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

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

  1. shadowman

    shadowman Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Messages:
    2,756
    Location:
    Perth
    If you’re running a pre-fab cable through cavities etc, you’re doing it wrong. I’d rather run decent grade cable and have it terminated to a wall plate. Decent HDMI cable on a roll works out to about $3 a metre, add the terminations and you’ve got something a lot better than a ‘out of the packet’ cable.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Zee

    Zee Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    Messages:
    11,727
    Location:
    SYD/MNL/SIN/SFO
    Interesting, didn't realise it was the Good Guys that started it, though I knew it was one of the big knob jockeys. Good to know..

    Yup, they have a small % of the market, yet they have an enormous cash surplus. Though iDevices have helped a lot on that note - but they still peddle their wares as "high end", and thus, don't discount - which is perfectly fine - especially when people are lining up 24 hours ahead of time to buy the latest iThing...

    People who bought a Kuro still have one of the best sets on the market - gimmick free. Can't say I'd buy any other 3+yo plasma and expect it to compare well.

    *cringe* Terminating HDMI on site? Surely, only a cruel form of high tech Chinese water torture could be more conducive to incite self sacrifice on ones own blade.

    The one system i have seen (whilst at the recent Integrate Expo in Sydney), looked like it was a reasonably pain free way to do it - but pricing was the definition of insanity. My cost price was about $10/m, and the ends were about $30 each (my price). That is a $70 1m cable, at my cost, and I have not even assembles it yet. Plus the $200 odd crimping tool... I can by a Monster cable that is prepared at a lower cost. And I can sell the client on the "Monster" bling while I am at it..

    Having said that, give me a workable build your own HDMI solution, that is price competitive, that I can crimp easily in about the time it takes to do an RJ45, and I'll take it.

    Z...
     
  3. yanman

    yanman Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Messages:
    6,609
    Location:
    Hobart
  4. OP
    OP
    Zee

    Zee Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    Messages:
    11,727
    Location:
    SYD/MNL/SIN/SFO
    Has worked well for me recently. Speaking of which, that is the next test I'll perform I suspect - I have a 10 and 15m HDMI cable coming, and I'd do HDMI over Cat 5/6 at the same time.

    Z...
     
  5. yanman

    yanman Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Messages:
    6,609
    Location:
    Hobart
    Can you update this thread with them? =D
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Zee

    Zee Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    Messages:
    11,727
    Location:
    SYD/MNL/SIN/SFO
    That is the plan. :thumbup:

    Z...
     
  7. yanman

    yanman Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Messages:
    6,609
    Location:
    Hobart
    Somewhat related :)



    Remembered LightPeak/Thunderbolt when I started googling for HDMI over fibre =D
     
  8. Tetsuma

    Tetsuma Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    85
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Jesus, have you seen the trite over on stereonetAU?

    Apparently, music "just can't" sound the same via USB/ S/PDIF / Co-ax from a PC when compared to a Cambridge Audio $2,000 transport. But if you REALLY want the best performance, this shaman told us the best way was a SSD. Also, apparently my USB hard-drive would have problems reading 861 kbps FLAC files, despite getting 30MB/s.

    And silver cables....man.
    These elusive and slightly more conductive cables increase sound-stage, like every other accessory or hardware they 'upgrade' to. I sometimes wonder if their right channel's sound stage is so wide that they can hear it in their left ears. They'll pay $500 for a power cord, or un-shielded silver cable which will intertwine with every other cord they have and happily gloat how the system has improved. If you listen closely to the 50hz hum in their system, you can hear the echo of the silver cable manufacturers laughing their arses off (but only if you hook it up in with the arrow pointing towards your amp).
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  9. BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Brute force & optimism

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,895
    Location:
    2076
    Eagerly awaiting your results. HDMI over UTP has generally been fine for me when using good quality baluns, but weird things do occasionally happen, like your Marantz issue.

    Nobody mention HDMI matrix switchers please..... :mad::lol:
     
  10. Gibbon

    Gibbon grumpy old man

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2001
    Messages:
    6,446
    Location:
    2650
    The expensive power cords amuse me the most. Do these people know what's on the other side of the powerpoint?
     
  11. shadowman

    shadowman Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Messages:
    2,756
    Location:
    Perth
    I haven’t done any installs directly, but have assisted on a few (I’m a sparky by trade, but no longer in the field). The guy I was working with bought prefab Clipsal 2000 series (from somewhere over east) wall plates with HDMI connectors installed with a tail on the back, then spliced and soldered. It’s a HUGE pain in the ass and your right, a nice crimping system would be awesome and quick. It took us probably 4 hours to do four 15m-ish runs, single storey B&T house, running from 4 rooms to a central void where he had three Foxtel boxes. He was pretty hardcore with his splicing though, using heatshrink and maintaining the EMI shield as much as possible. It’s not a job I’d want to do, but if I was doing it for myself, I’d want it done this way….I like nice neat finished wall plates and my cable clipped correctly.

