Certain hdmi 2.1 functionalities can be added via firmware

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HDMI Forum has told the Flatpanelshd ​​website that certain functionalities of the HDMI 2.1 standard do not require a hardware upgrade, but can be added to TVs, for example, via a firmware update.

HDMI Forum CEO Rob Tobias has said that Variable Refresh Rate, Quick Media Switching and eARC are among the features that can be added via firmware. It is not clear whether it is only possible to make these three functionalities available via a firmware update. HDMI Forum did indicate that it is ultimately up to the manufacturer whether or not to make an update available. If a manufacturer does this for a television, for example, then this device may be sold as an HDMI 2.1 product according to HDMI Forum.

Variable Refresh Rate is important for supporting AMD’s FreeSync technology, for example, to prevent tearing and stuttering, while Quick Media Switching allows users to switch between different frame rates without lag or blackouts. And eARC increases the bandwidth so that lossless audio formats such as Dolby Atmos or DTS:X are also supported.

HDMI 2.1 certification will begin in the second quarter of this year, with full certification expected to take place in the third or fourth quarter. Due to this timing, many televisions that will be launched on the market in 2018 do not yet have HDMI 2.1 available. For example, the OLED televisions that LG releases in 2018 do not have HDMI 2.1 support, which means that they only support HFR via streaming services and not via externally connected equipment such as UHD Bluray players.

HDMI 2.1 was made available to manufacturers at the end of November last year, and HDMI Forum announced the specification in January. The standard makes it possible to send 4k images at 120Hz or 8k images at 60Hz. A 10k resolution is also achievable. This is made possible, among other things, by a cable with a bandwidth of 48 Gbit/s. The standard is backwards compatible with the older HDMI standards.

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