HDMI 2.1 specifications lay out standards for eye-popping visuals at 10K resolutions, Dynamic HDR and low-latency gaming

While us mortals are lusting after 4K HDR TVs and wondering where we’ll get the content for said TVs, the HDMI forum has gone and laid out yet another upgrade to the HDMI standard.

The relative bandwidth between various HDMI specifications. Image: HDMI Forum

The relative bandwidth between various HDMI specifications. Image: HDMI Forum

HDMI or High-Definition Multimedia Interface is currently the display standard of choice for connecting to the bulk of displays in the market. It’s almost impossible to find a modern TV or computer monitor without an HDMI input.

The new standard, called HDMI 2.1, specifies a bandwidth of 48 Gbps, which will be capable of supporting 8K video 120 Hz. Support for Dynamic HDR and even 10K resolutions at 120 Hz has also been included. The previous HDMI 2.0 specifications topped out at a bandwidth of 18 Gbps.

Engadget notes that the new spec includes support for a slew of new standards that gamers will most appreciate. Among these is VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and QFT (Quick Frame Transport) and an Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), all of which optimise the display performance for lower display latencies and improved “interactivity”. In other words, a TV unit or TV-style display might soon respond faster and more naturally, like a regular computer monitor.

The 2.1 specification allows for backwards compatibility with previous versions of the standard. Any HDMI High Speed cable or better can support the new standard. The rest of the hardware will need to be upgraded, however.

While awesome on paper, the support for 8K and 10K modes has more likely been added for commercial applications.

To put the resolutions in perspective, FHD is the standard resolution on most computer displays and TVs. 4K is four times the area of FHD and 8K is four times the display area of 4K. 10K is a wider form of 8K or four times 5K. The image below should give you an idea of the relative proportions of these resolutions.

A to-scale representation of various display resolutions. Image: Tech2

A to-scale representation of various display resolutions. Image: Tech2


Updated Date: Nov 29, 2017 17:24 PM