Overclockers Australia Forums
OCAU News - Wiki - QuickLinks - Pix - Sponsors  

Go Back   Overclockers Australia Forums > Other Topics > Audio Visual

Notices


Sign up for a free OCAU account and this ad will go away!
Search our forums with Google:
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 16th September 2011, 12:48 AM   #1
Zee Thread Starter
Member
 
Zee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: ...Coogee NSW...
Posts: 6,666
Default Zee's "I got bored and compared HDMI cables" thread.

The time has come. I finally got my i1Pro back, my new X-rite hubble, and a Berlingo full of random HDMI cables.

The short answer, it didn't matter whether I used the 2m hdmi cable included in a Toshiba BD player box, or a $140 5m Wireworld cable, or a 5m Audio Dimensions cable that is being sold for more than $200. The results were close enough that reading errors well and truly cover any discrepancies.

The long answer...

Please note, I'm simplifying my descriptions as much as possible, so those of you who do understand this stuff, I'm sorry...

Equipment used:

Samsung PS50C7000 Plasma TV

X-rite i1pro spectrophotometer


X-right Hubble Colorimeter

...And my Benro tripod and Photo Clam ball head. Finally, I can find a legitimate reason to write off (some) of my camera gear on tax - YEAY ME!

Quantum Data QD780 signal generator


Bunch of random HDMI cables from varying price ranges


And finally, my laptop loaded with the commercial version of Calman calibration software.

The idea is pretty simple. If a higher priced cable *really* does make a difference to an image, I should be able to record it. Right? If the image is brighter, or is more colourful, then this should be reflected in my readings. So, I decided to set up my i1 pro, Hubble and QD780. I use a Wireworld 3m "Island" HDMI cable. It's well made, looks OK, and no one is going to accuse me of spending a fortune on calibration equiment, then skimping on the HDMi cable I use for testing.

The first step in the process is to profile my i1 Pro to my Hubble. The i1pro is is a spectrophotometer, it is fantastic for colours, but it is slow as hell for doing grey scales (the darker end of grey scale readings, in particular, are slooooow). The Hubble, on the other hand, is super quick, good in the dark, but may or may not be quite as accurate with the colour side of things. So, by profiling the i1 to the Hubble, I'm telling the Hubble exactly what colour is what, and I can then proceed knowing that my Hubble is both fast and accurate.

The next step is to calibrate. The Samsung C7000 is blessed with 10 point white balance adjustment and a fairly useable colour management system (CMS). I have noted that it isn't perfect, blue has a habit of never quite being as adjustable as I would like, but most other colours (green, red, and the secondaries - yellow, magenta and cyan) can be adjusted to within an acceptable DeltaE (or the difference between what a colour is, and what it should be. Generally, a number of 3 or below is accepted as being so close that the human eye won't be able to tell the difference - though that particular chart isn't going to be used in this thread, as I'm just looking to see if a different cable changes anything.

What you will see in the images below are:

Gamut CIE - this is a colour chart with the co-ordinates (or where they are *supposed* to be) of the 3 primaries, 3 secondaries and white shown by squares plotted on the colour chart. The little coloured balls represent where that particular colour actually falls on the display.


RGB balance - This is the Red, Green and Blue values for the grey scale from IRE20 (near black) to IRE 100 (white). In a perfect world, the RGB bars should form a straight line along the 100 as indicated on the left of the chart (white is just red, green and blue in equal parts, same for grey and black though in the case of black, it's a lack of red, green and blue - in equal parts). The reality is, it's impossible to do that on most displays, and takes forever on the displays capable of it. however, we only need to get below DeltaE 3 - and whilst the chart is not shown, all values do fall below this mark - so, as far as we are concerned, this is a near perfect grey scale..

Below this chart is a list of the co-ordinates (x and y) and luminance (Y) for our chart - but it doesn't really matter for us as the charts will show us what we want to see well enough.


