NEWS: HDMI 2.1 Specification Announced

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by Mark Hodgkinson, Nov 29, 2017.


    1. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson
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    2. Garioch

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      It looks like HDMI 2.1 has the potential to offer several new features / advantages. Addressing dynamic metadata for a second:

      Am I right in thinking that to take advantage of dynamic metadata, you'd need a new cable but not necessarily a new TV, if your TV has an HDMI 2.0 connection?

      Basically what I'm wondering is if:
      1. You own some way of playing source material that is encoded with dynamic metadata.
      2. And you own an HDMI 2.1 cable.

      Would your TV (say any flagship 2017 model), assuming it has an HDMI 2.0 female connection, be able to display dynamic metadata?

      Thanks.
       
    3. dante01

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      The HDMI interface would simply be allowing you to pass the metadata. The TV would still require the ability to process it. The TV would also require the same HDMI abilities in order to be able to accept the metadata. The cable would not award any device with any additional abilities. It is the hardware on the devices that enable the devices to output, accept and process the data being conveyed via that cable. Dolby Vision is dynamic HDR. The metadata isn't dynamic, the HDR it results in is. This metadata does require more bandwith though.
       
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      Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
    4. Garioch

      Garioch
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      Perfect many thanks @dante01 for the explanation. That makes sense. :)
       
    5. popelife

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      HDMI 2.1 looks good, but I'm going to stop holding my breath. The press release says they're rolling out the testing and certification programme in stages, ending in Q3 of 2018. They also say that manufacturers can't claim HDMI 2.1 compatibility, or advertise that their products support any 2.1 features until they've been tested, which won't be possible before next autumn. That's a shame, as it must mean that products with HDMI 2.1 capabilities won't be arriving until the CES after this one i.e. January 2019.

      Do you think manufacturers will be releasing hardware in mid-2018, that can be upgraded to support HDMI 2.1 later? Or do they have to have some specific chipset or transceiver hardware on-board? I know manufacturers have tried this in the past, but I'm not sure it's always worked out as they'd intended.

      I did notice that the new Denon 6400 receiver is being advertised as ready to (supposedly) support eARC. Presumably after an update.

      In some ways I'm pleased about the delay, because I can properly consider getting a Yamaha 3070 without the fear that it'll be obsolete in six months time.
       
    6. golden phoenix

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      I'm pretty sure the xbox one X has already advertised hdmi 2.1 compatibility..which seems odd since the spec has only just been agreed!..in reality, it likely means i wait another year..for full compatibility and all av equipment to drop..for me this is not just keeping up with the jones..it genuinely has some exciting features , but the constant upgrading year in year out of each component of your av set up to access the new features is pretty exhausting for all av geeks..especially when you read what the new spec brings to the party!
       
    7. stevebk

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      Lets hope these cables are not over priced just because its 2.1
       
    8. popelife

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      That's exactly how I feel.

      I'm waiting for my Apple TV 4K to arrive, and only recently realised that, thanks to its single HDMI port, I'll need a new AV amp to use it properly. But most amps I could buy now (my front-runner being the Yamaha 3070) don't have eARC, which is something I'm interested in, since ARC as it stands is a bit of a mess.

      So if I don't buy a new amp, I can't use my Apple TV. If I do buy a new amp, then as soon as I upgrade any kit to take advantage of HDMI 2.1 I'll almost certainly need ANOTHER new amp.

      It will be a blessed relief when the industry finally stops introducing new standards. A cynic might say it's a tactic to force enthusiasts to keep upgrading their gear... o_O
       
    9. NicolasB

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      I don't know what your precise problem is with your current AV amp, but is it possible that either an HDFury AVR Key, or an Egreat H10, might help (as a stop-gap)?
       
    10. popelife

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      Thanks, that's a reasonable idea. Tho I'd rather not throw £100 at yet another device I know is going to end up in a cardboard box in the loft in a year's time. I already have an expensive HD Fury converter that I used literally once before deciding it wasn't a solution (to a different problem).

