New HDMI spec supports 8K, HDR, object-based audio

HDMI Cable
Neal Romanek
January 5th 2017 at 11:08AM : By Neal Romanek

The HDMI Forum has announced the imminent release of version 2.1 of the HDMI Specification

The HDMI Forum has announced an update of the HDMI Specification. The new version 2.1 supports higher video resolutions and refresh rates, including 8K60 and 4K120, dynamic HDR and increased bandwidth with a new 48G cable.

Version 2.1 of the HDMI Specification is backward compatible with earlier versions of the spec. The new specification will be available to all HDMI 2.0 adopters and will be released early in Q2 2017, said the HDMI Forum.

The new features include: 

  • Higher Video Resolutions will support a range of higher resolutions and faster refresh rates including 8K60Hz and 4K120Hz
  • Dynamic HDR, aiming aiming for ideal values for video depth, detail, brightness, contrast, and wider colour gamuts
  • 48G cables will enable up to 48Gbps bandwidth for uncompressed HDMI 2.1 feature support including 8K video with HDR. The cable is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI Specification and can be used with existing HDMI devices
  • eARC supports the advanced audio formats such as object-based audio and enables advanced audio signal control capabilities including device auto-detect.
  • Game Mode VRR features variable refresh rate, which enables a 3D graphics processor to display an image at the moment it is rendered for more fluid and better detailed gameplay, and for reducing or eliminating lag, stutter, and frame tearing


“This new release of the Specification offers a broad range of advanced features for enhancing the consumer entertainment experience, as well as providing robust solutions to the commercial AV sector,” said Sony Electronics' Robert Blanchard, president of the HDMI Forum. “This is part of the HDMI Forum’s continuing mission to develop specifications for the HDMI eco-system that meet the growing demand for compelling, high-performance and exciting features.”

The HDMI Forum will be fielding questions on the new spec at their booth (South Hall 1, booth 20930) at this week's CES 2017 convention in Las Vegas. The HDMI Forum currently has a global membership of 83 companies.