Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Burlington, ON, Canada
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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!