The HDMI Forum has released the HDMI Version 2.0 specification, which will provide a way to get Ultra HD (4K) signals from a set-top box or gateway to a television.

HDMI 2.0 increases the standard’s bandwidth to up to 18Gbps, enough to support video with Ultra HD resolution (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) at up to 60 fps. There is built-in support for 21:9 aspect ratio more common to theatre screens.

The developers said the new standard will also support simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen.  

Synchronization of video and audio streams is dynamic. HDMI 2.0 also supports up to 32 audio channels; audio sampling frequency is up to 1536 kHz. It will support the simultaneous delivery of multi-stream audio to up to four users.

Other features include dynamic auto lip-sync and extensions to CEC designed to provide expanded command and control of consumer electronics devices through a single control point

The developers of the spec said HDMI 2.0 is fully backward compatible with earlier versions of the standard. Version 2.0 of the HDMI Specification does not define new cables or new connectors. Current High Speed cables (category 2 cables) are capable of carrying the increased bandwidth.

The HDMI 2.0 Compliance Test Specification (CTS) is expected to be released before the end of 2013, which means commercial products are unlikely before 2014.

The complete Version 2.0 of the HDMI Specification is available on the HDMI Adopter Extranet.