HDMI 2.1: all you need to know about the new interface

HDMI 2.1

Times change, pure interfaces. Only ten years ago we began to appreciate the many benefits brought by the arrival of the cable HDMI, which she began to peep into our homes with the advent of the last generation consoles, let we abandon the good old VGA and DVI cables so that we had so far used, especially on PC. In the last few years, then, HDMI has evolved considerably, first reaching the version 1.4 and then reaching the current HDMI 2.0, that among the many innovations brought the possibility of transmitting the signal 4K resolution, with a lot of support to the tecnologia HDR, can make each image much sharper, more true.

Well, today we find ourselves already to deal with a further step of this technology, that is named HDMI 2.1 and it has been officially presented at the THESE 2017 di Las Vegas, When the event stage were gutted the main features that the new interface would have.

In this article I want to explain as clearly as possible what HDMI 2.1, when it arrives in our homes and what benefits will result, especially comparing it to the current HDMI 2.0 In circulation. let's begin.

HDMI 2.1: What is it and what advantages involves

L’HDMI 2.1 It is the natural evolution of the HDMI interface 2.0, or the cable that we usually use to connect our multimedia devices like console, set top box, decoder and anything else to your TV or monitor, able to simultaneously transfer both audio through one cable. At the present state of things the HDMI interface 2.0 already it allows for significant benefits with regard to the audio / video signal transmission, also counting the signal transmission at 4K resolution, static HDR. This, to date, It has already found considerable space with regard to home entertainment, It is used on multimedia devices to watch content to the maximum high definition currently in circulation, ie 4K resolution, without any compromise in terms of the reproduction of the latter, thus allowing you to view movies of this type 50 e 60 frames per second, which it was not possible with the old format HDMI 1.4 because of the limit in 24 frame.

The difference of this "flow" in the data transmission has always been given the nature of the same interface, ie in the technical specifications of the same connectors and cable used to connect, reinforced more and more over the years allowing to transmit an amount of more and more great info. With the old HDMI cable 1.4 We had a way of transferring up to 10,2 Gbps, that is 10,2 Gigabit per second, while this limit has been increased with the advent of HDMI 2.0, leading him to 18 Gbps, reaching permanently 48 Gbps con HDMI 2.1: more than twice the bandwidth of the previous interface. The advent of HDMI 2.1 first it means you will need to use a whole new cable, which takes its name 48G (from the maximum supported bandwidth) e It is configured in copper again, with an electromagnetic shielding. Nothing fiber horizon.

One issue resolution: space 10K

The most obvious advantage in adopting the new cable is in maximum resolution that the latter is capable of supporting: finally exceeds 4K, reaching the threshold of 10K resolution and passing by the intermediate resolutions 5K e 8K, all with an excellent performance from the viewpoint of the fluidity of these signals. The huge carrier bandwidth will make it possible to transmit video at 4K, 8K and 10K pushing images up to a maximum of 120 fps. Results that are incredible. Of course the new interface leaves room for other major improvements and new features: the first is a further improved and decidedly wider color depth, capable of supporting signals now until 16 bit color depth.

This term refers to the amount of information that each pixel we display on our screen is able to enclose: the more information that in this case correspond to the number of colors supported and the better the image. To give you an example, while with the HDMI 1.4 color depth was limited to 8 bit, corresponding to a range of about 16,7 million colors, con HDMI 2.0 This has managed to achieve 10 Hey 12 bit resolution 4K, thus arriving at a totality of 68.7 billion colors supported. HDMI 2.1 literally pushes on the accelerator under this point of view, adding a wide range of new colors thanks to the support the color depth 12, 14 e 16 bit.

HDR Dinamico: a new way to experience the multimedia

This is closely related to 'HDR, technology that allows for more realistic images "adding" the scene of an exposure to different focal points and thus returning a single optimized image for viewing. This, at least, was what was going on with the static HDR system, we usually use on our cameras, or on our televisions 4K. With HDMI 2.1 changing completely rotten, opening the doors to new technology that is named HDR Dinamico, and it allows you to "fix" the image continuously, changing from scene to scene, or even from one frame.

