HDMI Forum Inc. which takes care of HDMI(High Definition Multimedia Interface) released the new version of Its connector – HDMI 2.1. HDMI is proprietary for transferring video and audio to the receiving device such as a monitor. The HDMI founders are Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Philips, Silicon Image, Thomson, and RCA.
HDMI 2.1 makes a significant upgrade from its previous specifications. It will now support 8K(7680*4320) resolution video at 60Hz refresh rate. This new support is much-expected from Forum as it’s rival DisplayPort already sports 8K UHD resolution. DisplayPort is a digital display interface developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA). The interface is primarily used to connect a video source to a display device such as a computer monitor, though it can also be used to carry audio, USB, and other forms of data.
The upgrades are not only for 8K but also for 4K. According to latest specifications, the 4K resolution will also support 120Hz refresh rate. Previously, it was only up to 60Hz. These new specifications upgrade the bandwidth to 48 gigabits per second. So, now HDMI 2.1 will now even support the 10K resolution at 120Hz refresh rate when multiple displays are used.
The Audio Return Channel(ARC) is an Its feature that shut out the need for special audio cable. This upgrade also upgraded the ARC. ARC will now come with advanced audio technology like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X for linked speakers like home theater and soundbars.
It will also support for dynamic metadata for HDR content. It means custom levels of depth, brightness, contrast, wide-gamut etc. can be set in a frame-by-frame fashion. Game Mode VRR will also available in addition to new features. It enables GPU to display the image the moment it starts rendering.
Good news is that these new specifications are also compatible with the previous versions and working on the same connector. Existing HDMI 2.0 devices will be upgraded to the new specification. However, for 8K resolution, 48 gigabits cable will be required for streaming.