Final version of HDMI 2.1 standard released with 48Gbps of bandwidth supporting 10K resolu...

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The HDMI Forum has issued the final version of the HDMI 2.1 specification, the latest iteration of the video communications standard, with version 2.1 and its new Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable specifications enabling video resolutions of up to 10K via its increased bandwidth capacity of up to 48 gigabit per second.




Previewed during CES in January of this year, the latest release from the HDMI Forum was developed by the forum's Technical Working Group, with the finalized version available to device manufacturers to incorporate into future products. Companies involved in the HDMI Forum and its Technical Working Group are highly likely to be among the first to adopt the new specification, with the membership including Microsoft, AMD, Intel, and Nvidia alongside other device and component vendors.

The headline feature of HDMI 2.1 is its support for higher video resolutions and faster refresh rates, including 8K at 60Hz, 4K video at 120Hz, and up to 10K-resolution video meant for "commercial AV, industrial, and speciality usages," the Forum suggests. It is also claimed the standard is capable of handling uncompressed 8K high dynamic range (HDR) footage, video that requires high amounts of bandwidth.

Dynamic HDR is also included in the standard, for the transmission of video with ideal values for depth, detail, brightness, contrast, and wider color gamuts. This can be performed on a scene-by-scene basis, though it is also possible to use it on a frame-by-frame basis, depending on the content.

An example of the potential differences between Static and Dynamic HDR
An example of the potential differences between Static and Dynamic HDR


Enabling the changes is the Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable specification, which is designed with "exceptionally low" electro-magnetic interference in mind, minimizing interference from nearby wireless devices while still offering up to 48 gigabit per second of bandwidth. The cable design also allows it to be backwards compatible with earlier HDMI standards, so devices and televisions using older HDMI versions can still be connected together without any interoperability issues.

The 48 gigabit per second bandwidth in HDMI 2.1 is more than double the 18 gigabit per second bandwidth available in the HDMI 2.0 standard. HDMI 1.4 offered 10.2 gigabits per second of bandwidth, while HDMI 1.0 provided just 3.96 gigabits per second.

Enhanced refresh rate features are set to improve the smoothness of motion and transitions in video, especially for gaming and movies, with Quick Media Switching (QMS) eliminating any delays that can cause a blank screen to appear before content is shown. For gaming and VR applications, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) reduces lag, stuttering, and frame tearing, while Quick Frame Transport (QFT) also aims to minimizing latency.

An Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) will allow for the ideal latency setting to be set automatically, depending on the type of content being viewed.

A comparison of features added to the HDMI standards over time
A comparison of features added to the HDMI standards over time


For sound, support for eARC for object-based audio is included, which the HDMI Forum claims will support the "most advanced audio formats and highest audio quality." Including eARC is also said to ensure full compatibility between products using HDMI 2.1 and other audio devices.

While the final version of the HDMI 2.1 specification has been provided to vendors, the Compliance Test Specification will be arriving at a later date. The HDMI Forum expects to publish the test specification in stages during the first three quarters of 2018, suggesting the specification may still be at least a year away from being used in commercial products.

Though Apple itself is not listed as a member of the HDMI Forum, the company does extensively support HDMI in various forms, and pushes to adopt new standards where possible. Aside from devices with dedicated HDMI ports, there are embedded HDMI implementations in Lightning, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type-C, and Thunderbolt 3, enabled by adaptors.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Hope manufacturers take advantage of lossless audio over ARC.

    a strange thing is that Apple has been carrying 48 gigabit HDMI cables and Apple TV 4K is capable of passing 48gigabits. 
    edited November 2017 libertyforall
  • Reply 2 of 17
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,356member
    Hope AppleTV 4K is hardware designed for firmware update to support HDMI 2.1. I am sure 2018 4K TVs will support it.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    wood1208 said:
    Hope AppleTV 4K is hardware designed for firmware update to support HDMI 2.1. I am sure 2018 4K TVs will support it.
    At the rate ATV gets updated, I'd say 2019
    xzu
  • Reply 4 of 17
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,077member
    wood1208 said:
    Hope AppleTV 4K is hardware designed for firmware update to support HDMI 2.1. I am sure 2018 4K TVs will support it.
    Don't get your hopes up about Apple doing a firmware update to support the new HDMI spec. Its not always as easy as a firmware update anyways. 
  • Reply 5 of 17
    wood1208 said:
    Hope AppleTV 4K is hardware designed for firmware update to support HDMI 2.1. I am sure 2018 4K TVs will support it.
    It is HDMI firmware updateable, in fact there is a hidden menu which you can view the firmware version.  (Use the up arrow on a 3rd party IR remote when in the menu where you can view the tvOS version) Apple has been updating firmware on the 4K versions in recent betas...
    racerhomiespliff monkeysuddenly newton
  • Reply 6 of 17
    Last line of the article: "Aside from devices with dedicated HDMI ports, there are embedded HDMI implementations in Lightning, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type-C, and Thunderbolt 3, enabled by adaptors [sic]."

