By Lam Seng Fatt
Looks like the High Speed with Ethernet HDMI cable I just bought is now obsolete.
The HDMI Licensing Group has just released the HDMI 2.1 specifications and a new cable – which supports 48 Gbps – is required. HDMI 2.1 will be officially released in the market in the second quarter of this year.
According to the HDMI website, the HDMI 2.1 specs support “a range of Higher Video Resolutions and refresh rates including 8K60 and 4K120, Dynamic HDR, and increased bandwidth with a new 48G cable. Version 2.1 of the HDMI Specification is backward compatible with earlier versions of the Specification.”
* Higher Video Resolutions support a range of higher resolutions and faster refresh rates including 8K60Hz and 4K120Hz for immersive viewing and smooth fast-action detail.
* Dynamic HDR 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.
* 48G cables enable up to 48Gbps bandwidth for uncompressed HDMI 2.1 feature support including 8K video with HDR. The cable is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI Specification and can be used with existing HDMI devices.
* eARC supports the most advanced audio formats such as object-based audio, and enables advanced audio signal control capabilities including device auto-detect.
* Game Mode VRR features variable refresh rate, which enables a 3D graphics processor to display the image at the moment it is rendered for more fluid and better detailed gameplay, and for reducing or eliminating lag, stutter, and frame tearing.
The HDMI website also includes an FAQ section:
Q: When will the HDMI 2.1 Compliance Test Specification be available?
A: The HDMI 2.1 Compliance Test Specification (CTS) will be published in Q2-Q3 2017.
Q: What is the relationship of HDMI Specification 2.1 to HDMI 2.0b and 1.4b Specifications?
A: HDMI 2.1 Specification supersedes 2.0b and 2.1 continues to make reference to, and rely upon, HDMI 1.4b Specification.
Q: Is HDMI 2.1 Specification backwards compatible with previous versions of the specification?
HIGH VIDEO RESOLUTIONS
A: Yes a new cable is required
Q: What are the support resolutions and frame rates?
Q: What colorimetry is supported?
A: HDMI 2.1 Specification supports the latest colour spaces including BT.2020 with 10, 12, and 16 bits per colour component.
Q: Is this cable required for delivering HDMI 2.1 Specification features?
A: The cable is the best way to ensure the high-bandwidth dependent features are delivered including the enhanced video and audio performance, and accounting for the new EMI characteristics
Q: Will existing HDMI High Speed cables deliver the HDMI 2.1 features also?
A: While existing HDMI High Speed Cables with Ethernet can deliver some of the new features, the new cable is the best way to connect HDMI 2.1 enabled devices to ensure delivery of all the features.
Q: What connectors does this cable use?
A: It is compatible with HDMI connectors Types A, C and D.
Q: Does the cable have an Ethernet channel?
A: Yes it supports the HDMI Ethernet Channel.
Q: Can this new cable work with existing HDMI devices?
A: The cable is backwards compatible and can be used with existing HDMI devices for the delivery of legacy HDMI features.
Q: Does this Dynamic HDR require the new 48G Cable?
A: No, but it will be necessary to enable 8K video with HDR
Q: Does the specification support the various HDR solutions?
A: Yes it supports various static and dynamic HDR solutions in the market
Q: Is this accessible via a firmware upgrade?
A: Manufacturers will be implementing this in various ways
Q: Will this work with any HDMI cable?
A: This works with HDMI High Speed Cables with Ethernet and the new 48G cable
Q: Is this available through a firmware upgrade?
A: Depends on manufacturer implementation
GAME MODE VRR
Q: Does this require the new HDMI cable?
A: Yes if those features are implemented along with Higher Video Resolution. That will require the new 48G cable
Q: Is this primarily for consoles or will PCs utilize this also?
A: It can be used for both.
Q: Will this result in more gaming PCs connecting to HDMI displays, either monitors or TVs?
A: The intent of the feature is to enable HDMI technology to be used in these applications. Given that HDMI connectivity already has a strong presence in this area, we expect that use of HDMI technology in gaming will continue to grow.