HDMI 2.0 specification is official with 4K video support

The HDMI Forum has confirmed the official HDMI 2.0 specification, bringing 4K video support to existing HDMI cables and connections.

The latest HDMI specification brings a significant increase in bandwidth, now supporting up to 18Gbps, and support for new features, most notably 4K video at 50/60 frames per second.

The HDMI Forum has also confirmed that "version 2.0 of the HDMI Specification does not define new cables or connectors. Current High Speed cables (category 2 cables) are capable of carrying the increased bandwidth".

However, this still means that existing 4K TVs, which have HDMI 1.4 inputs, won't be able to receive 4K video.

We have previously been told by Sony, for example, that the company is looking for a workaround to support people with existing sets that don't have HDMI 2.0.

(Pictured: Sony KD-65X9005A)

Paul Gyles, head of home entertainment at Sony, said back in July: "Sony 4K sets are future-proofed. Customers are our number one priority and Sony will provide all the necessary solutions to the 4K TV owner to access future 4K content services once they start in respective TV markets." Fingers crossed.

Also new on HDMI 2.0 are new extensions to CEC for HDMI control features, support for 21:9 video aspect ratio and simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen. You can also deliver multiple streams of audio to up to 4 users.

Elsewhere on audio support is dynamic auto lip-sync, support for 32 audio channels – Dolby Atmos on your TV, anyone? – and support for up to 1536kHz audio sample frequency.

More details are expected to come out of IFA 2013, and we have now seen the first HDMI 2.0 4K TV, the Panasonic TX-L65WT600.

Robert Blanchard of Sony Corporation, president of the HDMI Forum, said: "The introduction of the HDMI 2.0 Specification represents a major milestone for the HDMI Forum.”

"Our members collaborated closely to take the highly successful HDMI Specification to the next level by expanding audio and video features for consumer electronics applications."

Read all our 4K TV reviews

by Joe Cox

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for T3 and What Hi-Fi?, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).