According to the press release, HDMI 1.4 includes an HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) enabling data transfers of up to 100Mbps between supported connected devices, said the HDMI LLC, the agent responsible for licensing HDMI specifications.
The bi-directional connection allows a broadband-connected television using its HEC-enabled HDMI port to provide Internet connection sharing with another HEC-enabled device, such as a game console or DVR.
The HEC will require new HDMI 1.4 cables, which will be offered in two performance levels of low- and high-data rates.
Other key new features include an Audio Return Channel (ARC) that allows broadcast audio to be easily streamed back to an external amplifier for processing, eliminating the need for an extra cable in cases where HDTVs are directly receiving audio and video content.
It also adds Automatic Content Enhancement (ACE) with support for future 3-D video standards, up to dual-stream 1080p resolution, increased resolution support up to 4,096 by 2,160 pixels at up to 30Hz, and content recognition that can automatically optimize a TV's picture settings based on content type.