When the HDMI 2.0 first came in, we saw a significant bump up in bandwidth which enabled the support for those 4K 60Hz Displays. This time the next version of the HDMI is here & though it is called the HDMI 2.1 , it’s actually a massive bump up in bandwidth going from 18 Gigabits Per Second in the HDMI 2.0 to 48 Gigabits Per Second in HDMI 2.1 .That’s even higher than the 40 Gbps Bandwidth of the Thunderbolt 3 port.
Having that much bandwidth translates to some amazing capabilities as far Displays go. We now have native 4K 120Hz, 8K 60 Hz Display Support. With the next upcoming generation of NVIDIA GPUs, 4K 120 FPS gaming may finally be a thing cause, we are expecting some 4K 120 Hz Displays in the upcoming months that’ll have the HDMI 2.1 Port. But, 8K 60 Hz is actually where the native support ends.
But, what about the 10K 120 Hz support then ? Well, HDMI 2.1 also supports a new technology called Display Stream Compression (DSC) that uses some sort of compression technology to output upto 10K (10240 x 4130, 22:9) at 120Hz. Though DSC is a lossless compression scheme, we don’t have high hopes for getting good 10K output for HDMI 2.1 . And 10K isn’t going to implemented practically maybe till a couple of years from now so, we’ll see when it comes out.
Now, to get those 4K 120Hz & 8K 60Hz Displays running you’ll also need a new standard of HDMI cables. These cables are being called the Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable & these cables shall be available on a wide scale within the First Half of 2018. So, if you’re planning to play Games at 4K 120 FPS games on your old HDMI Cable then it’s not going to happen. HDMI 2.0 adapters are supported but they can only output upto 4K 60Hz.
What is great though, HDMI 2.1 does support Dynamic HDR out of the box. Though, that support also depends on the other hardware components & in some cases it might require a firmware update on supported hardware from the Manufacturer. For Gamers, there is support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) to eliminate lags, stutter & frame tearing while playing games.
So, overall we are pretty impressed with the HDMI 2.1 . Maybe we have finally started to step into 2018 I guess and we can’t wait to test these new crazy technologies out when they become available !
Source: HDMI Official Website