So, once the calibration is done, the next step it to take a snapshot with the cable I use for the calibration. In this case, the Wireworld Island 3m (rrp about $120). the results are below:



The next step is to go replace the cable and carry out the readings again for each cable. So, here they are:

The generic cable included with a Toshiba BDX1200Y:


2m HDMI cable purchased from iiBuy for $12


5m Cabac cable (~$20):


5m Audio Dimension cable (rrp ~$200+):


Looking through the charts, we can see there are some very minor variations - all readings still fall under our acceptable limit of DeltaE 3, and our colours fall in the same spots on the charts. There are some minor variations, but nothing that can't be accounted for with possible read errors in the meter itself. The blacks are the hardest parts to read, and that is where the variations take place. I could probably get a more consistent reading overall by increasing my read times, but I had a powerful need to sleep before 2am.

So, anyway, there are our results. There is no significant difference between our cheapest (and cheapest looking - with non gold plated connector) bundled Toshiba HDMI cable, and the most expensive (and coolest looking - it's freaking purple, with shiny ends and cool looking screws in the connector- check it out!) Audio Dimension 5m HDMI cable.

Z...
__________________
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines...

Last edited by Zee; 18th September 2011 at 1:01 AM.
Zee is offline   Reply With Quote

Join OCAU to remove this ad!
Old 16th September 2011, 9:14 AM   #2
OPM881
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Cairns
Posts: 1,555
Default

You actually bought a $200 HDMI cable?
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by OCAC View Post
I took my friendzone gf to the strippers the other night, she loved it...it's just a show nothing to get upset over - i don't like women who are too conservative.
OPM881 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th September 2011, 9:18 AM   #3
HeXa
Member
 
HeXa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Canberra, ACT
Posts: 8,853
Default

pretty sure a "Berlingo" is not a SI unit of volume

had to google and you made me look at frenchie panel vans.... bastard!
HeXa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th September 2011, 10:16 AM   #4
Zee Thread Starter
Member
 
Zee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: ...Coogee NSW...
Posts: 6,666
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by OPM881 View Post
You actually bought a $200 HDMI cable?
No. That is the retail price, I wouldn't be caught dead paying $200+ for a 5m HDMI cable. I also have a Monster HDMI - but it doesn't work...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeXa View Post
pretty sure a "Berlingo" is not a SI unit of volume

had to google and you made me look at frenchie panel vans.... bastard!
Just be glad you don't own one...

Anyway, I should be able to post all charts tonight.

Z...
__________________
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines...
Zee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th September 2011, 10:20 AM   #5
RyoSaeba
Member
 
RyoSaeba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Perth
Posts: 8,522
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zee View Post
I also have a Monster HDMI - but it doesn't work...
That made my day
RyoSaeba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th September 2011, 10:29 AM   #6
Smoza
Member
 
Smoza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 408
Default

So my $10 Jaycar jobs will perform fine? Good to know, as I've been using them for months! Would be nice to have some actual data on test results, so to back up what most people already know about "premium" hdmi cables.

Good job!
Smoza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th September 2011, 10:43 AM   #7
Pugs
Member
 
Pugs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Redwood Park, SA
Posts: 8,144
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyoSaeba View Post
That made my day
made mine aswell...
Pugs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th September 2011, 8:46 PM   #8
Zee Thread Starter
Member
 
Zee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: ...Coogee NSW...
Posts: 6,666
Default

Updated original post with charts and details.


Z...
__________________
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines...
Zee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th September 2011, 8:48 PM   #9
Daedalus01
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NSW, Wollongong/Sydney
Posts: 2,139
Default

at short lengths i really doubt it would matter

are you able to try the test at 10m, 20m and 30m? just compare say a 26awg vs a cheapo 28awg cable?


great work btw! the best comparison of hdmi cables i have read as its actually objective!
Daedalus01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th September 2011, 9:09 PM   #10
aokman
Member
 
aokman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 9,025
Default

nice writeup, good to see some results with calman

At the end of the day there is no gains from higher end cables except maybe durability and signal strength but being a digital system it has pretty much no bearing on the actual IQ. Analogue signals were a whole different ballgame though
__________________
aokman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th September 2011, 10:22 PM   #11
Darth Teddy Bär
Member
 
Darth Teddy Bär's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 158
Default

Thanks for taking the time to do the tests and post, hopefully it will help many to save money.

