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Clarifying HDMI 2.1 support in 2020 Sony TVs - READ!!!

JohnnyFootball

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fter CES 2020 there has been some confusion over HDMI 2.1 support in Sony 2020 TVs. Sony has now confirmed and clarified details relating to HDMI 2.1 ports and features to FlatpanelsHD.

As FlatpanelsHD reported from CES 2020, two of Sony's new LCD TV ranges for 2020 will feature an HDMI 2.1 port capable of receiving 4K at 120 frames per second (4K120) - and 8K60 for 8K TVs. These are the 8K Z8H (Z8H) and the 4K X900H (XH90) ranges.

Last year's Sony 8K Z9G (Z9G) will carry over into 2020 and also feature an HDMI 2.1 port for 4K120 and 8K60.

In addition, X900H (XH90) will be the first Sony TV to offer support for HDMI 2.1's VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). The former is variable refresh rate for smoother, lag-free gameplay via a PC or game console (must also support VRR). The latter allows the TV to automatically switch into 'Game' mode when it detects a game via HDMI. These features will be added through a future software update for X900H (XH90) only.




Bottom line if you want a Sony TV in 2020 thats take full advantage of next gen consoles, it's pretty much the 900H or bust.

This is a special level of stupidity from Sony.

It's like they are begging people to choose the LG X OLED series over the Sony TVs
 
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Moogle11

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If I finally take the 4K plunge, I'm leaning toward this year's TCL six series as they've said it will have HDMI 2.1 and VRR etc. I don't want to spend a ton as I'm not a videophile at all and mostly just want to get up from 55" to 65" and am good with just "ok" 4k, HDR etc. OLED I can't do as I'm just WAY too OCD about burn in/image retention and have usage habits prone to it with my often leaving ESPN on all day while working at home, tending to game in multi hour sessions with one game etc. Not being a videophile in the slightest, I'll take a lesser picture at a budget price with lower image retention worries.

But I'm honestly just as likely to stay with my current set up as I'd need to either upgrade my receiver to an HDMI 2.1 one as well, or just get a 2.1 HDMI switcher and hope runing that to the TV and the audio to receiver via optical cable doesn't introduce a ton of audio sync issues.
 
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GHG

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The X900H is the only one worth buying on this basis.

Are these going to be OLED or regular LED?
 
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McHuj

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I'm fine with just having jumped on a 75X950g when it was on sale. Yeah, it doens't have HDMI2.1, but given I needed the size (75+) and the wider viewing angles given my room, I think it's fine.
 
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Lone Wolf

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I’ve been buying LG for a few years now and I’ve been very happy. They get firmware updates for at least 2 years, they have very good input lag and viewing angles, and the OLED models have the best picture of all the major brands. If you need a TV this year, look at the LG models.
 

CamHostage

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Bottom line if you want a Sony TV in 2020 thats take full advantage of next gen consoles, it's pretty much the 900H or bust.
Hilarious. You think next gen is gonna have games running at over 4k and 60fps?

No, everpresent 4K/120, probably not so much...
But everything about HDMI 2.1 is how a modern high-end TV should work, particularly for gamers. Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode are a godsend for gamers (particularly since we won't be living in a 4K/120 world next-gen, as you point out,) and eARC is the next generation of device handshaking, which is in desperate need since CEC is so flakey and ARC didn't get picked up as completely as it should have.

There are luxury features that televisions can sell you on (I'd almost accept VRR as being an optional upgrade feature since it wouldn't be used by everybody and may I assume require a more powerful signal processor, though G-Sync/FreeSync have been making PC gamers happier since 2015,) and then there are features that just make the TV work the way a TV should and make other devices work with your TV the way home entertainment centers make sense to work. Automatically turning on low-latency mode (don't all TVs have a low-latency mode? it's just hard to get to because they bury it in the options and give it dumb corporate names like "Game Motion Plus Settings"), that all seems like no-brainer stuff to me.
 
