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Now with HDMI 1.4 I am curious, is there any way to tell what spec an HDMI cable is? I must have about a dozen HDMI cables sitting around, is there any way to test them to see what spec they are up to?
 

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No, there's no way to test them using any equipment you're likely to own. However, there are no differences at all in cable architecture up through HDMI 1.3, and even with 1.4 the one change in cable architecture (the addition of the Ethernet channel) is an optional feature, so the only way to tell if that's present is to see whether the jacket says "with Ethernet channel." As for bandwidth, all 1.2-certified and prior cables are "Category 1," or "standard speed," while all 1.3 or after will either be designated "standard speed" or "high speed." To test whether a cable meets the standard or the high speed parameters requires (I kid you not) about $250K in gear, so the easiest and cheapest way to tell whether it does what you need it to do is just to plug it in and see.


By the way, HDMI Licensing has announced that, subject to a one-year grace period which is currently running, cable manufacturers and vendors are to stop representing cables as being compliant with a particular spec version, and instead should limit themselves to saying that the cable is a standard speed or high speed cable, and saying whether it carries an Ethernet channel. The reason for the restriction is that the version numbers have been the source of quite a bit of unnecessary confusion (and cable up-selling) for the consumer.


Kurt
Blue Jeans Cable
 
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