November 17, 2021
3 min read
Many of us have welcomed the opportunities associated with the increasing availability of 4K content distribution. And this year, something new is impacting several digital signage areas now that the HDMI 2.1 specification's ecosystem of products is becoming available. Airports, campuses, event facilities and retail installations can be upgraded and future-proofed with the specification's ability to support 48-Gbps bandwidth delivering 4K@120Hz and 8K@60Hz resolutions and refresh rates. And even 10K resolution for specialty applications is available. In addition, sources and displays can now support wider color gamuts with dynamic HDR and with source and display infrastructure requiring fewer cables.
Bring the WOW!
What's the objective of all this? The answer is that new products and solutions are constantly evolving to keep up with the rising expectations of consumers and commercial users. There is always a higher threshold to achieve the wow factor. More immersive experiences can be provided with larger displays, higher resolutions and refresh rates, displaying more information than ever before.
Adding to this excitement are the opportunities with HDMI enhanced gaming features as consumer and eSports markets quickly grow. In fact, almost all major TV manufacturers are aggressively promoting new lines of displays that support HDMI 2.1 advanced gaming features. Their aggregate marketing effort is creating an awareness that new displays can be used for the hardcore gamer demanding the best performance from a display whether at home or in e-sports venues.
HDMI Gaming brings opportunities for various service providers too, not just display manufacturers, whether they deliver broadband, provide on-site connectivity, manufacture installation gear or provide integration services. And it's not just the usual commercial applications but the fast-growing e-sports market that is creating a demand for ultra high-speed services and support. Colleges and universities now have e-sports teams and are building new facilities, and new competition venues are springing up serving both gamers and their audiences.
HDMI Licensing Administrator Inc. (HDMI LA), the official licensing agent for the HDMI specifications, is also helping to promote awareness with its HDMI gaming ambassadors and tournament support programs. "Our gaming ambassadors have done a great deal to engage e-sports participants on HDMI features," said Brad Bramy, vice president of marketing for HDMI LA. "Along with our sponsorship of Fortnite and League of Legends tournaments on Repeat.gg, we've seen very high interest for the new gaming features and growing performance expectations of large displays."
To be in-the-know about the HDMI 2.1 enhanced gaming features remember there are more than 4K@120Hz, 8K@60Hz and Dynamic HDR; there is also support for Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) supporting the latest high-bitrate audio formats and Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. The game-specific features include:
- Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) reduces or eliminates lag, judder and frame tearing for more fluid and better detailed gameplay.
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) enables the ideal latency setting to automatically be set allowing for smooth, lag-free and uninterrupted viewing and interactivity.
- Quick Frame Transport (QFT) reduces latency for smoother no-lag gaming, and real-time interactive virtual reality.
Along with the new gaming TVs launched there is other HDMI 2.1-enabled gear available this year to complete the marketplace eco-system. The best known, of course, are the Sony PS5 and the Xbox Series X consoles. There are also new HDMI 2.1-enabled PC monitors, and gaming graphic cards from Nvidia and AMD. Other products which will be widely available this year include the latest Ultra High Speed HDMI Cables including long-length active optical cables, which are the only HDMI cables that support all of the HDMI 2.1 features.
The Adopted Trademarks HDMI, HDMI High-Definition Multimedia Interface, Ultra High Speed HDMI, and the HDMI Logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of HDMI Licensing Administrator Inc.
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