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CE Devices with Certified HDMI 2.1 Unlikely This Year, HDMI Forum Says

The HDMI LA (Licensing Administrator) hopes to publish the first HDMI 2.1 compliance test specifications in Q2 and roll out the rest in phases through Q3 and Q4, but certified products aren’t likely to be on the market this year, HDMI Forum executives said during CES 2018.

Nonetheless, some 2018 CE products could be available later this year with some 2.1 features allowed but without having undergone certification testing for those features, said Robert Blanchard, president of the HDMI Forum, which develops HDMI specs. A number of features will be ready for certification testing by year’s end, he added.

Some 2.1 features, like eARC, could be added to some current products as firmware updates, he added, and in fact Marantz plans to add eARC firmware updates to some of its present AVRs at an indefinite date.

Forum executives would not speculate on when the first CE products with certified HDMI 2.1 ports would be available to consumers. Forum chairman Chris Pasqualino said the forum is trying to publish the first phase of compliance-test requirements in the second quarter and hopes the requirements for all testing will be ready in the third quarter, though the final requirements might also come in the fourth quarter. In terms of text, the size of the spec doubled over its predecessor, so “there is a lot to test,” he said. The forum is “highly focused on compliance testing,” Blanchard added.

Finalization of the 2.1 specification was originally promised for the second quarter of 2017 but slipped into the fourth quarter. The original due date was a best evaluation that slipped because the forum received more comments in the comment period than expected.