HDMI 2.1 Gaming Features Deliver Opportunities for Service Providers
(published in Digital TV Europe, August 2021)
Companies have welcomed the opportunities associated with the increasing availability and distribution of 4K content. And this year, something new is impacting several business sectors with the HDMI® 2.1 Specification’s gaming features appearing on devices around the globe. In an industry first, almost all major TV manufacturers are aggressively promoting new lines of TVs that support HDMI 2.1 advanced gaming features as they target the enthusiastic gamer market. This aggregate marketing effort is creating an awareness that new TVs can be used for gaming, not just for the casual living room recreationalist, but also for the hardcore gamer demanding the best performance from a display.
HDMI Gaming brings opportunities for various service providers whether they deliver broadband to the home, provide in-home connectivity, manufacture out-of-home and in-home installation gear or provide home integration services. And it’s not just residential users but the fast growing eSports market that is creating a demand for ultra high-speed services and support. Colleges and universities now have eSports teams and are building new facilities, and new competition venues are springing up around the world.
This is really the year for supporting HDMI gaming technology as demand grows from end-users and supporting providers. HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc (HDMI LA), the official licensing agent for the HDMI Specifications, is also helping to promote awareness with its HDMI Gaming Ambassadors and tournament support programs. “This is our second year working with Gaming Ambassadors and it’s done a great deal to directly engage gamers on HDMI features,” said Brad Bramy, vice president of marketing for HDMI LA. “Along with our year-long sponsorship of Fortnite and League of Legends tournaments on Repeat.gg, we’ve seen a big lift in interest for the new gaming features and HDMI-enabled devices.”
What is the excitement about? The HDMI 2.1 features that are now widely available include higher resolutions and refresh rates 4K@120Hz and 8K@60Hz. The immersive experience also includes support for Dynamic HDR; and with support for Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC), the latest high-bitrate audio formats and Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are available. The advanced game-specific features include:
- Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) reduces or eliminates lag, judder and frame tearing for more fluid and better detailed gameplay. This enables a gaming source such as a console or computer to deliver video frames as fast as it can, which in many cases is slower than the normal static refresh rate.
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) enables the ideal latency setting to automatically be set allowing for smooth, lag-free and uninterrupted viewing and interactivity. In many cases this is referred to as game mode, and it usually has to be set manually which involves going through menus and settings and then switching back again for normal viewing.
- Quick Frame Transport (QFT) reduces latency for smoother no-lag gaming, and real-time interactive virtual reality. QFT transports each frame at a higher rate to decrease “display latency”, which is the amount of time between a frame being ready for transport in the GPU and that frame being completely displayed.
Along with the new gaming TVs launched there is other HDMI 2.1-enabled gear available this year to complete the marketplace eco-system. The best known, of course, are the Sony PS5 and the Xbox Series X consoles. These are the first HDMI 2.1 source devices and support 4K@120Hz and will even support 8K. These in-demand consoles are driving a new awareness for advanced features and TV manufacturers are counting on the excitement spilling over to new TV demand. There are also new HDMI 2.1-enabled PC monitors launching for those gamers that want up-close action and to get the best from their HDMI 2.1-enabled gaming graphic cards from Nvidia and AMD. Also widely available this year are the latest Ultra High Speed HDMI® Cables, which are the only HDMI cables that support all of the HDMI 2.1 features.
For more information visit www.hdmi.org
The Adopted Trademarks HDMI, HDMI High-Definition Multimedia Interface, Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable, and HDMI Logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc.
- Valerie Robbins
- August 20 2021