Does the Far East Have What It Takes for HDMI 2.1 and 48Gbps?

A seven-hour DPL Labs presentation at the HDMI Wire and Cable Association Conference in China elicited an intense Q&A about HDMI 2.1 and 48Gbps.

Jeff Boccaccio

Being invited back to the Far East this spring for a speaking engagement allowed us to probe deep into whether that region has the intestinal fortitude to create 48Gbps products. Since the majority of electronics are designed and built there, it was a perfect opportunity to explore this question while at the same time learn more about their culture, philosophy and work ethic.

The reception we receive each time we visit is incredible, and makes it even more of a privilege. This latest visit brought us to an event for the HDMI Wire and Cable Association Conference in Dongguan, China, where 160 HDMI wire and cable manufacturers convened.

It was a two-day event where DPL Labs was scheduled for a seven-hour presentation on day two. That’s right, seven hours — four sessions pertaining to DPL’s testing program, HDMI functionality, Rev 2.0 functional differences, and a review of Rev 2.1 48Gbps.

We shared more than 200 of our “Good Ju-Ju” badges with enthusiastic attendees, who threw themselves into a presentation that, in many cases, was above their heads while dealing with the challenge of language translation.

But even after seven hours, not one person left the auditorium. In fact, if anything the attention and interest increased as each session proceeded throughout the entire presentation. This became even more evident during Q&A, with lines of people asking detailed questions revealing a level of comprehension far beyond most events of this caliber.

What stimulated this high level of curiosity? Why was the level of intensity so high? Was it because:

  • A test-and-measurement firm discussed content and not cash? 
  • We were from the U.S.?
  • DPL’s procedures have become more recognized due to Rev 2.0?
  • The animated presentation, with more than 200 slides and 700 animations, helped ease the language barrier?
  • Potential fears and concerns with HDMI’s new Rev 2.1?

Our discussions during and post event, and even more so at the subsequent Hong Kong Electronics Fair, proved all of these played a part in making the event a success. But there was no doubt, the biggest question concerned Rev 2.1’s 48Gbps spec.

It was like we skipped over 18Gbps and landed in the world of 8K. But why? What caused such a diversion to literally leap-frog 4K 60Hz content discussions to 8K and beyond?

This required a decision on our part to shift the focus from basic 4K to 48Gbps and the predicted 8K content not due out until maybe next year. What was the big hurry?

By day three of the Hong Kong Fair the answers to this question began to surface. They, like many others in the industry, are still licking their wounds trying to get their heads around 18Gbps without the means to understanding that many issues they are having are not necessarily video related.

Related: Small Testing Glitch Leaves More HDMI Rev 2.1 Questions Looming

We have been through this time and again in these articles and other formal events. In this region the industry folks don’t have the necessary lifelines that can provide answers to these types of anomalies. Instead, they habitually fall back on basic transmission line problems thinking these are the answers.

One can only imagine how the intensity is growing due to yet another massive expansion of the interface.

This is where we had to pull them back into today’s business and technology arena while at the same time provide enough support for a seamless transition into 48Gbps. This is doable. But you first must provide direction and knowledge to earn that trust.

We go back in October expanding DPL into China from the grassroots right up to all the major players that need to get involved.

Is it a challenge? You bet, but it’s an honor and it will no doubt be very effective and rewarding. Things are continuing to look up.