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HDMI: A Closer Look Under the Jacket

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
HDMI: A Closer Look Under the Jacket
By Jeff Boccaccio
There are some basic guidelines companies must follow when developing HDMI cables. But each manufacturer has the power to build its own concoction of Magic Sauce and still manage to fall within HDMI's compliance standards.

Have you ever used an HDMI cable that looked beautiful, but when installed it didn't work?

HDMI cables are not just thrown together. Yet there are those who do buy HDMI products from off-the-shelf inventory in the Far East and then - poof - they find themselves in the cable business. I have a phrase for this: Manufacturers that design their products and manufactures that just sell them.




Let's focus on those companies that indeed design their own products. It's these types of companies where you should be able to get the answers to the questions that will surface here.

Building quality HDMI cables has its challenges, no doubt, so how do companies cope with these challenges and end up with a deliverable that they can stand behind?

There are some basic guidelines that must be followed. But at the end of the day, each cable manufacturer has the power to build its own concoction of Magic Sauce, which allows for the cables to take on their own personality and still manage to fall within HDMI's compliance standards.

Click here to continue.
post #2 of 22
Just read the above, have not the whole article but I've been thinking about this for some time. Speaking to someone who has some evolvement in where these cables are manufacture and then experiencing an issue, I'm currently having with my own system.

I tend to think, and quite obviously these things aren't created equally where price equals quality come in to play. I'm not saying we should spend those crazy outlandish prices, but there is a fine line between rock bottom prices , and moderate cost where junk meets actual functioning cables .

Djoel
post #3 of 22
Nice write up, thanks for the post
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel View Post

Just read the above, have not the whole article but I've been thinking about this for some time. Speaking to someone who has some evolvement in where these cables are manufacture and then experiencing an issue, I'm currently having with my own system.

I tend to think, and quite obviously these things aren't created equally where price equals quality come in to play. I'm not saying we should spend those crazy outlandish prices, but there is a fine line between rock bottom prices , and moderate cost where junk meets actual functioning cables .

Djoel

No doubt but when two manufacturers use the same stock and wrap it with fancy jackets and charge huge sums people then question the business.
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglasCleary View Post

No doubt but when two manufacturers use the same stock and wrap it with fancy jackets and charge huge sums people then question the business.

You're absolutely right, this happens all the time but in the same token I think it's happening at the other ends were we getting extremely inexpensive goods that aren't worth to hook on our systems, and aren't working correctly. I see no value in that either.

I would like to know where is the middle ground, I was just shopping for some HDMI cables and didn't not want to pay 30 bucks without knowing if they were some rejacket junk.

DJoel
post #6 of 22
sounds like they were comparing standard 1.1/1.2 complient cables with 1.3 or 1.4 cables..
post #7 of 22
I have some expensive cables with brand names on them.

I have some very inexpensive cables by Blue Jeans Cable and Mono Price Cables.

They all work equally well (function).

The BJC and MPC cables are vastly less expensive (approximately 10% of the cost for brand name cables).

The bang for the buck is HEAVILY in favor of BJC and MPC.


The above results are for cables that are 10 feet in length and less, typical of what a homeowner will encounter when putting a system together. I have no experience with longer cables but for really long runs there are ways to maintain signal integrity.

What I want is a DIY HDMI cable system so I can tailor cable lengths to my system. Give me THAT and you have some hope of getting the big bucks from me for a cable. If I could custom size the cables for my systems, it would result in a MUCH cleaner install that is easier to do in the first place and easier to debug if (when) something goes wrong.

The other thing I want is a locking feature for HDMI connectors. Some progress has been made in this regard but it is still not a standard feature (or should I say a feature in the standard, HDMI standard that is).
post #8 of 22
nice post
post #9 of 22
Thanks for the info. Now I understand about the HDMI cable. Now if we can get the Companys to put the info on the cable so we know what we are buying.
post #10 of 22
Monoprice forever.
post #11 of 22
A good article but I have always felt that BJC provided everything you would want to about HDMI. Good stuff.