I needed a 10m cable and was told by every 'expert' that I would get crap colours and the likes unless I bought a $350-$500 cable... yer what ever.
__________________
Darth Teddy Bear

"One of the stupidest things in game design is the lack of uncertainty given to the player" Dan Dimitrescu - Ubisoft
"beatings will continue until morale improves" brought to you by Ubisoft DRM!
Darth Teddy Bär is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th September 2011, 12:37 AM   #12
genxor
Member
 
genxor's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Perth
Posts: 341
Default

Awesome post. Good to have something to show to audio/videophiles, not that I really talk to many of them any more. :P
genxor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th September 2011, 12:54 AM   #13
Zee Thread Starter
Member
 
Zee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: ...Coogee NSW...
Posts: 6,666
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus01 View Post
at short lengths i really doubt it would matter

are you able to try the test at 10m, 20m and 30m? just compare say a 26awg vs a cheapo 28awg cable?


great work btw! the best comparison of hdmi cables i have read as its actually objective!
I will do some more tests with other cables once I get them. I will do a 10 and 15m HDMI, and also test HDMI over Cat5, I doubt I'll be testing anything over 15m as I don't ever have a need to use a cable of such a length.

Anyway, I have a standard now, we know that my regular calibrating cable is no better or worse when it comes to image quality, so if I test on another day, with another cable, regardless of the TV settings, we will know how it fairs compared to all the others as well. I'll only need to do a back to back test...

Quote:
Originally Posted by aokman View Post
nice writeup, good to see some results with calman

At the end of the day there is no gains from higher end cables except maybe durability and signal strength but being a digital system it has pretty much no bearing on the actual IQ. Analogue signals were a whole different ballgame though
Love Calman.The Pro/Commercial version is $$$$$$$$$$$$$... But worth it. Looking at getting myself a C6/Display 3 to add to the toolbox...

Agreed, the higher end cables look nice, and feel well made, one of the reason I used the Wireworld as my calibrating cable, I know that it is well made and will not let me down unless I really hammer it somehow. I have seen lower end cables fail - but for the consumer, this shouldn't matter, as you should be able to get a straight swap for a faulty lead, once it's in your system, it's not likely to get damaged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Teddy Bär View Post
Thanks for taking the time to do the tests and post, hopefully it will help many to save money.

I needed a 10m cable and was told by every 'expert' that I would get crap colours and the likes unless I bought a $350-$500 cable... yer what ever.
$60-100 is what I would pay for 10m - more for the knowledge of a fair quality cable than anything else. I run cables on building sites, so it's kind of nice to know that a cable is tough enough to take a little mistreatment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by genxor View Post
Awesome post. Good to have something to show to audio/videophiles, not that I really talk to many of them any more. :P
They will still argue otherwise - never let facts get in the way of your justifications!


I'm also thinking of doing some TV reviews based on how suitable they are for calibration, seeing as I'm starting to get a few TV's from brands other than Samsung to calibrate now. Did a couple of Panasonic ST panels in the last few days, and also a 55" Sony LED. Needless to sya, I was a tad surprised, and disappointed with the Pana ST panels..
Z...
__________________
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines...

Last edited by Zee; 18th September 2011 at 12:59 AM.
Zee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th September 2011, 5:01 PM   #14
Alfonzo
Member
 
Alfonzo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 4152, Brisbane
Posts: 11,776
Default

Very nice write up, thanks for taking the time to put this together.
__________________
Alfonzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th September 2011, 5:36 PM   #15
beckyboo
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 130
Default

Obviously not the thread for it, but could you elaborate on your concerns about the Panasonic ST panels Zee.
beckyboo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Sign up for a free OCAU account and this ad will go away!

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time now is 11:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. -
OCAU is not responsible for the content of individual messages posted by others.
Other content copyright Overclockers Australia.
OCAU is hosted by Internode!