HDMI 2.0 Announced: 4K at 60Hz, Auto Lipsync, and more.

Subject: General Tech | September 8, 2013 - 05:19 PM |
Tagged: HDMI 2.0, hdmi, 4k

3840 and 2160 are common numbers around this site or at least they have been over the last half year. You might be surprised to find we have been on the 4K bandwagon since 2011 when Ryan was given some time with the EIZO DuraVision FDH3601 at a vendor presentation. Sure, that $30,000 behemoth was designed for medical imaging and air traffic control stations, but it can run DiRT 3 like a champ. But, even now, 60Hz at those resolutions require at least two cables working in unison.

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HDMI 2.0, recently announced, has been designed to achieve single-cable 4K at 60 progressive frames per second.

The specification maintains the same cable configuration as HDMI 1.4. Devices which support HDMI 2.0 can be connected, at full functionality, with standard "category 2" (marketing term "high speed") cables. Currently available "high speed" cables will not need to be replaced. The devices, on the other hand, must support the higher standard but that only makes sense because... well... why would you need the cable, otherwise?

HDMI 2.0 drives a higher frequency, 600MHz up from 340 MHz, to deliver substantially more bandwidth, 18Gbps up from 10.2Gbps, than HDMI 1.4. The extra bits can be used for 32 channel audio at 1536kHz sample rates as well as the aforementioned 2160p/60 video link.

A helpful feature for many home theater enthusiasts is "dynamic synchronization of video and audio streams". To my understand, this means that end-users will not need to fiddle with latency settings on their speaker systems as the devices will properly negotiate the delay themselves.

I have not been too much of a fan of HDMI licensing requirements and restrictions, but this release is definitely major version-worthy. The compliance test is expected in late 2013. The devices, however, are what most of us care about and, well, that depends on those manufacturers.

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September 8, 2013 | 06:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hopefully we wont have to play this catch-up game 8 years apart so they'll be ready for 8K which is the successor like 1080p was to 720p (which was originally marketed). Being a year behind schedule is bad enough, but being 2 years behind DisplayPort based off HDMI's 2.0 release is even worse.

At least according to my calculations HDMI 2.0 will at least support 120hz 1080p gaming with ease and 8K @ 30Hz so it's still somewhat future proof, although I expect there will be another 2.1 or 3.0 release before we really start to tap out resolutions.

September 8, 2013 | 09:12 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

8K sets will certainly accept any signal from DVD/720p to 8K.

However, new 8K content displayed at anything less than 60Hz (except for 3D movies) will not likely be part of future specs, as the increased resolution requires higher refresh rates to maintain the truly "lifelike" illusion of reality it presents

September 8, 2013 | 09:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Question for Scott or Ryan:

Any chance you can get an official response from Seiki if their 4K 50" SE50UY04 or 39" displays are firmware upgradeable to HDMI 2.0?

Will they support HDMI 2.0 at 30Hz and below at UHD resolution, or 60Hz and above at lower resolutions like 1080p - or - will they provide a breakout box to convert to their sets?

I also get slightly confused about the bit depth of the 4K signal being true 10 bit color at all resolutiops and framerates, as the Seiki seems to indicate.

On Seiki's website, they have 55" and 65" 4K sets coming, so I assume they would support the new standard as they are not yet released?

September 8, 2013 | 11:30 PM - Posted by ezjohny

This is good.

September 9, 2013 | 01:18 PM - Posted by YTech

Good news, however for home theatre enthusiasts, will firmware update give access to those new features? Or is it a hardware upgrade?

September 9, 2013 | 02:09 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Well, if you TV doesn't support the features at all, then there's no way you would get a firmware upgrade to HDMI 2.0. What would that even do?

Apparently Sony announced their TVs will firmware upgrade. Who knows.

September 13, 2013 | 04:07 PM - Posted by Patrick3D (not verified)

Looking forward to see if the "autosync" actually works. The only problem I have with my HTPC is the audio lagging begind the video. Normally people have the opposite problem. It's weird too since it tends to vary based on the source material. A Twitch stream will be perfectly in sync, whereas a MP4 video podcast played back in VLC will be off by as much as 2 seconds. Switching inputs to TV then back to PC resets it back to normal but it immediately starts losing sync over the next few hours.

Current setup is HDMI out from a motherboard (AMD APU) to a 46" 2010 Panasonic plasma, and optical audio out from the motherboard to a Panasonic HTiB.

It's going to suck replacing equipment so soon, but will be worth it if it means proper lipsync.

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