Specification for 48Gbps HDMI v2.1 officially announced

posted on Friday, 1st December 2017 by Steve May

HDMI  4K  HDR  8K 

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We’ve known about it for a while, but now the HDMI Forum has officially announced the specification of HDMI 2.1. The update supports higher resolution (8K 7680 x 4320 resolution at 60Hz, with a ceiling of 10K for commercial AV and industrial use) and faster refresh rates (4K at 120HZ). Dynamic HDR formats are also supported. Bandwidth capability has been increased to 48Gbps.

Just when the industry gets on top of High-Res Audio and 4K vision, things are about to change yet again. But then you knew that would happen, right?

To support the 48Gbps bandwidth, a new Ultra High Speed HDMI cable will be introduced. The cable ensures high-bandwidth dependent features are delivered including uncompressed 8K video with HDR.

It will reduce EMI (electro-magnetic interference) to reduce interference with nearby wireless devices. The cable will be backwards compatible, so can be used with the existing installed base of HDMI devices. V2.1 will also usher in eARC, which supports next gen audio formats.

Other niceties include Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) reduces or eliminates lag, stutter and frame tearing for more fluid and better detailed gameplay; Quick Media Switching (QMS) which eliminates the delay that can result in blank screens before content is displayed, and Quick Frame Transport (QFT) to reduce latency for no-lag gaming and real-time virtual reality.

“The HDMI Forum’s mission is to develop specifications meeting market needs, growing demands for higher performance, and to enable future product opportunities,” said Robert Blanchard of Sony Electronics, president of the HDMI Forum.

The HDMI 2.1 Compliance Test Specification (CTS) will be published in stages during Q1-Q3 2018.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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