HDMI 2.0 Certifies as HDMI 2.1 by Default for 2022?!?

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
HDMI was designed to make life easier for the AV consumer, but new rules about HDMI 2.1 compliance testing have made an already-confusing situation far worse. The HDMI Licensing Administrator says that new HDMI devices can now be granted “HDMI 2.1 compliant” status even if they don’t support any of the advanced features associated with the HDMI 2.1 standard. Confused yet? Read on to learn more.

HDMI-rebranded.jpg


Read: HDMI 2.1 Compliance Certification Confusion
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
We will be discussing the implications of this with Phil Jones from Sound United this Thursday evening at 9pm EST:
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Ninja
Yeah, it's all still a mess. The state of it is ridiculous. A device can be lableled HDMI 2.1 and support none or any number of the features associated with the new spec.o_O
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Holy cr@p.
This is a mess… a big steamy pile right in the middle of the the bed.
Thank you for the write-up, Jacob.
 
C

corey

Senior Audioholic
"HDMI was designed to simplify the AV world"? HDMI was designed to enforce copy protection on high definition media and hardware.
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
Wow. I guess each TV brand just includes whichever features they want to include. Very confusing for customers.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Ninja
Worse than the "free for all" in implementing any HDMI features from any version is the "free for all" in the designation of some of the HDMI features. How many folks have run into problems connecting different brands of devices because manufacturers can call HDMI-CEC whatever the f#%k they want to call it. How many folks can't get a picture to their TV from a chain of devices connected to an AVR because of the multitude of settings that must be made precisely to get the desired image from an HDMI connection? This of course assumes the folks in question have HDMI cables up for the task and have not just ripped them from their HDMI 1.4 systems. It's just a f#%kin' mess out there.:mad:
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Spartan
Wow. I guess each TV brand just includes whichever features they want to include. Very confusing for customers.
I'm at the point where upgrading to 8k and 2.1 I just may not do because of how complicated this is. There's so little content anyways. I still love a good standard blue ray half the time anyways its so hard to tell the difference.

Seems like where you get the most benefits is from gaming right now and I'm just not much of a gamer anymore I work to darn much
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
I'm at the point where upgrading to 8k and 2.1 I just may not do because of how complicated this is. There's so little content anyways. I still love a good standard blue ray half the time anyways its so hard to tell the difference.

Seems like where you get the most benefits is from gaming right now and I'm just not much of a gamer anymore I work to darn much
This is the only reason I'm interested. And for that matter, not even interested in 8K, just the 4K/120... But even that isn't a big deal right now. It will become a bigger deal, for gaming, sooner than it will matter for anything else.

Only reason I've been caring is that I want to make a round of upgrades, but I need to have them count for the long haul. It's just a shame that instead of fixing it and cleaning up the mess... they decided to make it worse.
Now, instead of a working protocol with a little consumer education, we have have to pay attention to every little detail.
So when the time comes, this year or next, I need to make certain that all devices and the stars align, consult a tarot reader, hold a seance, and then still hope my luck holds well enough to get it right! :p

Fcuk the world.

All because I do like to game and will want to take full advantage of it when it matters. :rolleyes:

Anybody else miss Pong?
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Spartan
This is the only reason I'm interested. And for that matter, not even interested in 8K, just the 4K/120... But even that isn't a big deal right now. It will become a bigger deal, for gaming, sooner than it will matter for anything else.

Only reason I've been caring is that I want to make a round of upgrades, but I need to have them count for the long haul. It's just a shame that instead of fixing it and cleaning up the mess... they decided to make it worse.
Now, instead of a working protocol with a little consumer education, we have have to pay attention to every little detail.
So when the time comes, this year or next, I need to make certain that all devices and the stars align, consult a tarot reader, hold a seance, and then still hope my luck holds well enough to get it right! :p

Fcuk the world.

All because I do like to game and will want to take full advantage of it when it matters. :rolleyes:

Anybody else miss Pong?
What is life without Pong? :D
 
AVR Enthu

AVR Enthu

Full Audioholic
"What is the point of having an HDMI 2.1 standard at all?"

