What is HDMI Quick Media Switching (QMS)?


Tired of black screens when switching between videos or HDMI sources? The Quick Media Switching feature built into the HDMI 2.1a standard is designed to eliminate these interruptions. It can notably be found on 2023 LG OLED TVs.

Quick Media Switching: VRR in the background

Quick Media Switching for movies and videos is one of the new features of the HDMI 2.1a standard. This feature uses the HDMI VRR technology found on the best TVs and gaming displays. Popularized by AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync technologies, VRR allows the screen to change display frequency in real time depending on the signal sent by the source.

2023 LG OLED TVs are the first to feature Quick Media Switching on their HDMI 2.1a ports.

Powered by QMS, VRR eliminates signal interruption when an HDMI source device changes video mode. As long as the resolution remains the same and only the frame rate changes, QMS instantly switches from one frame rate to another.

QMS: how does it work?

When you watch trailers from a streaming service or a Blu-ray, they may be in 24 Hz, 50 Hz or 60 Hz. Without QMS technology, each time a trailer with a different frame rate is selected, either the frames repeat using a specific speed to compensate for the frame rate difference, which introduces judder; or the whole system has to change its clock and resynchronize when the frame rate changes, resulting in an audio-video blackout (on the left in the diagram below).

Quick Media Switching

QMS technology eliminates these cuts by using VRR technology to change the frame rate. This allows you to switch instantly from a 24 Hz to a 60 Hz frame rate, as well as any intermediate rate. The viewer no longer sees a black screen and enjoys a smoother user experience (on the right in the diagram above).


Can all types of TV set-top boxes and AV network players use QMS, such as cable, satellite, IPTV and streaming set-top boxes?

Yes, all types of set-top boxes and AV network players can use QMS, provided they have HDMI 2.1a connectivity.

Does QMS work with other source devices such as PCs and game consoles?

Yes, QMS can work with any type of source device. However, it is not intended for gaming, but rather for video playback.

Do both the set-top box and the TV or projector have to be QMS compatible for it to work?

Yes, both the transmitting device and the TV or projector must support the QMS feature for it to work.

What happens if one of the devices does not support QMS?

If one of the devices does not support the QMS feature, the latter isn’t activated and the experience remains the same as before.

Is a special HDMI cable required?

Any HDMI cable is capable of supporting the HDMI QMS standard. However, we recommend choosing ultra-high speed HDMI cables like the NorStone Jura HDMI 8K for the best experience.

Understand everything about the HDMI format

Can QMS be added to devices via a firmware update?

QMS can be added to HDMI devices via a firmware update. Consult the product documentation or contact the manufacturer for information about a specific device.

How will manufacturers indicate that their products are compatible with QMS?

Manufacturers may indicate in their marketing materials, on product packaging, or in documentation that they feature HDMI Quick Media Switching (QMS).

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