Serious bug in HDMI 2.1 chips hits latest hardware

HDMI 2.1

Are you planning on purchasing one of the jumping new game consoles? To connect them to TV via your AV system? A bug in commonly used HDMI 2.1 chipsets may result in a black image.

A serious bug in Panasonic’s widely used HDMI 2.1 chipset makes it impossible to transfer high resolutions in combination with higher frame rates (e.g. 4K / 120 fps). The German company Heisse discovered that after pairing a brand new Xbox and a new NVIDIA video card. In both cases, for example, the signal appears to be displayed on a TV when connected directly to the source, but not via an AV receiver with the relevant HDMI 2.1 chipset on board. These chips are included in equipment from new AV receivers from Denon, Marantz and Yamaha, among others. Biggest problem: this is a hardware error that cannot be solved via a firmware update.

Replacement chipsets mid next year

Also some HDMI 2.1 capable televisions – despite the promise – cannot handle certain ‘high end’ resolutions and frame rates. Whether, for example, the new Sony PS5 has been affected is as yet unknown. But the chances are fairly high, given the fact that the cause is not to be found in the sources.

A solution is to switch back to a lower resolution and/or frame rate, but of course you don’t buy a new 4K or 8K source for that. Replacement and bug-free HDMI 2.1 chipsets are not expected until the middle of next year. The problem with this is that you as a consumer cannot see on the outside of a device which chips are inside and which version number they have.

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