HDMI 2.1a amendment 1 has been announced with support for HDMI Cable Power to let a media player or another source device power active HDMI cables that can go beyond a few meters.
HDMI 2.1's new signaling system FRL (Fixed Rate Link) provides much higher bandwidth for 4K120 and 8K60, but also sets high requirements for HDMI cables.
In the past, you could buy passive HDMI cables extending several meters but 'Ultra High Speed' cables for higher HDMI 2.1 bandwidth are typically limited to a few meters, unless you use active cables meaning that the cable requires a separate power connector.
The new HDMI Cable Power specification is designed to overcome this limitation.
- "HDMI 2.1a, Amendment 1 adds a new feature: HDMI Cable Power. With this feature, active HDMI® Cables can now be powered directly from the HDMI Connector, without attaching a separate power cable. This makes attaching and using active HDMI Cables as easy as using passive, wired HDMI Cables. To use the HDMI Cable Power feature, it is necessary to have an HDMI Cable which supports the HDMI Cable Power feature, and also an HDMI Source device which supports the HDMI Cable Power feature. This combination ensures that the active HDMI Cable can safely draw sufficient current from the HDMI Connector to power its internal circuitry," the HDMI.org website reads.
At this time, we are not aware of any devices that support HDMI Cable Power but look out for the new feature in future devices.
It is also worth noting that HDMI Cable Power compatible cables only have one direction. More information can be found in the FAQ below.
- "Connection is the same as attaching an ordinary, “wired” HDMI Cable, except that active cables can only be attached in one direction: One end of the cable is specifically labeled for attachment to the HDMI Source (transmitting) device, and the other end of the cable must be attached to the HDMI Sink (receiving) device. If the cable is attached in reverse, no damage will occur, but the connection will not work."
HDMI cables with Cable Power will ship with an additional separate power connector for source devices that do not support the new feature, typically a USB Micro-B or Type-C connector.
HDMI Cable Power FAQ
Will an HDMI Cable with Cable Power work with any HDMI Device?
An HDMI Cable with Cable Power will work with any HDMI device, but if the HDMI Source Device does not support HDMI Cable Power, a separate power connection must be attached to the cable.
How can I tell whether a source device supports Cable Power?
Please check the source device’s Specifications or feature labeling to determine whether HDMI Cable Power is supported.
Is HDMI Cable Power available for all types of HDMI Cables?
Yes, all categories of HDMI Cable, including Standard, High Speed, Premium High Speed and Ultra High Speed, may incorporate the HDMI Cable Power feature.
Do HDMI Cables with Cable Power support ARC and eARC?
An HDMI Cable with Cable Power that uses one of the following labels will support ARC and eARC:
Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable
Premium High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet
High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet
Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet
How much power can an HDMI Cable with Cable Power draw?
Using HDMI Cable Power, the cable can draw up to 300 mA from the 5V supply of the source.
HDMI Connectors already provide 5V power. Why can’t the cable just use that power?
Active HDMI Cables can require more than the minimum power supplied by HDMI source devices. A source device that supports HDMI Cable Power can provide higher power and can indicate this capability to the cable.