Learn About The HDMI 2.0 SpecificationAs high definition AV technology continues to evolve, the HDMI specification for equipment and cabling is occasionally modified to ensure broad compatibility and maximum performance. Version 2.0 the most common current iteration of the HDMI spec as issued by HDMI Licensing, LLC. Newer 2.1 & even pending 2.3 specifications will demand ever greater levels of performance and quality. You need to plan now for future performance!
What you should know about HDMI 2.0 Features
Maximum bandwidth in the HDMI 2.0 specification is 18Gbps. This bandwidth allows for support of 4K video resolutions at a higher refresh rates with more detailed color information than previous HDMI specifications. This configuration will also support advanced audio streams.
Higher refresh rates, up to 60Hz at a 4K resolution are supported within the HDMI 2.0 specification. This helps to reduce motion blur and lag and provides sufficient bandwidth for high dynamic range (HDR) and deep color content.
4:4:4 chroma subsampling per the HDMI 2.0 specification means that colors can be displayed uncompressed and in full resolution. Compliance with a 4:4:4 color spec is especially important when displaying content from computers and laptops.
Color bit depth has increased to 12-bit deep color with 4,096 shades per channel outlined within the HDMI 2.0 specification. This allows for smoother gradients in displayed images than previous HDMI Specifications.
HDR expands the range of both contrast and color allowing images to achieve greater levels of detail in both bright and dark sections of the image. HDMI 2.0 was the first HDMI specification to support this feature.
Support for advanced audio features such as DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD & Dolby ATMOS allow for superior audio performance versus previous HDMI specifications.
What you should know about HDMI Cables & HDMI 2.0?
Is there an HDMI 2.0 cable?
The simple answer is no. As defined by HDMI 2.0 specs, there are four main HDMI cable types:
- Standard Speed HDMI Cable
- Standard Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet
- High Speed HDMI Cable
- High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet
Does cable length impact available bandwidth?
The testing spec outlined within the HDMI 2.0 specs allow cables to be placed within these different categories; however, that categorization does not necessarily limit what features a cable is able to support. The bandwidth and length of an HDMI cable are inversely proportional to one another, meaning that a shorter length cable has a higher available bandwidth. Available bandwidth is one of the cable types that call out Ethernet support. At longer distances, an active HDMI cable or extension device may be required to support HDMI 2.0 features, these may fall into a few different categories:
- HDMI Active Copper Cable: These cables utilize a chipset that equalizes the HDMI AV signal over the length of a cable that is similar in construction to a passive HDMI cable. Features supported by this cable type are determined by the capability of that chipset.
- HDMI Active Optical Cable: These cables utilize a chipset and technology to convert the HDMI AV signal to light and transmits that signal over a fiber optic cable. Features supported by this cable type are determined by the capability of the chipset.
- HDBaseT Extender: These extension devices transmit the HDMI AV signal over standard Category Cable (Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a). Features supported by these extenders will be determined by the chipsets using by the transmitter and receiver.
- AV Over IP: These extension devices stream the HDMI AV signal over a local area network (LAN) or the Internet. Features supported by these devices will be determined by the chipsets used by the encoder and decoder.
|Full HD Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD video||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Consumer Electronic Control (CEC)||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Super Audio CD (DSD)||–||–||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Dolby TrueHD / DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream capable||–||–||–||✓||✓||✓|
|Updated list of CEC commands||–||–||–||✓||✓||✓|
|Ethernet channel (100Mbps)||–||–||–||–||✓||✓|
|Audio return channel (ARC)||–||–||–||–||✓||✓|
|4 audio streams||–||–||–||–||–||✓|
|2 video streams (Dual View)||–||–||–||–||–||✓|
What is HDMI 2.0?HDMI 2.0, which is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI specification, significantly increases bandwidth up to 18Gbps and adds key enhancements to support market requirements for enhancing the consumer video and audio experience.
What's new in HDMI 2.0?HDMI 2.0 significantly increases bandwidth to 18Gbps and includes the following advances features:
- Resolutions up to 4K@50/60 (2160p), which is 4 times the clarity of 1080p/60 video resolution, for the ultimate video experience
- Up to 32 audio channels for a multi-dimensional immersive audio experience
- Up to 1536Hz audio sample frequency for the highest audio fidelity
- Simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen
- Simultaneous delivery of multi-stream audio to multiple users (Up to 4)
- Support for the wide angle theatrical 21:9 video aspect ratio
- Dynamic synchronization of video and audio streams
- CEC extensions provide more expanded command and control of consumer electronics devices through a single control point
Does HDMI 2.0 replace HDMI 1.x?No, HDMI 2.0 is built on top of HDMI 1.x and any device that wants to implement HDMI 2.0 must first implement HDMI 1.x as a baseline requirement.
Is HDMI 2.0 backwards compatible with HDMI 1.x?Yes, all HDMI versions are fully backward compatible with all previous versions.
Does HDMI 2.0 require new connectors?No, HDMI 2.0 uses the existing connectors.
Does HDMI 2.0 require new cables?No, HDMI 2.0 features will work with existing HDMI cables. Higher bandwidth features, such as 4K@50/60 (2160p) video formats, will require existing High Speed HDMI cables (Category 2 cables).
Can my existing HDMI 1.x devices be upgraded with HDMI 2.0 features?Currently, there are no provisions for doing such an upgrade. Because of the new enhanced feature set, any such conversion would require hardware and/or firmware upgrades. If there are such conversions, it would come from the manufacturer. Please check with them directly.
Are there any new testing policies specific to HDMI 2.0?No, the existing testing policies continue to apply to HDMI 2.0.
When will ATCs start to provide 2.0 testing services?Each individual ATC will decide on when to offer HDMI 2.0 testing services. Please contact your local ATC for more information.
What are the testing requirements for HDMI 2.0?All HDMI 2.0 features must be compliance tested with the HDMI Compliance Test Specification (CTS) 2.0 and all HDMI 2.0 devices must also be compliant with the HDMI CTS 1.4b.
Where can I learn more about HDMI 2.0?Please visit the HDMI.org website at: HDMI Licensing
Where can I learn about HDMI 1.4?Please visit our informational page on HDMI 1.4.
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