The current standard HDR, we know as HDR10, It applies in fact a kind of "filter" the entire film, adjusting the shots with a static effect of HDR. In the future, instead, using HDMI interface 2.1 can handle a greater flow of information paired with an external processor, it will be possible for our multimedia device manage the HDR feature in real time, optimizing the image for each scene that happens before our eyes, or even for every single frame we're looking at (although it is purely digital content terminology has been stationary with the film shoot). In this way we will look at what appear even more real than it already is with the excellent technology HDR10, thanks to an automated system that will maximize the image to the viewer at every opportunity.

Variable Refresh Rate: for gamers

The news does not end there. The bandwidth is so much that the HDMI association has decided to make it big this time, equipping the new interface in a way that will surely make happy the many gamers who will gather to use this new cable on all their latest generation of gaming computers. HDMI 2.1 in fact brings with it also the Game Mode VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), that attention, It has little to do with VR (virtual reality), but it focuses more on the optimization of the experience of those monitors made specifically to play games, calibrated to high frequencies visual.

This technology is to improve the communication between GPU and monitor, especially in those cases where the user finds himself playing very high refresh rate, come 120 O 144 Hz, mainly used in competitions to get the most fluid possible. This solution allows the monitor equipped with HDMI 2.1 of manage individual frames as soon as they are rendered by the GPU, thus avoiding unpleasant interferences caused by tearing and the frame jumps, due precisely to the time of communication between the graphics card and monitor.


eARC 2.0: Sound support object-oriented

They could not miss and also to improvements audio sector. As we know HDMI is an interface that has happened to you enclosed in the same channel can carry audio and high-definition video. Con HDMI 2.1 we find significant improvements to the system eARC 2.0, already included in the current HDMI cables 2.0, that the new interface will be able to play new types of audio like that object-oriented, such as the new Dolby Atmos which lately has recorded numerous positive comments from press and users. This allows for more realistic and immersive audio-visual experience, thanks to a multi-dimensional sound reproduction that will enhance the most of your speaker system, trying to play the best of it displayed on screen.

HDMI 2.1: when we start to use it?

Ma when you get HDMI 2.1 and when we can finally get their hands? Announced at the beginning of last year, this new technology has reached maturity in its development only within the latter months: the specifications of this standard, HDMI 2.1 is undoubtedly a technology oriented to the future: in a context where the 4K resolution TVs are still flourishing it is difficult to say when and how new models 10K to 8K resolution or even be able to come to market. In any case it is called 2019 late.

Although this is a brand new technology, which will require a new cord to function at 100%, HDMI 2.1 will remain partially backwards compatible with legacy standards 2.0. Jeff Soo H. Park, Director of Technology at the Association HDMI, said that some of the HDMI functionality 2.1 They may also be reproduced in the presence of the old HDMI connectors 2.0: They talk for example HDR Dynamic, VRR game system and audio EARC with support for directional sound reproduction. Nothing to do, instead, for the resolution, real bottleneck of the old standard HDMI 2.0, you will have to "accept" to encode their images in 4K resolution, that in all probability will remain calibrated at a low framerate (we assume a limit to 30 fps), precisely because of the limited bandwidth over which the signal must travel.

In my personal opinion the different successive steps will lead us soon to 5K / 10K standard, of course, not right away, First we will have to dispose of what has been produced to arrive at the final solution. As demonstrated in the recent past, remember what happened to the 3DTV and the curved?

I do not think, however, the standard 2.1 It will be applied so kindhearted producers, at least not in the short.

The reasons are essentially two:

  1. There are currently supports capable of recording this new technology and therefore there is moving towards streaming, passband allowing! What strongly desired by content producers to collect royalties for every reproduction, impossible thing after buying the product on physical media.

  2. Most of the improvements by the passage of version 2.0 the version 2.1 you may already have the older version (with the exception of the passband) with a simple software upgrade when the marketer sees fit the technological leap without costs for hardware changes.

News very recent talk about the upcoming launch during the 2019 by LG of products top of the line with the new HDMI interface 2.1 Nanocolor addition to the technology to be able to get out of the corner where it is placed alone with OLEDs aiming to return flagship company in LCD technology.

Samsung also not to be left behind at CES presents its 8K complete with HDMI port 2.1 and a geometry of optical prisms that expand the viewing angle to be close to that obtainable with oled.

Time will tell if HDMI 2.1 It will become a standard mass or just a whim for a select few.

Amilcare Greetings

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