HDMI 2.1 Learning Curve

By David Meyer posted 19 days ago

Weird Science

HDMI 2.1 is almost upon us. It’s the most technically challenging spec release since the original HDMI 1.0, 15 years ago. Some headline features include video up to 10K 120fps, enhanced ARC for immersive audio, variable refresh rate game mode, and perhaps the most eyebrow raising — a massive 48Gbps data rate. And that’s without compression (which is also coming)! They’re even moving away from 3-channel TMDS to make all this possible, yet retain backwards compatibility. Sounds like Weird Science.

But does it really matter yet, you might ask? Is 10K relevant? What is 10K anyway? Obviously something more than 8K, but do we even need to go there yet? Okay so some of it is a while off yet, as has always been the case with every new HDMI release. But much of it is relevant, and NOW.

At ISE this year there were many booth signs which read “4K 60 4:4:4 HDR” as a feature of TODAY. I expect we'll see even more of this at CEDIA 2017. I’ve already talked about this topic in my last blog post, the main takeaway being that to combine all 4 of these elements (assuming HDR done right — that is, 10-bit), the data rate extends to more than 22Gbps. It’s a far cry from the dizzying heights that’s HDMI 2.1 is purporting, but it is more than HDMI 2.0 can handle. That means we do need HDMI 2.1.

But understanding what it’s all about, and the fundamentals of how it works, puts you ahead of the game. To use a car analogy, there are four types of people;

  1. Those who design and build cars,
  2. Mechanics who keep them working,
  3. Drivers who use them,
  4. Passengers who get taken for the ride.

Which are you? Perhaps #3 with a bit of #2 mixed in? The higher you climb in knowledge, the better equipped you will be for mitigating errors by design, and troubleshooting efficiently if something does go awry.

There are a few courses on offer at CEDIA this year which will lift the lid on HDMI, including as much as possible about 2.1, given it’s not actually out yet. Two highlight courses include ‘HDMI Master Integrator’ and ‘Delivering the 10K Video Payload’.


HDMI Master Integrator

Most courses on HDMI offer nuggets of information, but only this entirely new course gives a higher altitude, holistic view. It dives into how HDMI fundamentally works, including all key protocols and relevant features, with plenty of technical insight to assist you in appropriate system design and troubleshooting. As Eric Bodley succinctly puts it, “don’t install a service call”. Developed with the support of HDMI Licensing Administrator, this is the ONLY official HDMI course available anywhere in the world.

   Integrate Expo - Melbourne, Australia, Aug 29, 2017
   CEDIA 2017 - San Diego, USA, 2 sessions;

Delivering the 10K Video Payload

We’re just getting used to UHD/4K and there’s already much talk of 8K and ‘10K’ at up to 120 frames per second! This class discusses what this means, and the roles of compression, HDMI 2.1, emerging formats, new developments in HDBaseT, fiber fundamentals and the changing landscape for delivering a far greater payload.

This course is designed to lead on from ‘UHD Video & Beyond: The Science of Better Pixels”, which is a recommended precursor, but not mandatory.

   Integrate Expo - Melbourne Australia, Aug 30, 2017
   CEDIA 2017 - San Diego USA, Sep 7, 2017