Don’t Buy a Monitor or TV Just for HDMI 2.1 — Read the Fine Print or You Might Get Fooled

An anonymous reader shares a report: Four years running, we've been jazzed by the potential of HDMI 2.1 -- the relatively new video connector standard that can provide variable refresh rates (VRR), automatic low latency connections (ALLM), and of course, a giant pipe with 48Gbps of bandwidth (and fixed rate signaling) to deliver up to 10K resolution and up to a 120Hz refresh rate depending on your cable and compression. But today, I'm learning that not only are all of those features technically optional, but that the HDMI standards body owner actually encourages TV and monitor manufacturers that have none of those things -- zip, zilch, zero -- to effectively lie and call them "HDMI 2.1" anyhow. That's the word from TFTCentral, which confronted the HDMI Licensing Administrator with the news that Xiaomi was selling an "HDMI 2.1" monitor that supported no HDMI 2.1 features, and was told this was a perfectly reasonable state of affairs. It's infuriating. It means countless people, some of whom we've encouraged in our reviews to seek out HDMI 2.1 products, may get fooled into fake futureproofing if they don't look at the fine print to see whether features like ALLM, VRR, or even high refresh rates are possible. Worse, they'll get fooled for no particularly good reason: there was a perfectly good version of HDMI without those features called HDMI 2.0, but the HDMI Licensing Administrator decided to kill off that brand when it introduced the new one. Very little of this is actually news, I'm seeing -- we technically should have known that HDMI 2.1's marquee features would be optional for a while now, and here at The Verge we've seen many a TV ship without full support. In one story about shopping for the best gaming TV for PS5 and Xbox Series X, we characterized it as "early growing pains."

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