A new HDMI 2.0 standard has been announced, promising high bandwidth capacity and backwards compatibility.
Certain recently announced 4K TV sets such as the Panasonic 65WT600 may have jumped the gun in announcing HDMI 2.0 support, but we now know exactly what the new connection standard will be capable of.
As explained by HDMI Licensing, the key improvement over the first generation of HDMI is bandwidth. HDMI 2.0 is capable of transferring data at 18Gbps, which in practical terms allows for the carrying of 3,840 x 2,160 resolution video (the 4K or UHD format) at 60fps.
That's four times the visual clarity of Full HD at 60fps.
The new HDMI standard also supports up to 32 audio channels, up to 1536kHz audio sample frequency, dynamic auto lipsync and extensions to Consumer Electronics Control (CEC), which is where you can control multiple devices connected through HDMI with a single remote.
The really good news here, though, is that the connector itself is unchanged from the previous HDMI standard, so you'll still be able to hook up to older HDMI devices. Your old category 2 HDMI cables will be capable of transferring data at the new speeds too, so there should be minimal disruption or additional expenditure required.
Other nifty new features include the ability to watch two video streams on a single display, multi-stream audio to up to four users and support for the 21:9 cinematic aspect ratio.
Expect to see plenty more UHD TV sets announced over the coming days of IFA 2013 with HDMI 2.0 support listed as a prominent feature.
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