    Yes, those lovely adapters.  I'd have thought Apple would've kept 1 USB-A port and an HDMI port on the MBP.  Oh well.
    xzu
  • Reply 7 of 17
    wood1208 said:
    Hope AppleTV 4K is hardware designed for firmware update to support HDMI 2.1. I am sure 2018 4K TVs will support it.
    It is HDMI firmware updateable, in fact there is a hidden menu which you can view the firmware version.  (Use the up arrow on a 3rd party IR remote when in the menu where you can view the tvOS version) Apple has been updating firmware on the 4K versions in recent betas...
    That doesn't mean they can upgrade it from 18 Gbps to 48 Gbps with new firmware.
    Solimacxpress
  • Reply 8 of 17
    cali said:
    Hope manufacturers take advantage of lossless audio over ARC.

    a strange thing is that Apple has been carrying 48 gigabit HDMI cables and Apple TV 4K is capable of passing 48gigabits. 
    Where do you see this spec confirmation, link?
  • Reply 9 of 17
    What is practical application for 10K display?
  • Reply 10 of 17
    cali said:
    Hope manufacturers take advantage of lossless audio over ARC.

    a strange thing is that Apple has been carrying 48 gigabit HDMI cables and Apple TV 4K is capable of passing 48gigabits. 
    So do I. It's pretty annoying you can't enjoy both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos at the same time from streaming sites such as Vudu due to the current limitations of ARC. 
  • Reply 11 of 17
    What is practical application for 10K display?
    A huge video wall display commonly used as backdrops for bands, sports arena jumbotron screens, etc. 
    racerhomiechia
  • Reply 12 of 17
    Is this capable of providing power over HDMI? I had to set up an HDMI stick the other day, needed another cord to get power over USB, ridiculous.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,677member
    What is practical application for 10K display?
    That all depends on the year, the size of the display, the industry, and what it's used for. If you ask if the Apple Watch would get a 10K display in 2018 then the answer is no, but if you want to know if this 150" 8K+DHDR TVs will be possible in 5 years with this spec or if medical displays will be able to get costly 10K displays for showing high resolution images during a delicate surgery procedure within the next decade, then I think that's a possible. Note that 10K is just the upper limit of the tech, but it doesn't mean that has to be met at all or for a single connection for it to be an important step to improve video of HDMI.
    edited November 2017
  • Reply 14 of 17
    WTF?  It won't support 16K video?
    Solixzu
  • Reply 15 of 17
    alandail said:
    wood1208 said:
    Hope AppleTV 4K is hardware designed for firmware update to support HDMI 2.1. I am sure 2018 4K TVs will support it.
    It is HDMI firmware updateable, in fact there is a hidden menu which you can view the firmware version.  (Use the up arrow on a 3rd party IR remote when in the menu where you can view the tvOS version) Apple has been updating firmware on the 4K versions in recent betas...
    That doesn't mean they can upgrade it from 18 Gbps to 48 Gbps with new firmware.
    Cali poster above says it already does...  Still waiting for his source...
  • Reply 16 of 17
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,677member
    alandail said:
    wood1208 said:
    Hope AppleTV 4K is hardware designed for firmware update to support HDMI 2.1. I am sure 2018 4K TVs will support it.
    It is HDMI firmware updateable, in fact there is a hidden menu which you can view the firmware version.  (Use the up arrow on a 3rd party IR remote when in the menu where you can view the tvOS version) Apple has been updating firmware on the 4K versions in recent betas...
    That doesn't mean they can upgrade it from 18 Gbps to 48 Gbps with new firmware.
    Even if they could,  there's a plethora of other HW that would need to be able to support 10K resolution and all its other features, and that's simply not possible.

    There are probably people that are still saying that the 4th gen Apple TV can support everything the 5th gen Apple TV can with a firmware update except that Apple is just greedy to do it. 
  • Reply 17 of 17
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,077member
    Soli said:
    alandail said:
    wood1208 said:
    Hope AppleTV 4K is hardware designed for firmware update to support HDMI 2.1. I am sure 2018 4K TVs will support it.
    It is HDMI firmware updateable, in fact there is a hidden menu which you can view the firmware version.  (Use the up arrow on a 3rd party IR remote when in the menu where you can view the tvOS version) Apple has been updating firmware on the 4K versions in recent betas...
    That doesn't mean they can upgrade it from 18 Gbps to 48 Gbps with new firmware.
    Even if they could,  there's a plethora of other HW that would need to be able to support 10K resolution and all its other features, and that's simply not possible.

    There are probably people that are still saying that the 4th gen Apple TV can support everything the 5th gen Apple TV can with a firmware update except that Apple is just greedy to do it. 
    Exactly! Whenever Apple decides to support this newer technology you will need to get a newer AppleTV. Some people are too quick to whine about things without even realizing what they're talking about, or they simply don't have a clue as to what they're talking about even though they may think they do. 

    As far as AppleTV 4 supporting 4K well...I found that after the update to the newest tvOS, my AppleTV 4 became slow and more unresponsive than normal. As soon as I got the Apple TV 4K, it was snappy and overall, a better user experience. Customers will definitely benefit from the newer hardware, especially when dealing with 4K content, including the new high resolution UI. These are the experiences I'm talking about when people are very quick to whine about Apple trying to nickel and dime them. If Apple would have released an update to make Apple TV 4 support 4K and it was slow, people would be bitching up a storm about how slow and unusable it made their Apple TV device. Apple does things they way they do for very good reasons and its not that Apple is out to grab as much money from you as possible, its about giving you the best experience possible, even if it means purchasing an upgraded device. 
    edited November 2017
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