HDMI is one of those standards in the technology world that you only ever think much about when you realize that your brand new fancy display isn’t doing what it’s supposed to for some reason. Generally for all intents and purposes HDMI is just HDMI and you don’t have to give it much thought. This belies the fact that there have been numerous versions of HDMI and in order to use some features both the display device and computer device have to be using the correct version. This is relevant at the moment now that Oculus Rift has announced their launch time frame and their requirements.
Most of the specs that are listed for the Oculus Rift are easy to research and determine what you need. The requirement for HDMI 1.3 can be a little tricky to verify. When I was researching this post I figured it would be a 2 minute task to go to NewEgg.com, take a look at the specs of a number of mid range graphics cards and see where they stood as far as the HDMI version was concerned. Curiously the HDMI version was not listed on the NewEgg website, and not only that but many of the manufacturers did not list the HDMI version on their own product pages.
After a bit of digging I found that HDMI 1.3 was released back in 2006, 1.4 was released in 2009, 1.4a in 2010 and finally HDMI 2.0 in 2013. When I could find a product page that listed the HDMI version they generally stated 1.4a.
So with this in mind HDMI 1.3 version should be the minimum thats offered on any decent graphics cards, and 1.4a is the current industry standard that’s available. Oculus Rift should be fine, but if you are using a display that requires HDMI 2.0 you should be aware that even 2 years after release that 2.0 does not seem to be the standard offered on many cards.
If you’ve never thought about HDMI versions before the chart that I grabbed from Wikipedia shows that there really is more to HDMI than high def video:
For more information on HDMI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI