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January 2018

More bandwidth, more possibilities

Matt Pruznick of our US sister title SCN spoke to HDMI Licensing Administrator’s CEO Rob Tobias and senior marketing director Brad Bramy about the new HDMI 2.1 specification


t the end of November, the HDMI Forum released the HDMI 2.1 specification, the latest update to the ubiquitous connectivity standard. With a throughput of 48Gbps and the ability to handle 4K120, 8K60 and 10K video, plus a wealth of other signal enhancements, the announcement may have raised some concerns in the integration community – especially among those who have just upgraded infrastructures to the 2.0 standard. So we reached out to HDMI Licensing Administrator’s CEO Rob Tobias and senior marketing director Brad Bramy for insight into the new standard’s development, execution, and its implications for integrators. What was the impetus behind the development of HDMI 2.1? Rob Tobias: 2.0 came out in 2013, so it’s been over four years since the last specification came

out. And during that time the approximately 90 companies that are part of the forum continually work on specification improvements for the industry and that covers the members, companies that make chips, make systems, cables, connectors, test equipment, and IP that goes into chips. They’re a who’s who of the consumer electronics industry, and they feel there’s a need to improve the HDMI specification to be available as the technology improvements are adopted across the industry. How will the 48Gbps throughput be achieved? Are the cables going to require fibre or will they be copper with length limitations? RT: It’ll be the second. The specification does define a new cable that will be capable of handling the 48 gigabits per second. It is specified as a copper cable, or as a non-optical cable. So there will be passive versions, and as

you point out, the faster you go with passive cables, the shorter they become. So the cables won’t be as long as those that support the 18Gbps for the 2.0 specification. There is ability

‘The pro AV market… need to pay attention for new cabling when they move beyond 4K60’ Rob Tobias

for the industry to do active copper cables, and your audience, some of them do very long distances, and there’s been a whole ecosystem of companies that have come up with ways to carry HDMI signalling, basically transform it

Installation January 2018 Digital Edition  
Installation January 2018 Digital Edition  

AV integration in a networked world