4K 60Hz, 4:4:4, 18 Gbps, HDMI Cable Tests - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 38 Old 08-25-2016, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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4K 60Hz, 4:4:4, 18 Gbps, HDMI Cable Tests



Read: Anatomy of our Premium HDMI Cable

November 2016 Update: 40 ft test passes full 4K 60Hz 4:4:4 in this video.

We've recently received questions about the methodology we use to test and certify our HDMI cables. This is becoming an increasingly interesting topic because as each new HDMI standard is released, there is a wider spectrum of quality found in cables that claim to accomplish the maximum spec. These days the high-end HDMI shopper is wanting to make sure that the HDMI cable they are purchasing:

1. Has been tested in an authorized third party lab (such as ATC)
2. Supports 4K 60Hz
3. Supports 4:4:4 chroma (no subsampling needed)
4. Successfully passes a bandwidth of 18 Gbps.
5. Successfully passes HDCP 2.2

Our 4K HDMI Cables pass these and the other HDMI 2.0a specs.

1. Third Party Lab Testing (ATC Certification)

ATC certification (Authorized Testing Centers) or equivalent is required to claim specs, be in good graces with the HDMI consortium, and be able to use the HDMI trademark (e.g., using the term 'HDMI' to describe and sell HDMI cable). The HDMI organization has a list of authorized 3rd party testers that will certify that the product in question passes the specs that the product will be marketed under. It's also important to note that ATC certification typically applies to a factory rather than a brand (like how Foxconn is the factory that makes many Apple products for instance).

Simply having an ATC certification unfortunately is not a silver-bullet guarantee that the product you are purchasing will support all of the specs that it claims-- it just means that the cables that were tested passed, and that the product still passed after occasional testing cycles. Like most products, there is a spectrum of quality that HDMI products will have that is mostly determined by how good their quality control and quality assurance programs are. A good HDMI cable starts with good materials, but workmanship and precision play a large role in whether the cable will pass the most extreme tests (such as passing the full 18 Gbps for the HDMI 2.0 spec).



2. Supports 4K at 60Hz

Perhaps the most commonly asked question about an HDMI product is whether it supports 4K at 60 Hz. This simply means that it can display a picture that is roughly 4000 pixels wide, and it can refresh that 4K picture 60 times per second. The most common spec on the market these days is 4K at 30Hz (30 refreshes of that 4K picture). This requires half the bandwidth as the 60Hz spec simply because it is refreshing the 4K image half as fast.

One thing you might be asking is: Why bother? 30Hz is already faster than the human eye can distinguish, right?

Well, not really. It's true that even at 24Hz (the movie theater refresh rate), the human eye is tricked into thinking those objects that are moving on the screen are actually moving and are not just frames rapidly following each other in fast succession. When it comes to high-intensity gaming or watching an action flick however, fast moving objects tend to blur a lot more in 30Hz than in 60Hz. So that old adage is kind of correct when it comes to distinguishing frames from an animated picture, but when it comes to high-quality viewing, humans can easily tell the difference between 30Hz and 60Hz when put side-by-side!

3. 4:4:4 Chroma

This spec is lesser-known than the 4K@60Hz spec but describes a very similar thing. Color data takes up a lot of HDMI's bandwidth, and so something called 'chroma subsampling' was thought-up to save bandwidth and still trick the eye into thinking they are seeing 100% of the color data that every pixel is meant to carry. If all colors of all pixels are being refreshed in real time, there is no subsampling going on, and that is described as 4:4:4 chroma. 4:2:0 is a sub-sampling standard that is very common and requires only a fraction of the bandwidth that 4:4:4 requires.

The affect of chroma sub-sampling is somewhat analogous to a lower frame rate-- the colors tend to blur the more subsampled the picture is.

For a mind-blowing in-depth read on this, check out wikipedia.

4. Successfully Passes a Bandwidth of 18 Gbps

If you were only able to test one thing, bandwidth is the thing that makes all the other specs work well in an HDMI cable. After all, HDMI is little more than a data signal, and if it has the bandwidth to send all of the data that's required, it will likely pass all of the other specs.

Bandwidth doesn't only rely on a nice thick gauge, although wire gauge is a very important aspect. Besides having a thick enough wire, the cable must also mitigate interference (electro-magnetic waves that come from our surroundings) and cross-talk (what happens if the many conductors within an HDMI cable are not shielded or twisted at the right frequency.

Attenuation is also a bad guy here. Attenuation happens because copper cable (or any material) has a certain amount of electrical resistance. The longer the cable is, the stronger the signal has to be in order to travel further down that copper cable. So in this case, copper purity plays a large role as well as the wire gauge.

