If it feels like you're just getting up-to-speed on HDMI 2.0, you're not alone. Many of us are still working through the various HDMI formats that affect custom and commercial installations. Reference guides help, but there's certainly a lot to keep us on our toes.
For those of us who like this state of flux (and progress I guess), HDMI.org just announced HDMI version 2.1 this month--and it's a significant update. Here's the skinny:
- The actual HDMI 2.1 spec hasn't been finalized yet--expect to see it in Q2 2017.
- Even so, the first HDMI 2.1 devices are expected in late 2017 but they won't fully leverage the feature set, so expect to be integrating HDMI 2.0 for quite some time.
- The physical HDMI connector won't change.
- However, new cables will be required for the higher resolutions and frame rates.
- And those resolutions will reach 10K (up from 4K) and those bandwidths will reach 120 frames per second (up from 60fps).
- And all of this together equates to 48Gbps in supported bandwidth (up from 18Gbps).
- Of course, there will be many more capabilities--such as Dolby Atmos over the audio return channel (affectionately called eARC) and dynamic HDR--but we're still waiting on the final spec to get super excited.
So, in summary, HDMI 2.1 is expected to be a beast of a format supporting up to 48Gbps bandwidth, 10K resolutions and 120fps.
For those of us in the integration business, this is a great reason to begin looking at fiber. Granted, content is still a ways off and any significant signal update requires years to fully get up to speed, but thought should definitely be put into any cable going into the wall.
Fiber optic companies such as Cleerline and Chromis are in great position future-proof fixed installations, and electronics manufacturers such as TechLogix Networx have already built processing that exceeds the 18G HDMI 2.0 spec in use today.
You heard it here first: as HDMI 2.1 gains momentum so will fiber.