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The new HDMI 2.1a standard is coming ... making buying a TV even more confusing

The new HDMI 2.1a standard is coming … making buying a TV even more confusing

At CES 2022, the HDMI forum is expected to deliver a new standard called HDMI 2.1a. As the name implies, this is a small evolution of the existing standard HDMI 2.1. New in version 2.1a is the source-based tone mapping, (SBTM, for abbreviated lovers).

This new feature allows a portion of the HDR mapping to be done by the source device instead of the broadcast device (TV, monitor).
SBTM allows PCs and game consoles to automatically output the optimal HDR signal without the need for manual configuration of the device.
Finally, SBTM can be very useful for sending valid HDR parameters (PiP, Program Guide).

The good news is that firmware updates should be sufficient to bring devices such as HDMI 2.1 TVs and game consoles to HDMI 2.1a.

If there is no major flaw in the HDMI 2.x standard, this announcement is good news: some functionality is not mandatory. Therefore, 10K resolution or 120Hz display frequency support is not necessarily integrated into the HDMI 2.1 device, although they are part of the standard specifications.

Find out more in the video:

Answer the question asked by our colleagues on the site DFT Central, HDMI licensing executives have noted that the HDMI 2.0 standard no longer exists and is now a subset of the 2.1 standard.
Additional functions of version 2.1 are optional, for example, a manufacturer may specify that their TVs have HDMI 2.1 ports, in fact only HDMI 2.0 ports. Additionally, not all HDMI ports on a device need to have the same characteristics. Why simplify it when you complicate it?

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In short, you should be very careful when buying equipment with HDMI ports and do not trust the standard version, but rather look in detail at the exact characteristics of the connectors if the manufacturers are obviously playing the game. The HDMI 2.1a standard is a standard … non-standard. Convenient, isn’t it?

Proof : On the edge