5. HDCP 2.2

Passing HDCP 2.2 might not be contingent on the cable, but it's worth mentioning here that passing HDCP 2.2 is one of the tests that we require our QC/QA team to perform. Since HDCP 2.2 is not backwards compatible, it's very important that all of our HDMI cable is capable of passing that and also older versions of HDCP for maximum compatibility.

Some Office Tests For Your Enjoyment

Like I said, the actual QC/QA happens at the factory. For anyone reading this that's NOT Six Sigma certified, catching quality problems at the factory is several orders of magnitude less-costly than selling bad cables to real people, so we put a lot of resources into quality assurance before the cable is sold. OK-- I admit I'm personally not Six Sigma certified either.

That being said, I went ahead and used our tester here in the office to demonstrate some benchmarks. This test is for our 15 foot 4K HDMI cable:



Our in-office tester isn't nearly as big and doesn't have nearly as many buttons as the test equipment used at the factory, but we can at least test for the things that matter most (like bandwidth).


One of the most difficult specs to pass is to run the 4K 60Hz resolution with 4:4:4 chroma (no chroma subsampling). This is an image showing us select the 4:4:4 option on the generator.


Test results up-close. The most important spec here is the second one that tests 18Gbps bandwidth with a 4K 60Hz resolution. We didn't bother to run the 480p test in this demo so that one did not register a signal.
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post #2 of 38 Old 08-27-2016, 06:25 AM
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Does 25ft and 30ft pass also ? On your website, it doesn't explicitly say "4K at 60Hz, 4:4:4 Chroma" for 25ft+ cables
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post #3 of 38 Old 08-29-2016, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Does 25ft and 30ft pass also ? On your website, it doesn't explicitly say "4K at 60Hz, 4:4:4 Chroma" for 25ft+ cables
Yes, the longer lengths have been certified. As for posting pics of the HDMI cable test, I can do that here in a week or so as those longer lengths hit our fulfillment center (where I work). I'm also working on finding out how to publicly post ATC documents (since apparently there is a consumer-facing version which I'm waiting to hear back about).

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post #4 of 38 Old 09-05-2016, 11:08 PM
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what's the warranty/exchange/refund policy with these? I've had issues with other cables passing signal with my sammy uhd player at 35 ft. thank you!
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post #5 of 38 Old 09-07-2016, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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what's the warranty/exchange/refund policy with these? I've had issues with other cables passing signal with my sammy uhd player at 35 ft. thank you!
These cables come in a resealable bag and have a full 90-day return policy. As long as the packaging and cable are in 100% retail condition we won't charge a 15% restocking fee. If the return is because it is failing a spec, we will pay return shipping. If you're returning simply because you changed your mind, we'll refund the cable but you'll pay shipping. Any defective cable will then undergo investigative testing once we receive the cable so we can see where we went wrong on that unit and improve future batches.
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post #6 of 38 Old 10-11-2016, 12:57 PM
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I've just received my 30' cable. There is no sticker from the HDMI institute certifying that it passed the "Ultra" certification. Unfortunately, I won't be able to test this right away because I'm waiting for the new Oppo 203 4K player's release. Sure is pretty, though.
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post #7 of 38 Old 10-11-2016, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I've just received my 30' cable. There is no sticker from the HDMI institute certifying that it passed the "Ultra" certification.
Are you by chance referring to the new 'Premium' certification that HDMI org is offering?

We considered paying for that certification, it is considered by us to be a marketing expense since all it does is add a label to the packaging, and quite a large expense at that which would require us to charge significantly more for the cable.

Since the certification doesn't actually reveal anything new about the cable we've decided to hold off on that expense. The cable is certified at 4K 60Hz, BT.2020 Rec, and HDR to distance spec, and adding the holographic label would make these cables about 10% more expensive to the consumer in a conservative estimate.

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Last edited by Sewell Direct Jared; 10-12-2016 at 06:58 AM.
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post #8 of 38 Old 10-12-2016, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sewell Direct Jared View Post
Are you by chance referring to the new 'Premium' certification that HDMI org is offering?

We considered paying for that certification, it is considered by us to be a marketing expense since all it does is add a label to the packaging, and quite a large expense at that which would require us to charge significantly more for the cable.

