HDMI and the Future ?NOW!?

For years, hooking up your hi-fi and video equipment took a lot of cables and patience: audio (stereo or 5-channel), digital (coax or Toslink), video (composite, component or S) and in some cases, even control cables (RS232 serial). Isn?t technology wonderful! But now the world as we know it is about to change ? for the first time in A/V history, we have a true one-plug solution:

(Drum roll)

HDMI ?High Definition Multimedia Interface?

HDMI incorporates all the cables that you need to hook up your A/V equipment into a single plug. Lets say that you have a plasma display and a DVR unit. Just plug in the HDMI cable between the plasma and the DVR, and everything that you need for audio/video and control is done. The HDMI will send the digital video and digital audio from the DVR to the display, as well as the control commands to the DVR from the display?s IR receiver. HDMI is also designed to support multi-channel digital audio, such as Dolby Digital, DTS, DVD audio and SACD.

At Ethereal, we realize that HDMI will quickly become the most common interconnect cable used in A/V hookups. All of the major consumer electronics manufactures have signed on to the HDMI standard on their new products and are already starting to ship them. To support them, we are building our HDMI cables in 2m, 5m, 10m and 15m lengths. We also provide HDMI cables in standard style (out of wall) and CL rated for custom in-wall installations.


HDMI and DVI use the same digital video signals and are interchangeable. The digital audio signal is an HDMI feature only and will not pass down a DVI cable. Products that are DVI equipped must still use the current style analog or digital audio connections.

HDMI and HDCP (High Definition Content Protection)

HDCP was developed to ensure that copyrighted High Definition Programming may not be copied directly to a digital device (i.e.; DVD or hard disc). The HDCP system requires that both the source and the display device be equipped to handle the encrypted signal.

This is done by the source requesting a response form the display device that the signal has not been interrupted. Once the source has the handshake, it will output a pure digital video signal to the display, giving you the best possible picture.

All of the Ethereal HDMI products are equipped to pass the HDCP flag and meet or exceed all of the HDMI standards.

The Hi-Fi Guy ? News, Views & Hyperbole is posted on a monthly basis on www.etherealhometheater.com. Ethereal Home Theater Accessories is a division of Metra Electronics, Inc. Based in Holly Hill, FL, with offices in Long Beach, CA, Metra (www.metraonline.com) is a leader in the auto sound industry as parent company of such consumer and professional installation brands as Axxess, Install Bay/FishMan, Raptor, Silencer and Tsunami.