Berlin’s IFA consumer electronics show unveiled the future of video cables: HDMI 2.0.
The new specifications for HDMI boast considerable improvements over its current capabilities. Max throughput jumps from 10Gbps to 18Gbps, and HDMI 2.0 will allow dual video streams and up to 32 audio channels.
But don’t get too excited yet — HDMI 2.0 isn’t going to suddenly double the quality of Blu-ray discs playing on your HDTV.
The new specifications are designed around Ultra HD television sets, which are being touted as the next big thing in home entertainment. The de facto successors to 3D televisions — which never took off quite as expected — Ultra HD televisions like Sony’s (SNE) 4K TVs purportedly offer consumers four times the quality of current HD content.
Of course, that level of quality means a lot of data to transmit, hence the bump in specs for HDMI. The old standards just weren’t up to transmitting four times the data at decent speeds.
It’s entirely possible that Ultra HD televisions will be exactly as successful as 3D TVs … nothing more than a fad. Plus, we’re still talking about televisions that cost thousands of dollars, and sometimes tens of thousands.
However, Ultra HD doesn’t suffer from the same problems that plagued 3D televisions. Users don’t have to wear glasses every time they sit down to watch, nor stay precisely at the right viewing angle to get the proper effect.
HDMI 2.0 isn’t going to revolutionize video content overnight, but it will bring Ultra HD TVs one step closer to our living rooms.
Adam Benjamin is an Assistant Editor of InvestorPlace. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.