Since the certification doesn't actually reveal anything new about the cable we've decided to hold off on that expense. The cable is certified at 4K 60Hz, BT.2020 Rec, and HDR to distance spec, and adding the holographic label would make these cables about 10% more expensive to the consumer in a conservative estimate.
Yes. I understand. The key will be user experience and feedback, if you are choosing to skip the independent lab test. I think you'll have another problem with the HDMI org certification. As I understand it, the cable has to be wrapped around a small diameter pipe as part of the "flexibility" tests. The outside braid of the silverback probably won't tolerate that. Not a problem for me and I'm willing to give it a try--price is right.

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post #9 of 38 Old 10-12-2016, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes. I understand. The key will be user experience and feedback
Agreed-- user feedback is very important to us, please let us know how these cables work for your setup!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted99 View Post
, if you are choosing to skip the independent lab test.
Actually we didn't skip the ATC independent lab test. The ATC (authorized testing center) 3rd party lab test is required to use the HDMI logo on our cables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted99 View Post
I think you'll have another problem with the HDMI org certification.
We are certified. Otherwise HDMI would be after us for trademark infringement since we are an easy-to-mail-a-cease-and-desist-letter-level of established brand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted99 View Post
As I understand it, the cable has to be wrapped around a small diameter pipe as part of the "flexibility" tests. The outside braid of the silverback probably won't tolerate that. Not a problem for me and I'm willing to give it a try--price is right.
Interesting, I'm not familiar with this part of the certification process. It could be part of it, but according to HDMI's premium certification website, testing has all to do with the conductivity properties of the cable.

To quote: "The program is designed to give end users confidence when purchasing new HDMI cables for their 4K/UltraHD products that may include features such as 4K@60Hz, BT.2020 and HDR. Participating HDMI Adopters can promote their ATC-tested High Speed HDMI Cables as Premium High Speed HDMI Cables or Premium High Speed HDMI Cables with Ethernet using a unique anti-counterfeiting authentication label on their products."

These benchmarks (4K@60Hz, BT.2020 and HDR) are verified in our cables up to distance spec through ATC testing. Beyond HDMI org's distance spec we still claim that our cables can achieve these max specs but of course how far begins to depend on the source's ability to produce a strong signal.

Flexibility of the cable itself is important and we put a lot of thought into that-- I believe our cable, even with the weave, is significantly more flexible than your typical long-length cable since historically major HDMI brands resort to simply fattening the conductor in order to meet spec. This flexibility aspect however is not part of the ATC lab test.

Anyway-- thanks a lot for trying our cable. It really does come down to user experience since no lab can recreate the mountain of variables that could potentially prevent a successful HDMI connection.

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post #10 of 38 Old 10-12-2016, 07:57 AM
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This look like a nice cable at a nice price. I'll put one of these on my list. I would like to hear some user experience.

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I ordered 4 cables today 3 30 feet and 1 25. I hope they work as advertised.
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post #12 of 38 Old 10-22-2016, 12:36 PM
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Just ordered a 40' Silverback S6 HDMI Cable from Sewell - will test from my GTX 1060 to my EF9500 OLED at 4K 60hz 4:4:4 chroma.

Currently have a 35 foot Mediabridge cable from several years ago routed from PC on one end of living room, down through unfinished basement, and back up to TV - that can only pass 4K 59hz at 4:2:0. So my goal is to replace that.

Should be here next saturday. Will report back once I test.
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post #13 of 38 Old 10-26-2016, 03:42 PM
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Received a 25ft Premium HDMI Cable today, first impression very nice build and shipped very quickly. Was previously using an Amazon Basics 25' HDMI that worked fine for the most part - but struggled at 60hz sometimes, tearing like crazy, driving ME crazy as I tried to figure out what was the issue (this had been the 3rd cable I'd tried, the Sewell being the 4th).

I have a bit of a convoluted setup - computer about 20ft away running via DP to a 144hz 1440p monitor, and also to a 65" 4K TV connected via receiver (setup used for movies@24hz, video editing and gaming at 60hz.)

Out of a GTX1080 to a 4K TV at 60hz/RGB using the 25ft Cable I've seen (knock on wood) no tearing or dropouts and appears to do the job. Tested YouTube, Twitch, 4K Games and even some 60fps 6K footage, all with no tearing. A particular part in BioShock I tested where the lights flicker like mad had previously turned my screen into a torn and sliced up nightmare, is now rendered perfectly.

One oddity is YouTube videos will sometimes tear if I hover my mouse over the video - which raises the timeline thing, but that's probably due to chrome/html5/software oddities - just playing the videos works fine.

In short, this cable seems to be working well in my setup so far!
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I received my order and the 25 ft cable works. The three 30 ft cables cannot pass 4k@60hz 4:4:4 without dropouts.
I am sending back the 3 30 ft ones. However according to the rma instructions you will only receive shipping charges back if sewell tests and they are defective. So if you are not from the USA and live abroad I would not order anything longer then 25 feet.

The 25ft cable is perfect I just do not think the 30 ft cables should be marketed as 4k@60hz 4:4:4. As it is not going to work for most people if 3 of the ones I received did not function as advertised.

I will keep everyone posted on the rma and if I receive back my shipping charges.





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I ordered 4 cables today 3 30 feet and 1 25. I hope they work as advertised.
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post #15 of 38 Old 11-01-2016, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
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I received my order and the 25 ft cable works. The three 30 ft cables cannot pass 4k@60hz 4:4:4 without dropouts.
I am sending back the 3 30 ft ones. However according to the rma instructions you will only receive shipping charges back if sewell tests and they are defective. So if you are not from the USA and live abroad I would not order anything longer then 25 feet.

The 25ft cable is perfect I just do not think the 30 ft cables should be marketed as 4k@60hz 4:4:4. As it is not going to work for most people if 3 of the ones I received did not function as advertised.

I will keep everyone posted on the rma and if I receive back my shipping charges.
Shoot...30' is the length I need. Good to hear they are working up to 25' though!


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post #16 of 38 Old 11-01-2016, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Shoot...30' is the length I need. Good to hear they are working up to 25' though!
tcramer: I know that everyone's video source equipment and environmental EMI will create different results, but we have recently posted a video that demonstrates 40 feet of successful 4K 60Hz 4:4:4 18Gbps pass-through:


If you're interested in buying, don't forget to use the banner at the top of this thread to enact 20% discounts on our S6 cable.
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Last edited by Sewell Direct Jared; 11-01-2016 at 12:56 PM.
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post #17 of 38 Old 11-02-2016, 09:57 AM
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Just placed my order for 2x6' and a 30'. I'll certainly report back my findings although I'll only be able to test a UHD player direct to a JVC X750r, as I do not have a 4K compatible AVR (yet.)
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post #18 of 38 Old 11-03-2016, 02:29 AM
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I just finally got to test out the 40' Silverback S6 HDMI Cable from Sewell - from my GTX 1060 to my EF9500 OLED at 4K 60hz 4:4:4 chroma - AND IT PASSED NO PROBLEM!

No handshake issues from PC to TV switching between formats on the card - everything responded like it should. Now Running in RGB Full Range (0-255) at 4K 60Hz like a charm.

This is what I picked up - to be clear:
https://sewelldirect.com/premium-4k-hdmi-cable-40-ft-

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildchild22 View Post
I received my order and the 25 ft cable works. The three 30 ft cables cannot pass 4k@60hz 4:4:4 without dropouts.
I am sending back the 3 30 ft ones. However according to the rma instructions you will only receive shipping charges back if sewell tests and they are defective. So if you are not from the USA and live abroad I would not order anything longer then 25 feet.

The 25ft cable is perfect I just do not think the 30 ft cables should be marketed as 4k@60hz 4:4:4. As it is not going to work for most people if 3 of the ones I received did not function as advertised.

I will keep everyone posted on the rma and if I receive back my shipping charges.
I haven't opened the package for my 30', yet; because I'm waiting for the Oppo 203 player to ship (Dec?). I've just sent Sewell customer service a request for an RMA for exchange for a 20' Silverback, when they become available in Dec. I've decided to put my equipment rack midway between my JVC RS600 and the screen to minimize problems with the HDMI cables and I don't want to be on the ragged edge of working. I'll let you know the result.

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Well might have spoken too soon. Experiencing some random - not repeatable audio dropouts, about a second long. Happens on any type of content, on my install of Windows 8.1 and 10.
Will probably be returning soon and continuing the hunt for working cables.
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post #21 of 38 Old 11-09-2016, 09:22 AM
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I've received no response from Sewell Direct on my request for an RMA for exchange--does not bode well

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I would use the chat option on their site.




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I've received no response from Sewell Direct on my request for an RMA for exchange--does not bode well
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post #23 of 38 Old 11-10-2016, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I've received no response from Sewell Direct on my request for an RMA for exchange--does not bode well
Ted99-- I'm sorry about that, which email address did you try?

You can PM me with your order number and I can expedite that for you.

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post #24 of 38 Old 11-10-2016, 09:27 AM
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^^^Thanks for the follow-up. It was this thread that caused me to consider the Sewell S-6. I used the customer support e-mail on the Sewell site. PM sent.

