New HDMI 2.1 specifications: Dynamic HDR, 8K resolution, eARC & more

January 07, 2017
New HDMI 2.1 specifications: Dynamic HDR, 8K resolution, eARC & more
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New HDMI 2.1 specifications

Earlier this week, the HDMI Licensing Group recently unveiled the HDMI 2.1 cable spec, adding support for dynamic HDR, 8K60, & 4K120. To leverage full advantage of the new HDMI spec, you’ll need a new 48-gigabit-per-second cable. This cable will work with older HDMI 1.3 (10.2Gbps) & HDMI 2.0a (16Gbps) ports. Needless to say, older ports won’t support the new HDMI 2.1 features. Let’s have a closer look at all information we currently have available about this new iteration of the popular connection interface.

One of the first features that caught our eye is Dynamic HDR - a rendering technique in which high dynamic range information is sent to the TV throughout a video on a continuous basis, scene by scene, or even frame by frame - and not just at the beginning. This allows finer control of brightness and color levels, significantly enhancing picture quality and depth. Furthermore, Dolby Vision delivers Dynamic HDR via the current HDMI 2.0a spec.

Next feature in the new HDMI 2.1 spec table is support for 8K60, 7680x4320 resolution at 60Hz with an aspect ratio of 16:9. HDMI 2.1 also supports 4K120, which could be either 4096x2160 (true 4K) or 3840x2160 (4K UHD) at 120Hz.

HDMI bandwidth

All these new features, speeds and signal transfer rates demands higher bandwidth, hence the new cables will deliver speeds up to 48Gbps.


Finally, HDMI 2.1 also features an enhanced version Audio Return Channel, or eARC. The HDMI 2.1 also boasts of support for new object-oriented audio codecs such as Dolby Atmos and DTS X which allow positioning audio events from movie soundtracks in 3D space. The primary change users can expect from this addition is object-based audio support. This means your sound system will be able to process and play sounds based the position and the number of speaker, as opposed to being chained down to a more static system. However, this will require that audio from your source device is processed by compatible sound standards.

We’re eagerly waiting to hear more from HDMI Licensing Group. What are your thoughts on this? Use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions.


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