HDMI 2.1 was introduced back in 2017 with several features including 4K@120Hz, 8K@60Hz, Dynamic HDR and bandwidth capability of up to 48Gbps. At the CES 2021 earlier this year, the HDMI forum highlighted new products with support for HDMI 2.1. Today, according to a new report from The Verge, the HDMI forum will introduce the HDMI 2.1a, the next generation of HDMI spec at the CES 2022.
HDMI 2.1a will add Source-Based Tone Mapping (SBTM) which offloads some HDR tone mapping to the content source such as set-top box, or PC instead of the TV or monitor taking the load. This will help the existing HDR setups to optimize the content and removes the need for the users to manually calibrate their screens.
It will be possible for set-top box, gaming companies, and TV manufacturers to add support through firmware updates for HDMI 2.1a and its source-based tone mapping ‘depending upon their design,’ according to the HDMI Forum. The Source-Based Tone Mapping will be an optional feature for the OEMs.
We will have to wait for the official HDMI 2.1a spec sheet next week at the CES to know if this will add any other features other than SBTM.