      My AV amp is a Yamaha A1030 - which I bought four years ago to temporarily replace my much loved DSP-A2 which got stolen - but of course, the 1030 has no Atmos support, or bluetooth, or airplay, and no HDCP 2.2. I've managed for the last year by sending HDMI to the screen straight from my UHD BR player, but the ATV 4K will finally force me into an upgrade. I might go for a Denon X4400 or X6400 with their promise of eARC support, and see if that gets me by for a few years. (esp since the Yamaha 3070 still has no Dolby Vision support AFAIK).

      But I really wanted to stop ploughing cash into "make-do" equipment. Not that buying higher-end gear is any kind of answer, since the way the AV goalposts keep shifting, all AV kit - with the exception of speakers and power amps - tends to be out of date in two years regardless of how much you spent on it.

      I shudder to think how confused the average consumer must be when it comes to TV and AV gear :confused:
       
    11. BAMozzy

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      I thought this was announced months ago... I know I have held off upgrading my AV as I want eARC and will be looking to upgrade my TV to get features like eARC, Game VRR and HFR.
       
    12. Joe Fernand

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      HDMI 2.1 was announced on 4th Jan 2017 - the final Specification was only released this week (28 Nov 2017).

      NEWS - HDMI Forum

      Joe
       
    13. dannnielll

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      ..
      Nothing would please the manufacturers more than for innovation to stop and products to fail after three years, then they could maximise their profits , keep employment and production going at a steady rate. . Unfortunately new competitors come along with pesky new ideas and the big boys are forced again and again to compete.
      Unfortunately we the consumers then buy these new fangled gizmos, We could call stop at any time, but for some reason we kind of like the change from 14inch 405 line mono chrome, to 65inch uhd, 3D , HDR colour, and it won't stop there...
      If lack of hdmi ports is the problem, there are low cost manual HDMI switch boxes and also slightly more expensive automatic or remote controlled ones... All destined for the cardboard box in the attic when you upgrade other kit
       
    14. popelife

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      I think it's innovation and product improvement that drives new sales. Equipment that fails after three years only leaves the manufacturer's reputation in the toilet. Not a recipe for success. Look what happened to the Philips HiFi brand in the 70s.

      To keep sales going, manufacturers need a steady flow of new and improved products, and/or to be the unassailable market leader in their sector.

      But unlike the old days of Hi-Fi components where you could upgrade by buying a better amp, or a better phono cartridge, new AV products frequently require us to replace other equipment before we can even use them properly. Once in a while that's ok, but with all the new standards and formats that keep coming down the pipe, it seems to be happening on an annual basis. E.g. buying a sub £200 Apple TV to fix my 4k streaming playback problems means I'm kind of forced to spend >£1000 on an amp upgrade.

      It wouldn't be the worst thing that's ever happened - I get a better amp out of it, and its nothing like as painful as the £2000 it just cost to have my van serviced (!) - it's just that I hadn't anticipated the extra expense.

      Lack of HDMI ports is not the problem. It's HDMI ports that don't support HDCP 2.2, AV amps that don't support Dolby Vision, only having one output port on the ATV, and ARC (as it is right now) being not very well thought-out. You can argue that AV technology right now is very exciting, or equally, that's it's a confusing mess.
       
      Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
    15. MacrosTheBlack

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      So will we be seeing hdmi 2.1 ports on 2018 TV’s and AV receivers?
       
    16. Joe Fernand

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      You can guarantee you will start to see mislabeled devices sporting an HDMI 2.1 'badge' in early 2018 - what you need to look out for are which Features are actually implemented, which will require a later Firmware update and which will never be supported on any device you are contemplating.

      Joe
       
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    17. steviedr

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      We are assuming the flagship Denon was delayed so it could support this.
       
    18. Clem_Dye

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      eARC is the bit that interests me, because of the supposed support for the newer audio codecs. However, I'm in a bit of a quandary, because I wouldn't mind upgrading my TV now, but if kit that supports the 2.1 spec. is a year or so away, do I wait, and hope that my existing kit, which is ancient now, lasts until the new hardware is available, or do I go with something now and forgo the delights of eARC for some time to come? It's a practical consideration, because like lots of people, and has been mentioned above, people don't refresh things like TVs as frequently as they might do other peripherals. I certainly wouldn't get budget approval from SWMBO to replace a TV that's only a year or so old, and I don't have cash to chuck at my hobby in the same way as I did in the past. That all said, do I really need Atmos support? I currently use a Yamaha YSP4100 sound bar and if that dies I'd replace it with something similar. It sounds good enough as-is with the current set of codecs that it supports, and my hearing is not as good as it was. All-in-all, this sort of forthcoming change is a PITA: buy now and regret it, or hold-off and hope? Gah.

