Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Confusing World of HDMI

Simon Baker:

In this article we want to look at what the “HDMI 2.1” term really means, and address a worrying early sign in the market of things to come. We’ve delved in to what is required for this certification and what that means to you as a consumer if you ever want to buy something labelled with HDMI 2.1. Don’t make any assumptions about what that will give you, sadly it doesn’t seem to be nearly as simple as that.


This rang alarm bells for us, as it appeared that they were advertising a device which had only the capabilities of HDMI 2.0 under the new HDMI 2.1 name. It even specifically says it only used TMDS from v2.0 and not FRL. We’ve already touched on what we think an average consumer will expect when they see HDMI 2.1 listed, and so we queried this with, the HDMI Licensing Administrator to see whether this was dodgy or “fake”.

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!

Via Nick Heer:

The people who write the HDMI spec should get together with those behind USB-C so they can create a single port that nobody understands.


Update (2022-01-05): See also: TidBITS.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

Missed a chance to go with HDMInexplicable.

(My conspiracy theory here, as with USB-C, is that this is "by design" — it's a concession to hardware vendors who want the cake and to eat it too by selling cheap stuff that looks high-end at a glance but isn't. This is especially so for HDMI 2.1 and the USB "3.2 Gen 2", etc. thing.)

In case of USB-C lots of confusion comes primarily because most of the cable are not the full featured ones, not because of ports.
Basically if there were mostly two kinds of those around,
1. USB 3.2, with 100W and 10Gbps of data transfer, plus audio and video.
2. Thunderbolt 3, also with 100W and 40Gbps, audio and video.
and maybe now we cold add USB4 and TB4.
TB3 and TB4 usually even marked with the icon, and often a digit.
Combining it with ports issue just adds complexity.

HDMI seems actually much more problematic

Leave a Comment