VRR, eARC and QMS Can Be Added To Certain Panels via Firmware Updates, Says HDMI Forum

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The HDMI Forum released the final HDMI 2.1 specification a while ago. These feature a number of improvements that are highly anticipated by gamers and entertainment lovers, but there's no HDMI 2.1 display in sight and there probably won't be one until 2019 at least.

However, speaking to FlatpanelsHD HDMI Forum's CEO Rob Tobias and Marketing Director Brad Bramy revealed that some of the most exciting features in the HDMI 2.1 specification such as Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) and Quick Media Switching (QMS) can be added to certain panels via firmware update. These panels would have to have a "flexible HDMI structure", though, and it is ultimately up to the manufacturer whether they want to release an update or not.

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This is potentially great news for those customers who have purchased a 4K HDR display in 2017. Now we just have to wait and see which manufacturers will be able and willing to update their displays; we'll keep you posted as soon as there's any news in this regard.

As a reminder, these are the official descriptions for VRR, QMS and eARC.

  • Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) reduces or eliminates lag, stutter and frame tearing for more fluid and better detailed gameplay.
  • Quick Media Switching (QMS) for movies and video eliminates the delay that can result in blank screens before content is displayed.
  • eARC simplifies connectivity, provides greater ease of use and supports the most advanced audio formats and highest audio quality. It supports objects-based audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
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