New HDMI 2.1 specifications pave the way for TV shows and games of unprecedented clarity.
(CCM) — 4K video may be the last word in high definition today, but the industry body responsible for HDMI is preparing for "immersive viewing and smooth, fast-action detail" in the future with the first draft of the HDMI 2.1 specification that supports 8K video with high dynamic range (HDR) imaging. While 4K video offers images made up of 8.3 million pixels, 8K video uses an incredible 33 million pixels for each frame, and some experts say that 8K is effectively the maximum resolution that the human eye can see. To supply such detailed pictures at a rate of 60 frames per second, playback systems will have to be able to communicate with screens over HDMI at a speed of 48 Gbps. Such 8K systems — and 8K content such as movies and games — are unlikely to be available in the consumer market for several years because of their cost. (This excludes Japanese manufacturer Sharp's 85-inch 8K TV screen announced in 2015, because it was priced at over $130,000.)
Version 2.1 of the HDMI specification is backward compatible with earlier versions of the specification and was developed by the HDMI Forum’s Technical Working Group, whose members represent some of the world’s leading manufacturers of consumer electronics, personal computers, mobile devices, cables and components. The final specification will be published toward the middle of 2017.
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