Incremental innovations are in the DNA of technology. Every day we are introduced to brand new technologies that significantly improve our lives by providing better performance. Once in a while, a revolutionary innovation comes along that fundamentally transforms the play.
HDMI 2.0 is one of those revolutionary innovations. And it absolutely deserves the version number it’s been so conveniently given. But it’s been primarily left in the background behind the glory of content technologies such as 4K and Ultra HD. Nevertheless, we should not forget that it is HDMI 2.0 that brings along the infrastructure that will enable true benefits of such technologies.
Here are a few revolutionary innovations HDMI 2.0 will bring into our home cinema systems that will change home entertainment for the better.
More Data, Better 4K
HDMI 2.0 offers a data rate of 18Gbps, in contrast to the 10.2Gbps its predecessor. The almost doubled data rate means that there is much more room for improving the audio visual quality. For instance, the new technology enables 40fps frame rate at 4K resolution. Higher frame rate provide higher motion video resolution and less aliasing, which provide an even smoother image. This new data rate will also benefit with the 3D performance, which right now can output 120fps 1080p videos as opposed to the 60fps that came with HDMI 1.4.
Richer Image Quality
HDMI 2.0 will also bring together a technology called High Dynamic Range (HDR). HDR is frequently used in photography to bring out the best features in a photo, and bringing this technology to video will definitely contribute in the overall image quality. In practice, HDR is achieved by converging the same frame which is shot underexposed, overexposed and at default exposure. The end result creates a much more vivid image where all the parts of the frame are equally highlighted.
True Support for 3D Audio
With the new HDMI specification, immersive 3D audio is now an integral part of the home cinema experience. The three distinct speaker placement arrays supported by the technology are 10.2, 22.2 and 30.2; promising up to 24bit audio. Immersive audio formats in the marketplace such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X already fit in the scope of the audio formats HDMI 2.0 supports.
The audio technologies implemented in the new HDMI technology also include support for up to 32 channels of audio and Dynamic Auto Lip-sync (DALS). DALS offers a dynamic approach to ensuring that all upstream devices optimise the delays applied on audio and video when sending the content downstream.
Other featured additions to the HDMI 2.0 include:
- Data rate up to 18Gbps
- UHD up to 60fps
- Extended colour gamut
- HDR video
- More efficient 4:2:0 pixel encoding method
- 21:9 aspect ratio
- Up to 32 channels of immersive audio
CEDIA is the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association. CEDIA regularly provides technical white papers to provide insights into the high-end audio visual installations. The information on this post ha been inspired by their latest white paper entitled ‘HDMI 2.0 & Ultra HD: Features, Bandwidth & Compatibility”. You can access the full white paper here