      Clem
       
    19. BAMozzy

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      Some AV receivers are already available that 'will' support eARC with an update in the new year - I assume when HDMI 2.1 is released. The Xbox One X, according to MS, is expected to get a HDMI 2.1 update too - it does have Game VRR support and offers Atmos so it makes sense - at least in my eyes.

      No doubt 'some' features may well be available via HDMI 2.0 but HDMI has stated that its 'possible' to upgrade HDMI controllers to 2.1. The main issue is whether or not manufacturers built the hardware to cope with the bigger bandwidth - like the connection to the port that links up to the controller for example.

      Anyway, it will be interesting to see how things progress from here...
       
    20. popelife

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      I doubt it.

      We'll have to wait and see, but my prediction is that some new gear announced at CES in January will make a passing mention of upgradability to support some HDMI 2.1 features (mostly eARC I expect), but if you need to bet the farm on HDMI 2.1 you'll probably have to wait for CES 2019.

      It will then be a question of figuring out which products support the HDMI 2.1 features you're looking for.

      I think I've decided to get an X4400H for now, stick my Bryston amp on the end of it, and sit it out for a while.
       
    21. dannnielll

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      Its a first world problem!! . In Saigon you can go to shops selling the kind of kit we have in our attics. .. 8 track tapes, cassette recorders , am radios .. the past is still for sale and to many it represents progress from where they are.
       
    22. dannnielll

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      The front line is always a confusing mess. After a while, it moves away from one, and the second and more stable status quo is established. . I have an attic full of scart leads, some component video leads , ..and a growing collection of HDMI.
       
    23. popelife

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      Except we've never seen so many new technologies and standards introduced in AV in such a short space of time, and each new standard has tended to obsolete equipment that was released only a couple of years before. Ask anyone who spent 5 grand two years ago on a brand new 4K display that, it turns out, doesn't support any kind of HDR. Or expensive AV amps that don't pass 4K, or if they do, won't pass Dolby Vision or HLG.

      I'm loving where we are now with home cinema technology - thanks to a complete sea-change in standards (24p video becoming the norm for movie content, 4K, HDR, wide colour gamuts, OLED...), we suddenly have dramatically improved picture performance available at relatively affordable prices - but I do hope that after HDMI 2.1 the industry can slow down with the new standards and begins concentrating on making their products work better with those standards.
       
    24. kiran_mk2

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      Hopefully HDMI 2.1 will mark the end of needing to upgrade all your AV equipment for each new standard. eARC will ensure that the AV amp/soundabr is taken out of the chain and its passthrough abilities won't be so important.
       
    25. Davyhulme

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      It's a set of features, it's not all-or-nothing.

      Some of the features may well be shown at CES. If the hardware is capable, some of the features may make their way onto old models through firmware. The high bandwidth stuff is years away yet.

      By the way, there is STILL no such thing as a 2.1 cable, a 2.0b cable.....
       
    26. popelife

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      ...although there are 2.1 certified cables on the way. I understand that 2.1 certified (to be labelled "Ultra High Speed HDMI") cables have an improved specification in order to make sure the higher-bandwidth signals make it from one end to the other. The data rate for HDMI 2.1 can be 3 times higher than it is for HDMI 2.0.

      I read somewhere that the HDMI Forum reckon the maximum practical length of a conventional passive HDMI 2.1 cable will be only 2 or 3 metres. To reliably go longer than that will need some kind of active cable. It's a shame they didn't move to an optical digital format for HDMI 2.1 to get around this.
       
    27. ryanvincent

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      Excellent specs and Enhanced ARC is a very nice feature indeed, being able to stream from my nas and play high resolution audio formats will be awesome.
       
