Since 2002, nearly all of us have come across an HDMI cord. It connects your monitor to soundbars, game consoles, DVD players, and your PC in your home theater setup. However, there are different versions of HDMI, with the latest versions offering more features and versatilities. Among the latest additions are HDMI 2.1 and HDMI 2.2. What are they, and what do they offer? Let’s find out below.
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What Is HDMI 2.1?
HDMI 2.1 is among the latest additions to HDMI, introduced in 2017. This cord has a higher performance than its predecessors. It has improved bandwidth, resolution, and refresh rate, among other features. It has a comprehensive bandwidth coverage of up to 48Gbps, ensuring faster data transfer. Besides, it supports 4k resolution at 120fps and 8k resolution at 60fps. In addition, it supports dynamic HDR.
What Does HDMI 2.2 Mean?
HDMI 2.2 is the same as HDCP 2.2, which stands for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. It is a technology used in HDMI connections to prevent illegal copying of contents, especially 4K Ultra HD. It does so by enabling a digital handshake which allows a source and a display to have a secure connection. HDCP 2.2 compatible devices have an active dialogue with one another to establish a secure HDCP security key. The content would play only if the security key is found; otherwise, it wouldn’t play as the devices would presume a security breach. This has helped protect the intellectual content of owners against illicit copying, despite making usage more complex for users.
Earlier 4K TVs lacked support for HDCP 2.2. Also, an upgrade was unavailable as doing so requires a hardware update. Unlike other HDMI versions, HDCP 2.2 is backward-incompatible, especially when 4K content is involved.
Does HDCP Have Different Versions?
There are two main versions of HDCP; HDCP 1.4 and HDCP 2.2. HDCP 1.4 closely relates to HDMI 1.3 and 1.4. On the other hand, HDCP 2.2 closely resembles HDMI 2.0. This feature brings up confusion between HDCP and HDMI interfaces. The HDCP 2.2 label is always found next to HDMI ports in TVs, projectors, monitors, and other compatible devices to make things more complicated.
Based on functionality, HDCP 1.4 supports full HD content. On the other hand, HDCP 2.2 supports ultra HD 4K content. Even with the introduction of HDMI 2.1 in the market, HDCP 2.2 continues to play a crucial role in 4K content.
What Is the Difference Between HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1?
HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 differ in video resolution and compatibility as shown:
HDMI 2.1 Vs. HDMI 2.2: Video Resolution
HDMI 2.1 supports both 4K and 8K uncompressed content. The high resolution allows you to see clearly and sharper images. Also, it shows more details on the screen. However, you’ll need to ensure that the media player, display, and content played all support 4K resolution.
On the other hand, HDCP 2.2 supports 4K resolution. To enjoy uninterrupted 4K content, you’ll need to ensure that every device in your setup supports HDCP 2.2. This feature is crucial as we look forward to HDCP 2.2 encrypted content in the coming future. However, if you wish to play 1080 pixels content, you may not need HDCP 2.2.
An important consideration when looking for a 4K TV, monitor, or projector is to check for compatibility with HDCP. Devices incompatible with HDCP 2.2 may fail to play 4K content. The same applies to receivers. Ensure the one you consider has inputs and outputs compatible with HDCP 2.2.
HDMI 2.1 is backward-compatible with previous HDMI versions. This feature allows you to connect with previous HDMI versions, meaning that if your device does not have an HDMI 2.1 port, you can still connect HDMI 2.1 cable successfully.
On the other hand, HDCP 2.2 is not backward-compatible. Whenever 4K content is involved, backward compatibility is impossible with HDMI 2.2. Therefore, you can connect older versions of sources to your 4K display and enjoy 4K content. However, if you have A 4K TV and a 4K source, the TV will first establish the HDCP 2.2 authentication for the digital handshake before accepting the content. If it doesn’t establish the HDCP authentication, there will be no 4K video.
Is HDMI 2.2 a Thing?
Yes, HDMI 2.2 is a thing. As early as 2020, there were two versions of HDCP; HDCP 1.4 and HDCP 2.2. They bear a close resemblance to HDMI 1.4 and HDMI 2.0, respectively, which may bring about confusion. You’re more likely to find the HDCP 2.2 label next to HDMI ports on your compatible devices. While HDCP 1.4 supports 1080 pixels content, HDCP 2.2 supports 4K resolution.
Does HDMI 2.2 Require a Special Cable?
Yes, HDMI 2.2 requires a special cable. In your setup, ensure all cables are premium High-Speed HDMI Cables. Therefore, your television should have an HDCP 2.2 compatible HDMI input. Thus, verifying that the TV has at least one HDCP 2.2 supportive HDMI input is vital. When you use one subpar cable in your setup and all other cables are premium High-Speed HDMI cables, the HDCP 2.2 feature will fail.
Is HDMI 2.1 Worth the Upgrade?
No, HDMI 2.1 isn’t worth the upgrade. You only need HDMI 2.1 to play 4K content at 60 Hertz refresh rate on consoles. When playing the same content on a PC, DisplayPort 1.4 seamlessly carries the operation. Fortunately, DisplayPort 1.4 cables are readily available. Thus, upgrading HDMI 2.1 would mean extra expenses on your setup.