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post #31 of 33 Old 08-03-2018, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack MacDougall View Post
Hello there Otto,

Yes, I'm a Newbie - but only to the forum. I've been around HDMI since it's inception as an Applications Engineer in the semiconductor industry and yes, work for Pixelgen - full disclosure). I've seen it all when it comes HDMI breaking points and am happy to inform you that we've gone to great lengths to pass all tests the THX program for all of our interconnect solutions and many manufacturers are beginning to come around on overall build quality and performance as well. I agree that 100% copper (passive wires only) is the best shot at maximum interoperability and overall compatibility, but obviously, as speeds increase to the 18Gbps threshold, this creates a new world of problems for practical longer reaches. There are ways to get as close to the elusive "guarantee". Happy answer any questions you may have!
THX certification is great for hardware (audio components for example) but I haven't seen any evidence that it is as specific, or comparable, to the actual transmission of video standards that an ATC certification program is for cables (copper-based and fiber optic). I certainly would like to see that change so that when the consumer purchases a cable that has a tamper-proof certification code or label for THX, similar to what an ATC program has (QR label for authenticity), they know that the cable has been tested with specific and standardized testing protocols that have been designed by HDMI.org (the folks who got us in this HDMI mess in the first place). Anybody can certify a product but until the process is performed by agreed upon and standardized protocols, the consumer is still left to trial and error at times. There is so much more to a successful cable connection than just the data pipe that I don't think a 100% guarantee can be achieved. A certification program just gives the consumer a little more confidence that the cable they are purchasing has gone thru some sort of rigorous procedure and not just some randomized, batch testing procedure to meet basic standards.
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post #32 of 33 Old 08-09-2018, 08:56 AM
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Quick note on THX Certification...

While the awareness of the test program itself is not (at this current time) in the public domain, I feel it may be helpful to explain a bit more about what attracted me to the THX program overall. First off, it focuses on system level validation as well as electrical (high-speed and low-speed) parametric testing. As nearly all 18Gbps enabled interconnect over 5m or so are active, it makes sense that the interconnect "system" be put through its paces in real-world test environment that fulfils a high level of fitness to the application. For example, having an incredible eye diagram and a sharp DDC clock edge is certainly ideal and important, but what if the timing between them is misaligned due to the electrical timing of the power-up within the active components within the cable interconnect itself? , or what if the power to which the active components rely upon doesn't translate the DDC communication from the get-go? (meaning that EDID gives up, settles and sends the fail-safe 480p signal is sent only)...that stellar eye diagram loses it's attractiveness pretty quickly.

The THX cert program exploits the areas of failure with poorly designed power schemes and cheap DDC extension methods by attempting multiple (physical) hotplug assertions, alternate combinations of power up sequence events...all set to emulate true life usage. (this is all in addition to a ton of interop testing.

More importantly, something that NO other program delivers is real-life system burn-in. As we know, HDCP can be tough to handle with all long-range interconnect. THX actually has the equipment necessary to monitor any HDCP or High-speed failing events over a 2 hours period! Many of our installer based customers come to us with a very common complaint..."it worked well, until it didn't". When the margin is thin, video dropouts may occur intermittently, say after an hour or so. Simply put, no other program runs the full gamut of system level validation like THX has done in, what I feel was a very well thought out manner. In the end, it "guarantees" uncompressed max bandwidth content and puts that focus on just working.

So, while I agree with you 100% that there are never any "guarantees" in long reach HDMI, I personally feel it's best to choose the program with the highest level of due diligence when it comes to real life failure points. There are many programs out there...THX was the one for us!

Jack
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post #33 of 33 Old 08-09-2018, 09:40 AM
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^^^^^ that's good to know about THX certification. I would suggest that THX certified cables have some sort of authentication labeling, similar to an ATC's QR label, so that a consumer knows that it has been properly and rigorously tested by THX standardized protocols. Otherwise, "meets THX standards...."compatible with THX.....", means nothing without some sort of "proof". Any THX or "certified" cable is just marketing without a label of authenticity, so the consumer is still left with no knowledge of how their expensive cable was actually tested.
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