The new specifications for HDMI(High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cables were settled back in November2017. However, mass-market television hardware is yet to adopt these new standards.However, the day these standards trickle down to the mass-market level will bea major step in the AV industry and for the home viewers who want the best fortheir home broadcasts, films, Tv series, and gaming consoles.
The introduction of the first High-DefinitionMultimedia Interface was a relief for everyone; people no longer had to usebulky SCART connectors or the confusing component video cables ever again.Moreover, HDMI offered high definition video with a connector that was somewhatbetter than a standard USB plug.
However, as the requirements for TV changed,the standards for HDMI have continued to improve with new features being addedcontinuously.
What is HDMI 2.1?
HDMI 2.1 is another notch in this progresstowards high-definition multimedia. The real catch of HDMI 2.1 is that itsupports 8K content at 60fps. Apart from this, there are a number of featuresthat add to the competent standards like support for Variable Refresh Rates,Dynamic HDR, Quick Media Switching, among others. This makes switching betweenmedia which are attached to the Television faster than before.
The new technologies in Ultra High Speed HDMI2.1 support resolution 8K/ 60Hz and 4K/120Hz. This new technology in Ultra HighSpeed HDMI also includes- High Dynamic Range (HDR), Auto Low Latency Mode(ALLM), Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC), Quick Frame Transport (QFT),Quick Media Switching (QMS), and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). The new standardscome with a variety of new features.
HDMI 2.1 Resolutions and RefreshRates
You can now refresh faster with ultra-high-speed HDMI 2.1 cables. cables. This new version of HDMI also includes 8Kresolution at 60 frames per second and 4K at 120 frames per second. These arethe two major features of this HDMI that will get gamers and home cinemaeggheads hooked.
There has been a significant improvement inthe resolution and refresh rates.
According to the director of HDMI licensing,Jeff Park, the Tokyo Olympics of 2017 was going to be the driving force of 8KTV content. The NHK (Japan’s national public broadcaster) was going to push8K/120 fps as the real broadcast steam. Hence, many consumer electronicproducers were trying to achieve this target and the HDMI licensing team wasall set to lay down the line to provide industry flexibility.
The idea was to keep the HDMI technology atthe forefront; the HDMI 2.1 is capable of exceeding this expectation. The HDMI2.1 can even support up to 10K at 120 Hz higher resolution capabilities.Although it may take a while to gain the support of the commercial set, it ispossible to enhance the capacity of HDMI 2.1.
HDMI 2.1 8K Resolution
It is okay to ask whether you really need 8Ksupporting hardware and connectors. However, most content that you watch on TVis SDR or HD; 8K content will follow soon. While the industry is still gettingused to the idea of 4K sets, HDMI 2.1 is looking forward to its usefulness inVR.
Today, the content has shifted from a linearparadigm to mostly VRs. VR is all about high resolution and higher frame rates.Hence, one of the industry’s targets is the practical application of 8K at240Hz. Even if this is currently beyond HDMI 2.1, it is achievable in the nextspec.
Game Mode VRR
The game mode VRR feature includes everythingthat includes real-time interaction. The VRR in ultra-high-speed HDMI 2.1stands for Variable Refresh Rates. This means there will be considerably lessimage lag, stutter, and frame tearing. The effect will be similar to the oneachieved by FreeSync and G-Sync on PC.
HDMI 2.1 is one of the best things that canhappen to a gamer. HDMI 2.1 will enable 3D graphic processors to extend andproject images in real-time, paying attention to greater details and result inmore ‘fluid’ gaming.
VRR will provide a more immersive experiencethan before with no lagging at all. HDMI 2.1 is going to have a significantimpact on all gaming applications and experiences.
No matter whether it’s 480p or 8K gaming, onecan definitely get immediate feedback and interaction with HDMI 2.1.
Dynamic HDR in HDMI 2.1
For home cinema fanatics, dynamic HDR is oneof the biggest news. The growing popularity of HDR prompted HDMI 2.1 to adoptdynamic HDR. This means now you get to experience the finest values of depth,details, brightness, contrast, and wider color gamuts in a more pronounced way.
Currently, HDR is applied by taking theaverage value for HDR across a full cinema. However, dynamic HDR accredits theHDR metadata that can be applied by frame to frame and scene to scene preciselyand more practically. Dynamic HDR is on its way to give a new efficiency toHDR.
eARC in HDMI 2.1
In the past, HDMI cables had an Audio ReturnChannel (ARC) that enabled audio both ways between a TV and audio gear. Thispractically allowed displays to send their own audio to a soundbar or asurrounding sound system, foregoing its own speaker.
HDMI 2.1 with eARC is basically an enhancedversion of this ARC. The eARC is adaptable to the changing audio codecs thatmay also include object-based audio codecs like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
HDMI 2.1 is Creating Revolutionin the Media Industry
Many major TV manufacturing companies and other gamingconsole makers are adopting HDMI 2.1 in 2020. All of Samsung’s 4K QLED setsthis year are going to feature HDMI 2.1 ports that will give the consumers someoptions. Again, other LG products feature HDMI 2.1. Overall, the industry isyet to fully accept the HDMI 2.1 cables.