The HDMI Forum yesterday announced the release of version 2.1 of the HDMI specification. This latest HDMI specification supports a range of higher video resolutions and frame rates, including 8K60 and 4K120, as well as resolutions up to 10K. Dynamic HDR formats are also supported.
The transferable data rate increases with the new specification up to 48Gbps.
This gigantic bandwidth requires new Ultra High Speed HDMI cables. These must have exceptionally low EMI (electromagnetic interference) to prevent interference with nearby wireless devices. Due to the identical connections, the new cables should still be fully downward compatible and should be able to communicate with all other devices carrying an HDMI logo without any problems.
HDR is to be supported in a dynamic mode, either scene by scene or even frame-by-frame. Thus, a kind of LUT can be transferred for each frame, which extends a color compression from (usually 10 bit) to more dynamic levels. Procedures such as Dolby Vision or HDR10+ work in this way and are also officially named in the new HDMI 2.1 standard.
Also interesting are new functions like
-VRR (Variable Refresh Rate). Here, the display can dynamically adapt to non-constant frame rates, which means that stuttering and tearing are no longer visible.
-QMS (Quick Media Switching) for a fast signal sync if the source of the feed is changed.
-QFT (Quick Frame Transport) reduces the SIgnal latency for gamers and should also be very useful for video applications with (preview) monitors.
Since the HDMI 2.1 Compliance Test Specification (CTS) will not be fully published until the end of the third quarter of 2018, the first devices are not expected to be released until Christmas 2018 at the earliest.