HDMI 2.0- the must-know info.


HDMI 2.0

HDMI technology has different versions or specifications, the newest of which is HDMI 2.0, which has been causing a lot of confusion and questions within the AV distribution world.

The main feature of this HDMI 2.0 specification which is relevant to custom installers, is this:

“The HDMI 2.0 specification defines a new, more efficient signalling method, for speeds above the limits of the earlier HDMI 1.4b specification (10.2Gbps), to allow higher bandwidths (up to 18Gbps) over existing High Speed HDMI Wire Cables.” (HDMI.org) 

What does this mean?

This will allow transmission of higher bandwidth video formats such as 2160p @60Hz 4:4:4 UHD / 4K and 4:2:0 UHD with HDR. It’s worth pointing out that currently there is only ONE HDMI source device in existence (the Sony FMP-X10 4K) that is capable of outputting these resolutions and is HDMI 2.0 licensed. But more HDMI 2.0 licensed source devices will probably begin to appear at the end of 2015.

Will you need new cables or specific HDMI 2.0 cables?

HDMI 2.0 is backwards compatible, so you won’t need new cables (as long as the HDMI cables you’ve been using are high speed, passive and under 5m)

What is HDCP 2.2? 

HDCP 2.2 is the new encryption format for UHD content. It’s designed to create a secure connection between a source and a display. This is so you can’t take the output from a source (a Blu-ray player, say) and plug it into a recording device to make a copy of the content. HDCP doesn’t care what goes across the cable, as long as that cable is secure.

The key point is all devices in a chain need to be HDCP 2.2 compliant or you’ll get an error message.

What is the point of HDMI matrixes with HDCP 2.2 but NOT HDMI 2.0? Should I invest?

The best way to answer that is with another question: ‘what HDCP 2.2 compliant devices are you planning on installing that don’t need HDMI 2.0?’

The big push for compliance is going to come at the end of the year when new UHD Blu-Ray players are released. These will definitely require HDMI 2.0 and won’t work on the HDCP 2.2 matrices that have just hit the market.

Another key point is that HDMI 2.0 will require HDCP 2.2, but HDCP 2.2 does NOT require HDMI 2.0. Hence new HDCP 2.2 compatible matrices hitting the market before HDMI 2.0 + HDCP 2.2 compliant matrices.

 The other big factor is what Sky will do with UHD. The current industry belief is that the new sky box won’t need HDCP 2.2. The logic is that there are not enough HDCP 2.2 compatible TV’s in the UK currently to be able to justify a new Sky box that isn’t compatible.

What TVs are HDMI 2.0?

The vast majority of  TV’s marketed as UHD or 4K that were bought  before 2015 don’t have HDMI 2.0 and don’t have HDCP 2.2. Some manufacturers have produced TVs with one or more HDMI 2.0 ports with HDCP 2.2, these are below:

Samsung UE65HU8500

Samsung UE55HU7500

Sony KD-65X9005B

Panasonic CX600 and CX 650 Series