High Definition Multimedia Interface Or HDMI as we popularly recognise it is a very essential tool so as to experience high-quality visuals on our devices. But do you ever wonder, Does HDMI carry audio too? Short for High Definition Multimedia Interface, HDMI is a connector and cable capable of transmitting high-quality and high-bandwidth streams of audio and video between devices. The HDMI technology is used with devices such as an HDTV, Projector, DVD player, or Blu-ray player. Well, you’ll find useful information in this article which will definitely allow you to reach a valid conclusion. Primarily HDMI cables carry video. It is an evolution from the earlier DVI interface which was and is still used in PC displays. But a recent addition to HDMI was adding sound. It has been a significant addition to this which can handle stereo audio or even a multi-channel surround sound audio.
Later there was this very new addition called ARC which is an audio return channel. This is where a TV can pass the audio back down the cable through which it is normally receiving the signals for video. What is the use of it? It enables surround sound amplifiers to get audio back to the TV which is directly synchronized to the picture but also gets audio from the sources that do not even pass through the amplifier. ARC is not available in all the devices though, it is an optional feature. So HDMI just transmits sound, that’s it?
Yes but it transmits the highest quality of sounds. It transfers audio formats to the likes of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD. These high bitrate audio formats are especially found in Blu-ray titles and they are supported by most AV receivers. HDMI is just about the only way to transmit this super high audio quality audio from a Blu-ray player to an AV receiver for playback. The audio-only connectors such as SPDIF and TOSLINK cannot try these formats. Here is the thing though, they do not work with all the devices. For example, HDMI cables cannot carry any kind of audio format in first-generation devices, just the video. On the other hand, some devices give us the option to enable the transfer of audio through HDMI cables.
A Short History Of HDMI
Technically speaking, HDMI is a connectivity standard cable developed by a consortium of major electronics manufacturers including Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, Sony, Thomson, Toshiba, and Silicon Image. HDMI carries digital data, videos predominantly but they carry audio to depending upon the options available in the device and the generation to which it belongs.
It combines the digital video with multi-channel digital uncompressed audio. Uncompressed here means it causes no loses in the process of audio transmission. It can carry up to 8 channels in a single connecting cable which makes it incredibly useful.