Final HDMI 2.1 spec revealed – here’s what you need to know

The HDMI Forum has finalised the specification for the next generation of the HDMI standard – and it’s set to bundle a number of exciting changes, including compatibility for Dynamic HDR. Here’s what you need to know about HDMI 2.1. 

HDMI 2.1 bumps the maximum data transfer rate up to 48 gigabits per second, in turn delivering a higher resolution and frame rate – up to 10K and 120fps, respectively.

Refresh rates for 4K will top out at 120Hz, while 8K will peak at a 60Hz. On top of that, the latter can be viewed in HDR, so your at-home viewing experience should certainly benefit.

Most of that jargon won’t appeal to your average Joe or Jane, however. What they’ll be most interested in is the new-found support for Dynamic HDR, a preset that adjusts colour settings on the fly to correspond with what’s being displayed.

Related: What is HDR TV?

What’s more, the new standard is backward-compatible with older HDMI specs, so manufacturers won’t need to make drastic modifications to their hardware. That’s not to say they won’t take a while to hit the market, though.

Even with the specification finalised, it will be at least a year until HDMI 2.1-compliant devices, like Smart TVs, are released. Before you go out and buy a fancy new HDMI cable in anticipation of the switch, though, read our guide to the ugly truth about so-called HDMI ‘Premium’ cables.

The new HDMI 2.1 standard was first announced in January 2017 at CES in Las Vegas.

Related: Best 4K TVs

Are you looking forward to the release of HDMI 2.1? Are you planning on upgrading your hardware to take advantage of the faster transfer speeds? Be sure to let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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