HDMI 2.0: A Tour Through Its Features

Originally released in 2013, HDMI 2.0 boasts not only a significant increase in bandwidth from its predecessor (HDMI 1.3/1.4), but it also brings some other snazzy new features to the table.

HDMI 2.0 Features

Up to 18Gbps transfer speeds

HDMI 1.3/1.4 maxed out at 10.2Gbps. The upgraded spec was an effort to support the future’s higher resolutions and frame rates. With the increase in bandwidth, HDMI cables are now able to deliver 4K video at 50/60 fps (HDMI 1.3/1.4 maxed out at 24fps) which is 4 times the clarity of 1080p/60 video resolution.

Dual Viewing

Simply put, dual viewing supports the simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen. This means two full HD shows on the same screen at the same time. This became a big deal with 3D TV’s that supported “dual viewing” which delivered two completely different streams to two people staring at the same screen.

Multi-Stream Audio, 1536kHz Audio Sample Frequency & 32 Audio Channels

Multi-Stream Audio supports the delivery of audio to four different users. With the updated sampling frequency (1536kHz) a full 32-channel system can handle 48kHz per channel, or 192kHz (hi-res audio) on an 8-channel system. Up to 32 [uncompressed] Audio Channels is an upgrade from HDMI 1.3/1.4 which was only able to support eight audio channels.

Dynamic Auto Lip-Sync & 21:9 Aspect Ratio

Reduces delays in the audio/video timing. Also, almost all movies have 21:9 aspect ratio. If you see black bars above and below the picture while watching a movie on your 16:9 monitor, then you’ll know the movie was shot in 21:9 aspect ratio. However, if you have a 21:9 monitor you will see the movie on the full screen.

Extensions to CEC

CEC or Consumer Electronics Control (2.0) is a control technology that enables HDMI devices to be controlled by a single remote. HDMI 2.0 devices that implement the CEC 2.0 spec will allow the user to [theoretically] control up to 15 devices using only one remote.


HDMI 2.0 does not require a new HDMI cable. High-speed HDMI (category 2) cables use the same standard (A, C, and D) connectors as previous versions and support the increased bandwidth of [up to] 18Gbps, but not at longer lengths. To be sure your HDMI cables support Full 18Gb bandwidth, check your cable specifications carefully and look for Certified HDMI Cables.

HDMI Versions
HDMI Version 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2.0
Date initially releases 12/9/02 5/20/04 8/22/05 6/22/06 6/5/09 9/4/13
Maximum Bandwidth (Gbps) 4.95 4.95 4.95 10.2 10.2 18
Maximum Resolution 1600x1200p60 1600x1200p60 1600x1200p60 2048x1536p75 4096x2160p24 4096x2160p60
Maximum LPCM Audio Channels 8 Channels 8 Channels 8 Channels 8 Channels 8 Channels 32 Channels
Maximum Audio Sampling Rate 768kHz 768kHz 768kHz 768kHz 768kHz 1536kHz

HDMI 2.0 Summary
  • Bandwidth up to 18Gbps
  • Transfer of High Dynamic Range (HDR)
  • 4K @ 50/60 (2160p) resolution that is four times as high as 1080P
  • Up to 32 audio channels for a multi-dimensional audio experience
  • A sampling frequency up to 1536kHz
  • Simultaneous transmission of video signals from two different users on the same screen
  • Simultaneous transmission of multi-stream audio to up to four different users
  • Support for the aspect ratio used in Cinema 21: 9
  • Dynamic synchronization of video and audio streams
  • Supplementing the CEC specification, so that more devices can be controlled via a single transmission point

8bit 10bit 12bit 16bit
4K@24 RGB

4K@50 RGB
4:2:0 4:2:2

BOLD text is new with HDMI 2.0
A: Yes, existing High Speed HDMI Cables (wire only) will support the new higher bandwidths (up to 18Gbps). HDMI 2.0 specification defined a new, more efficient signaling method, for speeds above 1.4b limits (10.2Gbps), to allow higher bandwidths (up to 18Gbps) over existing High Speed HDMI Wire Cables.
A: HDMI 2.0, which is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI specification, significantly increases bandwidth up to 18Gbps and adds key enhancements to support market requirements for enhancing the consumer video and audio experience.
A: Yes, all HDMI versions are fully backward compatible with all previous versions.
A: No, HDMI 2.0 uses the existing connectors.
A: No, HDMI 2.0 features such as 4K@50/60 (2160p) video formats will work with existing HDMI 1.4 category 2 cables, but not at longer lengths depending on the gauge and construction of the cable. It may also be necessary for a cable to use an active chip in thinner gauge cables or longer length cables so check the specifications closely.

Original Source Material from HDMI.org