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All You Need To Know About HDMI 2.1


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.

Or... if you're a gamer, then it's likely that you'll be excited for high FPS (frames per second) performance to make fast action shootouts smoother and more responsive (and to give gamer's fewer excuses for dying 15 times in a minute).

As with all evolutionary tech, we will see features (and acronyms) like VRR, QMS, ALLM, eARC and more! Some of these specs are backwards compatible with HDMI 2.0b... some, are not. And to make it more confusing, companies may claim to be HDMI 2.1 compatible, but only handle part of the specification!


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 capableHDMI 2.1

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.


VRRHDMI 2.1 Gaming


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

racing games.


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


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