For those following this thread there was some conversation about a 100 posts ago about my reservations in NOT making a big investment in certain pieces of AV equipment because the technological curve is steep and the plateau has not been reached. Theoretically you could argue this is the case for ALL
AV gear, but there are certainly sound arguments to make investments in speakers, amplifiers, wires, power protection / battery backup components, anamorphic lenses, subwoofers, lighting control, projection screens, etc. with little worry that something is going to be horrendously outdated in a year or two.
I had said that I am hesitant to spend any more than I absolutely need to get reasonably good performance. In short, I am looking for the value-option in certain product categories such as the projector, the preamp, streaming media devices and even a BluRay player. Many of you had said that you feel the same for the same reasons.
Well, I just stumbled across a news article today that I either completely missed or it was not well-publicized: that there is a new HDMI 2.0 standard coming in the first half of this year that is designed to address many of the limitations of the HDMI 1.4 (and earlier) standards, specifically around 4k and 3D. Wikipedia actually had the best succinct summary:
The HDMI Forum is working on the HDMI 2.0 specification. In a 2012 CES press release HDMI Licensing, LLC stated that the expected release date for the next version of HDMI was the second half of 2012 and that important improvements needed for HDMI include increased bandwidth to allow for higher resolutions and broader video timing support. Longer term goals for HDMI include better support for mobile devices and improved control functions.
On January 8, 2013, HDMI Licensing, LLC announced that the next HDMI version is being worked on by the 83 members of the HDMI Forum and that it is expected to be released in the first half of 2013.
Based on HDMI Forum meetings it is expected that HDMI 2.0 will increase the maximum TMDS per channel throughput from 3.4 Gbit/s to 6 Gbit/s which would allow a maximum total TMDS throughput of 18 Gbit/s. This will allow HDMI 2.0 to support 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (fps). Other features that are expected for HDMI 2.0 include support for 4:2:0 chroma subsampling, support for 25 fps 3D formats, improved 3D capability, support for more than 8 channels of audio, support for the HE-AAC and DRA audio standards, dynamic auto lip-sync, and additional CEC functions.
So perhaps the Marantz AV8801 or Emotiva XMC-1 preamp I was eyeing may have an HDMI 2.0-compliant relative released at CEDIA 2013 or CES 2014. And perhaps this is the year that many more value-priced manufacturers such as Panasonic and Epson will join JVC on the 4K bandwagon with HDMI 2.0-compliant inputs and capabilities. This would also mean that the HDMI 1.4 matrix switch I was looking at for whole-home HDMI distribution may be delayed until they release an updated version since I have the time to wait. And certainly the Audio Control BVHD-20 I was looking at for signal transfer from my Home Theater preamp to my projector nearly 45 feet away will be replaced by a new HDMI 2.0 compliant model.
I might just end up with a beautiful Art Deco home theater with zero projector, preamp or bluray until I have had adequate time to sniff over the new models being released at this year's CEDIA. That would be the very definition of torture....but then again, what's the point of this hobby without a little pain!