The steady march of progress in AV fidelity demands digital communication between components at ever-higher bitrates. Today, HDMI Forum, inc. has released the HDMI 2.1 specification, which brings numerous exciting capabilities to the table, thanks to its added bandwidth. These include support for 8K video at 60p and 4K video at 120p frame rates, eARC support, and many more.

The signature feature of the new specification is its 48 Gbps bandwidth. This allows for support resolutions up to 10K. But there's more to HDMI 2.1 than more pixels, it also allows for better pixels. For example, HDMI 2.1 supports dynamic HDR, while eARC finally brings 3D immersive audio such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X to HDMI ARC.

Gamers will love support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) that reduces or limits lag, frame tearing, and stuttering. And everyone will appreciate Quick Media Switching (QMS) that eliminates delays (and the resulting blank screens) when switching sources.

HDMI 2.1 will also include Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) that allows for automatic setting of ideal latency (whatever that means). The press release claims it will allow for "smooth, lag free, and uninterrupted viewing plus interactivity."

With HDMI 2.1 now official, it will be interesting to see what sort of discussions pop up at CES 2018, which at this point is (basically) just weeks away.

Click here to read the full press release and join the forum discussion.

Here's a chart of the features supported by various the HDMI versions.