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From my understanding, the HDMI interface can carry any resolution from 480i to 1080p, any digital audio signal, and any video format (Y Cb Cr, RGB, YUV etc) Just wondering if there are any real flaws or short comings with this connector, perhaps it is overhyped? You tell me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zedrein /forum/post/15429006


From my understanding, the HDMI interface can carry any resolution from 480i to 1080p, any digital audio signal, and any video format (Y Cb Cr, RGB, YUV etc) Just wondering if there are any real flaws or short comings with this connector, perhaps it is overhyped? You tell me.

It works well when it works. Most complaints we see are regarding:
  • the copy protection software used with HDMI (HDCP) which is sometimes flakey
  • buggy implementations which cause problems with some combinations of gear
  • the physical connector itself is non-locking and causes trouble
  • vast confusion over cable types and standards, partly technical in nature and partly marketing-driven


HDMI has worked well for me in my very simple setup, but even I get glitches: audio popping when the content changes, intermittent no audio, pink-tinged video. Power on/off usually corrects the serious problems.


-Bill
 

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HDMI is a horrible connector physically speaking, it does not lock, it cannot be field-terminated, is fragile, and generally just sucks and is not at all professional-class. Additionally, it is extremely difficult to send HDMI signals long distance, again due to the stupid choice of twisted pair as the cable for HDMI standard.


In short, yes it is great in theory, but not at all in implementation. HDMI is a nightmare for integrators. If it were me it would be HD-SDI always. It is a professional standard in all senses of the term. HDMI? From a professional perspective it's a huge step backwards in terms of logistics of cabling and connectorization.
 

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Biggest problem I have with HDMI is that my Tivo's output resolution changes when I turn my TV off an on.


That's a minor problem compared to some of the problems cable/sat box owners have run into.


HDMI, like so many other technologies is imperfect. On the other hand, it's nice when it does work - and it does work for many people.
 

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"Biggest problem I have with HDMI is that my Tivo's output resolution changes when I turn my TV off an on." This is a problem with your Tivo . . . not the HDMI format.


I 'member the days of forked prongs on game/TV slider switches . . . playing ColecoVision on a black and white Zenith console. We've come a looooooooooooooong way baby. Cut HDMI a break! It isn't perfect but then again what is?

 

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Um . . . HDMI does actually work and without the need of a flat head screw driver. It may not be perfect but it is the widely agreed upon industry standard for high definition data delivery (up to 10gb/s and beyond). It's not big and clunky like DVI and that I appreciate.


The need for the average person to field terminate an HDMI cable just isn't there. There are 19 wires inside that cable . . . who'd want to mess with terminating that? Installers will work around "cut to fit" lengths with fixed lengths of 10' increments. Cable ties work wonders and they're like $.02 each.


There is no real need for it to "lock" into place any more than any other A/V cable before it. Most A/V devices are pretty much set and forget. It's meant to be a user friendly and efficient means to delivery high rates of uncompressed digital data. It does just that. It's not meant for IT scenarios. HDMI is not CAT and is never meant to be.


As far as it being fragile, I've not had anybody complain of that. I'd wager it's like most things; it comes down to manufacturer. Just don't buy it from the $.99 Store and I think you'll be okay. I do agree that the bulkiness and stiffness of a higher quality cable can put stress on the connector if it's bent near the junction point. They do make right angle and swivel couplers that relieve this strain. Problem solved.


What do you have against HDMI¿ Did a HDMI steal your lunch money as a child or something?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jirkstore /forum/post/15551459


Um . . . HDMI does actually work and without the need of a flat head screw driver. It may not be perfect but it is the widely agreed upon industry standard for high definition data delivery (up to 10gb/s and beyond). It's not big and clunky like DVI and that I appreciate.

Really? Have you any experience with HDMI at all? The industry in fact widely has agreed that HDMI sucks because it isn't used, it's avoided like the plague that it is.


Find me an HDMI matrix switcher that works. I am serious. I will pay you money if you find me one that works. Doesn't exist (yet). Hopefully it will.


