Zee's "I got bored and compared HDMI cables" thread.

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by Zee, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Anteros

    Anteros Member

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    Awesome that this is finally done, been anticipating it for months... that sounds pretty sad now that I think about it. Anyway, thanks
     
  2. Ohmigosh

    Ohmigosh Member

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  3. h2oxide

    h2oxide Member

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    Haha man, first video was classic. Obvious fake rocks are obvious.
     
  4. Supp Direct

    Supp Direct Member

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    Yes I would like to see this one as well. Especially for those that are into high end audio with expensive setups (like 2.0 for $10,000+). You really wouldn't want to bottleneck the setup with a $20 HDMI cable so you pay $150 for their "high end" one e.g. Kordz EVX but you really never know for sure if there is a difference or not.
     
  5. Liquid-69

    Liquid-69 Member

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    Bout time someone compared something like this, good job. The marketing for these cables is a joke, its the same s*it.
     
  6. furious1

    furious1 Member

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    Nice comparison, I have never been able to see a difference between HDMI cables in terms of PQ.

    I have a 14m Cat5 run with HDMI wall plates on each end. Then I use 1m $1 + shipping HDMI cables from China. Works great, desktop is solid as.

    Initially I had some issues with the signal dropping to 1080i from 1080p. So I removed about 3m of excess length at each end of the Cat5 run.

    It’s been great since! The whole idea that some would offer worse PQ than others goes against the science behind a digital signal.

    As far as I understand, some may be worse at travelling distances depending on quality as the signal attenuates more in poorer/thinner cooper.
     
  7. CanEater

    CanEater Member

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    Peolpe who buy and or pay money for high end HDMI cables are, fools or are being fooled.
     
  8. Willybomb

    Willybomb Member

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    Is there a measurable difference between HDMI and Component?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Zee

    Zee Member

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    I don't have any at the moment. I may purchase one in the future, but for now, I have too many other work related things to spend cash on... They do look well made for the price though.

    There would be a way, but I don't have the gear to do it. It would basically involve running samples of known signals and comparing the outputs with a high quality mic and the right software. If I had clients willing to spend the money to equalise their set ups to that level, I'd have the gear, but alas...

    This isn't a test to measure if a cable passes or fails at a particular bit rate (the I pattern test does that), the test is to see if there is a "visible" difference between the cables. I have seen people claim "brighter images", more "vibrant colours" and so on. These calues can be measured with calibration gear. I admit, I did not post up all the charts, I did start the test at about 11pm, and posted results after 1am, so I just wanted to give a short form result. I'm quite happy to put up more detailed results though, with all the readings and charts.

    On another note, with relation to this link, I noticed this quote:
    From my conversations with the instructors at the ISF course I participated in (including Joel Silva), my understanding is that this "up convert" of colour space does not really work. The simple reason is, there is a colour chart, it looks a little like this (these are the colours people can see, plotted on a chart), now, there is a colour space that video material is recorded in (represented by the triangle inside the colour chart), thus, every colour has a very specific co-ordinate on that chart that represents it.

    If you expand the colour space, you would need to expand the recorded source to the same colour space, otherwise, there is no colour recorded that actually falls outside the bounds of the triangle shown (the original recorded colour space). By "upscaling", you are placing a colour in to a co-ordinate that is no longer accurate, and thus not a true representation of that colour.

    Anyone who uses a DSLR, and has played with Adobe RGB and sRGB will probably understand where I am going with this. Colour space simply does not work the same way as resolution. It's kind of like colour and black and white - it's possible to turn colour in to black and white, but you are simply guessing when you convert black and white to colour.

    Needless to say, there is actually also a 3rd dimension to that colour chart which is not show - which is luminance. That is represented on a 3D colour chart (not to be confused with 3D video - which is not at all related).


    Z...
     
  10. BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Brute force & optimism

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    Great thread Zee, thanks for your efforts.

    I have only ever noticed a difference between cables over very long runs (10M or more) which are technically outside HDMI LLC spec. In these runs (eg. to a projector from an equipment rack at the front of the theatre), I can most definitely state that higher-quality (read, more expensive) cables do a better job, but not in regards to image quality... a cheap/poor quality cable will simply not allow the gear and the display device to handshake (resulting in no image), or will mess with the handshake/EDID transfer (resulting in static, dropouts, failure to sync a particular resolution, and other such weird behaviour).

    In short runs, ie. between sources and receiver or receiver and TV mounted directly above, I've never seen a quantifiable difference. Nice to know the data backs me up. :)
     
  11. gregzeng

    gregzeng Member

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    Try FLAT HDMI cables, not ROUND !!

