So you finally got around to picking up a 4K TV or monitor? Congratulations… it’ll be obsolete soon. Or at least not state of the art anymore.
The HDMI Forum has just released version 2.1 of the HDMI specification and, among other things, it enables support for 8K displays at 60 Hz.
Don’t need an 8K display? The new specification also brings support for 4K displays with refresh rates up to 120 Hz, which is double the previous maximum.
The new standard also supports dynamic HDR and resolutions up to 10K for some commercial applications.
You’ll need a new “Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable” to get top performance, since existing HDMI cables can’t deliver the 48 Gbps of throughput supported by the new standard. But the new cable is backward compatible, so once you get around to buying new HDMI cables you’ll be able to use them with your old gear as well as your new HDMI 2.1 compatible devices.
It could be a little while before we start to see devices with HDMI 2.1 ports though… and it’s questionable whether you’ll actually need an 8K display in your home anytime soon. Even 4K is probably overkill unless you have a very large TV and plan to sit very close to it… although I suspect next-gen gaming and virtual reality displays will benefit from the new standard.