The only way to do this is, guess what, to use a black-market product to take HDMI down to analog, and then switch that. That works because you can route analog easily. Can't do that with HDMI.

Quote:
The need for the average person to field terminate an HDMI cable just isn’t there. There are 19 wires inside that cable . . . who'd want to mess with terminating that? Installers will work around "cut to fit" lengths with fixed lengths of 10' increments. Cable ties work wonders and they're like $.02 each.

That's true. But in the professional world, the need to field-terminate cabling is fundamental.

Quote:
There is no real need for it to "lock" into place any more than any other A/V cable before it. Most A/V devices are pretty much set and forget. It's meant to be a user friendly and efficient means to delivery high rates of uncompressed digital data. It does just that. It's not meant for IT scenarios. HDMI is not CAT and is never meant to be.

That's why it's a ****** design. Any professional connector worth anything is a locking connector. The BNC is a professional design. It has the correct impedance (unlike RCAs) it is a locking connector (unlike RCA) and the ground makes contact first (unlike RCAs).


HDMI is fragile, non-locking, cannot be terminated in the field, it cannot run very far at all, the voltage drop over distance is large so powering devices off HDMI at the far end can be a challenge or impossible in some circumstances.

Quote:
As far as it being fragile, I've not had anybody complain of that. I'd wager it's like most things; it comes down to manufacturer. Just don't buy it from the $.99 Store and I think you'll be okay. I do agree that the bulkiness and stiffness of a higher quality cable can put stress on the connector if it’s bent near the junction point. They do make right angle and swivel couplers that relieve this strain. Problem solved.

No, the problem was solved with HD-SDI. That's your professional HD standard. HDMI is garbage in comparison.


Have you ever tried pulling HDMI through conduit over any distance? What do you do if lube gets in the connector? What if the connector snags and gets damaged (easy to do)? You're screwed because you can't re-terminate. And you're forced to pull with a connectorized cable, again, because you can't field terminate. The only option in these situations is to pull something OTHER than HDMI and use a media adapter, you either pull fiber, you pull coax, or you pull cat6. I think that says it all as to the usability of HDMI in that the de-facto solution is to use something else entirely and use media adapters. And it's a crap-shoot if that's going to work. Oh, and that's right, you can't really do distribution anyway because there isn't any way to switch HDMI yet that actually works.

Quote:
What do you have against HDMI¿ Did a HDMI steal your lunch money as a child or something?

It does not work reliably, and is unacceptable in a professional environment. In small systems, and a small scale over short distances in small homes it can be great. But HDMI distribution is a disaster. HDMI switching is an even bigger disaster. HDMI falls out all the time. HDMI connectors and inputs get damaged. The go-to for HDMI distribution are media adapters over cat6, none of which are fully reliable so you need to have a variety of different adapters to test.


And don't get me started on HDCP.


The amount of money that gets burned through by integrators trying to integrate or distribute HDMI is absolutely ridiculous. It simply cannot be done reliably, even on a small scale, HDMI simply is not designed with the professional in mind, and it shows. HD-SDI on the other hand, works, works every time, uses BNCs, uses coax (easy to pull, easy to switch, easy to terminate). HDMI is the digital video equivalent of the RCA. Consumer crap with no actual thought or engineering put into it by any professionals. Inappropriate garbage.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles /forum/post/15553180


HDMI simply is not designed with the professional in mind.

↑My thoughts exactly.


The overwhelmingly vast majority of users are not professionals and simply won't pay someone to run 6' of HDMI from a Blu-ray player to a LCD TV, both of which will probably never move. What they can't do themselves doesn't get done. The average Joe needs something that will work for 99% of average home set ups and for those of us who do not have the best of everything HDMI will be more than adequate. Your concern is well founded, but is for extremes that most will never face.


I find it difficult to believe that all the collective engineering minds of the HDMI founders (Sony, Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, RCA, and Toshiba) all dropped the ball. They were faced will balancing ease of use, production costs, backwards compatibility with DVI and future technological expandability . . . HDMI was the result. It's not perfect, but then what is? It'll do Chris . . . it'll do.
 

