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Learn About The HDMI 2.0 Specification

As high definition AV technology continues to evolve, the HDMI specification for equipment and cabling is occasionally modified to ensure broad compatibility and maximum performance. Version 2.0 the most common current iteration of the HDMI spec as issued by HDMI Licensing, LLC. Newer 2.1 & even pending 2.3 specifications will demand ever greater levels of performance and quality. You need to plan now for future performance!

What you should know about HDMI 2.0 Features

Maximum Bandwidth

Maximum bandwidth in the HDMI 2.0 specs is 18Gbps. This bandwidth allows for support of 4K video resolutions at a higher frame rates with more detailed color information than previous HDMI specifications. This configuration will also support advanced audio streams.

Frame Rate

Higher frame rates, up to 60Hz at a 4K resolution are supported within the HDMI 2.0 specs. This helps

 to reduce motion blur and lag and provides sufficient bandwidth for high dynamic range (HDR) and deep color content.

Chroma Subsampling

4:4:4 chroma subsampling per the HDMI 2.0 specs means that colors can be displayed uncompressed and in full resolution. Compliance with a 4:4:4 color spec is especially important when displaying content from computers and laptops.

Color Bit Depth

Color bit depth has increased to 12-bit deep color with 4,096 shades per channel outlined within the HDMI 2.0 specs.

 This allows for smoother gradients in displayed images than previous HDMI Specifications.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

HDR expands the range of both contrast and color allowing images to achieve greater levels of detail in both bright and dark sections of the image. HDMI 2.0 was the first HDMI specification to support this feature.

Optimized Audio Performance

Support for advanced audio features such as DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD &

 Dolby ATMOS allow for superior audio performance versus previous HDMI specifications.

What you should know about an HDMI Cable supporting HDMI 2.0 features

Is there an HDMI 2.0 cable?

The simple answer is no. As defined by HDMI 2.0 specs, there are four main HDMI cable types:

  1. Standard Speed HDMI Cable
  2. Standard Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet
  3. High Speed HDMI Cable
  4. High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet

In addition to these main HDMI cable types, KCEVE Performance Series HDMI Cables are defined within the HDMI 2.0 specs. Please check back soon to learn more about our Performance Series HDMI Cables.

Does cable length impact available bandwidth?

The testing spec outlined within the HDMI 2.0 specs allow cables to be placed within these different categories; however, that categorization does not necessarily limit what features a cable is able to support. The bandwidth and length of an HDMI cable are inversely proportional to one another, meaning that a shorter length cable has a higher available bandwidth. Available bandwidth is one of the main determining factors of what AV features are supported by an HDMI cable.

At a shorter distance, typically up to 15 feet, most passive HDMI cables support the full spectrum of HDMI 2.0 features. A notable exception to that is support of the Ethernet channel, which requires one of the cable types that call out Ethernet support. At longer distances, an active HDMI cable or extension device may be required to support HDMI 2.0 features, these may fall into a few different categories.

  • HDMI Active Copper Cable: These cables utilize a chipset that equalize the HDMI AV signal over the length of a cable that is similar in construction to a passive HDMI cable. Features supported by this cable type is determined by the capability of that chipset.
  • HDMI Active Optical Cable: These cables utilize a chipset and technology to convert the HDMI AV signal to light and transmits that signal over a fiber optic cable. Features supported by this cable type is determined by the capability of the chipset.
  • HDBaseT Extender: These extension devices transmit the HDMI AV signal over standard Category Cable (Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a). Features supported by these extenders will be determined by the chipsets used by the transmitter and receiver.
  • AV Over IP: These extension devices stream the HDMI AV signal over a local area network (LAN) or the Internet. Features supported by these devices will be determined by the chipsets used by the encoder and decoder.

Keep in mind that installing an HDMI cable or extension device that supports HDMI 2.0 features does not give AV equipment the ability to support those features. All AV equipment within the system must support a feature for it to be leveraged.


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