What Is HDMI 2.0b?

Everything you need to about the current standard

HDMI 2.0b is a widespread connection standard that extends its HDR support to include the hybrid log gamma (HLG) format. This new feature allows HDMI 2.0b cables to be used for 4k streaming and broadcasts.

What Is HDMI?

High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is an audio/video standard that transmits content from source to display without losing much of its quality. The first iterations were created through a major collaboration effort between seven corporations and launched in 2002.

Over the years, the technology was expanded to have more capabilities and support higher resolution until the standard upgraded to HDMI 2.0

HDMI 2.0 Is the Current Standard

Also known as HDMI UHD, 2.0 supports 4K resolution at 50 to 60HZ frame rates with a maximum bandwidth of 18 Gbps. The new standard gained Dolby Atmos surround sound technology and Auro 3D Audio for higher audio fidelity. HDMI 2.0 even allows two different video streams to be viewed on one screen.

In the years after its launch, 2.0 gained new versions like 2.0a, which added support for high dynamic range (HDR), and then 2.0b, which added the aforementioned HLG format.

What Is the Difference Between 2.0 and 2.0b?

The inclusion of HLG is by far the biggest differentiator between the two. This format allows broadcasters to have an easier time transmitting 4K resolution by increasing the bandwidth.

It increases bandwidth by combining SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) and HDR into the same signal and allows additional channels to be added, which in turn, paves the way for more vivid content to be transmitted.

Since HDMI 2.0b can support all of the formats that came before it, its subsequent cables have a high level of utility and can be used in older products.

Does HDMI 2.0b Support 120Hz and 144Hz?

HDMI 2.0b can indeed support 120Hz and 144Hz refresh rates, but only at lower resolutions.

While HDMI 2.0b can support 4K resolution, it can only do so at a maximum frame rate of 60Hz. In order to reach 120Hz and 144Hz, a display’s resolution must be dropped down to around 1440p (Quad HD) or 1080p (Full HD).

In order to achieve a 4K resolution at 120 Hz, you will have to upgrade to HDMI 2.1.

Should I Upgrade to HDMI 2.1?

HDMI 2.1 is the the most recent of the HDMI standard having been released in late 2017. It can easily support 4K at 120 Hz as 2.1 has a maximum supported resolution of 10K at 100/120 frames per second. 2.1 also supports Dolby Vision, something that 2.0b can't do.

However, the problem with HDMI 2.1 is there aren’t a lot of consumer level products out there that can support such high resolutions and frame rates. Nor is there a lot of content beyond 4K resolution at 60Hz. Streaming platforms and most movies are sitting comfortably with outputting a 4K resolution.

The technology just isn’t there yet for HDMI 2.1 on a consumer level. It’s best to prevent future headaches and stick to HDMI 2.0b. Find appropriate products that can reliably output 4K at 60 Hz for the best viewing experience possible.

  • Which is better: HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 2.0b?

    HDMI 2.0b and HDMI 2.0 are different HDMI versions in the same family. HDMI 2.0 came out first in 2013 and improved 4K resolution and extended support for multiple audio and display streams. HDMI 2.0b was introduced in 2016 and improved upon HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.0a features before it, particularly support for 4K and HDR standards.

  • What's the difference between HDMI 2.0, 2.0a, and 2.0b cables?

    HDMI cables come in various types based on transfer speed and support for HDMI versions. Standard HDMI cables support HDMI versions 1.0 to 1.2a, whereas High-Speed Cables cover HDMI 1.3 to 1.4a. Premium High-Speed HDMI cables support 4K/UHD and HDR, which means they're compatible with HDMI 2.0 through HDMI 2.0b.

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