HDMI 2.1a: a complicated new standard arrives at CES 2022

The HDMI Forum, the entity responsible for publishing and licensing HDMI standards, will announce a new standard at CES 2022: the HDMI 2.1a standard. In particular, it will provide source-based tone mapping technology.

According to information from The Verge, the HDMI Forum will unveil at CES 2022 a new HDMI 2.1a standard, a derivative of the already existing HDMI 2.1 standard. The main novelty of the HDMI 2.1a standard would be the Source-Based Tone Mapping, or SBTM for short, Who delegates part of the HDR tone mapping to the source of the content instead of the TV or screen doing all the work on its own.

In other words, this addition means that an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 will be able to perform HDR tone mapping before sending data to TV. The offloading of the processes on the source device could in particular make it possible to reduce latency, improve image calibration and better map mixed content.

New HDMI 2.1a standard would not require changing your cables and devices

The good news is that users probably won’t have to purchase new hardware to use the HDMI 2.1a standard. Manufacturers will likely add SBTM functionality through software updates to devices and displays. Any HDMI 2.1 cable will be able to support this feature.

Nevertheless, the new SBTM function is apparently optional for device manufacturers. Therefore, unless a TV, PC monitor, console, or other device clearly indicates that it supports SBTM, there is no way to be sure.

As a reminder, consumers already face a major problem when purchasing new devices, since some claim to be HDMI 2.1 compatible even though they only support one of the new features of the standard. This new standard could therefore make buyers even more confused., since it will be more difficult to distinguish the capabilities of monitors and other devices without delving into their data sheets. We can therefore only advise you to read all the small lines of the technical characteristics to avoid having a bad surprise when plugging in your new console.

Source: The verge

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