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I find it difficult to believe that all the collective engineering minds of the HDMI founders (Sony, Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, RCA, and Toshiba) all dropped the ball.

Sadly it doesn't surprise me at all. Keep in mind they also came up with the S-video connector, the most maddening, godawful piece of crap in the history of time. HDMI grew out of the DVI interface which is a local computer monitor interface (connect the PC at the desk to the monitor on the desk, a few feet), and all they really did was add audio and shrink the connector. It was not a groud-up design meant to be anything more than a local connection. And now we're stuck with this crap. If you're connecting ONE thing, to ONE other thing, and doing it locally, HDMI is great. Other than that, it's a clusterf**k.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jirkstore /forum/post/15553983


↑My thoughts exactly.


The overwhelmingly vast majority of users are not professionals and simply won't pay someone to run 6' of HDMI from a Blu-ray player to a LCD TV, both of which will probably never move. What they can't do themselves doesn't get done. The average Joe needs something that will work for 99% of average home set ups and for those of us who do not have the best of everything HDMI will be more than adequate. Your concern is well founded, but is for extremes that most will never face.


I find it difficult to believe that all the collective engineering minds of the HDMI founders (Sony, Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, RCA, and Toshiba) all dropped the ball. They were faced will balancing ease of use, production costs, backwards compatibility with DVI and future technological expandability . . . HDMI was the result. It's not perfect, but then what is? It'll do Chris . . . it'll do.


With the emergence of flat panel tvs, HDMI limitations are becoming more and more evident. Most people love the look of TV attached to the wall. It completely loses the effect if there are a bunch of wires coming out of the TV and visible. The solution is to put the wires through the wall and this is where HDMI fails for all the reasons that have been mentioned.


If your components are on a stand and a cable breaks or goes bad, you just swap out the cable, no big deal. If it is inside a wall, you are forced to open up the wall and repaint which is a huge hassle. I currently have what many consider to be the best HDMI cable on the market (Blue Jeans BJC Series 1) in my wall with one end lacking a connector. My CI made a simple mistake of tilting my plasma down a drop too far and after a day the stress damaged the cable head. Now it is worthless and we can't reopen the wall to run another one. If it could be field terminated then it would be a non-issue.


I do not believe that only 1% of the market wants a flat panel on the wall without cables hanging out of it. Look at any new home or rehab project and you will see they are all preparing for it. Most installers don't even bother wanting to run HDMI b/c they don't want to deal with the headaches.


And that doesn't even get into any of the HDCP issues.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jirkstore /forum/post/15532833


"Biggest problem I have with HDMI is that my Tivo's output resolution changes when I turn my TV off an on." This is a problem with your Tivo . . . not the HDMI format.


I 'member the days of forked prongs on game/TV slider switches . . . playing ColecoVision on a black and white Zenith console. We've come a looooooooooooooong way baby. Cut HDMI a break! It isn't perfect but then again what is?


I like. lol
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ks-man /forum/post/15558498


I do not believe that only 1% of the market wants a flat panel on the wall without cables hanging out of it.

Okay now don't put words in my mouth. I never said 99% of people don't want to run cables in walls. That's just silly. I believe quite to the contrary. I'd say it's closer to the percentage of wall mounts vs. LCD TV's sold. I'd estimate that's probably around 25% of people wall mount their TV's and thus may want to hide the cabling. Hiding cabling doesn't mean hiring professionals who desire to "cut to fit" cabling. Many home owners are capable of drywall work. What I said was "The average Joe needs something that will work for 99% of average home set ups and . . . HDMI will be more than adequate." HDMI will work for long runs or three foot hops. I stand by that.


If you go through the trouble of tearing up drywall and making a path for your cabling in the studwork, then the work is done once and for all unless you're going a long distance in which friction may be too much to overcome. If your cabling goes through any bracing then you should make the hole big enough to pull the cable back through should you need to. Before you do tape one end of the new cable to one end of the fouled one and pull it through. Problem solved. I don't see how HDMI is any less suited for in wall installation than any other.


