JBL Synthesis & ARCAM announce HDMI 2.1 upgradability

JBL Synthesis and ARCAM, both part of the HARMAN Luxury Audio group, have revealed that some of its current AVR models will be upgradable to HDMI 2.1 in Q4 of this year.

JBL’s SDR-35 and SDP-55 models, and ARCAM’s AVR10, AVR20, AVR30, and AV40 models already represent premium feature and performance including high-resolution HDMI 2.0 4K UHD switching capability.

Both company’s engineering teams have developed a new HDMI 2.1 video board that will be retrofitted into the current models in order to meet the demands of the forthcoming wave of 8K video products. The installation of the new board can be done by any authorised JBL Synthesis or ARCAM service centre. After conversion, these AVRs will feature HDMI 2.1 capability on all inputs and outputs.

As the latest standard for audio/video connectivity, HDMI 2.1 adds a number of features and capabilities over the existing HDMI 2.0 standard. With HDMI 2.1, bandwidth capability extends to 48Gbps – up from 18Gbps with HDMI 2.0 – and resolutions are supported up to 10K, as well as frame rates supported up to 120fps.

Although the new standard maintains the same physical connector and is backwards compatible with existing HDMI 2.0 cables and components, new Ultra High Speed HDMI cables are required to unlock the full capabilities of HDMI 2.1 products. Most 2021 models of TVs already have at least one HDMI 2.1 input and source capability can be found with the latest high-resolution gaming platforms.

Details and pricing of the HDMI 2.1 upgrades will be announced later this summer in advance of the Q4 2021 availability.