3D/HDMI 1.4 Myth

When the 3D Blu-ray spec was announced, everyone said it would require HDMI 1.4, which implied the need for new HDMI hardware. But then I learned that the Sony PlayStation 3, which has HDMI 1.3, can be updated to provide 3D capabilities with new firmware. That seemed odd, so I visited the HDMI Licensing booth and found out that all the versions of HDMI are merely specifications that define what features they will support, and manufacturers are free to implement all, some, or none of them. Also, HDMI 1.3 and 1.4 are capable of the same maximum bandwidth—10.2Gbps.

Thus, it's theoretically possible to upgrade any HDMI 1.3 Blu-ray player to deliver 3D, as long as the manufacturer designed the device to allow it. Such a player's 3D performance might not be the best because its processing hardware is a bit older and slower than new models, but that shouldn't be a problem for the PS3 with its super-powerful Cell processor. I doubt that many manufacturers of dedicated Blu-ray players designed their products to allow such an update, so most consumers will have to buy a new one if they want 3D.

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