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JohnnyFootball

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Indies maybe.
You do understand that games can internally render at a much lower resolution than 4K, but the output will be limited to the PS5 output. So it’s possible that PS5 set to output to 4K can render a game at like 1440p that with an HDMI 2.1 TV would allow the game to go above 60 fps. In HDMI 2.0 in order to take advantage of greater than 60 fps the console itself has to be set to a resolution lower than 4K, which is possible on the X1X.

I hope that made sense.
 
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SLoWMoTIoN

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VRR is also important, if not more important.
???
No, 4K/120, not so much...
But everything about HDMI 2.1 is how a modern high-end TV should work, particularly for gamers. Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode are a godsend for gamers (particularly since we won't be living in a everpresent 4K/120 world next-gen, as you point out,) and eARC is the next generation of device handshaking, which is in desperate need since CEC is so flakey and ARC didn't get picked up as completely as it should have.
What is wrong with ARC?
 

OmegaSupreme

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Strange. Sony TVs historically are top of the line or close to it. For a premium price to boot. You would think they would support the newest spec as LG and Vizio do for god's sake.
 

CamHostage

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What is wrong with ARC?

ARC had its day, now eARC has significantly higher bandwidth, and is the future of ARC. Wo one way or another, the old system will be superseded, and televisions without it will not be able to take advantage of future features new devices will offer over this signal.

But specifically, the base ARC uses HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) for cross-interaction between devices, and in my experience, CEC is good only when it's good; when it's bad, it's horrible. I have devices that will adjust the volume but not the channel, I have devices that will handshake but only if both devices are already powered on and so I have to go over and flip each on if one didn't catch the Power button, I have devices that sometimes work and sometimes don't together, I had a TV that would turn on every time my PS3 would sync a PSN update in the middle of the night... Granted, I have not even used a device with the new 'eARC Data Channel", and even eARC defaults to CEC in some functions, so I could be pinning my bets on a lame horse, but I have to assume it's designed with the problems of CEC in mind and should offer improvements.



EDIT - Looks like all of Sony's 2020 TVs here support eARC, even the models without the higher-end 2.1 features, so it's a moot point; we're getting eARC, so hopefully it's good.
 
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SLoWMoTIoN

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ARC had its day, now eARC has significantly higher bandwidth, and is the future of ARC. Wo one way or another, the old system will be superseded, and televisions without it will not be able to take advantage of future features new devices will offer over this signal.

But specifically, the base ARC uses HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) for cross-interaction between devices, and in my experience, CEC is good only when it's good; when it's bad, it's horrible. I have devices that will adjust the volume but not the channel, I have devices that will handshake but only if both devices are already powered on and so I have to go over and flip each on if one didn't catch the Power button, I have devices that sometimes work and sometimes don't together, I had a TV that would turn on every time my PS3 would sync a PSN update in the middle of the night... Granted, I have not even used a device with the new 'eARC Data Channel", so I could be pinning my bets on a lame horse, but I have to assume it's designed with the problems of CEC in mind and should offer improvements.



EDIT - Looks like all of Sony's 2020 TVs here support eARC, even the models without the higher-end 2.1 features, so it's a moot point; we're getting eARC, so hopefully it's good.
ARC has worked on my 3 seperate receivers outside the Sony receicer which turns on my tv after I turn it off once and doesn't change inputs by itself on all my devices. (also it turns on my ps4 when I have a setting enabled when I...turn off my tv.)
 

Trogdor1123

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I'm wondering when some of these new budget TVs are going to get it.

TVs got so cheap this year. I'm wondering if this will stay in premium units only long at all
 

CamHostage

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ARC has worked on my 3 seperate receivers outside the Sony receicer which turns on my tv after I turn it off once and doesn't change inputs by itself on all my devices. (also it turns on my ps4 when I have a setting enabled when I...turn off my tv.)

