HDMI 2.1-enabled TVs have gone mainstream over the past year as set manufacturers have gotten serious about the gaming market. Many TV manufacturers equip sets with HDMI 2.1’s advanced gaming features to give gamers a viable alternative to computer monitors. Doing so also opens up the U.S. gaming market, forecasted by Statista to be $65.5 billion in 2021, to TV manufacturers and their retail partners.
Retailers looking to profit should get educated about HDMI 2.1 and begin ramping up their marketing efforts, web content and sales associate training to help them make informed customer recommendations and suggest add-on purchases.
HDMI 2.1 and Gaming
TVs enabled with HDMI 2.1 game features support the resolution and frame rate needed for an ideal gameplay experience.
By the numbers, that means 4K resolution with four times the number of pixels compared to Full-HD and a 120Hz refresh rate—twice the rate of high definition television. For games where resolution is more important than frame rate, many HDMI 2.1-enhanced TVs support 8K@60fps.
Many game-enabled HDMI 2.1 TVs also offer built-in game-specific features like Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) to make playing more fluid and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), which automatically instructs the television when to optimize its performance for gameplay or television watching.
Many of these TVs also create immersive audio experiences via Dolby Atmos and DTS:X thanks to the specification’s support for Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC).
More Than TVs
HDMI 2.1-enabled TVs are only part of the story. Holiday shoppers serious about purchasing a TV for gameplay will also be interested in other HDMI 2.1-enhanced products, including graphics cards for their computers, game consoles, docking stations, AVRs, cables and even separate computer monitors, especially for those who at times want to play in their rooms and at other times in the living room.
Game consoles like Xbox Series X and S and Sony PlayStation 5, each of which offers HDMI 2.1 connectivity, have proven to be quite popular with one estimate of sales of the Xbox Series X and S coming in at 6.5 million units as of June and figures from Sony putting PS 5 unit sales at 10 million as of July.
Not only do these sales figures suggest millions of gamers may be eager to upgrade to HDMI 2.1-enabled TVs to enhance their gameplay but also that millions more will likely upgrade to these popular gaming devices over the holidays and at the same time be in the market for enhanced viewing to maximize their gaming experience.
Retailers aren’t alone in promoting HDMI technology to consumers. HDMI LA is in the second year of its gaming ambassador campaign to raise awareness about how HDMI 2.1 technology enhances gaming.
The effort includes HDMI Gaming Ambassadors getting the word out on Twitch and Discord and Fortnite and League of Legends gaming tournament sponsorships on Repeat.gg to raise awareness of HDMI in general and how HDMI 2.1-enabled TVs can enhance gameplay.
As Tyler Maclachlan, one of the ambassadors, recently put it, having a TV with gaming features “means more choices and a lot more flexibility on where we can game.”
Learn more at www.hdmi.org.
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