Kate Wickens’s article last week in PC Gamer highlights a significant issue with graphics cards processing 4K/120 video output over an HDMI 2.1 connection. According to her report, while home cinema receivers from Denon, Marantz and Yamaha should be able to pass through video at both 4K/120Hz and 8K/60Hz over HDMI 2.1, it appears that such sources will only result in a blank screen.
With the launch of next-generation consoles carrying sophisticated graphics cards such as the Nvidia RTX 3070, RTX 3080 and AMD’s Big Navi (announced last week), there are a number of home cinema receivers with HDMI 2.1 connections currently unable to produce the full palette of features. PC Gamer also references tests conducted by c’t magazine via heise online and Tom’s Hardware on Denon AVR-X2700H models, which reveal a bug relating to onboard Panasonic chips. The same symptoms were apparent after routing Xbox Series X and Nvidia graphics cards through aforementioned receivers.
According to Wickens’s article, lower resolutions do pass through and function correctly but, as she points out, it somewhat defeats the object of the 2.1 specification. It does, however, appear that only models by manufacturers listed above are affected, and a regular connection direct to a display will not suffer.
Furthermore, the Xbox tested by c’t magazine was a pre-production unit but was based on final hardware designs. Yamaha products are also using the same chipsets as the Sound United models, so it is expected these will show up the same issues. Panasonic has told heise online that the problem “cannot be corrected with a firmware update” and it may be next year before replacements are made available.
Martin, a seasoned journalist and AV expert, has written for several notable print magazines. He’s served in key roles at Lucasfilm’s THX Division, NEC’s digital cinema division, and has even consulted for DreamWorks. Despite his illustrious career, Martin remains rooted in his passion for cinema and acting, with notable appearances in several Spielberg films, Doctor Who, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. He currently resides in San Francisco.
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