Not so lucky me, then. But all I really care about is support going forward (my current Spectrum cable box doesn't have CEC at all, which is infuriating to be stacking up remotes again,) and all these new sets do fully support eARC/ARC/CEC, even if the rest of the HDMI 2.1 feature set isn't offered. Standards that don't get used are just wasted ideas, so at least Sony isn't leaving the rest of the market behind here.
 
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SLoWMoTIoN

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Not so lucky me, then. But all I really care about is support going forward (my current Spectrum cable box doesn't have CEC at all, which is infuriating to be stacking up remotes again,) and all these new sets do fully support eARC/ARC/CEC, even if the rest of the HDMI 2.1 feature set isn't offered. Standards that don't get used are just wasted ideas, so at least Sony isn't leaving the rest of the market behind here.
That's odd. I set up my parents spectrum box with a Yamaha receiver and they can control everything with a single remote.
 

webber

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Well, I'm pretty sure there's no competition for LG's OLEDs.
48" CX will sell like crazy.
 
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ethomaz

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So officially X900H is the only that supports HDMI 2.1.

All others are all HDMI 2.0b with extended features.
 
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ethomaz

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What is wrong with ARC?
When it works it is very limited.
For example I have my PS4 puggled directly to my Soundbar because the ARC can't pass LPCM 5.1 via TV to my Soundbar.

So instead to use the TV ARC I had to use pass the video signal via Soundbar that add a bit of input display.

BTW my TV uses ARC to communicate with my Soundbar to all others sources (video apps, cable TV service, etc) but even today it can't turn off my Soundbar as it is expected from ARC (it turn it on and all the volume commands works fine but when I turn my TV off my Soundbar didn't turn off too because the ARC failed).
 
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SLoWMoTIoN

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When it works it is very limited.
For example I have my PS4 puggled directly to my Soundbar because the ARC can't pass LPCM 5.1 via TV to my Soundbar.

So instead to use the TV ARC I had to use pass the video signal via Soundbar that add a bit of input display.

BTW my TV uses ARC to communicate with my Soundbar to all others sources (video apps, cable TV service, etc) but even today it can't turn off my Soundbar as it is expected from ARC (it turn it on and all the volume commands works fine but when I turn my TV off my Soundbar didn't turn off too because the ARC failed).
Maybe you just need a receiver and not a soundbar.
 

ethomaz

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Maybe you just need a receiver and not a soundbar.
For what? There is no use of a receiver in my setup.
I want my video signal going directly to TV for minimum display lag (that is why my TV has 4 HDMI ports).

The setup should be all video/audio devices connected to TV and TV passing the audio via ARC to Soundbar.
You don't need a useless receiver in the middle.

You can of course use a Home Theater instead a Soundbar for better audio quality but I don't have space for a HT... Soundbar is perfect for my gaming room.
 
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ThaMonkeyClaw

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Bottom line if you want a Sony TV in 2020 thats take full advantage of next gen consoles, it's pretty much the 900H or bust.

This is a special level of stupidity from Sony.

It's like they are begging people to choose the LG X OLED series over the Sony TVs

Mother...fucker...I was looking at getting the XBR-85X950H later this year before PS5 comes out and I totally assumed ALL Sony 4K TV's would be supporting HDMI 2.1 and their respective features, what the hell are they thinking?! Now it is either look for another TV (LG 86NANO90UNA is my 2nd option) or hold off until they make a set that does support the HDMI 2.1 feature set...
 
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SLoWMoTIoN

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For what? There is no use of a receiver in my setup.
Your issues with ARC seem to be exclusive to the soundbar you are using and aren't an issue with a receiver or ARC itself. Could also be the tv itself. I know for a fact a ps4 works with arc and a soundbar without being plugged in directly no problems on at least 4 different types of soundbars. (a 2 year old Sony, Vizio 2018/2019 and last years budget Yamaha)

The setup should be all video/audio devices connected to TV and TV passing the audio via ARC to Soundbar.
If you want poorer audio quality sure. I use ARC to control my tv/audio but the sound comes directly from the receiver itself. As in I plug my shit directly to the HDMI ports of my receiver. Which I assume you sorta do with your soundbar using a TOS cable? No noticeable lag either.

