HDMI upgrade: If you are looking for a new television, monitor or receiver in the near future, it is important to pay close attention. The organization that distributes the HDMI licenses has made a change that allows devices that do not support HDMI 2.1 functions to advertise with HDMI 2.1compatibility.
I see the question marks rising above your head, and indeed there is no logical explanation for it. There is an explanation, because the ‘HDMI Licensing Administrator’ will let you know the following to TFTCentral;
1. HDMI 2.0 no longer exists, and devices should not claim compliance to v2.0 as it is not referenced any more
2. The features of HDMI 2.0 are now a sub-set of 2.1
3. All the new capabilities and features associated with HDMI 2.1 are optional (this includes FRL, the higher bandwidths, VRR, ALLM and everything else)
4. If a device claims compliance to 2.1 then they need to also state which features the device supports so there is “no confusion”
In short, the name ‘HDMI 2.0’ is no longer used and everything that fell under that name now falls under HDMI 2.1. It is particularly striking that the functions that have been added with HDMI 2.1 (including VRR and ALLM) are optional and are therefore not part of a mandatory implementation. Devices that really do have HDMI 2.1 (functions) should now mention this on the box to attract attention and (hopefully) make it clear. A device that does not have any of these functions can simply put “HDMI 2.1” on the box, which will quickly convince the potential buyer.
A very special state of affairs, of course, which we can already guarantee will only cause more confusion among consumers.