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LG confirms full HDMI 2.1 support in 2019 TVs



  hdmi closeup

Geoffrey Morrison / CNET

The current version of the ubiquitous HDMI audio video connection can handle virtually any video format available today, but with 8K on the horizon televisions and other hardware manufacturers can set their limits over the next few years.

This is where HDMI 2.1

comes in.

LG confirmed CNET that its 2019 OLED and high-end LCD models will contain full-HDMI 2.1 ports. It is the first such confirmation by a major television producer.

For its part, LG's rival Samsung said that CNET would support HDMI 2.1 in its 2019 TVs, but would not provide further details – for example, whether it would support the full spec, which LG claims, or just some of it – at press time.

For the present and even near future 4K TVs, HDMI 2.1 is not a big deal and the current HDMI 2.0 connections are many. They handle 4K resolution at frame rates up to 60 per second, and even some variants of 8K (24 and 30 fps). They also do not require new HDMI cables.


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But for the ultimate in future security – or for people who buy an 8K TV – the full version of HDMI 2.1 is worth considering. It allows the HDMI connection (which looks and works in both versions) to carry up to 48 Gbps (gigabit per second) data, about 2.6 times the capacity of today's HDMI 2.0. The extra bandwidth opens floodgates for higher frame rates and resolutions, such as 4K at 120 frames per second or 8K at 60 frames per second.

The downside? In order to pass the higher bandwidth sources, you must finally purchase new HDMI 2.1 cables.

HDMI 2.1 also appeals to high-end players and people who want to pass Dolby Atmos video more easily to AV receivers and audio bars. It offers variable refresh rate (VRR) and auto low latency mode (ALLM, or automatic game mode ) for the previous and improved audio yield channel (eARC) for the latter. Check out HDMI 2.1: What you need to know for details. Some of these features have been available before. Samsung's 2018 TVs, for example, support VRR and ALLM.

I expect more TV producers to announce HDMI 2.1 support at CES 2019. Stay up to date.

CES 2019: See all CNET's coverage of this year's biggest technological show. 19659005] CES schedule : There are six days of jam. Here's what to expect.


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