New features and backwards compatibility detailed by the HDMI forum.
Better late than never, HDMI 2.0 has been finalized and announced. Not unlike its DisplayPort competitor, the new standard supports 2160p at 50 or 60 frames. (Signal Peter Jackson/James Cameron high five.) In addition to the necessary bandwidth uptick, there are some other new features, but more importantly there is a note on compatibility. HDMI 2.0 in backwards compatible with previous HDMI standards. Going from a HDMI 2.0 device to a HDMI 1.4 device will cost the user the HDMI 2.0 features, but will still work. Likewise, even HDMI 2.0 to 2.0 connections can use existing High Speed cables, meaning that no new cables or connectors are necessary to support the features.
From the HDMI forum, "This latest HDMI Specification, the first to be developed by the HDMI Forum, offers a significant increase in bandwidth (up to 18Gbps) to support new features such as 4K@50/60 (2160p), which is 4 times the clarity of 1080p/60 video resolution; 32 audio channels; as well as dynamic auto lip-sync and extensions to CEC. The complete Version 2.0 of the HDMI Specification is available to Adopters on the HDMI Adopter Extranet."
The HDMI forum has promised to elaborate on the new features in a discussion this Friday. As for the end consumer, the HDMI Forum has promised that the HDMI 2.0 Compliance Test Specification (CTS) is expected to be released before the end of the year.
This new standard is a crucial component in the introduction of UHD, as it enables HDMI 4K playback at higher than frames per second, albeit with all new devices still to be introduced.
Author: Brian Hoss