The world of HDMI can be somewhat confusing and at times challenging. What seems like a simple connection gets muddied by crafty marketing language and inconsistencies amongst manufacturers. In this post we are going to clear up some of that confusion and arm you with the most up-to-date information on the HDMI specification.
The HDMI 2.0 specification is the latest standard for HDMI audio/video signals. The HDMI 2.0 specification introduced support for features such as a 21:9 theatrical aspect ratio and a 4k resolution at 60 frames per second. This resolution, also known as Ultra HD, supports four times as many pixels as what is supported by a 1080p resolution and is able to provide a more detailed picture. Though content that fully utilizes these features is still somewhat scarce, it can be found on some newer Blu-ray discs and through popular services such as Netflix.
In addition to support for a new aspect ratio and a new resolution, HDMI 2.0 introduced increased support for additional colors, and audio modes that improve the viewing experience over previous versions of the HDMI specification. Below is a summary of the features supported by HDMI 2.0.
*4K resolution support at 60 fps
*YCbCr 4:2:0 support
*32 channel audio support
*1536 kHz audio support
*4 audio streams support
*2 video streams support
*21:9 aspect ratio support
So how do you keep all these HDMI numbers and speeds straight? One of the challenges with the new HDMI specification is identifying those products which support the latest HDMI specification. In an effort to address this issue, HDMI Licensing LLC mandated that specification version numbers may not be used when promoting products. In place of using version numbers, HDMI Licensing LLC has defined four cable types which must be used when promoting cables:
*High Speed with Ethernet
*Standard Speed with Ethernet
The HDMI 2.0 specification defines no new cables or connectors. It simply defines support for higher bandwidth and resolution, which are supported by current High Speed and High Speed with Ethernet HDMI cables. The bottom line is, if you want the full HDMI 2.0 experience, then use a High Speed or High Speed with Ethernet HDMI cable, a source device and a display with the proper capability as well as content that was produced to support these features.
Who makes the rules? HDMI Licensing, LLC have been the stewards of the HDMI specification and have guided manufacturers through the latest and greatest audio/video features supported by HDMI. The specifications allow manufacturers of HDMI source devices, such as a Blu-ray player, manufacturers of HDMI displays, such as TVs and projectors, and manufacturers of HDMI connectivity, such as cables, switches and splitters, to all be on the same page and to create compatible products. The specification provides the details on the features that must be supported in the HDMI audio/video signal. This specification has been through a number of iterations and development work continues on future versions of this specification.
Contributed By Brad Shinkle and Jennifer Crotinger