HDMI 2.1 embraces the 8K HDR-filled future of television

Fancy a peek into the future of your television? Well, the new standard for HDMI has been announced, with version 2.1 bringing support for much higher resolutions and faster refresh rates, including 8K video with HDR

HDMI is the industry standard for getting your HD content from a source to your television, and the specification is ratified by the HDMI Forum, which is made up of the major players in the audio visual world. 

Version 2.1 has been unveiled in Las Vegas at CES 2017, and it’s definitely catering for the future, with support for 8K 60Hz visuals, as well as 4K 120Hz with dynamic HDR.

Also supported will be 48G cables that can cope with a whopping 48Gbps of bandwidth, which will allow for uncompressed HDMI 2.1 feature support of 8K video with HDR. 

Backwards compatibility

And before you fret, that cable will be backwards compatible with the early HDMI specifications and therefore, all of the devices you already own. 

Let’s backtrack a bit and talk some of that through: 8K at 60Hz is going to be a pretty phenomenal picture, but we’re also salivating at that dynamic HDR - which should accurately tell your sophisticated TV exactly what brightness, contrast and color each pixel should be displaying. 

For gamers, HDMI 2.1 brings Game Mode VRR - allowing variable refresh rate, a feature that should solve some of the problems around lag, stutter and tearing. Last but not least, there is eARC support for advanced audio formats. 

Now - who’s going to offer us an 8K 60Hz capable television, an 8K streamer box and some amazing source material with dynamic HDR awesomeness? Anyone? Please?   

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.