In addition to increasing the bandwidth from 18Gbps to 48Gbps, allowing for 8K at 60P and 4K at 120P, and improved audio handling, the new 2.1 HDMI standard improves dynamic range and HDR potentials significantly by allowing scene by scene settings rather than a global setting at the start. See this article for more.
At least, that’s our opinion.
For sure, anyone buying 4K needs HDMI 2.0, and if you are buying an inexpensive TV not capable of displaying a high dynamic range (HDR), then you can forego HDMI 2.0a. However, if you’re going to buy a 4K TV and you want HDR (which is probably more important than resolution), then you should wait to get a TV with HDMI 2.0a, as this new specification is all about the transmission of HDR formats.
Presently, only the new, high-end 2015 TV’s have, or have the potential for HDMI 2.0a. But more and more will get this capability, and some of the current 2015 TV’s will be upgradeable.
HDMI 2.0a has very little to do with the HDMI cable; HDMI 2.0a is about the electronics in the TV that output the signal that goes to the cable.
The Blu-ray Disc Association has finalized the specification for Ultra HD Blu-ray which supports up to a 3840×2160 resolution and extended dynamic range (HDR), amongst other things.
Disc based media has been predicted to by dying off, but this move certainly will prolong the life span. Digital Rights Management has yet to be clarified. These discs are to have capacities of 66 or 100GB.
Microsoft’s PlayReady 3.0 DRM, which is set to be released with Windows 10, is raising some red flags about restrictive and invasive digital rights management.
It seems like the impetus is to provide “secure” 4K streaming and increase the market for 4K streaming services on computers running Windows.
The biggest concern is that users will be compelled to use this technology if they want to stream in 4K. This has not been confirmed yet.
If a movie is playing in a movie theater right now, and you would like to have access to it on your Windows PC, they might make it available on some Windows PCs that have the higher bar for content protection [PlayReady 3.0 DRM]. — Nishanth Lingamneni (Microsoft)
Crutchfield has a useful article titled HDCP 2.2 copy protection and 4K Ultra HD TV: What you need to know if you’re buying a TV or home theater receiver that provides this salient warning:
With the popularity of 4K TVs, you’ll be seeing loads of new 4K source components in the next few years: 4K Blu-ray players and media players for sure, and eventually, 4K-capable satellite and cable TV receivers, too. Every one of those components will have HDCP 2.2 copy prevention. If you attempt to connect one of them to a 4K TV that doesn’t support HDCP 2.2, you won’t see a 4K picture. That’s the sad truth whether the content is streamed or downloaded from the web, or played from a disc.