How To Tell if HDMI Cable Is 2.1 or 2.0? Answered

How To Tell if HDMI Cable Is 2.1 or 2.0? |

If you have recently found an HDMI cable and you want to know whether it’s a 2.0 or 2.1, you will try to check the cable for any written numbers or labels. Unfortunately, you will not find any labels or numbers written on the cable, but there are other ways to tell the model of the cable.

How To Tell if HDMI Cable Is 2.1 or 2.0?

There is no physical difference between the versions of HDMI cables; therefore, you will need to connect the cables to a PC or a TV to tell which is which. You will need to set your system to 4k and a refresh rate of 120 Hz; if the cable can support it, then it’s 2.1 HDMI, and if not, it’s 2.0 HDMI.

4K cannot be supported in some systems because the 4K feature is considered new; before the 4K, the clearest picture you could get was 720p (HD) or 1080p (FHD). The 4K picture significantly changes the quality of images with a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels.

Therefore, there is a chance that your TV or PC doesn’t support the 4K feature, and this makes telling the version of the HDMI cable impossible without its packaging; you will need to have access to a system that supports the 4K feature to be able to tell the cable’s version.

What Is the Difference Between HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1?

The main difference between a 2.0 HDMI and a 2.1 HDMI is the bandwidth capacity; the 2.0 version supports up to 18 Gbps, and the 2.1 version supports a bandwidth capacity of up to 48 Gbps. The advantage of the 2.1 can be useful for gamers because it lets them run games in 4K at 120 Hz.

In the future, HDMI 2.1 will be more useful as the number of 8K devices increases; some devices already come with HDMI 2.1, like Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. So, the true benefits of HDMI 2.1 will appear when the technologies develop more.

Another difference between HDMI 2.0 and 2.1 is that the 2.1 version supports “Dynamic HDR,” which lets the display connected adjust the HDR metadata frame-by-frame and scene-by-scene basis. In addition, the 2.1 version supports the enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) feature.

The eARC feature meets the audio standards of DTS:X and Dolby Atom for high-resolution multi-channel audio formats.

What Are The Different Versions of HDMI?

There are many versions of HDMI cables; the earliest ones were the 1.0 and 1.1 versions. This version supports 720p and 1080p resolutions with a maximum refresh rate of 60 Hz. Then, the 1.2 HDMI version comes, which supports 720p resolution with a refresh rate of 120 Hz.

In addition, it can support a resolution of 1440p with a refresh rate of 30 Hz, and the following versions are 1.3 and 1.4 HDMI. They were the first versions to support 4k resolutions and also introduced ARC capabilities. Besides, they also supported 1080p resolution at 120 Hz, 1440p resolution at 60 Hz, and 4K resolution at 30 Hz.

The HDMI 2.0 version was the first to support 5K resolutions with a 30 Hz refresh rate; they also supported 1080p resolution at 240 Hz, 1440p resolution at 120 Hz, and 4K resolution at 60 Hz. However, an update of this version, which is HDMI 2.0a, added the ability to support HDR videos.

Later, another update of the HDMI 2.0 version, known as HDMI 2.0b, supported Hybrid Log0Gamma (HLG) HDR videos. The latest version of HDMI is HDMI 2.1, which supports 4K resolution at 120 Hz and 8K resolution at 60 Hz, in addition to e-ARC capabilities.

What Are The Types of HDMI Cables?

There are several types of HDMI cables; they differ in speed and maximum bandwidth. For example, the standard HDMI cable has up to 5 Gbps bandwidth capacity and supports 1080p and 720p resolutions. This cable type is suitable for 1.0 and 1.2 HDMI versions and is used for satellite TV.

The next type is the high-speed HDMI cable, whose bandwidth capacity can be up to 10 Gbps and supports 1080p and 4k resolutions at a refresh rate of 30 Hz. In addition, it supports advanced display technologies like Deep Color and 3D; this type is suitable for 1.3 and 1.4 HDMI versions.

The premium high-speed HDMI cable type can have a bandwidth capacity of up to 18 Gbps, which allows it to support 4K resolution with a 60 Hz refresh rate, expanded color spaces, and HDR video. This type of cable is suitable for 1.3 and 1.4 HDMI versions.

The last type is the ultra-high-speed HDMI, which has a bandwidth capacity of up to 48 Gbps and is suitable for the 2.1 HDMI version. The ultra-high-speed cable can support a 4K resolution with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and an 8K resolution with a refresh rate of 60 Hz.

A special feature of the ultra-high-speed type is that it produces a low electromagnetic interface (EMI), which makes its interface with nearby wireless devices low. Special versions of the standard and high-speed HDMI cables are used for automotive, sending stronger signals than any other types.

These cables don’t allow the electrical systems of cars to build an interface; these cables can also have built-in ethernet, and the premium high-speed cable can also have this feature. The ethernet is provided through an HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC), an extra data channel.


To summarize, to tell if your cable is HDMI 2.0 or 2.1, you will need a system that supports 4K resolution; you will adjust the system to 4K resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate. If the HDMI cable can support these settings, then it’s HDMI 2.1, and if the cable cannot support the settings, it’s HDMI 2.0.

HDMI has many versions like 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.0, 2.0a, 2.0b, and 2.1; each version has its bandwidth capacity and supports certain resolutions with a specific refresh rate. In addition, HDMI cable also has several types: standard, high-speed, premium high-speed, and ultra-high-speed HDMI cable.

It’s impossible to tell the HDMI cable version by looking at it. You may be able to tell whether it’s old or new. But you must test it using a device to tell its version. You can use your TV, console, or computer.

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