Getting way out ahead of the consumer adoption curve, the HDMI Forum has announced the official release of version 2.1 of the HDMI specification, enabling for the first time such forward-looking video technologies as Dynamic HDR, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and 10K display.
As shown in the HDMI Forum's chart (below) detailing the evolution of the 15-year-old High Definition Multimedia Interface, version 1 of the connector technology supported the 1,920-x-1,080 video resolution delivered by Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD. HDMI 2.1 not only supports a much broader array of video technologies, it’s capable of delivering resolutions as high as 10,240 x 4,380 (a.k.a. 10K).
The spec also supports Dynamic HDR, which ensures that video being played constantly maintains ideal values for depth, detail, brightness, contrast and wide color gamuts, with adjustments being made on a granular, frame-by-frame basis.
Version 2.1 increases supported bandwidth to 48 Gbps.
HDMI Forum is making the specification available to all HDMI 2.0 adopters. The 2.1 version is backward compatible with all previous versions of HDMI.
With the pay TV operators still in the relatively early stages of rolling out 4K and HDR services, the HDMI Forum is way out in front of the industry.
But for gaming and emerging video applications like virtual reality, there are some relevant cutting-edge video technologies that HDMI 2.1 enables in the here and now.
For example, HDMI 2.1’s enhanced refresh rate will benefit avid video gamers, as will VRR and Quick Frame Transport (QFT), which reduce lag and latency.