HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface, and it is an interface for uncompressed, completely digital audiovisuals. It is designed to offer clear, digital audio and video through a cable, so that it saves space as well as delivering a kind of movie theatre experience. HDMI can create an interface between audio sources and video sources, such as digital television, DVD players, and monitors, among other things. The specifics of HDMI capabilities and support are as follows: it will support video on a single cable, whether it is standard, enhanced, HD, or digital audio; it will transmit at a standard equal to HDTV; it will support 8-channel, 192 kHz digital audio in both uncompressed and compressed forms. HDMI is popular because it of its versatility and ability to connect to everything from personal computers, to gaming consoles, to AV receivers, with a capacity that will still allow it to have room and bandwidth for later additions and enhancements.
HDMI also supports the recent Blue-Ray disc players, which are replacing DVD players at a quicker rate than DVD players themselves replaced VCRs. However, the rising popularity of Blue-Ray discs is by no means the sole reason why HDMI is becoming so popular. The new trends in technology and audio and visual interfaces are all about high definition television and sharply clear LCD TVs. HDMI's abilities to interface with these products practically ensure that its popularity will remain on the rise until the next big technological, audiovisual breakthrough.
The quality of HDMI can be judged by the integrity of its founders, among which include such companies as Sony, Philips, Hitachi, and Toshiba, as well as the Matsushita Electric Industrial, which itself includes Quasar, Panasonic, and National. HDMI has even become all the rage in the movie industry, with companies including Disney, DirecTV, Warner Brothers, Samsung, and Universal Studios firmly backing HDMI with full support.
Al Munroe writes on topics such as HDMI, HDMI Cable and HDMI Optical Switch for The Tech FAQ.