Latest HDMI 1.4 specification to add 3D support

The move comes In response to the growing number of 3D TVs and broadcasts

HDMI Consortium is preparing to add 3D support to its latest 1.4 specification, which could bring 3D gaming and movie watching to high-definition TVs.

HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) ports connect external devices like set-top boxes or gaming consoles to displays like TV sets. Many of the HDMI ports are based on the 1.3 specification that do not support TV, but the upcoming ports based on the latest specification will support 3D.

The HDMI Consortium on Wednesday said it would meet in late January to add an additional 3D format to the HDMI 1.4 spec. Once the consortium decides on the format, it would be mandatory for consumer electronics makers to implement ports with 3D support in devices like set-top boxes and TVs.

The 3D market is growing as TV makers and consumer electronics companies throw support behind it. Sony is expected to broadcast the 2010 FIFA World Cup in 2D and 3D, and the company has already announced 3D TVs in the past. The Korea Communications Commission announced plans to start a 3D broadcast trial service in the second half of 2010.

Samsung and other TV makers are expected show 3D TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show that will be held in Las Vegas from Jan. 7-10. LG has said it expects to ship close to 400,000 3D-capable TVs next year.

The Blu-ray Disc Association has also finalized the 3D disc specification, which could bring 3D movies and games on discs soon. Companies including Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia plan to showcase stereoscopic 3D Blu-ray video at CES.

"3D is a nascent market and thus continues to evolve quickly," said Steve Venuti, president of HDMI Licensing in a statement. "The addition of the new format will secure the application of 3D for broadcasting, in addition to the existing applications for Blu-ray and gaming."

The support for 3D may be evaluated again once a mandatory format is defined to broadcast 3D images, the consortium said in a statement.

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