Harman Kardon releases HDMI 1.4a upgrade for selected receivers

And just as I was getting used to my HDMI 1.3a! Harman Kardon is releasing updates to its AVR2600,3600, and 7550HD receivers, enabling HDMI 1.4a through a firmware upgrade.

“In order to meet the requirements for HDMI ver1.4a it is true that a combination of hardware and software specs must be met. The underlying hardware architecture of these models is configured in a way that does not require any change. Thus, only updated software is required. The issue is different from one type of product to another (e.g. AVR vs. Blu ray vs. TV) as well as from one brand or model to another. In some cases a hardware change is needed and a software upgrade is not sufficient, but in the case of these models (as well as some other products in the market)” (Robert Silva example: Sony PS3) “new software and compliance testing is all that is needed.”

What does this mean? It means these new receivers will be 3D-ready. Like the PS3 update, this update to HK receivers adds a bit more juice to the receivers ability to decode HD 3D content on the fly.

New Firmware Upgrade to Deliver HDMI(TM) v. 1.4a with 3-D Capability for Current and New Harman Kardon(R) Home Theater Receivers

NORTHRIDGE, Calif., May 03, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Harman International (HAR 41.20, +0.34, +0.83%) :

Who: Harman Kardon (www.harmankardon.com), a brand of Harman International Industries, Incorporated, that specializes in audio equipment for consumers and the automotive infotainment industry.

What: Beginning this September, the following Harman Kardon(R) home theater products will be shipping with HDMI(TM) v. 1.4a with 3-D capability:

— AVR 2600

— AVR 3600

— AVR 7550HD

The unit upgrade will allow full compatibility with all 3-D formats from either Blu-ray Disc(TM) players or satellite and cable set-top boxes, and all 3-D video displays. Current owners of these AVR models, regardless of the date of purchase, will be able to upgrade their existing AVRs to HDMI v. 1.4a with 3-D.

Pricing and Availability:

The firmware upgrade will be available at www.harmankardon.com at no charge to current owners. Consumers only need to download the software to a USB memory stick, insert the stick drive into the front panel USB jack on the AVR unit and use the remote to navigate through on-screen instructions to install the upgrade. No software loader or direct connection between the computer and AVR will be required, greatly simplifying the entire update process.