HDMI 2.1 is here.
2.1? Who cares right?
Well, apparently a lot of people do. It’s a big deal, actually. Especially for people like me who’ve been using DisplayPort or even the very old DVI ports. In fact, I just upgraded to HDMI last year for the first time.
So, what’s the fuss about 2.1?
Well, the goal of it is to offer higher bandwidth playback. It supports a whopping 48Gbps with full backwards compatibility for previous versions. For gamers, it also supports much higher refresh rates even at higher resolutions. Especially, it can net 60Hz for 8K resolution and 120Hz for 4K. Now, 8K isn’t a thing yet, but there have been computer monitors and TVs already produced just as prototypes. You could say 4K is pretty much mainstream now. I mean, you can snag a 4K TV for less than $300 now. And computer displays are similarly priced if you find a good deal.
HDMI 2.1 is ready for the future- better suited than today’s devices. It even supports Dynamic HDR and resolutions up to 10K if 8K wasn’t enough for you.
It’s faster and smoother. With Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), gamers and sports fans will appreciate the silky smooth lag-free rendering. It also has Quick Frame Transport (QFT) for reduced input lag.
For those who switch between different HDMI inputs with a selector, you’ll appreciate the Quick Media Switching (QMS) which cuts down the “blank screen” time you see when switching between media.
And if that wasn’t enough acronyms for you, it’s also got Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) which will automatically configure your playback for ideal settings. Though, hardcore enthusiasts will still adjust it themselves and probably leave this feature untouched.
You can see a list of features in this chart which depicts the differences between all the HDMI versions: