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$130 - Black Bull 30Ft HDMI Cable won't pass 1080P - Worked for a week and failed

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

I recently set up my Home Theatre room, had professionals run cables and set it all up and then the day after I finished repairing the walls the system stopped passing 1080P signals. Bad luck or what!

I've a Playstation / Nintendo Wii / HTPC > Pioneer VSX- 51 receiver > 30ft HDMI & Ethernet cable > JVC RS20 projector.

For a full week I watched movies and put up at least 30 hours without issue. Then the morning after the drywaller finished replacing the crown mouldings I had no signal on the screen. After much experimentation i worked out that setting either the receiver or the HTPC to output 720P and 1080I result in a clean signal. Setting 1080P results in either no signal (90% of time), heavily flickering signal with screen tearing or else very fine blue interference lines scrolling up the screen. Playstation (1080P) cuts in and out. Wii (480P) works fine.

My first thought was that the drywaller stuck a nail through the cable, so i went out and got a new 25ft cable to test and the signal works perfectly. This means that the cable has to be the problem, but question is what is the problem.

Got on to Monoprice technical support and the guy there maintains that its impossible to damage a cable enough that it wont run 1080P but will still pass 1080i. He says it either works 100% or it works 0%. He suggested adding a HDMI extender, which would have to go at the beginning of the same cable rather than in the middle of a run.

The cable is a Key Digital HDRJ30 Standard 26AWG (Edited as originally said 28AWG) http://www.keydigital.com/items.asp?...30&Company=KEY

I'm thinking that 30ft is not a crazy length. Could this just be a bad quality cable from the supplier or is the Gauge of 26AWG to low when they should have used a 22 AWG one? I noticed on the Monoprice site that all the long cables are rated for 1080i rather than P and they say anything over 25ft should be 22AWG.
The tech was also at a loss to explain how it could work one day and not the next.

I can pull the cable from the wall and rerun 22AWG, but i'm thinking that is going to be difficult to pull through the walls and is it necessary?

Does anyone have any experience of this or any options

Any suggestions appreciated..
post #2 of 28
Monoprice tech support is just plain ignorant. It is certainly possible to damage a HDMI cable in a manner that reduces the maximum bandwidth it can support.

28AWG is too small for 30'. Best 28AWG cable I have seen is certified high speed to 15', standard (up to 1080i/720p) 25'. You are beyond even a standard 28AWG HDMI cable. Good news is that real world performance typically exceeds performance during ATC testing.

Cable may have been bent tighter than the minimum bend radius further reducing its throughput.

Drywaller may have put a nail through it if you are running it behind the molding, probably not if in the wall.

HDMI performance is a factor of the cable, the bit rate, all the electronics involved, and the environment. If you are right on the edge to start with, it is possible that something changed enough from one day to the next to affect performance.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Sorry, just double checked and its a 26AWG cable (Says standard, Should be High speed?)

Does your comment still apply? Question is why would Key Digital sell a cable at that price that is too low gauge to work...
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by conors View Post

...26AWG cable...

OK, so add a few feet to each of the ratings.
Quote:


Should be High speed?

If you want a guarantee that it can handle anything over 1080i/720p. 25' is about the maximum you will find a certified high speed cable, so you are stuck with a cable rated standard. That said, there is a big difference between cables rated standard when it comes to performance beyond their rating. One factor that influences it is wire gauge.
Quote:


Question is why would Key Digital sell a cable at that price that is too low gauge to work...

It works at 1080i. There is no guarantee a standard cable will work beyond that. Price is a factor of what they think the market will bear and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with performance. One of the best HDMI cables available at any price is the Blue Jeans Cable Series 1. It is certified high speed to 25', standard to 45'. It costs $102.25 for 30'. A monoprice 22AWG HDMI cable can be had for $33.87 for the same length. Either should work just fine in your case.

You will have to ask Key Digital about their "Tested Performance Guarantee", certification to "Full HD 1080p+" and other claims. It would seem to me to be in violation of HDMI licensing terms, but I am not a lawyer. According to the HDMI cable labeling guidelines, cables are to be labelled and advertised only as standard or high speed, with or without ethernet. FWIW there is no official HDMI certification to "Full HD 1080p+", just standard and high speed. IMHO they are doing the same kind of misleading advertising that Monster is infamous for.
post #5 of 28
Are you trying to pass Deep Color (36 bit)? If so try turning it off and you may still be able to pass 1080p through your cable.