HDMI Cable Information Center
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by FendersRule View Post

Monoprice forever.

This

/thread
post #13 of 22
I just ordered 5 from Mono. Been having issues with HDMI negotiation with my Amazon/BlueRigger brand cables. I just had to try them.
post #14 of 22
My advice is simple. Go to a place like monoprice. read the user reviews. don't waste your money at best buy or the like. and most importanly, pay attention to the gauge and application. If you have a 100' run, don't tie 5 weak gauge 20' cables together.

Every job has a different tool.

I am still trying to decide if this is hidden advertisement for cable pirates like Monster Cable justifying or basically saying don't buy your cables off of ebay, shipped from Hong Kong, to save $5.

Monster 50', $249

50ft 24AWG CL2 Standard HDMI® Cable With Ethernet - Black from monoprice, $42


50ft 22AWG CL2 Silver Plated Standard HDMI® Cable - Black (for the extra bling), $79

the ebay Special, $20

Its more than just the cable though. The sender and receiver can be just as important.
post #15 of 22
I'm surprised that monoprice or bluejeans aren't in negotiation with some brick and mortar store to carrry their cables. It would seem to me to be a win-win.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Irishman] View Post

I'm surprised that monoprice or bluejeans aren't in negotiation with some brick and mortar store to carrry their cables. It would seem to me to be a win-win.

The retailers want to make the money off the "Better" brand name stuff.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lag View Post


What I want is a DIY HDMI cable system so I can tailor cable lengths to my system. Give me THAT and you have some hope of getting the big bucks from me for a cable. If I could custom size the cables for my systems, it would result in a MUCH cleaner install that is easier to do in the first place and easier to debug if (when) something goes wrong.

The other thing I want is a locking feature for HDMI connectors. Some progress has been made in this regard but it is still not a standard feature (or should I say a feature in the standard, HDMI standard that is).

It exists, but it's not affordable for the average DIYer to purchase the tools. http://www.covid.com/hdmi/


Locking would be nice - as long as it supports the weight of the cable properly.


How cost effective would it be to replace HDMI connectors with fiber optic connectors? Would make for MUCH easier cable routing.
post #18 of 22
So far all of the cheap eBay and Mono Price cables I have bought have worked fine on everything I own for cheap. I try to get the better wire gauge and the RF chokes when I can for extra insurance but I have with and without the chokes and they all work OK. I did get some cheap RCA/Philips ones that wouldn't work with one HD player, but is fine with another in my system, but those came in one of those deal of the day mystery cable boxes and were just part of the huge grab bag of cables and adapters I got for cheap so I wasn't depending on, or expecting them to work when I found them in the box.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebberry View Post

The retailers want to make the money off the "Better" brand name stuff.

Surely they must see the writing on the wall?
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Irishman] View Post

I'm surprised that monoprice or bluejeans aren't in negotiation with some brick and mortar store to carrry their cables. It would seem to me to be a win-win.

Monoprice is just some reseller of co-partner assemblies and are nothing special. The Bluejeans cable is a whole other story. The cable stock is made in America by Belden in Indiana and sent to Asia for assembly.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Irishman] View Post

Surely they must see the writing on the wall?

No... in big box stores the sales margin the sales guy has any leeway in is your cables etc. On a package deal a lot of the sale commission the guy will earn is on those bloody cables!
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lag View Post


The other thing I want is a locking feature for HDMI connectors. Some progress has been made in this regard but it is still not a standard feature (or should I say a feature in the standard, HDMI standard that is).

In the commercial av field there is option for that in my limited experience. Some gear I have worked with has a small 90 degree plastic piece. You tie wrap it to the top of the hdmi termination flush. Then it has a screw hole to screw into a hole above the female input. It's a little sketchy but it works.
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