For example I have my PS4 puggled directly to my Soundbar because the ARC can't pass LPCM 5.1 via TV to my Soundbar.

You don't need a useless receiver in the middle.
A receiver would let you use ARC directly or like I do with no problem. It doesn't sound useless to me. Again the problem isn't ARC itself but it is prob your soundbar.
 

ethomaz

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Your issues with ARC seem to be exclusive to the soundbar you are using and aren't an issue with a receiver or ARC itself. Could also be the tv itself. I know for a fact a ps4 works with arc and a soundbar without being plugged in directly no problems on at least 4 different types of soundbars. (a 2 year old Sony, Vizio 2018/2019 and last years budget Yamaha)


If you want poorer audio quality sure. I use ARC to control my tv/audio but the sound comes directly from the receiver itself. As in I plug my shit directly to the HDMI ports of my receiver. Which I assume you sorta do with your soundbar using a TOS cable? No noticeable lag either.


A receiver would let you use ARC directly or like I do with no problem. It doesn't sound useless to me. Again the problem isn't ARC itself but it is prob your soundbar.
My issue with ARC has nothing to do with Soundbar lol
Forget the soundbar... think I'm sending the audio via ARC to anything else.

The ARC itself can't pass PCM 5.1... PS4 send PCM 5.1 to ARC but ARC send PCM 2.0 to anything else.
It is a ARC limitation... any ARC system when receive PCM 5.1 or 7.1 will send PCM stereo (2.0).
Now if you lose audio quality then you can set the PS4 to send DTS 5.1 or Dolby 5.1 then the ARC will sent DTS 5.1 or Dolby 5.1 to anything else (forget about 7.1 because ARC will pass DTS 5.1 and Dolby 5.1 even receiving 7.1).... I don't like.

The others issues are ARC related too... the ARC in the Samsung TV can't send the turn off signal (or maybe it didn't sent it right) to Soundbar while it sends the turn on and volume control just fine.

If you read about LG, Samsung, Sony, etc all big TV makers have these issues with their ARC implementation.
 
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Kagey K

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Well this just confirms buying the C9 the other week was worth it. In 2018 I expected most tvs in 2020 would support HDMI 2.1, turns out I was way off on that estimation.
 

CamHostage

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Your issues with ARC seem to be exclusive to the soundbar you are using and aren't an issue with a receiver or ARC itself. Could also be the tv itself. I know for a fact ...

What's, um... what's happening?

Dunno how we got into an ARC's Rights debate, but look, it's great that it works all the time for you. It doesn't work all the time for many others of us. And if eARC (which kicks back to old ARC, so nothing is being lost here) helps make things cooperate more dependably (which I can only hope it does without having tried it yet, but between the significant bandwidth increase and the new signal language, it can't huirt,) then better for all of us.

Because yes, it could be the soundbar, or it could be the receiver, or it could be the TV, but isn't that the point that this situation is what eARC/ARC/CEC is meant to solve in the first place?

So officially X900H is the only that supports HDMI 2.1.

All others are all HDMI 2.0b with extended features.

To be fair, HDMI 2.1 isn't a requirement that a TV set offer all the features it can carry. Practically no TV anymore offers 3D display, but 3D is still part of the HDMI spec. We jumped to conclusions because it's Sony and because it's high-end and because other companies have been doing it right (we should have known when PS4 Pro skipped out on 4K BD...), but HDMI's spec is what's possible, not what's required.