I'm not in front of my PS3 but it is one of the video settings. I don't remember exactly what they call it.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
I havet tried turning off Deep colour, but i'm more interested in having the HTPC pass a signal than the playstation.. I've emailed Key Digital tech support to see what they say, but your right.. Thier site clearly says 1080P certified, so in my mind if they cable does not work, then they should replace it..

What about a booster or doing a HDMI over ethernet.. That might be easier to get through the wall...
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by conors View Post

Thier site clearly says 1080P certified, so in my mind if they cable does not work, then they should replace it..

...or refund your money. What makes you think another of the same will work any better if it is the cable design?
Quote:


What about a booster or doing a HDMI over ethernet.. That might be easier to get through the wall...

It is not HDMI over ethernet, it is HDMI over Cat 5/5e/6 cable. It is the usual solution for long runs. Yours isn't particularly long. 1080p60 is quite doable over a good HDMI cable up to at least 50'. It only requires a bit less than half the bandwidth of a high speed cable. You should even be able to do 1080p60 with Deep Color at 30' with a quality cable. Of course, it is easier to run one or two Cat 5/5e/6 cables through a wall than a HDMI cable. If you go with a HDBaseT solution it should be pretty much trouble free. They start around $200. If you go with something cheaper, you may wind up with more problems than you have now. What works for one person may not work for you. It is pretty much a crap shoot.

A "booster" is essentially an equalizer that attempts to make up for the roll-off of the high frequency components of the signal. It may also reclock the signal. The display device should already be supplying equalization when receiving a 1080p60 signal. The equalization provided by most of the add-on devices is approximate at best and can at times make the signal worse. And none of them do anything about the other causes of signal degradation. They work best when designed for a specific cable at a specific length as found in active HDMI cables.
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well, i'm assuming that the company wouldn't be selling high grade cables that don't work and therefore the cable is likely faulty..

Tell me about HDBaseT.. What do i need and where can i get it? Will that be a better option than running a new cable? I already have a Cat 5 cable run, just needs to be terminated..

Appreciate the help by the way..
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by conors View Post


Tell me about HDBaseT.. .

The Unofficial source for Everything HDBaseT
post #10 of 28
As everyone has said, what you are trying to do is certainly do-able with a good gauge (24 awg) cable. Unfortunately that means reopening the wall. If you do, you might consider installing conduit so 1) you have a little more protection against nails and 2) you can easily un-install the cable (or install after the sheetrockers have completed their work).

As an aside, I found the Key Digital webpage interesting...They advertise that this cable has (and I'm not making this up), "21 Gbps Super Sonic Speed ". If we take them at their word (or copy), then there are little sonic shock waves cascading down the cable. Could be the cause of the problem. OK, sorry I couldn't resist.

Anyway, try to avoid cables who advertise super sonic speed or anything but pretty much except "High Speed" or "Standard Speed" and maybe a gauge spec and a few features.

The only thing to consider with a standard speed cable is that one day when HDMI adds more to the spec, you may want the extra speed that high speed provides. Then you're looking at conversions, as you discussed above.
post #11 of 28
If the cable was ran, and worked before the drywall went up, replace and bill the monkeys that ruined an overpriced cable that you paid hard money for.

Save yourself some money and go for the monoprice cable, no gold shielding, just a 30 foot 24awg for $25.21. http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2 Personally, I would shoot for the 35 footer to give you some breathing room, if the 30 foot was kind of tight. And if you want with ethernet, there is also the same available for about the same price.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
I sent an email to Key Digital last night and the technical group manager, Jonathan, rang me first thing this morning. He agreed that a nail was unlikely to be the cause as it would kill the cable completely, however he said it could have been over bent and that might have damaged the throughput. Not sure how that could happen replacing the Crown considering the cable is fixed to the wall... He said there was no chance the cable was originally faulty, however he still agreed to replace it under warranty (without any pushing) which I thought was cool.. He reckons there is no need for a gauge higher than 26AWG, and given that its likely to be tricky to get through the wall anyway I think i'll try the new one and see how it goes.. I'll run it for a week outside the wall to be sure, and then try attaching it to the old cable and pulling it through.. Maybe grease it up first..

It does say its standard on the cable, however the web says its certified for 3d & 4K etc, so it seems to be as high a speed as you can get..

I looked at the HDbaseT, but ideally i dont want to add two more power blocks and cable coils when a neat cable should really be doing the job and i'm assuming its not now beacause of some fault that a new cable won't have..

What do you guys think?
post #13 of 28
I would run the new cable outside to make sure it works, then carefully pull it through to the pull the old, while pulling in the new. Will work, as long as there is enough room in the conduit, and the other hdmi is not twisted up with other cables in there.

