HDMI 2.1 officially presented, 10K resolutions and dynamic refresh rate support

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From the official management organization of the HDMI protocol comes the announcement of the specifications of the new HDMI 2.1, in this version has increased significantly bandwidth reaching up to 48 Gbps which allows us to achieve 8K resolutions up to 60fps and the current standard 4K up to 120fps, all with HDR information. We also have interesting new functions for refresh rate automation and other capabilities that greatly simplify the user’s life.

In addition to these new resolutions we have interesting new features that make it much more comfortable to communicate a screen with a device since they will automatically modify the connection for optimal viewing. With this new option, correct adjustment of the refresh rate is achieved, avoiding effects of lag and jugger, in addition, the color modes are automatically configured without user configuration.

HDMI Specification 2.1 Features

  • Higher video resolutions support a range of high resolutions and faster refresh rates including 8K60Hz and 4K120Hz for immersive viewing and smooth fast-action detail. Resolutions up to 10K are also supported for commercial AV, and industrial and specialty usages.
  • Dynamic HDR support ensures every moment of a video is displayed at its ideal values for depth, detail, brightness, contrast and wider color gamuts—on a scene-by-scene or even a frame-by-frame basis.
  • The Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable supports the 48G bandwidth for uncompressed HDMI 2.1 feature support. The cable also features very low EMI emission and is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI Specification and can be used with existing HDMI devices.
  • eARC simplifies connectivity, provides greater ease of use, and supports the most advanced audio formats and highest audio quality. It ensures full compatibility between audio devices and upcoming HDMI 2.1 products.
  • Enhanced refresh rate features ensure an added level of smooth and seamless motion and transitions for gaming, movies and video. They include:
    • Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) reduces or eliminates lag, stutter and frame tearing for more fluid and better detailed gameplay.
    • Quick Media Switching (QMS) for movies and video eliminates the delay that can result in blank screens before content is displayed.
    • Quick Frame Transport (QFT) reduces latency for smoother no-lag gaming, and real-time interactive virtual reality.
  • Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) allows the ideal latency setting to automatically be set allowing for smooth, lag-free and uninterrupted viewing and interactivity.

Other key points

  • To take advantage of HDMI 2.1 we need new ultra high speed HDMI cables.
  • Cables 2.1 are retrocompatible with 2.0 and we can use a 2.0 in a 2.1 device but we will not have new capabilities.
  • The passive cables will have a maximum length of 3 meters.
  • The HDMI 2.1 cables can have USB Type-C format and the classic ones also A or D.
  • These cables will be available in the market in the first quarter of 2018.
  • The manufacturers of hardware can integrate or not all or some of the features of HDMI 2.1 should be consulted before.
  • eARC now supports DTS Master, DTS: X, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos and others.
  • Resolutions and refresh rates supported:
    4K50 / 60
    4K100 / 120
    5K50 / 60
    5K100 / 120
    8K50 / 60
    — compression modes —
    8K100 / 120
    10K50 / 60
    10K100 / 120
  • Designations of cables and supported modes:
    4K120A – uncompressed
    4K120B – compressed
    4K120AB – both
    8K60A – uncompressed
    8K60B – compressed
    8K60AB – both (the best)
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