^ A glass of fine wine will have the same effect, and (likely) be cheaper. AND upon repeat application, you MAY even see a performance gain!
All seriousness aside, the folks at HDMI.ORG have actually made a significant advance in this Premium Certified program. The cable designs, and manufactured product are now actually tested against real world conditions. This is THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE between Premium Certified and the prior "High Speed" cables which were (and continue to be), quite legitimately sold as 4K compatible because HDMI.ORG blithely believed that was TRUE! -- until they actually tried it. They are not.
(HDMI.ORG has not rescinded that marketing. Manufacturers are *STILL* allowed to sell "High Speed" cables as good for 4K. HDMI.ORG simply says Premium Certified is better. Deep sigh....)
Physical problem areas of the design are also addressed in the Premium Certified program.
And the fancy hologram label directly addresses the problem of "fake" cables -- cables which fraudulently claim to be tested and approved per prior HDMI cabling standards (but never actually were). The fancy label is coded to lead back to the certified manufacturer. There's even an app you can get which will read the label and tell you what brand and model of cable you should find that label attached to. I.e., is the cable you are holding in your hand actually the cable the label certifies?
A couple points regarding exceptions:
Any cable CAN work. Variation in manufacturing insures that even a blind pig will gather an acorn now and again. The odds are pretty grim, however, when trying random cables with 4K / HDR signals.
Similarly, any cable can FAIL! Even a Premium Certified cable. Like all manufactured products, there will be some small percentage which are faulty (and should be exchanged). But right now, buying Premium Certified cables is your best shot at insuring the Odds Will Ever Be In Your Favor.
By the way. This is true for *ANY* use of HDMI. Even for cables that are *NOT* expected to carry 4K signals. The Premium Certified program is, quite simply, the best HDMI.ORG has done to date at improving the out of box user experience with HDMI cables for *ALL* uses.
And I have to keep repeating this, because the cable world at retail continues to be, let's be blunt, overpriced. Premium Certified cables NEED NOT BE EXPENSIVE. For example, both Monoprice and Blue Jeans Cable carry reasonably priced cables like this. Feel free to buy an exotic (i.e., expensive) cable, but for heaven's sake, insist that it is Premium Certified if you are going to lay down that amount of cash.
Also keep in mind that Certification can only apply to a single length of cable between two devices. *ANYTHING* in the cable path: Daisy chained cables (including shorty, port-saver cables), adapters, wall plates (used to tidy up the ends of in-wall cabling), HDMI switches, and gizmos of all sorts (such as Darbee) can screw up the signal.
Take a wall plate as an example. It simply fans out the wires in the cable on the in-wall side to present a socket for the connecting cable on the room side. As simple as it can get right? No active circuitry whatsoever. But that simple act of fan out and fan back in of the wires changes the way the signal degrades over the length of the (combined) cables on both sides of the wall plate. Even before the brave new world of 4K -- with just 1080p signals to deal with -- wall plates were notorious as a *MAJOR* source of HDMI signal failure.
Premium Certified cables are now readily available -- at reasonable prices. The major problem people face is length. Nobody has yet cracked how to make a Premium Certified cable out of twisted pair copper wire beyond a certain length (somewhere between 15 and 25 feet). If you need a longer cable, you may very well need to look to a different cabling technology such as optical fiber or ethernet-style cabling -- both of which require translator electronics at either end to present that cabling as HDMI to the devices at either end. Such solutions are *NOT* cheap, so far.
It also remains the case that the design target for HDMI cable length is 6 feet (2 meters). The circuity on either side of the cable combines to increase the odds the signal traveling the length of the cable will be useful. That requires some assumptions as to what happens to the signal as it traverses the cable. And those assumptions are based around a 6 foot target. Everyone knows long HDMI cables can cause problems. But so can short cables. If at all possible, make sure that you use 6 foot HDMI cables between every pair of devices. Even if they are closer together. In the world of HDMI, "as short as possible" is *NOT* the right answer.
Just as some people will discover long cables happen to work for them (i.e., they got lucky), some people will also discover that short cables work without problems. But to maximize your odds, make the minimum cable length 6 feet and the maximum cable length as short as possible to span the required distance.
By the way, the older the device at either end of the cable, the more finicky all this stuff will be. HDMI chips have evolved dramatically over time. So if you are using something like a cable or satellite TV box that has HDMI transmitter chips from the steam and string era, you will want to be as particular as you can in choosing HDMI cables to maximize your odds.
Last edited by Bob Pariseau; 11-24-2017 at 01:18 PM.