Tuesday, August 16

That HDMI 2.1 port is not very HDMI 2.1: watch out for the fine print on TVs, disappointments come later

Imagine that you buy a brand new TV or monitor. You have chosen it because has HDMI 2.1 ports, so sure you can connect your PS5 or your Xbox Series X and make the most of themYes? Well no.

It turns out that the fact that a television or monitor includes HDMI 2.1 ports does not mean that all the benefits of the HDMI 2.1 specification are supported. It seems absurd, but those responsible for licensing this specification they have done it in a very confusing way, and manufacturers may say that their ports are HDMI 2.1, but actually only offer compatibility with the HDMI 2.0 standard.

HDMI 2.0 is dead: long live HDMI 2.1

And TFT Central analyzed a problem that until now had not been discovered and that can pose major disappointments for users of new devices.

They did it, for example, when talking about new Xiaomi Fast LCD Monitor, a 24.5-inch model with refresh rates of up to 240 Hz recently launched in China.

The monitor It has an HDMI 2.1 port that is not a full HDMI 2.1 actually, because it only supports the TMDS signal protocol. This means that at higher resolutions you cannot take advantage of the higher refresh rate, and therefore it can end up being a disappointment for many users.

Xiaomi actually shows an asterisk next to the HDMI 2.1 port in its specifications, and then indicate in the small print that limitation of a port that has a characteristic that was typical of the HDMI 2.0 standard.

Those responsible for TFT Central contacted the HDMI Licensing Administrator, the entity in charge of validating that manufacturers can say that they have integrated HDMI 2.1 ports in their televisions or monitors.

HDMI specifications table

In doing so, the spokespersons of this entity indicated that “HDMI 2.0 no longer exists“and that” the features of HDMI 2.0 are now a subset of HDMI 2.1. “In fact, they highlighted that if a device claims it complies with 2.1, it also it should indicate what functions the device supports so there is “no confusion”.

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That makes it clear that Xiaomi actually met the requirements: it can say that it has an HDMI 2.1 port because it does (with an asterisk), and that is precisely why you have to be very careful when buying a television or monitor with these ports from now on, which may be small in print and not have all the benefits of the HDMI 2.1 specification.

The arrival of HDMI 2.1 is great news for users: the advantages are evident if you take advantage of this increase in bandwidth from 18 to 48 Gbps, but be careful because the advantages that we can obtain —For example, playing at 4K and 120 Hz on newer consoles or Variable Refresh Rate technology— are not guaranteed.

Here users should be alert: we have already started to see the inclusion of HDMI 2.1 ports in many of the 2021 high-end TVs and that will probably be the norm in 2022 in lower ranges, but beware: some manufacturers they combined multiple HDMI 2.0 ports with a “full” HDMI 2.1 port.

To that is now added this new confusion that forces users to be very careful when buying a new monitor or a television with HDMI 2.1 ports. Read the fine print carefully, lest those HDMI 2.1 ports are not “real” HDMI 2.1 ports.

More information | TFT Central


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