Good question. It turns out that HDMI is not a 'standard', in the same way as we understand standards, such as PCIe data lanes on PCs, IEEE Ethernet and similar. Here is what they say:
Testing Policies - HDMI
HDMI.org is only a licensing agent to administer licensing of HDMI Specification, promote HDMI technology and provide 'education' on the benefits of HDMI interface. I found this extract:
"Successful completion of the Compliance Test Specification or ATC Testing does not guarantee that any product will conform to the High-Definition Multimedia Interfaces, function correctly or interoperate with any other product. Each Adopter is solely responsible for ensuring that its products function correctly, fully comply with the HDMI Specification and Adopter Agreement, and interoperate with other products." It does not sound reassuring, does it? Is this another reason why we are in such a mess now with HDMI 2.1?

HDMI seems to be a lose list of features written as a non-mandatory specification and owned by a trade association of consumer electronic companies, rather than being 'industry standard', like IEEE Ethernet or PCIe are. Hence, the rigour of interoperability of HDMI products entering the market could be lower. Manufacturers can release products with mismatched features, products that have not been tested with other products and simply hope those products are going to work together. It seems that compliance certification is not enough to give consumers confidence when new tech spec appears, as certification sticker does not guarantee that devices would work together. We all know what happened to Yamaha and Sound United AVRs in 2020...

The question is whether any institution, including court of law, could enforce on HDMI association to introduce:
1. interoperability testing as mandatory prior to product market release
2. make HDMI 2.1 a real standard with minimal mandatory features rather than all being optional
That would tighten things


Standard, specification, is it not the same thing?
It turns out that those two thigns are not the same. There is a relationship between them, but it is important to differentiate between them. HDMI has never been a standard.

Specification is simply a list of features in something, such as XL T-shirt size or HDMI 2.1 features. In order for a specification to become a standard, all parties implementing it must understand it the same way. For example, if USA has different chart for XL T-shirt or shoe size than in Europe, you will get two different sizes of the same specification. 'XL T-shirt size' becomes a standard only if everyone globally produces it to the same metric or royal units. Standard requires uniformity of features, whereas specification simply lists features.

The same applies to tech specs. Hence the mess we are in now. Adopters have too much freedom to pick and choose whichever feature from HDMI specification to support. Some support full speed, some limited speed, some support VRR and ALLM, some other features too. It is not a standard, as soon as you can pick and choose.

Certification means that an adopter has built ports and chips to chosen features from the spec and this has been checked and stamped. Certification does not guarantee standardization, i.e. the same operational experience across devices. If that was the case, repeater chips in 2020 AVRs would have worked well with the chip in Xbox SX and would not produce black screen. Manufacturers did not sit down to agree which features to bake into chips, so that entire chain operates under one AV pipeline umbrella named "HDMI 2.1". Each manufacturer simply chose features they thought would work. Also, some features are more important then others. Now that HDMI 2.1 does not require any minimal mandatory features, it is even worse.

HDMI 2.1 spec is like a recipe for chip choc cookies, paraphrasing Phil Shea from Yamaha. Each household knows the recipe, but once ingredients are mixed and baked, those cookies could have different flavours and shapes. So, the recipe is an instruction only, not a standard, and certification allows you to have a sticker 'choc chip cookie' on your or my bake, but our cookies could still taste differently, i.e. they are not standardised.

Even their advice to look for specific features is meaningless, as the same feature can be delivered in different ways. For example, someone needs 4K/120 source, AVR and display. Now, "4K/120" is still quite vague and it says nothing about supported port speeds.
1. Is it "4K/120" 8-bit 4-2-0 that I need (HDMI 2.0 TMDS 18 Gbps)?
2. Is it "4K/120" 10-bit 4-2-0 that I need (HDMI 2.1 FRL3 20 Gbps)?
3. Is it "4K/120" 10-bit RGB that I need (HDMI 2.1 FRL5 40 Gbps)? etc.

HDMI org does not provide this level of scrutiny and standardisation at the moment, apart from cables, as the companies that this body represents are currently not willing to self-regulate more and adopt HDMI as formal standard. Hence this utter mess and anti-consumer practices. Only court of law can force them to become a standard everyone could understand. Putting HDMI 2.1 in an advert has become completely meaningless and some groups should organise a class law suit action against those practices. It's untenable to behave like this in consumer market.
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I think hdmi made some sense in simplifying connections but with lesser bandwidth requirements that are coming about now....and see many hdmi incompatibility issues among gear constantly mentioned in fora/groups such as this....but what where do you go from here now that everyone went down the narrow lane hdmi is?
 