    28. Clem_Dye

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      I wonder if the manufacturers and developrs of the stuff that we all enjoy here realise that this continual churn puts many people off buying their kit, me included, because of the level of uncertainty that the slew of new features bring? The irony here though is that although we"re all supposed to be enjoying the delights of 4K, HDR, etc., the reality is that most of the stuff that we still watch is SD quality, and I can't see that changing much in the near future. Sure, there's some 4k stuff on the streaming services, Sky offers some 4k stuff and there are blu-rays out there, but hardware-wise, what we have now largely seems like a solution waiting for a problem to come along. As things stand, I think that I'm going to try and hold-off buying anything now until the eARC audio codec handling is available. At that point, 4k material may have become a bit more mainstream. Now, how much for that 8k-ready TV please?

      Clem
       
    29. BAMozzy

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      Its not that different from HD - OK so a bit more change has occurred this time around but when HD arrived, a lot of devices all used analogue - inc Scart for various devices like Consoles and VHS recorders. It took a while for HDMI and Digital sources to overtake the Analogue options - even the original XB360 didn't have HDMI output.

      The difference between then and now though is that we have a lot more devices and generally, HDMI 2.0 will suffice - even for 4k HDR Bluray players as I can't see them requiring more bandwidth as they are only 24fps. There is still nothing stopping you using your current AV set-up and passing 4k HDR through it.

      Those that may have upgraded to a 4k HDR compatible AV receiver recently don't necessarily 'need' to upgrade to get eARC. Those looking to buy 'now' may consider getting one with eARC support but its not essential. Most devices now offer the smart Apps so you could use an external option instead of the TV to get lossless audio and pass the Picture through the AV receiver as you have been doing.

      In a lot of ways, its no different from the HD era with the early TV's not Smart or 3D, a lot of devices using Analogue, and limited HD content too. If you bought 'early', then you didn't get Smart or 3D, didn't even get HDMI 1.4 (launched in 2009) and had thick TV's with massive bezels (by todays standards). It was also possible to buy 720p HD TV's. Smart didn't really matter as streaming/on-demand wasn't around and 3D was the 'red/green' glasses and only in print. Point is though that Technology didn't stand still and HDMI has also seen a number of updates over the years too. We have seen 5.1, 7.1, DTS-X, Atmos etc in that time so audio hasn't stood still either

      The birth and rapid rise of streaming content has lead to us using more devices with our TV and with a lot more variation in the quality too. With HD, the most we used was a STB, a DVD/Bluray and/or a console. Audio was generally no better than 5.1 and ALL content was made to the same 'standards' - only real difference was resolution. Now we expect our 4k HDR TV's to cope with a wide range of resolution - from DVD quality all the way up to full 4k. We also now expect them to deliver both SDR and HDR content and expect them to offer streaming and on-demand apps, work with multiple external devices - inc via USB etc as well.

      HDMI2.1 is designed for the 'long' term and represents a much larger jump than 2.0 was. The jump from ~10.2Gbps to 18Gbps and now to 48Gbps is to account for the next 'X' years - not just the 4k era but 8k and maybe even 10k. UHD Premium standards are also accounted for for the future. HD was helped by the fact that the 'standards' for the content was the same as the CRT SD era and HDR is the big revolution. The minimum standards (Peak Brightnes, colour gamut etc) apply for 8k as well. There could be 'revisions' like HDMI2.1a/b etc but it seems that HDMI have tried to account for the future and rather than making a 'small' jump in bandwidth - say to 28Gbps for the '4k' era, the big jump is designed to go right up to 10k. In theory at least, this should be enough for this and the next generation.

      eARC is a godsend as it 'should' mean that you won't need to upgrade your AV receiver if/when 8k or 10k arrives (if it supports eARC) as you won't need to pass the picture through these anymore. eARC allows lossless audio to pass through the TV and auto syncs with the picture too so no more lip sync issues and no more having to pass video through the Amp to get the 'best' audio quality. If you upgrade to 8k in say 8yrs time, you won't need to buy a new receiver that passes 8k video if it supports eARC.

      Like I said, HDMI 2.1 is designed for a longer life and to stop all these issues with older devices needing to be replaced just because its incompatible or not up to spec with your latest device - at least for the foreseeable future.
       
    30. Jackass

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      This sounds like a major upgrade, why not call it HDMI 3
       

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