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What You Need To Know About 4K HDMI, Bandwidth & HDR

Home / Product News / What You Need To Know About 4K HDMI, Bandwidth & HDR

If you are installing a 4K/HDR display or theater system, it’s important to have the right 4K HDMI cables. Otherwise, your customer will not be able to experience the true 4K/HDR due to the amount of data needed to produce this high level of picture being unable to reach the 4K device.

What is 4K and HDR?

The term 4K refers to a higher resolution display and pixel count, which is about four times greater than a standard HD television.

Since there are multiple factors that make up the 4K specification, the term 4K is a range rather than a specific number. Pixel count, bit rate, picture refresh rate, number of pixels that receive individual color information and bandwidth must all be considered when determining the where a cable lands on the 4K range.

4K Snip

4K cables with less than 18Gbps bandwidth will be on the low end range of the 4K spectrum, and won’t be capable of transmitting the full amount of data for the desired picture on a 4K display.

4K Spectrum Snip

HDR (High Dynamic Range) relates to color, brightness, contrast and the spectrum of each that is displayed on a screen. A higher dynamic range broadens the spectrum, ensuring the viewer sees a image closer to real life. HDR is recommended with 4K video.

The above information applies both to HDMI Cables as well as HDMI Extenders.  Make sure you are getting the right cable or extender for your application.

2.1 HDMI Specification

The recently released specification for HDMI 2.1 will support a range of higher video resolutions and refresh rates, including  8K60 and 4K120, and resolutions up to 10K. Dynamic HDR formats are also supported, and bandwidth capability is increased up to 48Gbps.

Note: The HDMI 2.1 Compliance Test Specification will be published late 2018.  Until the test equipment is created manufacturers won’t be able to make and test true HDMI 2.1 cables.  We should start seeing these products mid-to-late 2018.  Your customers may start asking earlier than that so it is good to be aware of the status.

Thanks to Metra Home Theater for the above graphics.
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