Over three years after the launch of the HDMI Specification Version 2.1, major products are now widely available that support HDMI 2.1 features including 4K@120Hz, 8K@60Hz, Dynamic HDR and eARC. Instead of asking when HDMI 2.1-enabled products will be available, people are now asking for advice about which new HDMI 2.1-enabled products to buy.
"It’s exciting to see so many new products available with these new features," says Rob Tobias, CEO and president of HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc. (HDMI LA). "And with the launch of the latest gaming consoles, consumers can now enjoy a thrilling HDMI 2.1 end-to-end experience with consoles, AVR’s, cables, TVs and monitors. With shipments of HDMI products reaching almost 10 billion since it launched in 2002, HDMI technology continues to be the universal interface for consumer electronics products."
HDMI 2.1 technology’s enhanced gaming features deliver advanced, unrivaled gaming experiences into the home. These HDMI 2.1 features include Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT); and when combined with new 4K and 8K displays, HDR and eARC immersive audio. The new Fixed Rate Link (FRL) mode of HDMI 2.1 ensures much more robust video delivery over the cable, by using a robust forward error correction scheme, combined with a link training protocol which adapts the link rate, if needed.
Another year of big accomplishments for the HDMI Forum
"The HDMI Forum didn’t rest after releasing the 2.1 specification and 2020 was one of its busiest years ever," says David Glen of Advanced Micro Devices, and President of the HDMI Forum. "We launched the Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable Certification Program (UHS Program) and now these UHS Cables are available in the market to enable full the 48Gbps performance of HDMI 2.1. We also released the Compliance Test Specification for Active Cables, and end-users will shortly be able to purchase Active Optical Cables that support longer length installations, an important step in completing the HDMI 2.1 ecosystem."
Regarding the future he added, “In addition to the great products released in 2020, we’re expecting many new products in 2021 supporting the enhanced features of HDMI 2.1."
The mandatory UHS Program ensures that quality Ultra High Speed HDMI Cables reach the market and support 4K and 8K video, HDR, VRR, eARC and all other HDMI 2.1 features, and cables are required to affix an Ultra High Speed HDMI Certification Label to each package notifying consumers of the certification status of the product. These Certified cable designs must pass rigorous testing requirements for 48G signal performance and pass new state-of-the-art EMI tests designed to minimize interference with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other radio frequencies.
The HDMI Forum is also promoting HDMI Cable Power. With this feature, active HDMI Cables can now be powered directly from the HDMI Connector, without attaching a separate power cable. This makes attaching and using active HDMI Cables as easy as using passive, wired HDMI Cables.
With the explosion of 4K content, this cable is vital to both the consumer and commercial sectors connecting 4K cable, satellite and IPTV set top boxes to TVs. It is specified globally for use by service providers for in-home installations. It also requires packaging to display the Premium HDMI Cable Certification Label for added verification of compliance and to prevent counterfeiting; this cable certification program is also administered by HDMI LA.
HDMI LA also works with international law enforcement and customs and borders officials to conduct factory raids, product seizures and takedowns of counterfeit product listings on e-commerce and social media. This benefits the licensed HDMI Adopters and authorized resellers and ensures end-users can purchase legitimate products, enabling a seamless plug-and-play experience.
An open trade association, the HDMI Forum is a non-profit, mutual benefit corporation, comprised of the world’s leading manufacturers of consumer electronics, personal computers, mobile devices, cables and components. The HDMI Forum’s mission is to foster broader industry participation in the development of future versions of the HDMI Specification and to further expand the ecosystem of interoperable, HDMI-enabled products. www.hdmiforum.org
HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc. (HDMI LA) is the agent appointed by the HDMI Forum to license Version 2.1 of the HDMI Specification and is the agent appointed by the HDMI Founders to license earlier HDMI Specifications. HDMI LA provides marketing, promotional, licensing and administrative services.