With the imminent release of the PS5 and XBox Series X, the industry is about to experience another jump in the HDMI specification, this time to version 2.1. The big marketing push of HDMI 2.1 is the capability to display 8K images (that's approximately 33 million pixels) with a usable colour pallet and potential brightness that promise a more lifelike image than ever before.
What Is HDMI 2.1?
At the end of last year the HDMI Forum released the HDMI 2.1 specification, the latest update to the ubiquitous connectivity standard. The HDMI 2.1 specification has a wealth of signal enhancements, an impressive throughput of 48 gigabits per second (Gps) and the ability to handle 4K120, 8K60 and 10K video. 2.0, the last HDMI standard, was released in 2013, so the latest update has been a number of years in the making.
How Is The 48Gps Throughput Achieved?
The specification defines a new cable that is capable
of handling 48 Gps, specified as a copper cable, or as
a non-optical cable. There is also passive versions,
where the faster you go with passive cables, the shorter
they become. However, the cables aren’t as long as those
that support 18Gps for the 2.0 specification. There is also
the ability for the industry to do active copper cables in very
long distances. A number of companies have come up with
various ways to carry HDMI signalling, transforming it into
optical or some other format, and carry it over with things
such as Ethernet cable.
What Are Some Practical Uses For HDMI 2.1?
HDMI 2.1 is bringing faster gaming, scene-by-scene HDR, and even 8K to your TV. HDMI 2.1 cables allow faster refresh rates, including 8K resolution video at 60 frames per second and 4K at 120 frames per second, it’s the second feature that’s the real selling point for gamers and home cinema geeks. As well as providing a maximum bandwidth of 48 Gps compatible with video resolutions and refresh rates that are a lot higher than the previous HDMI standard, the HDMI 2.1 also offers two new features for gamers: VRR and ALLM.
VRR stands for Variable Refresh Rate, meaning less image
lag, stutter and frame tearing similar to the effect achieved
by FreeSync and G-Sync on the PC platform. This is great
news for any gamers, as HDMI 2.1 will enable a 3D graphics
processor to render and display images in real time, which
will result in more fluid gameplay and greater detail.
The ALLM feature (Auto Low Latency) allows the source you’re
using, such as a video game console or a PC graphics card,
to send a signal to the television so that it automatically switches
to an optimised mode with a low input lag, generally the game
mode. This is essential for all games that require extremely
quick timing and flawless responsiveness, such as FPS and
For more info on an HDMI 2.1 cable we stock, click here - Wireworld Silver Sphere
For additional reading on HDMI 2.1, click here - HDMI 2.1 Specification