Happy holidays! Here is our gift to you: over an hour of audio content exclusively dedicated to HDMI.
If you’re lucky this holiday season, you may be opening up a new PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S. And with that, a brand-new HDMI 2.1 cable — ready to game in 4K at 120Hz.
HDMI 2.1 is an updated HDMI standard that expands the bandwidth of HDMI up to 48Gbps, allowing the ability for multiple features like variable refresh rate (VRR), auto low latency mode (ALLM), and enhanced audio return channel (eARC). It also supports high resolution and refresh rates like 8K60 and 4K120, and all of these features can upgrade your console gaming significantly.
Both your TV and HDMI cable need to support HDMI 2.1 to unlock these features. This holiday season, it’s still a bit confusing to try to figure out which TVs are the best choice. As Polygon’s Samit Sarkar points out, some of Sony’s own “Ready for PS5” branded TVs do not support VRR or ALLM, and in other sets, only one of their multiple ports is HDMI 2.1-ready. From what we’ve seen, this is not an isolated problem in the market right now.
Hopefully, this podcast can help you sort through it all.
For a special Vergecast holiday episode, The Verge’s Nilay Patel, Dieter Bohn, and Chris Welch talked to three industry experts about the new HDMI 2.1 standard. They go through what to look for when buying a new TV, how serious the TV manufacturers are on supporting 2.1, and how the new standard is being implemented throughout the industry.
First, Dieter and Chris talk with the aforementioned Samit Sarkar, front page editor of Polygon, about the state of TVs, next-gen gaming, and availability of HDMI 2.1 features in consumer tech at the moment.
After that, Nilay and Chris chat with Vizio CTO Bill Baxter about implementing HDMI 2.1 in the company’s popular TVs, as well as early bugs that Vizio has encountered between its televisions and the Xbox Series X and PS5. They also talk over where things go from here.
Last but certainly not least, the crew sits down with the president of the HDMI Forum, David Glen, to talk about the ins and outs of the organization in charge of HDMI and how the adoption of 2.1 has been going this year.
With this star-studded cast, we hope this episode helps explain why you may or may not be interested in upgrading your TV for HDMI 2.1 this holiday season. You can listen to the full discussion here or in your preferred podcast player.
Whether you’re dreaming of a new 4K OLED, PS5, or a new Xbox this Christmas, from all of us at The Vergecast, may your frames be variably refreshed and your latency be extremely low.