When Is HDMI 2.1 Better than HDMI 2.0?

Dynamic HRD, eARC, VRR, and QMS are acronyms not often heard in everyday language. In designing home theater systems, they’re important when buying HDMI cables for your TV and gaming consoles.

Why are they important to know – let’s have a look.

Technical Jargon And What It Means

  • Let’s start with Dynamic HRD (High Dynamic Range).

For a video display, Dynamic HRD ensures that your experience on a frame-by-frame basis will have the ideal depth, detail, brightness, and contrast. In other words, you see the game or video in the way the developers designed it for you to view.

  • Now, there’s eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel).

Ever played a game or watched a video where the speech to what you see on the screen isn’t in sync? The sound from your TV’s speakers isn’t so good? eARC solves these issues by connecting the TV to a compatible AV receiver or soundbar with less cables. This makes for a much clearer sound.

  • VRR stands for ‘Variable Refresh Rate’.

Seeing 2 frames at the same time? 60 Hz, or 60FPS (Frames Per Second), is the standard viewing for monitors and TVs. HDMI 2.1 cables clock in at 48Gbps, whereas HDMI 2.0 is 18Gbps. The increase in bandwidth transfers more information at higher resolution and frame rates eliminating this lag.

  • Lastly, there’s QMS or Quick Media Switching.

Seeing a blank screen as you change from video to gaming? Your components will re-sync to match the frame rate difference from TV to video, therefore creating a blank screen in between modes. All HDMI 2.1 cables have the feature of QMS through a VRR mechanism that makes this switch seamless with no blank screens.

Should I Upgrade To HDMI 2.1?

The first question you must ask yourself is, “Do I need this to run my components?”.

Some newer gaming systems and TVs are equipped with HDMI 2.1 compliant ports. The bandwidth we talked about earlier is an important factor to consider. The higher the bandwidth the greater the resolution and frame refresh rate.

Unless you are an avid gamer with a TV with HDMI 2.1 ports already, you won’t need these HDMI 2.1 cables just yet, but eventually you will need them to experience the video content at its best.

Since HDMI 2.1 is backwards compatible, they will work with your current systems. The only disadvantage is the slower frames per second if your current devices are not HDMI 2.1 supported.

If you are seeking the best experiences in video or gaming and looking to buy into 8K TVs once available in the mainstream market, then ideally having the HDMI 2.1 cables would be of benefit as they incorporate all of the above qualities.

Shop high-quality HDMI cables and more for your home theater or gaming systems at PrimeCables.ca.

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