Thanks Alk for the big picture.
I may not have been clear but I realize the chaos is from the bogus cables being made by generic manufacturers.
I bought some IEEE-1394 cables from a fellow and 75% of them simply did not work. I did pin by pin continuity checks and they were good - it was the actual molded part and the fingers that did not articulate properly that cause the problem. In one cable, even when I corrected the finger problem, although continuity was correct, it still never worked.
I actually wrote a detailed account of my testing of 3 different FW cables on this forum. I even found FW cables which crossed the pin outs - like you were making a null modem cable. So even the pin outs varied from this set of 3 different cables I was investigating.
So buying FW cables is a real problem if you are trying to find a good generic cable.
Compared to FW, HDMI is the Tower of Bable.
So the Chaos Factor is about 10x that of FW.
And that is the problem. I want to buy some "cheap" cables that "work." And it looks like you simply cannot go by what they claim for the cables. Only by word of mount can you probably get a good cheap cable that actually works.
I was asked for how I determined ARC did not work and here is a list of reviews on Amazon for the Acoustic Research cable I specifically mentioned earlier in this posting. I don't know how long this link will stay up, but here it is:http://www.amazon.com/Acoustic-Resea...owViewpoints=1
I found it quite easy to find HDMI cables were people claimed the ARC did not work.
Frankly, I would think that the audio pins on the HDMI cable are the same whether the appliance has ARC or not. In which case, claims of no ARC in the cable makes no sense. Now if someone said the audio did not work altogether on the HDMI cable - that would make sense because it would indicate problems with the audio pins.
But then, stuff making no sense is what leads to chaos.
I was at Big Lots and they had cables rated at 1080i, 1080p, and 1440p. Yep, 3 bandwidth tiers where there should be only 2. You tell me what that means. So do you think any of these cables would work with 4k? or some big frame rates? Should I buy the "High Speed" cable or the "1440p" cable if I want a genuine High Speed cable?
Frankly, I think manufacturers should be allowed, in fact should be required what bit rate the cables are "certified" to. At least you would have a specific number by which to judge the cable.
I don't like all the different varieties of the HDMI cable. What they should do is when the appliance has a new feature or speed requirement, ALL HDMI cables manufactured at that point should be changed - like 16x DVD's. They quit making 1x, 2x, 4x. Then you could say, I need a 1.2 cable or a 1.4 cable or a 1.8b cable. Like wireless: b, g, n, ...
But no, they want five
different concurrent cables out there. There should be only one
, the High Speed w/Ethernet. Period. End of discussion. The cable would work with all older appliances and there would be no cable confusion.
The cable manufacturers might even like it. But then chaos and fear is what drives $80 cable sales.
I really appreciate what everyone has told me. Yes, I am grumpy about all this having seen uncompressed HD decades ago over the dual satellite prototype rig and also being an owner of Betamax. Then S-VHS ONLY - never owned a VHS machine. And then DVD w/HDD. and of course D-VHS. Every single one of those technologies meeting a bad end.
(except for S-VHS maybe.) I also had maybe 4 7' Advent Video Beam projectors concurrently at one time too and many front projectors since. So you can see where I have been.