short for High-Definition Multimedia Interface
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a compact audio/video interface for transferring uncompressed digital audio/video data from an HDMI-compliant device ("the source") to a compatible digital audio device, computer monitor, video projector, or digital television. HDMI is a digital replacement for existing analog video standards. There are a number of HDMI-standard cable connectors available, each of which can be used for any uncompressed TV or PC video format, including standard, enhanced, high definition, and 3D video signals; up to 8 channels of compressed or uncompressed digital audio; a CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) connection; and an Ethernet data connection. HDMI implements the EIA/CEA-861 standards, which define video formats and waveforms, transport of compressed, uncompressed, and LPCM audio, auxiliary data, and implementations of the VESA EDID.
The CEC allows HDMI devices to control each other when necessary and allows the user to operate multiple devices with one remote control handset. Because HDMI is electrically compatible with the CEA-861 signals used by digital visual interface (DVI), no signal conversion is necessary, nor is there a loss of video quality when a DVI-to-HDMI adapter is used. As an uncompressed CEA-861 connection, HDMI is independent of the various digital television standards used by individual devices, such as ATSC and DVB, as these are encapsulations of compressed MPEG video streams (which can be decoded and output as an uncompressed video stream on HDMI).
Production of consumer HDMI products started in late 2003. In Europe either DVI-HDCP or HDMI is included in the HD ready in-store labeling specification for TV sets for HDTV, formulated by EICTA with SES Astra in 2005. HDMI began to appear on consumer HDTV camcorders and digital still cameras in 2006. Shipments of HDMI were expected to exceed those of DVI in 2008, driven primarily by the consumer electronics market. HDMI Licensing, LLC announced on October 25, 2011 that there were over 1,100 HDMI Adopters and that over 2 billion HDMI-enabled products had shipped since the launch of the HDMI standard. From October 25, 2011, all development of the HDMI specification became the responsibility of the newly-created HDMI Forum.