According to Mark Roemer Oakland, HDMI 2.1 cable has introduced a lot of practical and exciting changes. Now, users can experience much higher bandwidth, support for better resolutions, improved audio and picture quality, and faster frame rates. However, it’s not something that everybody has to worry about as the technology will take more time to integrate fully into modern devices and older devices won’t become obsolete.
Here are a few important facts to know about before purchasing an HDMI 2.1 cable:
1. Resolution, bandwidth, and frame rate support – The new High Definition Multimedia Interface or HDMI 2.1 supports a bandwidth of 48 Gbps, which is almost triple the bandwidth rate of HDMI 2.0 at 18 Gbps. This allows for better refresh rates, higher resolution support, and higher frame rates.
The old HDMI 2.0 was limited to 8k support at 30 frames per second. The HDMI 2.1 supports 8k at 60 frames per second. In fact, it can support up to 10k at 120 frames per second in the future.
2. Backward compatibility
The new technology uses new HDMI 2.1 compliant cables called 48G or Ultra-High-Speed HDMI cables. These cables feature the same connector type as the old cables but support bandwidth rates up to 48 Gbps which is necessary to unlock all the features of the new technology.
However, you can still use old HDMI cables with a TV with the new HDMI 2.1 as they feature the same port. However, since the bandwidth of old cables is capped at 18 Gbps, you won’t be able to experience all the features of the new technology.
3. Game Mode VRR – HDMI 2.1 supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) which causes less frame tearing, stutter, and image lag compared to other technologies such as G-sync and FreeSync. This feature is especially useful for gamers who want to experience a more fluid and immersive gaming experience at higher resolutions.
The images are rendered by the 3D graphics processor and displayed in real-time which reduces the lag and provides an immediate impact on all gaming applications.
4. Dynamic HDR support
The support for Dynamic HDR means that home cinema aficionados can now experience finer values for contrast, depth, detail, brightness, and enjoy wider color gamut. Unlike traditional HDR which takes the average value across an entire movie, dynamic HDR processes the results scene by scene. This produces more nuanced results and provides a better impact on the movie-watching experience.
5. Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) – The HDMI 2.1 provides additional benefits to your audio gears as well. The support for eARC ups the bandwidth significantly but now, users can enjoy object-based audio codecs such as DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, Dolby True HD, DTS HD, Dolby Atmos, and more.
Mark Roemer Oakland suggests you not worry about upgrading to the latest HDMI 2.1 standard. It is still debatable when the standard would become common for normal consumers.