Be vigilant if you are planning to buy a TV, monitor or media player in 2022. The HDMI organization now lets manufacturers advertise HDMI 2.1 compatibility even if no HDMI 2.1 features are supported.
HDMI 2.1 replaces HDMI 2.0FlatpanelsHD has repeatedly warned about 4K TVs with optional HDMI 2.1 features like eARC or ALLM being sold as HDMI 2.1 TVs. Features like ALLM are backwards compatible with HDMI 2.0 chipsets and in such cases you are not getting HDMI 2.1 bandwidth (for 4K120 or 8K60).
There is a new development and unfortunately it is not good news. The HDMI organization has confirmed to TFTCentral that manufacturers can now claim HDMI 2.1 support even if not a single HDMI 2.1 feature is supported. That is because "HDMI 2.0 no longer exists".
Here is the HDMI Licensing Administrator's answer to TFTCentral:
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”
In fact, Xiaomi already advertises HDMI 2.1 support for one of its new LCD monitors that supports no HDMI 2.1 features. In the past, it would have been labeled as a regular HDMI 2.0 monitor because it supports only HDMI 2.0 bandwidth (over TMDS). This case prompted TFTCentral to contact the HDMI organization.
Manufacturers of TVs, monitors, media player, game consoles and other devices are still required to list the specific HDMI 2.1 features supported, but if there are none what is there to specify exactly? The spec sheet will simply read "HDMI 2.1", which will surely confuse a lot of buyers.
- "Devices can no longer be certified for 2.0," HDMI.org spokesperson Douglas Wright wrote in a follow-up statement to The Verge. "We are all dependent on manufacturers and resellers correctly stating which features their devices support."
If you want to know which TV models actually come with HDMI 2.1 ports (HDMI 2.1's FRL bandwidth) and HDMI 2.1 features check FlatpanelsHD's TV Database or our list of 4K and 8K TVs with HDMI 2.1.
- How HDMI 2.1 was promoted in 2017. Table: HDMI ForumSource: TFTCentral, The Verge