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How Retailers Can Make Money Selling HDMI 2.1 High Speed Cables

As Australians spend more time playing games and hunkering down to watch content due to COVID-19 hibernation,, CE and audio retailers are now in a position to benefit from a potential boom in sales from a new generation of HDMI 2.1 cables that deliver a significantly expanded entertainment and gaming experience.

Retailers are being urged to remind consumers that they will get a better experience if they buy new cables as part of their new TV and gaming console purchase as well as when attaching a new generation soundbar.

Companies that are set to benefit from the launch of the new technology include Belkin, Crest, Laser Corporation, ALogic and XCD.

HDMI 2.1 specification is not just another spec with a single new feature. It enables several features that make images and content come to life.
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All HDMI 2.1 enabled devices must be connected with a certified HDMI Ultra-High-Speed HDMI able to get the technology the specification enables. These cables must display an official Ultra High Speed Label on the package, so they are easy to identify.

What’s important is that not all HDMI 2.1 features may be enabled on display models of TV’s in stores so it’s important that retailers check before they sell a 4K TV to a consumer.

Some products labelled HDMI 2.1 might only have eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel).

If a new 4K TV is labelled HDMI 2.1 and one or more ports are for [email protected], the TV needs to state that.

The only way [email protected] can be achieved is with the new signalling technology FRL (Fixed Rate Link), which is needed for higher frame rates and resolution. Conversely, FRL is not needed for some other features such as eARC.

Selling HDMI 2.1 Features

Consumers know to look for a TV with the most HDMI ports, but most don’t yet understand why a TV with one or two of those ports labelled HDMI 2.1 delivers a significantly greater experience, retailers need to explain this and use it to upsell an offering.

Store staff need to ask customer if movies, sports, or gaming are more important, choose the features you feel will resonate the most.

The reality is that all content benefits from each feature.

Many consumers are familiar with the benefits of HDR (High Dynamic Range).

HDR enhances video images with an extended dark-to-bright contrast range for deeper blacks and brighter whites, greater detail in both the dark and bright parts in the same image, and greater detail within an extended colour space.

Now with HDMI 2.1 supporting dynamic HDR, this enhanced HDR feature will be more universally supported.

Dynamic HDR ensures every moment of a video is displayed at its ideal values for depth, detail, brightness, contrast, and wider colour gamut’s—on a scene-by-scene or even a frame-by-frame basis. HDR-enhanced content is available for movies, videos, TV shows, video and PC games and virtual reality.

For the sports fan where winning by a nose makes all the difference, the end-to-end, uncompressed 8K/4K resolutions and faster refresh rates including [email protected] and [email protected] delivered by HDMI 2.1 is a must-have.

In addition to TVs, AV receivers, and soundbars, upcoming gaming consoles like Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 support HDMI 2.1 features and both these consoles are set to be in big demand in Australia in the last quarter.

It will mean that for the first time, gamers can use a TV display much larger than a desktop monitor and be immersed in the action without sacrificing speed or detail.

With increased bandwidth capability supporting up to 48G bandwidth for uncompressed 4K120, the HDMI 2.1 spec enables a veritable cornucopia of acronyms that will appeal to even the most ardent gamer.

Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) reduces or eliminates lag, judder and frame tearing, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) enables the ideal latency setting to be set automatically, Quick Media Switching (QMS) smoothly switches between frame rates, and Quick Frame Transport (QFT) reduces latency for smoother no-lag gaming and real-time interactive virtual reality.

If a customer is purchasing an Xbox Series X or PS5 gaming console or a new generation 4K TV that is specked for HDMI 2.1, don’t forget to explain the need for new cables.

Key Benefits Of HDMI 2.1

[email protected] and [email protected]: End-to-end, uncompressed 8K/4K resolutions and faster refresh rates including 8K60Hz and 4K120Hz with a single upgraded cable for seamless integration with the HDMI ecosystem.

Dynamic HDR: Ensures every moment of a video is displayed at its ideal values for depth, detail, brightness, contrast, and wider colour gamut’s—on a scene-by-scene or even a frame-by-frame basis.

Ultra-High-Speed HDMI Cable: The cable’s increased bandwidth capability supports up to 48G bandwidth for uncompressed HDMI 2.1 feature support. Identified by the HDMI Ultra-High-Speed branding label that is mandatory for each package, this is only cable that complies with stringent specifications designed to ensure support for all HDMI 2.1 features.

Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC): Simplifies connectivity and provides greater ease of use for multiple components discovery and audio optimization. It supports the latest high-bitrate audio formats up to 192kHz, 24-bit, and uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1, and 32-channel uncompressed audio, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

Variable Refresh Rate (VRR): Reduces or eliminates lag, judder and frame tearing for more fluid and better detailed gameplay. VRR enables a gaming source such as a console or computer to deliver video frames as fast as it can, which in many cases is slower than the normal static refresh rate.

Fixed Rate Link (FRL): A signalling technology supported by HDMI 2.1 is necessary to achieve the higher uncompressed resolutions such as those above 4K60 as well as the ultra-high-speed bandwidths up to 48Gbps. It’s also required for some compressed video transport which in turn enables operation at lower data rates for example 4K60 and ultra-high pixel rate video such as 10Kp120.

Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM): Allows the ideal latency setting to automatically be set allowing for smooth, lag-free, and uninterrupted viewing and interactivity.

Quick Media Switching (QMS): Eliminates the delay in movies and video that can result in blank screens before content is displayed.

Quick Frame Transport (QFT): Reduces latency for smoother no-lag gaming, and real-time interactive virtual reality.

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