HDMI 2.1 detailed – 8K HDR support and Variable Refresh Rate technology

HDMI 2.1 detailed - 8K HDR support and Variable Refresh Rate technology

HDMI 2.1 detailed – 8K HDR support and Variable Refresh Rate technology

 

Amongst PC enthusiast the HDMI standard is commonly discussed and not for good reasons, with many claiming that the standard is holding back modern display technology, especially when it comes to high refresh rate gaming and the development of HDR as a standard. 

Now the HDMI 2.1 standard has been detailed, with the standard offering a huge bandwidth increase from 18Gbps to 48Gbps, support for a variety of new resolutions, refresh rates and even implements Game Mode VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) Technology. 

Right now the Game Mode VRR feature is described as follows, sounding very similar to AMD’s existing FreeSync Standard. 

 

  •   Game Mode VRR features variable refresh rate, which enables a 3D graphics processor to display the image at the moment it is rendered for more fluid and better detailed gameplay, and for reducing or eliminating lag, stutter, and frame tearing.

HDMI 2.1 detailed - 8K HDR support and Variable Refresh Rate technologyHDMI 2.1 supports resolutions of up to 8K 60Hz and 4K 120Hz, which is a huge upgrade over HDMI 2.0. HDMI 2.1 also adds support for Dynamic HDR, which will allow HDR content to be displayed at ideal colour depth and detail while minimising data consumption. 

Below is a description of some of HDMI 2.1’s new features,  

  • – Higher Video Resolutions support a range of higher resolutions and faster refresh rates including 8K60Hz and 4K120Hz for immersive viewing and smooth fast-action detail.
  • – Dynamic HDR ensures every moment of a video is displayed at its ideal values for depth, detail, brightness, contrast, and wider color gamuts—on a scene-by-scene or even a frame-by-frame basis.
  • – 48G cables enable up to 48Gbps bandwidth for uncompressed HDMI 2.1 feature support including 8K video with HDR. The cable is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI Specification and can be used with existing HDMI devices.
  • – eARC supports the most advanced audio formats such as object-based audio, and enables advanced audio signal control capabilities including device auto-detect.

HDMI 2.1 detailed - 8K HDR support and Variable Refresh Rate technology  

Right now it is unknown when HDMI 2.1 displays will hit the market, as right now the standard is not finalised. The specification is expected to be released to all HDMI 2.0 adopters in early Q2 2017, which means that consumers should not expect HDMI 2.1 anytime soon. 

Right now the main focus for display manufacturers is 4K HDR, with the HDMI group expecting the PC gaming market move to 5K displays in the future. In the future the Japanese government has already stated that they want the 2020 Olympics to be broadcast in 8K, so it is expected that some display makers will wish to release new 8K displays by 2020, though at this time it is unknown if this is achievable. 

 

You can join the discussion on the HDMI 2.1 standard on the OC3D Forums.