HDMI 2.1: for whom the new Turbo TV cables are useful

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For almost 20 years, videos from DVD and Blu-ray players, game consoles and other devices with HDMI cables have been transmitted to TVs, projectors and computer screens. When this standard was introduced in 2002, the new cables with their digital data transmission offered a significantly improved picture and sound quality compared to the previously usual analog connections, such as Scart.

Externally it must connect and cable of the BIGH DEFINITION MUltimedia Interface since then nothing has changed. But the technology used to send data through cables has steadily improved since then. With the HDMI 2.1 version, the next generation of video transmission technology is behind the corner. Above all, it should bring one thing: more power.

Specifically: the amount of data that can be transmitted on the cable has been drastically increased. While up to now, a maximum of 18 gigabits per second is possible, it is possible to transmit up to 48 gigabits per second via HDMI 2.1. As abstract as these numbers may be, so many performances are essential for some applications.

It is necessary, for example, to transfer films at 4K resolution at 120 frames per second. This is particularly interesting for the next generation gaming consoles. Microsoft and Sony will almost certainly block the HDMI 2.1 ports on the Xbox Scarlett and Playstation 5. Both manufacturers promise high frame rates and even 8K resolution games. If you want to take advantage of these possibilities, you need a new TV and a corresponding TV. These are labeled with the "Ultra High Speed ​​HDMI Cable" label at the moment and still quite expensive.

HDMI 2.1 functions in HDMI 2.0 devices

In addition to higher transmission performance, HDMI 2.1 also offers many other new features with names like Quick Frame Transport (QFT) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). The latter should transfer keystrokes from the gamepad to the TV faster than before and reduce image jogging.

Even the sound changes a lot. Due to the high bandwidth, it is possible to transmit higher quality audio tracks and the advanced audio return channel (eArc) allows televisions to exchange data with the audio system.

Photo gallery

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New connection standard:
What brings HDMI 2.1

Some of these HDMI 2.1 features have already been installed on devices by some TV manufacturers, even though rear panel connections are only allowed for HDMI 2.0 (see photo gallery). For example, if you don't need an 8K TV that needs the highest bandwidth, these features work well with previous cables, jacks and jacks.

What is certain about the new version is that HDMI remains set as a standard video connection. The only alternative would be the display port, which is almost twice as fast as HDMI 2.1 with a data transmission rate of 80 gigabits per second. But the connection is limited to computers – and it's hard to find on consoles and TVs.

Is the time ripe for 8K?

For films with 8K resolution, which is four times higher than 4K, there is no way to overcome HDMI 2.1. The first televisions with this high resolution have appeared in recent months. The current HDMI sockets are simply too slow for the amount of data needed for these devices. Samsung and Sony have built in their high-end TVs with 8K then HDMI 2.1. In the cheaper models you will find the new video only with LG.

The problem: there are no commercial playback devices with HDMI 2.1. Also, there is almost no 8K content. Although YouTube already shows some clips in this resolution. but streaming providers like Amazon Prime, Apple and Netflix have set a maximum of 4K. Not to mention the private broadcasters and the public service, which usually broadcast their program only in HD.

Moreover, the expansion of the 8K technology broadband is nullifying the bill. For 4K video, most streaming services recommend a 25 megabit per second (Mbps) line. Calculated approximately, the line should therefore provide about 100 Mbps for 8K. Of this it is still far away in Germany in many families. I am especially noisy in the countryside Broadband Atlas (PDF) only two thirds of a line with at least 50 Mbps. The rest navigates more slowly through the network,

Who needs it?

So the realization remains: HDMI 2.1 is ahead of its time – and therefore, virtually no one needs it at the moment. Of course, the new high-end 8K TVs already have the new interface. But only because in the end you will need it, for example, for one of the next game consoles. Or for another player who brings movies in 8K on the TV. & # 39;

But nothing of the sort still exists. Instead of thinking about the new Blu-ray Blu-ray Disc Association 8K is just trying to establish the 4K Blu-ray, which is still very expensive and therefore not very popular.

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