All that It also implies that it can support 4K video with 120 Hz refresh rate and 8K video with 60 Hz refresh rate.. If you are a little put, you already know what it implies, if not, it is about obtaining a sharper and more immersive experience, thanks to smoother movements of images with much higher resolution, both in movies and series, as well as in games.
Besides that, it implies that HDMI 2.1 supports other new technologies that enhance the viewing and gaming experience, such as Dynamic HDR instead of static, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR in English) to adjust it to the need of what you are watching, Automatic Low Latency Mode (eARC in English), etc.
As you will see, the latter will play an important role in the issue of recognizing a true Smart tv with next-generation HDMI.
The point is, when you read this, it is clear to you, you want your future smart TV to support HDMI 2.1. However, knowing if this is the case may not be that easy.
Why they promote TVs with HDMI 2.1 when they are not
We have the problem because the entity that controls the development of the specifications, the HDMI Licensing Administrator Inc. o HDMILA, is not putting much emphasis on certification.
In fact, it does not certify as standard, simply, Manufacturers must specify which HDMI 2.1 features their televisions support and here comes the problem.
The trick they use to sneak an HDMI 2.1 fake it’s easy to see with an example. Here below we have built a table with features on one side and the different versions of HDMI that are on the other. In this way, you can easily and visually see which version supports a certain feature. If you notice, HDMI 2.1, which is the last column, supports all of them and that is why it is completely painted green.
Well, imagine that television supports Dual View and has 2 image sources. If you look at the table, that is supported by HDMI versions 2.0 and 2.1. In that case, since it must be specified which HDMI 2.1 feature a device supports, a manufacturer may say that its television is «Dual View HDMI 2.1 ”, although generally only HDMI 2.0 support in general.
Obviously, complying with the obligation to specify what features in the last column you support by putting that “2.1” tag after the name is misleading, because you think that everything is HDMI 2.1 and then you get the surprise.
That is be very careful when you see the HDMI 2.1 designation on a television. You have to look closely at how it specifies and for what specific characteristics.
Some YouTube channels, such as HDTVTest, contacted HDMILA to clarify this and received a rather vague response. Basically, if a television only implements 2.0 features, it must be HDMI 2.1 compliant and specify a list of 2.1 supported features. How to do it or not is not clearly defined.
And as for chasing down alleged hoaxes or trying to fool around with the 2.1 tagline trick, the HDMILA leave it up to buyers to review that and advise them to investigate when there is something strange.
That is, they will not check it as standard in their certification, but will review user complaints, leaving it up to them to discover those who try to pass HDMI 2.0 televisions over HDMI 2.1.
How to verify that a TV is really HDMI 2.1
Now that we know that seeing an “HDMI 2.1” in the list of features may not mean anything, we have an easy way to see if television is really of this type.
It consists of going back to the table that we have given you above and looking for whether the television we want to buy specifies some of the features that only HDMI 2.1 has.
For example, if you have dynamic HDR, which is only in version 2.1, we already know that it is a real 2.1, because no other version supports it. The same with the variable refresh rate (VRR). If it does, it sure is HDMI 2.1, because no other version can support it.
As manufacturers must specify the features, in true HDMI 2.1 televisions you will see those that only correspond to the latest version.
We have put the table for you in English, because it is likely that you will find the benefits listed in this way. Keep it handy.
At the moment, and while some manufacturers continue to put the obligation to list HDMI 2.1 capabilities, look for a feature that only supports the latest version is the better way not to slip something false, although I put HDMI 2.1 everywhere in the box, manual or the web.
And how do I know if a cable is HDMI 2.1 or not?
In case you were wondering, yeah you will need new HDMI 2.1 cables if you want to take full advantage of all the features of the specification.
Fortunately, in this case the certification process is stricter and those that are HDMI 2.1 must be specified as Ultra High Speed Cables or Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable. Also, in the box comes the certificate symbol that you see in the image above.
If you see that designation written on the cable itself, you can be sure that it is HDMI 2.1 and will support the transport of the largest data stream well. If you don’t see that of Ultra High Speed, forget.
As you can see, the proverb of “Made the law, made the trap” is fulfilled. Some unscrupulous manufacturers are taking advantage of the obligation to list the HDMI 2.1 specifications by putting that name and causing confusion. However, using what we have told you, you should not have a problem.