HDMI 2.1 vs. HDMI HDCP 2.2: Technology is constantly improving, and HDMI is no exception. When HDMI 2.1 was introduced, it had major updates compared to the previous 2.0 version. Some improvements included the resolution, capability, and display stream compression.
Beyond this, HDMI 2.1 has been designed to open up more communication lines between devices connected from either side of the cable. As a result, the cables handle more traffic on the digital space highway and configure the traffic so that connected devices maintain uninterrupted dialogue.
HDMI 2.2 is the same as the High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP 2.2) technology. Using an authentication key, it is designed to prevent unauthorized copying of contents, especially the 4K Ultra HD.
It achieves this by enabling digital integration, which connects the source and the display. In this article, we will extensively discuss the key differences between HDMI 2.1 and HDMI 2.2, starting with a side-by-side comparison.
HDMI 2.1 vs. HDMI 2.2: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Specifications||HDMI 2.1||HDMI 2.2|
|What it is||Audio/ Video interface||Audio/ Video interface|
|Primary use||Transmit video and audio to consumer electronics, gaming||Transmitting audio and video to consumer electronics, copy protection, gaming,|
|Resolutions supported and refresh rates||4K@120 Hz|
With a maximum resolution of up to 10K
|Bandwidth coverage||48 Gbps||Bandwidth depends on the resolution of the video content|
|Compatibility||Used in many consumer electronic devices. It is backward compatible with early versions.||Used in consumer electronics with MGL 3.0 and Display port 1.4a. It is not backward compatible.|
|Number of displays per cable||1||1|
|Audio||Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio||Dolby Atmos|
|Diversification||Mirror Mode/Game Mode/Extended Mode||Mirror Mode/Game Mode/Extended Mode/Home theater|
HDMI 2.1 vs. HDMI 2.2: What’s the Difference?
Compatibility with Hardware Devices
One of the key features of HDMI 2.1 is its backward compatibility with hardware electronic devices regarding 4K video. This means you can transmit digital audio and video from a computer to a digital television compatible with earlier HDMI versions.
You can also connect earlier versions of sources like a Blu-ray player to your new 4K TV and enjoy your HD picture. Switching to HDMI 2.1 is a straightforward process. Simply locate the HDMI port in your device and connect the HDMI 2.1 cable.
The connectors for the HDMI 2.1 are the same shape and size as HDMI 2.0. Even if you haven’t upgraded your video/audio device, your cables will work perfectly with your current devices.
On the other hand, HDMI 2.2 is not compatible with electronic devices that used earlier HDMI versions. To play a 4K video from your Blu-ray player or media player, you need to ensure that both your media player and your TV are compatible with HDCP version 2.2.
If a transmitting device transmits HDCP-protected content, the receiver should also be able to support HDCP to receive it correctly. Any gadget that doesn’t support HDCP 2.2 cannot be upgraded. Therefore, you will need hardware components such as an HDCP transmitter and receiver. For instance, some of the first 4K TVs, released in 2013, did not support HDCP 2.2.
Additionally, they couldn’t be updated because HDCP 2.2 necessitates a hardware update, which a firmware update won’t fix. Therefore, when purchasing a 4K TV, consider HDMI/HDCP 2.2 compatibility. Almost all 4K TV brands from 2014 and later have one or two HDMI inputs that support HDCP 2.2.
HDMI 2.1 supports many high resolutions and refresh rates. These include 4K@120Hz, and 8K@60Hz, and can support up to 10K resolution. Higher resolutions improve clarity, resulting in sharper images for a better viewing experience.
On the other hand, high refresh rates give a better feel of motion and lower the lag time during gaming. Additionally, HDMI 2.1 packs HDR (High Dynamic Range), a feature that ensures every moment of your video is displayed at the right contrast, brightness, details, and depth. Therefore, you’ll get a cinematic experience even in the comfort of your home.
On the other hand, HDMI 2.2 is specifically developed for 4K Ultra HD video content, movies, and TV shows with High Dynamic Range. The HDMI 2.2 cable offers resolutions of up to 4K (four times greater than HD), resulting in higher quality and sharper images. If your devices do not support HDMI 2.2 you, can still enjoy your HD content by selecting 720p or 1080p instead of HDR or 4K.
The HDMI 2.1 offers greater bandwidth of up to 48 Gbps, which is a major improvement when compared to the previous HDMI versions. This is a major boost to performance because it enables a wide range of features, including higher refresh rates, higher resolutions, and greater color depths.
Higher bandwidth means you can achieve a high data transfer rate, leading to short download times, especially when downloading larger files. HDMI 2.2 has no specific bandwidth because it is a copy-protection technology. The bandwidth depends on the resolution of the video content.
HDMI 2.1 vs. HDMI 2.2: 5 Must-know facts
- A standard fiber-optic HDMI 2.1 cable can be 50 feet long, but this would result in more visual quality loss.
- The HDMI cable does not affect the quality of your picture because it does not change the resolution of the content transmitted.
- HDMI extenders are available on the market. They allow you to stretch the distance between devices and short HDMI cables without compromising quality.
- HDMI 2.1 and HDMI 2.2 both support an external Audio Return Channel, enabling you to divert an external audio system using one HDMI cable.
- HDMI 2.2 supports only 4K UHD native content. Native applies to 4K content that has not been processed through downscaling or upscaling.
HDMI 2.1 vs. HDMI 2.2: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?
The HDMI 2.2 has some compatibility restrictions that have become one of its biggest setbacks. Besides, backward compatibility limitations create a barrier between media players, Blu-ray players, and TVs.
This separates audio-visual creatives between the best and the rest, which requires more complicated and costly systems. The HDMI 2.1 has many updates, including a high definition of up to 10K.
It also introduced Quick Media Switching (QMS), which does away with the blank, black screen experienced in previous versions. QMS instantly switches between frames as long as the resolution remains the same.
This can be from games to streaming apps. It’s also cost-friendly, meaning you don’t have to buy third-party devices to integrate with previous versions. When it comes to choosing between them, HDMI 2.1 wins in almost every aspect.