HDMI 2.0 is Available Now - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 22 Old 09-17-13, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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HDMI 2.0 is Available Now

Nearly all enthusiasts enjoy HDMI as a simple one-plug all-digital interface used to bring 1080p video and 8 channel audio to life in their home theaters. Despite a few minor annoyances (traditional cable distance limitations, the occasional handshake issues, and, for those of you that have fallen prey to buying an expensive cable, cost), the HDMI specification has been a wildly popular 'plug it and forget about it' technology. So popular, in fact, that the HDMI Forum (a group of manufactures that manage HDMI technology and its standards) says that more than 1,200 electronics manufacturers have included HDMI connectivity on their products. Prevalence, ease of use, and quality results make it easy to like.


Over the years we’ve seen small changes in the specification, with most having gone unnoticed to the average user. However, with 4K looming over us like an unescapable storm cloud, it’s been obvious that a rather large change was bound to be announced. Recently the HDMI Forum did just that by formally unveiling that latest HDMI standard: HDMI 2.0. It’s available now and more than ready to satisfy the needs of 4K technology.

“The introduction of the HDMI 2.0 Specification represents a major milestone for the HDMI Forum,” said Robert Blanchard of Sony Corporation, president of the HDMI Forum. “Our members collaborated closely to take the highly successful HDMI Specification to the next level by expanding audio and video features for consumer electronics applications.”

As it stands, the limited bandwidth the current HDMI 1.4 specification supports just isn’t cut-out to properly handle all 4K material. So, the HDMI Forum set out to solve this issue and deliver a specification that can. The best news is that HDMI 2.0 delivers 4K (2160p) source material at 50-60 frames per second, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. However, in an interesting twist, the specification increases bandwidth enough to allow for simultaneous delivery of two different video streams on the same screen. It also supports the wide angle theatrical 21:9 aspect ratio, which should be pleasing to the most discriminating of cinema fans.

On the audio front, HDMI 2.0 offers some tantalizing capabilities. It’s able to support up to 1536kHz audio sampling for high audio fidelity. It also supports up to 32 (yes, read: Thirty Two) audio channels for a potentially insane home audio environment. These channels can be divided-up and streamed to four different users (8 channels each).

It will be interesting to see how manufacturers ultimately implement HDMI 2.0. One piece of great news for consumers is that they won’t need to replace their current HDMI cables. Your existing cable runs will work just fine. Also, HDMI 2.0 is backwards compatible which means your shiny new 4K Ultra HD TV will hook-up with your old Blu-ray player without a hitch. Speaking of new 4K TVs, if you are an early adopter of the technology, then start looking for possible firmware updates or upgrade kits. Some manufacturers have hinted that they’ll be available soon.

Image Credit: hdmi.org

Last edited by Todd Anderson; 09-17-13 at 12:53 PM.
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post #2 of 22 Old 09-17-13, 01:06 PM
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Re: HDMI 2.0 is Available Now

I don't think a simple firmware update will be sufficient to make HDMI 1.4 to HDMI 2.0 just like that. I suspect an add on will be needed. The good news, no new cables at least! I am sure cable companies are not too happy about that.
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post #3 of 22 Old 09-17-13, 01:33 PM
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Re: HDMI 2.0 is Available Now

No new cables...but new projector/TV, new receiver, new blu-ray player/HTPC video card. Guess I'll start saving now.
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post #4 of 22 Old 09-17-13, 01:37 PM
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Re: HDMI 2.0 is Available Now

I'm glad that it's backwards compatible, that'll make it a little easier to except.
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-17-13, 01:39 PM
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Re: HDMI 2.0 is Available Now

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No new cables...but new projector/TV, new receiver, new blu-ray player/HTPC video card. Guess I'll start saving now.
lol. I know what you mean.. Let's see how this plays out. If it is only an add-on that attaches to the hdmi port well, that isn't too bad but we will see how much it will "really" cost us down the road.
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-17-13, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: HDMI 2.0 is Available Now

In most cases, yes, some kind of add on kit will be necessary. However, according to HDTVtest.com, Sony announced at the IFA 2013 trade show (Berlin) that owners of Sony Bravia X9 and X8 series of 4K displays will have a firmware update option by the end of 2013. They also reported that Sony's first gen 4K displays will require an add-on kit of some kind.... as will their VPL-VW1000ES projector.

So it sounds like Sony (which is a part of the HDMI Forum) must have shipped the firmware-upgradable displays with HDMI compatible chip sets... otherwise, a firmware update would be impossible.

While I'm not certain, I'd imagine the same will need to be true of receivers, etc.
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-17-13, 01:44 PM
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Yes, some cables will work happily with HDMI 2.0 that is only true up to a point. The new standard means that supporting the full feature set pushes the maximum bandwidth the cable must carry from 10.2 Gb/s upto 18Gb/s. Short high speed cables should cope with this but longer lengths will require active cables to deal with the higher bandwidths. It may be that the new chipsets required will help improve this (as was the case when HDMI 1.3 was introduced with new equalisation in the chipsets to allow existing cables to cope with the near doubling in bandwidth that was introduced).

We've now got to wait and see how the new hardware designs cope with the new bandwidth requirements now that the standard has been ratified. it's certainly going to be a challenge!
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-17-13, 01:44 PM
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Re: HDMI 2.0 is Available Now

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Todd Anderson wrote: View Post
In most cases, yes, some kind of add on kit will be necessary. However, according to HDTVtest.com, Sony announced at the IFA 2013 trade show (Berlin) that owners of Sony Bravia X9 and X8 series of 4K displays will have a firmware update option by the end of 2013. They also reported that Sony's first gen 4K displays will require an add-on kit of some kind.... as will their VPL-VW1000ES projector.

So it sounds like Sony (which is a part of the HDMI Forum) must have shipped the firmware-upgradable displays with HDMI compatible chip sets... otherwise, a firmware update would be impossible.

While I'm not certain, I'd imagine the same will need to be true of receivers, etc.
I wonder if this is the route that they will go with the PS4?
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post #9 of 22 Old 09-17-13, 01:47 PM
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Re: HDMI 2.0 is Available Now

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I wonder if this is the route that they will go with the PS4?
Wow, didn't think about that. Hope they come up with something.
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-17-13, 01:51 PM
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Re: HDMI 2.0 is Available Now

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Wow, didn't think about that. Hope they come up with something.
Yeah, they really picked a bad time to release it.(not that there's ever a good time, with technology)
I wonder if they'll release a HDMI 2.0 version later, or just go the firmware route.
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