Confusion reigns supreme with consumers on exactly what they require with HDMI cabling and switching making it difficult for many to really know whats fact from fiction. Here are a few points regarding HDMI which may assist you in having a better understanding of the different versions.
Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS HD audio tracks found on new Blu Ray and HDdvd discs cant be sent to an amplifier by the standard optical or digital coax cables. If you want to experience one of these new HD audio formats then you must have HDMI ver1.3 as the hook up cable because the traditional coax and fiber optic methods simply cannot handle a digital transfer of that capacity.
HDMI is fully backward compatable with earlier versions, in other words a product with ver 1.2 will behave the same as a ver 1.1 when plugged into another device which is ver 1.1. What this means is that you do not have to have every component in the system to be the same HDMI version.
If you could compare earlier HDMI versions from purely an audio perspective the differences in performance is not huge, ver1.1 added dvd audio, ver1.2 added SACD. Ver1.3 however offers substantial differences.
All versions can transfer Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 from devices like Blu Ray DVD and HD dvd but not every receiver can accept the information.
If the BLU Ray dvd player comes with 5.1 or 7.1 channel decoders on board then any HD audio soundtrack can be cabled into a receivers 7.1 channel analogue input, this comes in very handy for those with older styled av receivers.
Here is an outline of what each version offers in way of compatability,
Dolby Digital, DTS are compatable with all versions 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.2a, 1.3 and 1.3a
DVD -Audio/ M-PCM (Blu-ray & HD DVD) are compatable with versions 1.1, 1.2, 1.2a, 1.3 and 1.3a
SACD is compatable with versions 1.2, 1.2a, 1.3, and 1.3a
Dolby Digital Plus, DD TrueHD, DTSHD,(Blu-ray and HDDVD) only version 1.3 and 1.3a is compatable.
If all else fails I suggest that you consult your local specialist Hi Fi dealer to get some informed advice about what best suits your needs. You can also contact Aussie Hi Fi on (07)3823 1111 and one of our friendly staff will be more than happy to help.