HDMI 2.0 is an equipment standard created to support the increased bandwidth requirements of 4K Ultra HD displays. Because 4K displays have much higher resolution than previous technology, they require more audio and video data to be transmitted through the HDMI cable. HDMI 2.0 significantly increases the bandwidth up to 18 Gbps and supports 4K at 60 Hz. It offers additional features as well, such as enhanced audio capabilities and dual video streams to multiple users. HDMI 2.0 is fully backward compatible with all previous versions, and HDMI 2.0 cable uses the same connectors as the previous cabling.
HDMI 1.4 supports bandwidths up to 10.2 Gbps. That is fast enough to deliver 4K video at a maximum of 24 frames per second, which is sufficient for watching movies, for example. However, many television broadcasts or gaming applications require the 50 to 60 frames per second made possible by HDMI 2.0.
Like HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2 can support resolutions up to 4K at 60Hz, delivering similar performance. Newer versions of DisplayPort, such as 1.3 or 1.4, can reach resolutions of 4K@120 Hz, 8K @30 Hz and higher. One drawback to DisplayPort is the cable length, which has a recommended limit of only about 3 meters. HDMI 2.0 devices can reach 5 to 15 meters without compromising quality, depending on the cable. Using a simple repeater, HDMI 2.0 can reach up to 30 meters. Another benefit of HDMI 2.0 is that it is far more common than DisplayPort.
Several updates to the initial HDMI 2.0 standard improved its functionality. HDMI 2.0a, for example, added support for high dynamic range, or HDR, which allows for a more vivid picture with a greater range and depth of colors. HDMI 2.1 supports even higher resolutions and performance, including 10K/8K at 60Hz using DSC compression, or 4K at 120 Hz, and bandwidth capabilities of up to 48 Gbps.
A range of HDMI 2.0 products is available to suit your applications. An HDMI 2.0 splitter allows you to split one HDMI signal to two or more 4K displays simultaneously. An HDMI 2.0 switch connects multiple devices to a single 4K display. Some previous versions of HDMI cable can carry 4K signal. However, the age of the cable and the level of certification it was manufactured under could impact performance.
HDMI 2.0 solutions are ideal for broadcast studios, corporate meeting rooms, digital signage, control rooms and classrooms with multiple data sources and multiple 4K displays. To achieve the highest video and audio quality for your 4K monitors, every component must be HDMI 2.0 compatible.