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HDMI tunes into 3D TV broadcasts

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The organisation behind HDMI has updated the digital TV connector standard to ready it for the 3D era.

HDMI Licensing said the new version, 1.4a, mandates the support of 'top-and-bottom' and 'side-by-side' modes for broadcasting the picture data that will be present to each eye, thus creating the illusion of 3D.

Until now, the standard supported 3D modes for games and pre-recorded movies, but not TV programming.

Side-by-side works with broadcast field-interlaced, 1080i pictures, while top-and-bottom is used with progressive-scan video at either 720p or 1080p resolution.

For pre-recorded movies on Blu-ray Disc and games presented in 3D, HDMI 1.4 already supports the frame packing technique, which is essentially top-and-bottom, at resolutions of up to 1080p at 24f/s and 720p, respectively.

By adding all these formats, HDMI Licensing said, the standard will ensure interoperability between hardware devices. Both the display and the content source - if they use HDMI rather than, say, DVI - have to support the formats. Hardware makers have 90 days to prepare their products for HDMI 1.4a certification, the licensing body said. ®

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