What Is a 2160P HDMI?

by Richard Asmus

In video screen presentation terminology, 2160p defines a specific resolution. HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, a format used to connect digital video, audio and control signals in home entertainment, computer and video game systems using a single cable. Putting the two terms together states that the equipment using the signal has digital HDMI connection capability.

Signal Resolution

The resolution of a video signal tells the maximum amount of information it carries to illuminate pixels or dots on a screen presentation. In its original format, resolution statistics showed horizontal pixels by vertical pixels such as 640 by 480 for standard television. To simplify statistics, modern resolution specifications only use the second number to tell the capacity for vertical pixels, which produce horizontal lines, with a letter designation for scanning type. Interlaced (i) scanning illuminates odd horizontal lines in one sweep and even in the next, while progressive (p) scanning illuminates all lines in sequence.

TV Set Resolution

The resolution of a TV screen tells the maximum number of pixels it can illuminate per the design of the screen. Standard television sets have 480i resolution, and high-definition sets have 720p, 1080i or 1080p resolution, with 1080p sometimes referred to as "full" HD. In modern television technology, if an HDTV set receives a signal of lower resolution than its design, it upconverts it to the maximum resolution of the screen using computer generated dots to fill in the missing information. If it receives higher resolution, it downconverts it. HDTVs come with a wide range of upconversion qualities and features.

2160p Resolution

A signal resolution of 2160p means it carries enough information to illuminate 2,160 lines of resolution at a speed sufficient to illuminate all lines in a single sweep. For a viewing screen, it means it can actually sweep 2,160 lines quickly enough to illuminate them all in a single sweep. Sometimes know as "Quad Full High-Definition," it has four times the resolution of a full HD signal and has an exact resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels. It has been used on display model screens up to 84 inches.


Developed in 2002, HDMI carries high-quality digital video and up to eight channels of audio, along with various monitoring and control features. Periodic upgrades have increased performance and features, with the latest being version 1.4 of 2009. Since the development of the format, HDMI cables have been designed in two versions: Standard or "category 1" to carry signals up to and including 1080i, and High-speed or "category 2" to carry 1080p and higher. If you have a signal source that produces 2160p with an HDMI output port, you should connect it with an HDMI high-speed cable.


About the Author

Richard Asmus was a writer and producer of television commercials in Phoenix, Arizona, and now is retired in Peru. After founding a small telecommunications engineering corporation and visiting 37 countries, Asmus studied broadcasting at Arizona State University and earned his Master of Fine Arts at Brooklyn College in New York.

Photo Credits

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