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HDMI Organization has announced the main hadollars of the HDMI 2.1 revision enabling Source-Based Tone Mapping (SBTM). Implemented in the HDMI 2.1a standard, SBTM is not a new HDR format; instead, it makes it easy to match existing HDR content to the screen you’re using.

The organization specifically says that many devices can have firmware updated to support SBTM, but both devices must be compliant for the standard. HDR technology continues to evolve and is welcomed with greatly enhanced, vibrant and immersive visuals. However, if there is an obvious problem with HDR content in its current form, it is usually due to the combination of HDR standard colors (for example, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG or Dolby Vision) and legacy SDR content.

SBTM is tasked with solving many of these issues by allowing a source device to adapt its HDR output to suit the specifications of a connected monitor or TV. Modern displays can adapt to single HDR sources using different HDR standard colors by matching the transmitted signal to the available brightness, contrast, and gamudol. However, the HDMI Organization says that SBTM will come into play when a source device “must combine different types of content (HDR, SDR, amik HDR, graphics) simultaneously”.

The HDMI Organization says its smart device display connection technology “can also be used by PCs and gaming devices to eliminate manual user optimization for HDR.” This is why the new smart source-to-device connection standard does not offer manual modes.

It should be noted that many existing devices, including TVs, can use the SBTM function if manufacturers release a software update. As we said, both the device and the screen must support this feature for STBM to work. As HDMI 2.1a continues to expand, we’ll start to see products with labels on them and also phrases about STBM support.


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