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post #25 of 38 Old 11-16-2016, 11:22 AM
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Does anyone have any experience using this cable with an Xbox One S? I want to support 4k 60 Hz UHD and I'm looking to use the 40ft. Silverback S6 HDMI Cable between my Xbox and my Vizio M65.
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post #26 of 38 Old 11-16-2016, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sewell Direct Jared View Post
tcramer: I know that everyone's video source equipment and environmental EMI will create different results, but we have recently posted a video that demonstrates 40 feet of successful 4K 60Hz 4:4:4 18Gbps pass-through:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJZvx8cxzhg

If you're interested in buying, don't forget to use the banner at the top of this thread to enact 20% discounts on our S6 cable.
So the same tests have been done on the 50ft cable? Just no video?

The site changes some of the features when you switch from 40ft to 50ft, so just want to make sure.
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post #27 of 38 Old 11-17-2016, 06:56 AM
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Still no response from customer "non"-service on my RMA request. Is this a "sell it and forget" company. I'm about to post on the other Long HDMI threads.

Samsung UN75HU8550FXZA, SEK 3500 OCB in den, Sony XBR79X900B in LR, JVC RS600, Grandview 120" 1.3g curved screen in Batcave Mancave
Polk LSiM703 fronts, RTi-12 rears, LsiC and LSiM 706 centers, Monitor 40 Heights, Monitor 60 FW, ED A6t sides, Oppo 203
Two Emotiva XPA-5's for the Beds and TC, BasX-7 for the tops, Marantz AV7702MKII in Mancave until consumer-grade 13+ ch Pre-pro is available.
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post #28 of 38 Old 11-29-2016, 07:06 PM
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@Sewell Direct Jared

I know there were a few interested in the longer Sewell cables and that you were looking for direct feedback. I finally got around to trying out the 30' version tonight and need to report it is a failure on all accounts. I even made sure to set it up as straight as possible, using very wide sweeping curves for my 2 bends (>1' radius).

Test format:
  • Tivo Bolt --> Denon 4300H --> JVC RS600
  • 4K Netflix and YouTube sources

Results:
  • 4K 24/30p (pass through): Inconsistent - I would occasionally get a signal, but then it would cut out and I'd get a black screen. Note this was not the input screen, but it would go black intermittently.
  • 4K 60p: Fail - I was never able to get a signal sync whatsoever.

I will be seeing if I can return this for a full refund, since it's actually less reliable than the Monoprice Luxe cable I've been using. Next I'm going to give that Monoprice blackbird extender a whirl, with a 10' Premium certified cable of theirs on one end and a 20' one on the other.


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post #29 of 38 Old 11-30-2016, 07:14 AM
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Finally reached Sewell thru the "chat" feature, as suggested by @wildchild22 . Agreed to an RMA for return. The RMA e-mail said that Techs would "test" the cable for compliance with specs before deciding to charge me for shipping. Based on now 2 out of 3 actual end-user tests of the 30' cable failing, I would hope that they recognize that the 30' and up cables don't work and will modify their website to so indicate. I think the bottom line is that if a cable is not certified by the "HDMI Institute" at the stated length, any other "independent testing lab's results" should be taken with a grain of salt. I'll be back to report on the results of my RMA.

Samsung UN75HU8550FXZA, SEK 3500 OCB in den, Sony XBR79X900B in LR, JVC RS600, Grandview 120" 1.3g curved screen in Batcave Mancave
Polk LSiM703 fronts, RTi-12 rears, LsiC and LSiM 706 centers, Monitor 40 Heights, Monitor 60 FW, ED A6t sides, Oppo 203
Two Emotiva XPA-5's for the Beds and TC, BasX-7 for the tops, Marantz AV7702MKII in Mancave until consumer-grade 13+ ch Pre-pro is available.
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post #30 of 38 Old 11-30-2016, 08:14 AM
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I got charged shipping so do not expect a refund on that!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted99 View Post
Finally reached Sewell thru the "chat" feature, as suggested by @wildchild22 . Agreed to an RMA for return. The RMA e-mail said that Techs would "test" the cable for compliance with specs before deciding to charge me for shipping. Based on now 2 out of 3 actual end-user tests of the 30' cable failing, I would hope that they recognize that the 30' and up cables don't work and will modify their website to so indicate. I think the bottom line is that if a cable is not certified by the "HDMI Institute" at the stated length, any other "independent testing lab's results" should be taken with a grain of salt. I'll be back to report on the results of my RMA.
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