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First cable for HDMI 2.1 goes on sale

19 Sep 2017 | Rasmus Larsen |

HDMI 2.1 will for the first time in almost a decade introduce a new HDMI cable that can carry far more data – up to 48 Gb/s. The first ‘Ultra High Speed’ HDMI cable is now available from Apple. It was first discovered by

For 8K, 10K, HFR, more

For a decade, the same HDMI cable has delivered first 1080p HD and later 3D, 4K, and HDR. This is the so-called ‘High Speed’ HDMI cable that is available for a few dollars and up.

HDMI 2.1, which is expected to be finalized as a standard later this year, will introduce a new cable that will form the foundation for further development in the TV industry. This cable has been dubbed ’Ultra High Speed’ and can transfer 48 Gb/s (’High Speed’ can transfer 18 Gb/s). The cable is new but the physical connectors at each end look unchanged to ensure backwards compatibility.

The first ’Ultra High Speed’ HDMI cable is now available. It is a 2-meter Belkin cable that Apple has begun selling on the Apple online store after launching the Apple TV 4K. It is currently priced at $29.95 dollars.

If you are planning to buy new HDMI cables anyway, you might as well consider buying one of these cables. They will enable you to use all of the new technologies at least 5-8 years going forward – perhaps even longer.

Ultra High Speed HDMI

Look for ’Ultra High Speed’ – not HDMI 2.1

The HDMI 2.1 specification was first unveiled at CES 2017 in January. It can carry 48 Gb/s, which will enable 8K resolution – four times 4K – at 100 frames per second, and even 10K resolution. The standard also supports eARC as well as adaptive frame rate conversion, which Microsoft has promised to add to Xbox One X – apparently as a firmware update in November.

HDMI 2.1

It should be emphasized that cable manufacturers are not allowed to promote the cables as ‘HDMI 2.0’ or ’HDMI 2.1’. They are instead required to refer to them as ’Ultra High Speed’, which are the key words that you should be looking for when shopping for HDMI cables in the future.

Also read: HDMI 2.1 supports 8K, 10K, dynamic HDR and requires a new cable

- “Some people have the mistaken idea that they should be shopping for a particular version of the HDMI Specification, for example, HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 1.4. This has never been true,” the HDMI organization said.

Microsoft’s Xbox One X is expected to be the first device to take advantage of at least one of the elements in HDMI 2.1, specifically adaptive frame rate. Manufacturers are free to cherry-pick features from HDMI 2.1.

HDMI 2.1 highlights:

Higher Video Resolutions support a range of higher resolutions and faster refresh rates including 8K60Hz and 4K120Hz for immersive viewing and smooth fast-action detail.
Supported resolutions:
HDMI 2.1 Specification supports the latest color spaces including BT.2020 with 10, 12, and 16 bits per color component.
Dynamic HDR ensures every moment of a video is displayed at its ideal values for depth, detail, brightness, contrast, and wider color gamuts—on a scene-by-scene or even a frame-by-frame basis.
48G cables enable up to 48Gbps bandwidth for uncompressed HDMI 2.1 feature support including 8K video with HDR. The cable is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI Specification and can be used with existing HDMI devices.
eARC supports the most advanced audio formats such as object-based audio, and enables advanced audio signal control capabilities including device auto-detect.
Game Mode VRR features variable refresh rate, which enables a 3D graphics processor to display the image at the moment it is rendered for more fluid and better detailed gameplay, and for reducing or eliminating lag, stutter, and frame tearing.
- Source:

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