HDMI 2.1 was just officially detailed in a press release. The new specification will be able to handle higher refresh rates and resolutions such as 8K@60Hz and 4K@120Hz, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Dynamic HDR will make sure that customers don’t have to tweak every single game or movie on their own. HDMI 2.1 also introduces variable refresh rate to TVs in something called “Game Mode VRR”; this could potentially introduce variable refresh rate on console if, for example, Microsoft’s Scorpio hardware supported HDMI 2.1. The new 48G cables will enable up to 48Gbps bandwidth for uncompressed HDMI 2.1.

Robert Blanchard of Sony Electronics, president of the HDMI Forum, said in the press release:

This new release of the specification offers a broad range of advanced features for enhancing the consumer entertainment experience, as well as providing robust solutions to the commercial A/V sector.

This is part of the HDMI Forum’s continuing mission to develop specifications for the HDMI eco-system that meet the growing demand for compelling, high-performance and exciting features.

The new specification will be released in Q2 2017. In the meantime, take a look at the full feature set of HDMI 2.1 below as well as additional FAQ provided by the HDMI Forum.

  • Higher Video Resolutions support a range of higher resolutions and faster refresh rates including 8K60Hz and 4K120Hz for immersive viewing and smooth fast-action detail.
  • Dynamic HDR ensures every moment of a video is displayed at its ideal values for depth, detail, brightness, contrast, and wider color gamuts-on a scene-by-scene or even a frame-by-frame basis.
  • 48G cables enable up to 48Gbps bandwidth for uncompressed HDMI 2.1 feature support including 8K video with HDR. The cable is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI Specification and can be used with existing HDMI devices.
  • eARC supports the most advanced audio formats such as object-based audio, and enables advanced audio signal control capabilities including device auto-detect.
  • Game Mode VRR features variable refresh rate, which enables a 3D graphics processor to display the image at the moment it is rendered for more fluid and better detailed gameplay, and for reducing or eliminating lag, stutter, and frame tearing.