HDMI 2.0 announced, brings 18 Gbps bandwidth for 60fps 4K video

By on September 5, 2013, 11:30 AM
hdmi, bandwidth, 4k video, cables, connectivity, ifa 2013, hdmi 2.0, hdmi licensing

The HDMI Forum has announced the release of HDMI 2.0 at IFA 2013, which ups the specification's bandwidth to 18 Gbps (from 10.2 Gbps in HDMI 1.4) and adds a range of new features designed for upcoming Ultra HDTVs.

HDMI 2.0 brings support for 3,840 x 2,160 (4K or Ultra HD) video at 60 frames per second, two video streams for multiple users on the same display, dynamic audio/video synchronization, and support for 21:9 displays. On the audio front, up to 32 audio channels are allowed with HDMI 2.0, as well as a 1,536 kHz audio sampling rate, and support for the delivery of four simultaneous audio streams.

The HDMI connector hasn't been changed with the upgrade to HDMI 2.0, so the specification is completely backwards compatible with older versions. All current Category 2 'High-Speed' cables will also work with HDMI 2.0, as they can apparently handle the bandwidth increases. It's not clear exactly when we'll see devices that support HDMI 2.0 hit the market, but expect it to appear in the latest HDTVs very soon.

Going into 2014, HDMI 2.0 will have to compete against some of the other major cable specifications that have been updated this year, especially Thunderbolt. Intel's Thunderbolt 2 spec features 20 Gbps of bandwidth as well as DisplayPort 1.2 support, which will allow the simulatenous transfer and viewing of a 4K video via just the one cable. However it remains to be seen if Thunderbolt will become more widespread, with HDMI continuing to be the standard for most TVs and media players.




User Comments: 18

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GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Wow, that's going to be nice, however im sure the prices will be significantly higher.

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

Wow, that's going to be nice, however im sure the prices will be significantly higher.

You can use old cables, as long as they are certified as 2.0 capable. Some go for <$5 currently.

highlander84 said:

I don't see how thunderbolt can be competitive! Every laptop (except apple) comes with HDMI connections... it's a huge standard that Thunderbolt can never hope to overcome. I do not think I have ever seen a TV with a thunderbolt connection... however I'm sure there are a few...

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't see how thunderbolt can be competitive!

HDMI is pretty ubiquitous at this point. Its in everything from cell phones to game consoles. And I can appreciate that HDMI 2.0 will work at 60 FPS. For computers, I'm happy with USB 3.0. My TV's take HDMI from the back of my video card. So I doubt I'd ever buy a device with Thunderbolt.

RenGood08 RenGood08 said:

I have never even heard of Thunderbolt until I read this article! I thought HDMI was the only standard for audio/video.

Guest said:

Knowing how many changes did the 1.x series go through... I'd bet 20 Euros that a HDMI 2.1 or HDMI 2.0a will be out before December.

howzz1854 said:

Thunderbolt needs to die!.. I don't want another cable standard, and another piece of hardware, and another piece of cable. since Display Port is free to license, unlike TB and HDMI, lets just go with display port.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I wonder if the ps4 / Xbox one will use HDMI 2? For 4k films and the like...

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I wonder if the ps4 / Xbox one will use HDMI 2? For 4k films and the like...

PS4 and Xbone are specced for HDMI 1.4 as far as I'm aware

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

You can use old cables, as long as they are certified as 2.0 capable. Some go for <$5 currently.

Well I knew that, but I mean the need for it for that resolution will cause those cords (the 2.0 ones) to be very pricey, im better in the triple digits range.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

You can use old cables, as long as they are certified as 2.0 capable. Some go for <$5 currently.

Well I knew that, but I mean the need for it for that resolution will cause those cords (the 2.0 ones) to be very pricey, im better in the triple digits range.

There are always cheap cables around - if you are only talking cables sub 2m you won't have a problem getting one for single digits and not more than $20 for 5m. Plug it in and if it works, it works. Just try some high bitrate content. No point spending $100+ on a HDMI cable.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

PS4 and Xbone are specced for HDMI 1.4 as far as I'm aware

Does that mean then 4K stuff on them will be able to run at 60fps or not though? I assume not since the bandwidth is considerably less but 30fps must be feasible?

2 people like this | Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Does that mean then 4K stuff on them will be able to run at 60fps or not though? I assume not since the bandwidth is considerably less but 30fps must be feasible?

HDMI 1.4 officially is 4K @ 30Hz.

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

Well I knew that, but I mean the need for it for that resolution will cause those cords (the 2.0 ones) to be very pricey, im better in the triple digits range.

Lol a $300 HDMI cable from Best Buy = a $5 one on Amazon xD.

JC713 JC713 said:

HDMI 1.4 officially is 4K @ 30Hz.

I dont get how you dont need new cables though....

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Lol a $300 HDMI cable from Best Buy = a $5 one on Amazon xD.

Well my thing is that ive seen HDMI cables that cost an arm and a leg (Hell I own a few) that are 65 dollars and only maybe 6 feet long. Just imagine the new tech, its going to be expensive for the new cables at least for the first year probably except on the off brands and real short ones.

JC713 JC713 said:

Well my thing is that ive seen HDMI cables that cost an arm and a leg (Hell I own a few) that are 65 dollars and only maybe 6 feet long. Just imagine the new tech, its going to be expensive for the new cables at least for the first year probably except on the off brands and real short ones.

I got a 6 foot BlueRigger HDMI cable a year back for <$5 and it works like a charm. It is now $8 on Amazon though.

2 people like this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I dont get how you dont need new cables though....

The HDMI spec isn't actually that clear so I can see that that there will be some head scratching going on. The new 2.0 specification will still be compatible with the 19-pin out (Type A) that the previous cables use so long as the cable is designated "High Speed" (longer explanation here). Where it gets a little more complicated is that there is a Type B HDMI connector that is specifically designed for future high bandwidth displays and devices (second chart on this page) that is physically larger- as well as having 29 pins, that even the HDMI organisation is more than a little vague on.

As for pricing, it's like David Hannum said: "There's a sucker born every minute"

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