4K@120hz, and I guess VRR and ALLM are high-end features instead of common functions. It's still good to have HDMI 2.1 supported on all these TVs, because everything downstream and everything feeding into it will conform to the current spec and enjoy the complete signal strength that HDMI 2.1 opens up. The good news is, nothing else is compromised by not having these features integrated since it's at least future-proofed as far as what it can input. The bad news is, these TVs kind of suck.
 
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ethomaz

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What's, um... what's happening?

Dunno how we got into an ARC's Rights debate, but look, it's great that it works all the time for you. It doesn't work all the time for many others of us. And if eARC (which kicks back to old ARC, so nothing is being lost here) helps make things cooperate more dependably (which I can only hope it does without having tried it yet, but between the significant bandwidth increase and the new signal language, it can't huirt,) then better for all of us.

Because yes, it could be the soundbar, or it could be the receiver, or it could be the TV, but isn't that the point that this situation is what eARC/ARC/CEC is meant to solve in the first place?
It not the soundbar... it is a limitation of ARC... it is the same no matter the receiver/soundbar/HT/etc.

To be fair, HDMI 2.1 isn't a requirement that a TV set offer all the features it can carry. Practically no TV anymore offers 3D display, but 3D is still part of the HDMI spec. We jumped to conclusions because it's Sony and because it's high-end and because other companies have been doing it right (we should have known when PS4 Pro skipped out on 4K BD...), but HDMI's spec is what's possible, not what's required.

4K@120hz, and I guess VRR and ALLM are high-end features instead of common functions. It's still good to have HDMI 2.1 supported on all these TVs, because everything downstream and everything feeding into it will conform to the current spec and enjoy the complete signal strength that HDMI 2.1 opens up. The good news is, nothing else is compromised by not having these features integrated since it's at least future-proofed as far as what it can input. The bad news is, these TVs kind of suck.
That is because HDMI standard has mandatory and optional features.
But reading the certification there are three features that are optional:
  • enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
  • Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
  • Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
I thought VRR and eARC were mandatory... so Sony can really call HDMI 2.1 even without these 3 features :(
That means only premium devices will add these 3 features... the chances to see low cost devices with VRR will be really near 0.

These 3 features will probably become mandatory in the next revision of HDMI.
 
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scraz

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All i fucking want is a 49" with 4k, HDMI 2.1, VRR and some level of full array local dimming that is not OLED. Money is no my concern i simply don't have the room for a larger tv in my gaming setup. I would be all over the CX 48 like a fat kid on cake but i play alot of FFXIV and I am sure i will burn that menu into it before micro LED gets here.
 
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SLoWMoTIoN

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My issue with ARC has nothing to do with Soundbar lol

BTW my TV uses ARC to communicate with my Soundbar to all others sources (video apps, cable TV service, etc) but even today it can't turn off my Soundbar as it is expected from ARC (it turn it on and all the volume commands works fine but when I turn my TV off my Soundbar didn't turn off too because the ARC failed).
???
 

nikolino840

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For What i know for vrr and hdr10+ don't Need an HDMI 2.1 ,yes could be better but works with 2.0,Is not the problem of the data speed trough the cable

-----

The HDMI Forum released the final HDMI 2.1 specification a while ago. These feature a number of improvements that are highly anticipated by gamers and entertainment lovers, but there's no HDMI 2.1 display in sight and there probably won't be one until 2019 at least.

However, speaking to FlatpanelsHD HDMI Forum's CEO Rob Tobias and Marketing Director Brad Bramy revealed that some of the most exciting features in the HDMI 2.1 specification such as Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) and Quick Media Switching (QMS) can be added to certain panels via firmware update. These panels would have to have a "flexible HDMI structure", though, and it is ultimately up to the manufacturer whether they want to release an update or not.
 

holygeesus

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Not entirely sure why people are surprised by this. Sony have always had terrible HDMI support. While LG were offering 4x + full bandwidth HDMI ports for their TVs, Sony regularly only offered 1x with the rest being the lesser non-HDR capable ones. I think this only changed as recently as the AF9, which I own.