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HDMI 2.0 for 4K Ultra HD TV arrives late and out-of-date

The latest version of digital entertainment kit connection standard HDMI has wandered in a year late with limited support Ultra High Definition TV.

High Definition Multimedia Interface 2.0 enables 4K video at up to 60 frames per second, although many broadcasters now want to use 100fps or faster to ensure smooth motion.

The new spec was originally due in late 2012, but that hasn’t stopped TV manufacturers launching 4K screens using the old HDMI 1.4 spec, limited to 4K at 24fps.

HDMI 2.0 for 4K Ultra HD TV arrives late and out-of-date
HDMI 2.0 is old before its time

Read Recombu Digital’s guide to Super Hi-Vision, Ultra HD, 4K and 8K TVOn a positive note, HDMI 2.0 raises the total data capacity from 10.2GB/s to 18Gb/s, with up 48 bits of colour and 32 audio channels.

Robert Blanchard of Sony Corporation, president of the HDMI Forum, said: “The introduction of the HDMI 2.0 Specification represents a major milestone for the HDMI Forum.

“Our members collaborated closely to take the highly successful HDMI specification to the next level by expanding audio and video features for consumer electronics applications.”

HDMI 2.0 works with category 2 High Speed HDMI cables already on sale, and incorporates previous HDMI features such as Ethernet hosting and an audio return channel.

It also adds support for dynamic lip-syncing so it’s easier to match your audio and video, and an extended range of HDMI-CEC device control codes, which allow one device’s remote to control other devices via HDMI, such as a TV and Blu-ray player.

The world’s TV manufacturers will unveil their latest 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160-pixels) TVs at the IFA consumer technology show in Berlin this week. 

It’s unlikely they will support HDMI 2.0: a compliance testing regime for the new spec is not due until the end of this year, pointing to mid-2014 for compatible products to reach the market.

Despite the limited frame rate for 4K, premium broadcasters in the UK, US, Korea and Japan – including Sky – are likely to push ahead with 4K broadcasts to maintain their status as technology leaders.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil next summer is already being billed as the first ‘Ultra High Definition World Cup’, and a marketing landmark for both pay-TV providers and TV manufacturers.

Image: digitpedia/Flickr

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