It seems that it's the connector we all have issue with. I can see how vexing it'd be to have 50' of high grade HDMI ran up two floors and around a corner only to have the connector poop out on you. Perhaps we just need to learn to be a bit less ruff and tumble with our components and wait for an HD wireless solution. You know that's probably not far off.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jirkstore /forum/post/15563830


Okay now don't put words in my mouth. I never said 99% of people don't want to run cables in walls. That's just silly. I believe quite to the contrary. I'd say it's closer to the percentage of wall mounts vs. LCD TV's sold. I'd estimate that's probably around 25% of people wall mount their TV's and thus may want to hide the cabling. Hiding cabling doesn't mean hiring professionals who desire to "cut to fit" cabling. Many home owners are capable of drywall work. What I said was "The average Joe needs something that will work for 99% of average home set ups and . . . HDMI will be more than adequate." HDMI will work for long runs or three foot hops. I stand by that.


If you go through the trouble of tearing up drywall and making a path for your cabling in the studwork, then the work is done once and for all unless you're going a long distance in which friction may be too much to overcome. If your cabling goes through any bracing then you should make the hole big enough to pull the cable back through should you need to. Before you do tape one end of the new cable to one end of the fouled one and pull it through. Problem solved. I don't see how HDMI is any less suited for in wall installation than any other.


It seems that it's the connector we all have issue with. I can see how vexing it'd be to have 50' of high grade HDMI ran up two floors and around a corner only to have the connector poop out on you. Perhaps we just need to learn to be a bit less ruff and tumble with our components and wait for an HD wireless solution. You know that's probably not far off.

I apologize. I did imply something you didn't say.


I think however you are giving far too many people DIY credit for running cables and doing drywall work. I think the bulk of people who need in-wall cabling will either utilize existing in-wall cabling (installed when the home was built) or hire somebody for the project. Due to the difficulties of HDMI most professionals stick towards component cables (since they are far more reliable and easier to cut to custom lengths) and thus most users lack the benefits of HDMI video and audio. If HDMI didn't have the problems that have been described than it would catch on in the professional arenas which would trickle through to the end user.
 

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Quote:
I don't see how HDMI is any less suited for in wall installation than any other.

Because when a cable you've installed inevitably fails for a task or distance, there is little recourse besides opening up the wall again. you HAVE to run conduit if you're smart. Nothing else that people normally pull (coax, cat5/6) is *that* unreliable and unpredictable.

Quote:
It seems that it's the connector we all have issue with.

And the cabling choice itself. You can't go far with HDMI. That has little or nothing to do with the connector. It has to do with the fact that it's twisted pair, running absurdly high bitrates in real time with limited error correction capabilities. It doesn't work unless you limit it to very simple systems over SHORT distances. That's the achilles heal of HDMI is that it is NOT very versatile, you are very limited in your system design if you have to incorporate HDMI. Why? Because you can't switch it, you can't go far with it so even if you COULD switch it well, you can't distribute it to non-local displays well at all.
 

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Blue Jeans does offer a bonded pair HDMI cable and I bet they won't be the only ones for very much longer. They claim to have "have run 1080p video through a 125 foot cable without any information loss".


There is always a draw back to anything: a trade if you will. You cannot produce light w/o heat. Engines have to overcome friction. HDMI isn't perfect, however it is the agreed upon industry standard. The world keeps a turn'n.


What percent of users need to be satisfied with something before it's deemed a success? 51%? 75%? 99.9%? HDMI has its drawbacks, but it obviously wasn't designed specifically for long distance in wall use. Can it be used in wall for short runs? Hell yes! Just like anything you take precautions and assume certain risks when using something outside its intended role. Until something better comes along stick with component and fiber optic or CAT5/HDMI converters or whatever those with some extra cabbage are willing to pay for. Suit yourself, but HDMI is a practical solution for the typical HD user.
 
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