AVR Enthu

AVR Enthu

Full Audioholic
I think hdmi made some sense in simplifying connections but with lesser bandwidth requirements that are coming about now....and see many hdmi incompatibility issues among gear constantly mentioned in fora/groups such as this....but what where do you go from here now that everyone went down the narrow lane hdmi is?
HDMI needs a complete overhaul in honesty, transparency and simplicity of communication with consumers. Companies need to be forced to be transparent and honest. HDMI Licensing Admin does not help that cause at all, quite contrary, as the very same companies run the Licensing Admin in the background. This body serves their needs, not consumers' needs.

I'd suggest a court of law that would mandate all HDMI listings in the world to have a kind of sticker similar to energy certificate - simple, easy to read, with essential information clearly visible.
Examples:
TV - 4 x HDMI 2.1 inputs, each supporting: 4K/120Hz 10-bit RGB, VRR, ALLM, eARC, 40 Gbps FRL5
Monitor - 2 x HDMI 2.0 inputs, each supporting: 3440x1440, 120Hz, 8-bit, RGB and VRR; 18 Gbps TMDS
AVR - 6 x HDMI 2.1 inputs, each supporting: 4K/144Hz, 10-bit, RGB, VRR, QFT, QMS, 48 Gbps FRL6

It can be really, really simple. But they do not want to make it simple and transparent.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
HDMI needs a complete overhaul in honesty, transparency and simplicity of communication with consumers. Companies need to be forced to be transparent and honest. HDMI Licensing Admin does not help that cause at all, quite contrary, as the very same companies run the Licensing Admin in the background. This body serves their needs, not consumers' needs.

I'd suggest a court of law that would mandate all HDMI listings in the world to have a kind of sticker similar to energy certificate - simple, easy to read, with essential information clearly visible.
Examples:
TV - 4 x HDMI 2.1 inputs, each supporting: 4K/120Hz 10-bit RGB, VRR, ALLM, eARC, 40 Gbps FRL5
Monitor - 2 x HDMI 2.0 inputs, each supporting: 3440x1440, 120Hz, 8-bit, RGB and VRR; 18 Gbps TMDS
AVR - 6 x HDMI 2.1 inputs, each supporting: 4K/144Hz, 10-bit, RGB, VRR, QFT, QMS, 48 Gbps FRL6

It can be really, really simple. But they do not want to make it simple and transparent.
Yeah that's just not likely something that will come about.
 
Big-Q

Big-Q

Audioholic Intern
For me, it does not matter. I am not an ultra gamer. My 4k TVs all look great as well as by 4k blurays. I have no interest in upgrading them. The old 2.0 standard is more than adequate for my needs. Still, all of this is not consumer friendly.
 
Replicant 7

Replicant 7

Audioholic Field Marshall
For me, it does not matter. I am not an ultra gamer. My 4k TVs all look great as well as by 4k blurays. I have no interest in upgrading them. The old 2.0 standard is more than adequate for my needs. Still, all of this is not consumer friendly.
Same here, I really could care less of 2.1. I personally do Not choose a AVR for video input or output. Sound quality, reliability and Yamaha awesomeness!:D
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Ninja
Sorry, just can't watch or trust that buck passer. Yes, the HDMI cert is a mess. Manufacturers have only made it messier with their brand specific designations and the exclusion or inclusion of features based on how high up the product line one chooses to go. Sony makes the PS5 but doesn't have a TV that can take advantage of every single HDMI 2.1 feature.o_O Here's hoping that, since they are all raising prices anyway, manufacturers include ALL of the f#%kin' HDMI 2.1 features on ALL of their products this year and f#%kin' be done with it. F#%kin' thieves, the lot f them.:mad:
 
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panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
We should just use Display Port and be done with it. HDMI was never a good "standard" and has only caused issues for folks.
 
AVR Enthu

AVR Enthu

Full Audioholic
We should just use Display Port and be done with it. HDMI was never a good "standard" and has only caused issues for folks.
You can't "just use DP" as entire ecosystem would need to change, which is not going to happen any time soon. Nobody will suddently start producing AVR and TV boards with DP ports. Even consoles do not have those ports.

Realistically, consumer protection organisarions and tech laywers can help push the companies that control HDMI Org to reform itself via class action lawsuit. HDMI Org needs to be ordered by judge to restore numbering system 2.0 to minimize misleading marketing which is already taking place, as we have heard and seen. Scrapping 2.0 numbering was the worst possible anti-consumer move in the industry which caused all 2.0 devices being able to apply for 2.1 banner. Ridiculous. There is nothing good or useful for consumers in this change and this is the basis for lawsuit class action.
 
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