HDMI 2.1, The New Standard For TVs, Is Supported By GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs

By Andrew Burnes on November 05, 2020 | Featured Stories G-SYNC GeForce RTX GPUs

All TVs use HDMI to connect PCs, consoles, and other devices. For the past 7 years, we’ve used HDMI 2.0. Now, finally, we have HDMI 2.1 TVs, bringing great new capabilities that you can take advantage of with GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards, the world’s first PC GPUs supporting HDMI 2.1.

With HDMI 2.1, a single output cable enables gaming at 4K 120 FPS and 8K 60 FPS. It also enables variable refresh rate G-SYNC Compatible gaming at much higher resolutions and wider refresh rate ranges, and introduces new technologies that help to further improve your experience.

HDMI 2.1 Technologies Supported By GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs

Our new GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards support key HDMI 2.1 technologies, including:

  • Fixed Rate Link (FRL): A new signaling technology that’s necessary to achieve higher uncompressed resolutions, such as 8K, and to enable 48Gbps ultra high speed bandwidth speeds
  • Display Stream Compression (DSC) 1.2a:  A visually lossless compression algorithm that enables higher resolutions, faster refresh rates (e.g. 8K 60Hz), and greater colour depths (e.g. 8K HDR 10-bit). DSC also eliminates the colour artefacts introduced by older 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 Chroma Subsampling techniques
  • Variable Refresh Rate (VRR): VRR eliminates tearing for more fluid and better gameplay. Together with other supported technologies, high-resolution and high-refresh G-SYNC Compatible gaming is now a reality

How to Get Started With HDMI 2.1

  1. Install a GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics card into your PC, followed by our latest Game Ready Driver
  2. Connect your graphics card to your HDMI 2.1 TV or receiver using an HDMI 2.1 48Gbps Ultra High-Speed Certified HDMI cable, which nearly triples the amount of data that can be transmitted. These are backwards compatible with older versions of the HDMI standard, though some TVs might require that you connect to a specific HDMI port. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s manual and/or website
  3. Make sure your HDMI 2.1 compatible TV has the latest firmware updates (see below).
  4. Activate HDMI 2.1 support, HDMI 2.1 Variable Refresh Rate support, or G-SYNC Compatible support in your TV’s settings menus (each manufacturers’ settings and options differ, so please refer to the manufacturer’s manual and/or website for steps)
  5. Open the NVIDIA Control Panel on your PC and configure options for G-SYNC, G-SYNC Compatible, display resolution, display refresh rate, and other display settings

HDMI 2.1 TVs

NVIDIA is working closely with all major TV manufacturers to ensure high quality HDMI 2.1 and G-SYNC Compatible Variable Refresh Rate experiences on GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards. Read about G-SYNC Compatible testing and validation here.
At the time of writing, the following TVs support HDMI 2.1 on GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs, though some may first require a firmware update. Please refer to manufacturers websites for lists of compatible TVs:

  • LG plans to release firmware updates throughout the remainder of 2020 for their 2019 and 2020 HDMI 2.1-capable TVs. All LG 2019 and 2020 TVs are G-SYNC Compatible, and supported 8K TVs are the LG NANOCELL NANO099, NANO098, NANO097, NANO095 Series and ZX OLED Series. See LG’s latest supported HDMI 2.1 TVs here
  • Samsung has begun to update their Samsung Q900T Series, and Samsung Q800T Series models with new HDMI 2.1 firmware. See Samsung’s latest supported HDMI 2.1 TVs here
  • Sony supports HDMI 2.1 on its 8K SONY MASTER Series Z9H

When you go to buy a TV to pair with a GeForce RTX 30 series GPU, check that the TV supports the latest HDMI technologies and is G-SYNC Compatible for the best big screen gaming experience. Consult manufacturers’ websites for specific specifications, and if in doubt ask their customer support teams.

Conclusion

HDMI 2.1 is the newest display standard for TVs and associated devices moving forward. Receivers, sound bars and other devices are already adding it following the release of HDMI 2.1 TVs from industry leaders like LG and Samsung, and GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards --  the first GPUs with support -- enable high refresh rate, high resolution, VRR PC gaming on these devices.