vs. All the Others
This earlier Roku streaming hub was on the market during the transition stage from analog to digital TV. See A/V ports.






An HDMI Switch
This HDMI switch lets three HDMI sources plug into a TV with only one HDMI input. See HDMI switch. (Image courtesy of Oppo Digital, Inc.)