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HDMI 1.3 Compatibility Blu Ray Player vs. Televisions

by Louis39 / November 30, 2007 2:15 PM PST

I noticed that the two new Blu Ray players from Sony (BDP S500) and Panasonic (DMP-BD30K) both have HDMI 1.3 outputs. Does this mean that the HDMI connection will not work with a television that does not have HDMI 1.3? Two examples of televisions that have HDMI inputs but not version 1.3 are the Sony KDS60A2020 and the Samsung HL-T6187.

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1.3 is backwords compatable
by givemeaname / November 30, 2007 3:35 PM PST

I got the samsung bd-p1200 it has a hdmi 1.3a port but I got the a sony a2000 & that has a HDMI 1.2a or a 1.1b port + the hmdi cable is not a 1.3 & it all works fine.

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On the other hand...
by PaulNeb / December 18, 2009 11:37 PM PST

I bought a Sony BDP-S350 (HDMI 1.3) and it will not even recognize my Sony KP-57WS520 (HDMI 1.1). It won't work with my kids' HDMI 1.2 LCD TV either. (Recognizes that the TV's there and the TV sees the HDMI signal, but will not display a picture.) The Sony level 2 tech support people said that the player will not work with any TV that's not HDMI 1.3. Kind of ironic that one of the originators of the HDMI standards would put out a product that ignores the requirement for backwards compatibility.

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This makes no sense
by minimalist / December 19, 2009 12:37 AM PST
In reply to: On the other hand...

the video supplied via HDMI 1.1 (8 bit 1080p) is the same video supplied via HDMI 1.3. The real difference in in the audio. 1.3 adds the ability to transmit high def audio codecs (Dolby True HD and DTS HD-MA).

A variation of HDMI 1.3 (1.3a), does add the ability to transmit higher bit-rate video video with resolutions higher than 1080p but there are few TV's on the market that can take advantage of any of those features right now. Making an entry level blu-ray player incompatible with a huge portion of TV's on the market seems really stupid move on Sony's behalf. And the spec for HDMI is indeed supposed to be backwards compatible so if Sony broke compatibility with HDMI 1.1, they did so of their own accord.

http://www.hdmi.org/learningcenter/faq.aspx

Are you sure the tech support knew what they were talking about or were they just trying to get you off the phone?

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Did they know what they were talking about?
by PaulNeb / December 19, 2009 2:02 AM PST
In reply to: This makes no sense

Well, I was on the phone for over 90 minutes, and did get referred to tech level 2, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't just an attempt to get me off of the phone. They tried to blame it on HDCP, but since my ATSC receiver (aka set top box) uses HDCP and the TV displays that just fine, I discounted that.

As for the incompatibility, my looking into the differences between the HDMI specifications revealed that the maximum clock speed of HDMI 1.3 is higher than that of HDMI 1.2 or 1.1. My suspicion, which I didn't bother following up on because I can't "fix" it is that the player will only use the higher clock rate, and the TV won't respond to it.

Bottom line for me is that a Sony Blu-Ray player should talk to a Sony TV over HDMI no matter what version of HDMI is in use on each end. That is, after all, what the HDMI specification says. It doesn't and Sony admits that it never will because the player only supports HDMI 1.3. That would make the player non-compliant to the HDMI standard, but I'm just one unhappy consumer who just happens to be satisfied by getting 1080i component video over to the TV.

I does make me very leery of buying any Sony HDMI products again though.

Now if someone knows how to retro an older TV and bring it up to HDMI 1.3 or hack the player's firmware to make it talk to older HDMI components, that'd be cool.

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sorry about the experience. Sony truly can be maddening
by minimalist / December 19, 2009 3:17 AM PST

to deal with.

I decided to go with an LG BDP 390 after my Sony BDP-S300 gave me so much trouble for the last 2 years. Slow as molasses load times, buggy, HDMI 1.1 (so no HD audio to my receiver), and an all around pain in the butt to update. Once a month or so I'd come across a disc that wouldn't play and have track down a windows machine to download the update because Macs were "not supported" for downloads (how insane is that?). During 2 years I had to track down these updates about 8 times.

Interestingly, my sony player had HDMI 1.1 and my Sony LCD had 1.3 and they worked just fine together. Go figure.

Lets just say it doesn't have to be this complicated but for some reason Sony makes it so.

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Oh, and the LG BD390 has been a dream
by minimalist / December 19, 2009 3:20 AM PST

Not a single issue. Lightning fast disc load times. Downloads updates on the fly. Supports every codec known to man for home network streaming, Netflix, Vudu, and all the HD audio codecs you could ever want.

The experience is night and day when compared with my old Sony S300.

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my problem
by debaser2 / January 19, 2010 10:35 AM PST
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Snow on your 3YO Magnavox
by PaulNeb / January 21, 2010 4:55 AM PST
In reply to: my problem

It's possible. My first two questions would be "Are you sure you are selecting the HDMI input?" followed by "Is the HDMI indicator on the Blu-Ray player coming on?"

The first one is driven by the fact that in both of my non-display cases, I get the "splash" or "logo" screen displayed as the player is going thru it's power up sequence, then the screen goes to a blank screen. Not a static filled display. In fact, when I select the HDMI input with NO cable attached, it displays a blank screen, not static.

The second question is coming from the "handshaking" that's supposed to go on between the player and the television. One of mine (HDMI 1.1) will not handshake so the indicator does not come on. The other set (HDMI 1.2) does handshake, the indicator comes on, and the television displays the correct mode of the input signal. The screen stays blank though.

Again, I'll express my disappointment with SOny for the non-compliant implementation of HDMI 1.3 in their players.

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