What is HDMI 2.1a and what makes it different from other versions: are new connectors needed? | Technology

What is HDMI 2.1a and what makes it different from other versions: are new connectors needed?  |  Technology

HDMI 2.1 has long been a reality, despite the fact that few users take full advantage of it, and now HDMI 2.1a arrives.

The different versions of HDMI that exist can be somewhat confusing for the user who is not well versed in these topics. A year ago we presented in depth and explained the characteristics of HDMI 2.1, we also warned about all its benefits to watch 8K content or enjoy the best HDR. Now we begin to know its update.

With HDMI 2.1 came the 4K, 8K and 10K resolutions up to 120 Hz, automatic low latency mode, dynamic HDR and variable refresh rate (VRR) for video games and other features that very few will take full advantage of, so this update to HDMI 2.1a may surprise you.

To begin with, we must understand that not everything works well in the 2.1 format and we have already published that it is causing cable and compatibility problems when connecting a PS5 console at 4K and 120 Hz, for example. In order to solve it, HDMI 2.1a has added the source-based tone mapping.

Today we no longer conceive of connecting a Smart TV, a monitor or any other multimedia device with anything other than an HDMI cable. But it has not always been this way. These are the main types of HDMI cable and their differences.

This source-based tone mapping (or SBTM) allows HDR-compatible TVs that automatically adjust brightness levels and color ranges. You no longer have to do it manually.

Having to configure it manually was an impediment for some users and a waste of time for others, but now it can be adjusted automatically for optimize the process and view any content in the highest quality without having to do anything, as reported in SlashGear.

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This does not mean that it replaces any previous HDR system, as we say, it is an optimization and also seeks to solve that problem that existed when connecting some consoles and devices. But an important question may arise: Is it necessary to buy something to take advantage of it?

At the moment we anticipate that no, it is possible that this standard reaches computers through a software update, without the need to buy cables, ports or devices. But this latest information is not certain at the moment.

Furthermore, there is the possibility that HDMI 2.1a brings some more news to the teams. That is why we must be careful, although it can be said that it would be unintelligible to require users to also invest to take advantage of this change.