In April of 2002, Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, Thomson, and Toshiba founded HDMI. The goal was to develop an audio/video interface that improved on DVI (Digital Visual Interface) by using a smaller connector, adding audio capability and introducing improved video and control functionality.
HDMI 1.0 added CEC (Consumer Electronics Control), allowing up to 15 CEC enabled devices to communicate with each other - controlled from a single remote control.
HDMI 1.3 was released on June 22 2006, allowing the output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio streams for external decoding by AV receivers.
In June of 2009 version 1.4 was released. HDMI 1.4 added support for 4K video, 3D and higher refresh rates.
HDMI 2.0, also referred to as HDMI UHD by some manufacturers, was released in September 2014. By increasing the maximum bandwidth throughput, it improved on 4K and 3D video and added support for up to 32 audio channels. Versions 2.0a and 2.0b (released in 2015 and 2016 respectively) added support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) video and improved HDR10 transport.
The latest release of HDMI was version 2.1 in January of 2017. This release introduced a new HDMI cable category called Ultra High Speed, which certifies cables at the new higher speeds.
The most notable improvements in HDMI 2.1 includes High Frame Rate (HFR) for 4K, 8K, and 10K - supporting refresh rates up to 120 Hz and variable Refresh Rate reducing or eliminating lag, stutter and frame tearing - greatly improving gaming through HDMI.
HDMI has become the most used Audio/Video interface with more than 10 billion HDMI supported devices sold worldwide.