The HDMI Forum today announced the upcoming release of version 2.1 of the HDMI Specification. HDMI 2.1 supports a range of higher video resolutions and refresh rates including 8K60 and 4K120, Dynamic HDR, and increased bandwidth with a new 48G cable.
Version 2.1 of HDMI features includes eARC that adds support for the most advanced audio formats such as object-based audio, and enables advanced audio signal control capabilities including device auto-detect. The new HDMI version also adds support for Game Mode VRR that 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.
To display 8K at 60 frames per second or 4K at 120 frames per second, a new cable or cable connector is required. HDMI 2.1 equipment will be backwards compatible but to enjoy the latest HDMI 2.1 features to the fullest, a new 48GB cable is required which can deliver up to 48 Gbps in bandwidth.
The cable is not required for Dynamic HDR, except for 8K with HDR. HDMI 2.1 will support various static and dynamic HDR solutions which might become accessible with a firmware upgrade, although the HDMI Forum mentions that manufacturers will implement it in various ways.
HDMI 2.1 supports the latest color spaces including BT.2020 with 10, 12, and 16 bits per color component.
The new specification will be available to all HDMI 2.0 Adopters and it should be released early in Q2 2017.