A total of six AV receivers and pre/processor models from ARCAM and JBL Synthesis’s latest ranges will receive an HDMI 2.1 upgrade, meaning the AVR10, AVR20, AVR30, AV40, SDR-35 and SDP-55 will soon support video resolutions and refresh rates including 8K/60 and 4K/120
As co-brands under the Harman Audio umbrella group, UK based ARCAM and US based JBL Synthesis share plenty of DNA in their respective AV receiver and pre/processors and now both companies have announced they are ready to move on from the current HDMI 2.0 4K UHD switching capability to HDMI 2.1 compatibility via a preplanned hardware upgrade due in the 4th quarter of 2021.
In the case of ARCAM, this means the AVR10, AVR20, AVR30 receivers and AV40 processor will get the upgrade, while for the JBL Synthesis models it will be the current SDR-35 AV receiver and SDP-55 pre/processor models that benefit.
The upgrade path was pre-built into these models by the respective engineering teams to meet the forthcoming demands of future 8K video products and involves the installation of a new HDMI 2.1 video board. This can be done by any relevant, authorised service centre and, when complete, all the inputs and outputs will be HDMI 2.1 compliant.
As HDMI 2.1 is the latest standard for audio/video connectivity, the upgraded models will be compatible with many newly released TVs from a range of manufacturers as well as the latest high-resolution gaming platforms. The added features will include an expanded bandwidth up to 48Gbps along with resolutions up to 10K and frame rates up to 120K supported.
HDMI 2.1 uses the existing connector but will require new Ultra High Speed HDMI cables to unlock the standard’s full capabilities, though it maintains backwards compatibility with HDMI 2.0 cables and components.
Jim Garrett, Senior Director, Product Strategy and Planning, HARMAN Luxury Audio commented, “By announcing this forthcoming HDMI upgrade today, we are giving our customers the confidence that their AVR will remain at the leading edge of audio and video capability and will support the future wave of 8K video products.” He added, “We will be working with our global dealer and distributor partners to ensure that the upgrade process is as quick and painless as possible and that performance and reliability are first-rate.”
Parent company Harman states that while the HDMI 2.1 board installation has been designed to be as simple as possible, due to specialist handling requirements for PCBs, the upgrade will need to be completed by an authorised ARCAM / JBL Synthesis service centre.
Details and pricing of the HDMI 2.1 upgrade will be announced later this summer in advance of the Q4 2021 availability.
Source: Press Release
Image Source: Harman