It is really your call, but if it was me, I would go for it. The whole reason of going to the larger wire gauge, is to lower the resistance that the signal has to fight to pass through. There is a sweet spot in distance vs. awg, but it becomes more trial and error with each user and their system, due to not every two systems are going to be the same.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by conors View Post

...however the web says its certified for 3d & 4K etc, so it seems to be as high a speed as you can get..

Wrong. I explained some of it above. You can do the research on the rest if you want.

A different example of the same cable might work better if it happens to be built closer to optimal than the one you have. It mostly comes down to how well the manufacturer can control the geometry of the cable. Some just come out better than others. And of course, if there is a nail in the current one, it is a no-brainer.

By all means test the cable before installing it in the wall. And when you do install it in the wall, you need to observe the minimum bend radius and maximum pulling tension for the cable. The vendor should be able to provide that information for you. You want to avoid doing anything that upsets the internal geometry of the cable because that will affect the performance.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by conors View Post

...

It does say its standard on the cable, however the web says its certified for 3d & 4K etc, so it seems to be as high a speed as you can get..

...

What do you guys think?

Hopefully they are just misinformed. Here is the link to the HDMI Org website that describes the speeds. The HDMI Org owns the patents, the trademarks and pretty much anything HDMI. So, what they says is the law:

http://www.hdmi.org/learningcenter/faq.aspx#49

It's good they are replacing the cable. That's a good sign but a standard speed cable (as you read) will likely never achieve that bitrates obtained with a high speed cable (otherwise it would be certified as a high speed cable).
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well, I pinged them an email to ask.. I'm gonna be pretty shocked if he comes back and says its a category 1 only!
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by conors View Post

Well, I pinged them an email to ask.. I'm gonna be pretty shocked if he comes back and says its a category 1 only!

No need to get into a back-n-forth. Just ask for their HDMI High Speed certificate. If it is a certified high speed cable, then they'll have a certificate available.

One thing to be careful about is some companies will certify a 10' high speed cable and then claim that it also applies to a much greater length cable (which it does not).
post #18 of 28
Look for certificates form an ATC like this, and this. Make sure they match the model and length of the cable you have.
post #19 of 28
If you play your Blu-rays at 1080 p24, the problem will go away.
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebound View Post

If you play your Blu-rays at 1080 p24, the problem will go away.

Keep in mind that not all Blu-Ray titles are movies. Video should not be shown at 1080p/24, only movies.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post


Keep in mind that not all Blu-Ray titles are movies. Video should not be shown at 1080p/24, only movies.

Say what? So you are telling everyone, that all of us having been doing it incorrectly with our bluray players and ps3's.
post #22 of 28
Wow! It's hard to be misquoted like that and then respond. Why don't you reread what I said and then ask politely again.

For others, film is shot at 24 fps. Therefore a 3:2 pulldown makes sense, which works out to 24 fps when showing a film. Since video is shot at 30 fps or 60 fps, the use of 24 fps would result in uneven motion if attempted with video. Incorrect use of the 3:2 pulldown is not unusual when TVs or players don't detect the use of film properly. Blu-ray made it easier with the 24 fps standard for film-sourced discs.
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Just to follow up on this,

We pulled the cable out of the wall and replaced it. There was a nail neatly skewering the center of the cable and running straight through it. So despite the comments from BlackBull and Monoprice Tech support and various forum members, it is possible for a cable to be damaged to the point where it will play 1080i but not 1080P!
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by conors View Post

...and various forum members...

I don't think any forum member told you it is not possible to degrade the performance of a cable. And I explicitly told you it could, and how.

So, did you replace the cable or use the old one?
post #25 of 28
wow... I think you could make that same statement about an undamaged cable...??? very profound though :-)
post #26 of 28
`1
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

Wow! It's hard to be misquoted like that and then respond. Why don't you reread what I said and then ask politely again.

For others, film is shot at 24 fps. Therefore a 3:2 pulldown makes sense, which works out to 24 fps when showing a film. Since video is shot at 30 fps or 60 fps, the use of 24 fps would result in uneven motion if attempted with video. Incorrect use of the 3:2 pulldown is not unusual when TVs or players don't detect the use of film properly. Blu-ray made it easier with the 24 fps standard for film-sourced discs.
I don't think there are a lot of 1080p60 Blu-ray titles. If you run into one, you could always output 1080i60, which may be the actual captured video resolution anyway.
post #28 of 28
Great answer - unfortunately the thread is 10 months old.
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