JBL Synthesis’ latest AVR and AV preamplifier models already represent state-of-the-art features and performance including high-resolution HDMI 2.0 4K UHD switching capability.


NORTHRIDGE, CA, April 27, 2021 — Designed from the beginning with upgradability in mind, today JBL Synthesis is announcing that the current SDR-35 and SDP-55 models in the range will be upgradable to HDMI 2.1 in Q4 of 2021.

In order to meet the demands of the forthcoming wave of 8K video products, the JBL Synthesis engineering team has developed a new HDMI 2.1 video board that can be retrofitted into all current models. The installation of the new video board can be done by any authorized JBL Synthesis service center. After conversion, these AVRs will feature HDMI 2.1 capability on all inputs and outputs.

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HDMI 2.1 is the latest standard for audio/video connectivity and adds additional features and capabilities over the existing HDMI 2.0 standard. With HDMI 2.1, bandwidth capability extends to 48Gbps – up from 18Gbps with HDMI 2.0, resolutions are supported up to 10K, and frame rates are supported up to 120fps. While the new standard maintains the same physical connector and is backwards compatible with existing HDMI 2.0 cables and components, new Ultra High Speed HDMI cables are required to unlock the full capabilities of HDMI 2.1 products. Many model year 2021 televisions already have at least one HDMI 2.1 input and source capability can be found with the latest high-resolution gaming platforms.

“By announcing this forthcoming HDMI upgrade today, we are giving our customers the confidence that their AVR will remain at the leading edge of audio and video capability and will support the future wave of 8K video products,” said Jim Garrett, Senior Director, Product Strategy and Planning, HARMAN Luxury Audio. “We will be working with our global dealer and distributor partners to ensure that the upgrade process is as quick and painless as possible and that performance and reliability are first-rate.”

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While the HDMI 2.1 board installation has been designed to be as simple as possible, due to specialist handling requirements for PCBs, the upgrade will need to be completed by an authorized JBL Synthesis service center. Details and pricing of the HDMI 2.1 upgrade will be announced later this summer in advance of the Q4 2021 availability.


HARMAN designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions, and services supporting the Internet of Things. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson®, and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 50 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. Our software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated, and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 30,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In March 2017, HARMAN became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.