Do you need HDMI 2.1 for 4K?

The difference is vast when compared to the HDMI 1.4 and 2.0 ranges however, it’s not essential in order to support 4K. It’s totally dependent on the results that you, the consumer want. HDMI 1.4 will support 30Hz, HDMI 2.0 will support 60hz and HDMI 2.1 will support 120Hz; all 4k but as you can see, the newer more advanced tech gives you the larger bandwidth which basically means everything on screen is smoother and looks much better. Gaming has the biggest advantage to this new smoothness, as it looks more realistic, it can be an advantage in fast game play and may make you a better player!

There are other factors at play too. The HDMI port on your TV or monitor determines the frequency or frames per second, you can display 4K at, as does the device you are running. Devices and consoles will need to be built with the new HDMI standard to be able to use it as the higher bandwidth needs hardware capability to support it. As there will be no firmware upgrade, your pre 2019 tech will still handle the 4K tv but don’t expect it to support 8K video, even if the cabling does. Since it has backward compatibility, all of your other devices will work as normal.

HDMI is a licenced product and we are delighted that we are a seller of certified cables, meaning that HDMI.org have tested and approved our certified cables to above the HDMI 2.1 standard. These are the only HDMI cables that we would recommend as they have proven quality. Find them here.

Does HDMI 2.1 make a difference?

In short, it’s faster and better. Most devices are now HDMI 2.0 and run at 18Gbps where as HDMI 2.1 nearly triples the bandwidth giving a maximum speed of 48Gbps.

The dynamic range of video determines how bright and colourful each pixel can get. Most current ranges are static and can’t be changed while watching a movie. Dynamic high-dynamic-range(HDR) video increase the dynamic range of video and makes it variable so it can be teased to best for the content being shown. In other words, the video has more control of the light and colour ranges shown.

These cables are available in a range of lengths up to 4m before we then get into the realms of optical AOC cables which run to 30m. Find them here

Will my existing devices work?

Absolutely. Any HDMI enabled device can be connected to an older version of HDMI and work just fine but you will need HDMI 2.1 tech and cables to get the 4K resolution and refresh rates. Take a look at our certified cables. Is HDMI 2.1 a firmware upgrade? HDMI 2.1 is not a firmware upgrade so it’s no possible to speed up your existing piece of tech. It is however, completely backward compatible so every bit of kit you already have working at 1.4 or 2.1 frequency, will continue to work to a point. For 4K content, you will need HDMI 2.1 which you can find here.

Do I need HDMI 2.1 for gaming?

Ultimately...no! You can still use your older devices for gaming with HDMI 2.0 which also allows for 4K at 60hz, the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X have made sure of that. For high end gaming on the PS5 or Xbox X, HDMI 2.1 cables, home theatre and hardware is certainly an advantage as 120hz at 4K is something that is only possible via an HDMI 2.1 connection. There are PS5 compatible HDMI cables here