When HDMI 2.1 Isn’t HDMI 2.1

Simon Baker, writing for TFT Central:

We covered above what we believe the common consumer expectation is in terms of capabilities and features when they see HDMI 2.1 advertised. If you delve in to the detail of HDMI 2.1 you will probably be surprised to hear that actually none of these things are required!

We contacted HDMI.org who are the “HDMI Licensing Administrator” to ask some questions about this new standard, seek clarification on several questions we had and discuss the Xiaomi display we mentioned above. Here is what we were told:

  1. HDMI 2.0 no longer exists, and devices should not claim compliance to v2.0 as it is not referenced any more
  2. The features of HDMI 2.0 are now a sub-set of 2.1
  3. All the new capabilities and features associated with HDMI 2.1 are optional (this includes FRL, the higher bandwidths, VRR, ALLM and everything else)
  4. If a device claims compliance to 2.1 then they need to also state which features the device supports so there is “no confusion” (hmmmm)

What a mess — maybe worse than the USB-C plug situation.

Update: It gets better (by which I mean worse): HDMI 2.1a is coming at CES next week, and it’s just as confusing.

Thursday, 30 December 2021