    Tests done above and elsewhere are on circular cables. So it you are continually packing/ unpacking, moving these cables, they should become less reliable than the more expensive flat cables.

    None of the tests so far cover real usage. In real ownership & usage, you sometimes need cable connectors. Ok if everything is brand new. But after a few years, in a moist, dirty, vibrating environment?

    Instead of these theory tests, it'd be better if reality testing was done IMO.
     
  12. Baboy

    Baboy (Banned or Deleted)

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    Arnt we just comparing the "quality" of a $2 cable to a $200 cable here....and therefore what to purchase initially and therfore NEW cables?

    Whats usage,time and wateva got to do with anything?
     
  13. millsy

    millsy Member

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    You use a HDMI cable in a moist, dirty vibrating environment? I'd hate to see your loungeroom :lol: You've missed the point of the test though, the point is that all cables are equal in terms of visual quality, despite gimicks. Personally I'd only buy ones with a coating on the connector to stop corrosion, but afaik that's virtually all nowdays
     
  14. BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Brute force & optimism

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    I used to sell and install the Audioquest G-Series flat cables. Apart from being easier to conceal under carpet (which is rarely relevant for a decent custom AV company, there's usually a better way) and being of generally high-quality construction like all Audioquest cables, I could see no other major benefits over round cables. Speaker cables and audio interconnects are a different story, but a bitstream is a bitstream.

    Your points about real-world reliability are noted, but I'll tell you a secret... :lol: .....the design of the male/female HDMI connector is really a pretty big swing-and-a-miss. They are simply not that reliable, I have had pin/plug/socket breakage issues with many brands of cable and equipment, usually due to rough treatment by the end user ie. trying to pull something out of a cabinet and bending/breaking the plug.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  15. SimonT

    SimonT Member

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    Must admit I've also always been a proponent of "it's digital, it works or it doesn't" and my own experience shows that high-end cables aren't necessary.

    My home theatre room consists of a computer running a 1.8m DVI to HDMI cable from my graphics card to my receiver, then a 1.8m HDMI cable from my receiver to a HDMI wall plate. Behind that wall plate is a 20m HDMI cable going through the wall and ceiling to another wall plate. Then from that wall plate another 1.8m HDMI cable to my projector. Perfect picture. 720p projector, but often plays 1080p sources.

    Before I mounted the projector though, that last 1.8m HDMI cable was replaced by another 20m HDMI cable running from the ceiling plate to the projector which sat on top of a stand higher than the couch (was the only cable longer than 1.8m I had)

    So 20+20+1.8+1.8 of cables through 2 wall plates. Also perfect picture.

    All cables purchased online at cheapest prices I could find (mix of EzyHD and CableChick). Good build quality which I'm happy to pay for, but paying extra for picture quality? I don't think so.

    One day I'll get a 1080 projector. Pretty confident my setup will still output a perfect picture.

    I hope :)
     
  16. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

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    You will probably have a hard time getting any acoustical measurement to show jitter as such, but it is (somewhat) easily shown that jitter in the clock of digital audio does manifest itself into the analogue result and measurably verifiable too. Whether that is audible, I won't argue, but to say it doesn't exist is wrong.
     
  17. millsy

    millsy Member

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    I have no doubt it exists, I can measure it with software tools. I was more interested in seeing in seeing if cables affected it. The amount of nonsense I hear about so many things to do with computer audio due to a lack of understanding is insane.
    Music sounds better off USB hdd's
    Music sounds better off SSD's
    Music sounds better when using a 500 dollar usb cable spun from the hair of a unicorn dipped in pure silver.
    etc
     
  18. HUMMER

    HUMMER Member

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    he constantly....



    every time he sees anything played through the HDMI cable.
     
  19. meremortal

    meremortal Member

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    I laughed and spat my beer.
     
  20. jnicoll

    jnicoll Member

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    Thanks for the great thread. It reminds me of an interview with Ralph Luscombe, the (outgoing) CEO of Woolworths that I saw recently. Woolies controls Dick Smith and Luscombe talked about the DS pricing strategy as follows:

    And then secondly, when you buy a computer, we want to make sure that we sell you a bag, a cable, a modem, etc., etc., because that's actually where you make the money. Likewise with the TV - you know, a bracket and a gold-plated cable, etc. is very important for us because TVs, computers, etc., there's not a great deal of margin in it and severe deflation on those big ticket items as well.

    What amazed me about this was not so much the revelation of what is a common retail strategy, but more that he actually came out and said it in a time when CEOs fall over themselves to be politically correct and corporately responsible. Yep, he said, we will happily rob you blind.

    Original interview and transcript here:http://www.abc.net.au/insidebusiness/content/2011/s3303987.htm
     

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