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What is HDMI 2.1? The new standard explained.

by Stuart Berry February 05, 2018

HDMI Cable

Being HDMI compliant is no cakewalk. The HDMI Licensing Authority has intensely high standards for products that claim compliance and meeting their requirements is not an easy task.

To be HDMI compliant, a representative sample of each licensed HDMI product  must pass rigorous testing prior to mass production and distribution. Let’s take an inside look at the process involved in meeting the high standards for HDMI.

After the manufacturer has established themselves as an HDMI adopter, they self-test according to the most current HDMI Compliance Test Specification. This year, HDMI 2.1 is being released and is the most current specification. The test process has a list of testing procedures and minimum requirements for how to test each product. This testing is limited and only evaluates the product’s HDMI compliance. It is not designed to test product performance as a whole.

Once that is completed, the manufacturer has to submit the first product of each product type to an authorized testing center for even further testing. To submit a product for testing, the manufacturer must fill out an application, submit the product, provide all operating manuals, complete a capabilities declaration form and submit any ancillary material or equipment. Then off the product goes to the examination room, and is then evaluated for a pass or fail result. If a pass result is given, it is not required to test any other products of that type. If the product fails the compliance testing, the manufacturer is given a list of areas that did not pass, so they can make changes as needed.

With this year’s release of HDMI 2.1, comes a list of new specifications that must be met by HDMI certified products. These new requirements are available to all HDMI 2.0 adopters. HDMI 2.1 features include:

  • Higher video resolutions and faster refresh rates
  • Dynamic HDR for improved depth, brightness, contrast and wider color gamuts
  • 48G cables for enabling up to 48Gbps speeds for uncompressed HDMI 2.1 feature support including 8K video with HDR
  • eARC to support the most advanced audio formats and enable advanced audio signal control capabilities
  • Game Mode VRR with variable refresh rate

As with all HDMI specifications, compliance testing must be performed for products to meet the HDMI 2.1 standards. All HDMI 2.0 adopters will have access to the HDMI 2.1 Compliance Testing Specification. The HDMI 2.1 specification supersedes HDMI 2.0b. All HDMI 1.4b products will continue to be tested to CTS 1.4b standards. HDMI 1.4b adopters cannot also be licensed to the HDMI 2.1 specification.

As an HDMI Adopter, L-com offers a wide selection of HDMI certified cables and other HDMI products.

You can be sure they are all thoroughly tested!

Stuart Berry
Stuart Berry


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