    All up he charged the customer around $2100 for the job, but that also included hooking up one of the TVs as well as an additional power outlet (which took all of about 15 minutes).


    I asked this question too...the customer wanted the proper HDMI cable, nay, insisted. We had no idea if the Cat6 would work properly, but assumed it would, but we just went with what the customer wanted, and he was willing to pay. On the contrary, it would have cost around $700 to install 4 x Cat6 cables.

    I'd also be interested to see the Cat5e/6 results, although I'm predicting no problems at all.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  12. BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Brute force & optimism

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,895
    Location:
    2076
    Cut'n'shut HDMI? :shock:

    And it passed 1080p/50 with no problems?

    Bet it won't pass 36-Bit Deep Colour at 1080p... not that it really matters.

    I use Gefen UTP extenders for residential work, and Kramer for commercial jobs. Neither are cheap but they work, every time, and only need one UTP cable. I never use Cat5e, only Cat6 as distance limitations usually require it. On one occasion I needed to replace a UTP run with STP, which was a pain in the arse but instantly solved the problem.

    I have had several issues with cheaper "no-name" extenders such as you'd buy from Jaycar though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  13. Comma

    Comma Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,682
    Location:
    Perth
    But, but, but, but all those people beat a confirmation biased test in a qualitative manner! The results must be true.
     
  14. shadowman

    shadowman Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Messages:
    2,756
    Location:
    Perth
    Streamed a bluray @ 1080p from the bluray player and a mkv file from an extender, no problems (we actually had beers with him that evening).

    I don't have much knowledge of video transmission other than the 1080p etc, so I can't comment on bit depth etc, nor do I know anything about running it over ethernet cable, but I'm slowly being enlightened by the AVSforums link :)
     
  15. DVD Plaza

    DVD Plaza Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2001
    Messages:
    11
    HDMI is digital, so it either works or not. Expecting such a test to reveal different brightness or colour is crazy, the cable quality would have to precisely decode/modify/recode the 1s and 0s...

    However, there IS a major difference in cables when trying to feed over long distances. I have numerous 20m feeds inside and outside my home, and I've had poor results and good results.

    24awg thickness gave good results, but strangely on warmer days (expansion of metal perhaps) they can become unstable - no picture at all unless I drip resolution down to reduce the bitrate being shoved down. It was also an annoying game of plugging in several times to get a picture.

    Have recently been replacing them all with 22awg thick cables and now getting rock solid results. Only one of the runs is still 24awg and that one is still a pain in the neck at times, about to replace that one in next week.

    At shorter distances however, who cares - a $2 cable is perfectly fine
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  16. OP
    OP
    Zee

    Zee Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    Messages:
    11,727
    Location:
    SYD/MNL/SIN/SFO
    Ouch, sounds painful... But personally, I would have run prepared leads in to high quality HDMI joiners. Cutting and soldering tails is not really all that pro (from my point of view), no matter how well you wrap and heat shrink it. But hey, if it works, and if it's what the customer insists on, so be it...


    From everything I have seen, cat6, with quality baluns, works better than HDMI (as in it works over longer distances). No personal proof, though...

    Z...
     
  17. Doograsss

    Doograsss Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    65
    Surely the only way to get quantitative results on the quality of these cables is to look at the parasitic characteristics of the different cables (including connectors):

    -Resistance
    -Inductance
    -Capacitance

    Then you would have to look at how well screened the cables are, which I'm guessing there is quite a significant difference between the cheapies and the more expensive cables.

    If you've ever done high frequency digital signal design, you realise it's not digital design, it's analogue design. You have to consider miniscule details of everything in an analogue sense.

    To be really complete you would have to measure the noise emitted from the Drivers/Receivers used in the hardware when each cable type is connected. It's amazing how close some digital circuits can be to failure (especially poorly designed digital ones) and a slight change of cabling can force a failure. I've seen instances where an ad-hoc piece of AWG 26 wire (GND) layed closely to a 50 way ribbon cable was the only reason a board-board interconnect was working. If I moved the small wire away from the ribbon cable (20mm), the hardware would start to fail. It was lack of current return paths over the ribbon cable, which won't happen in these cables, but it's an example...

    Anyhoo, I'm not saying the more expensive cables are worth it, but you really haven't tested the quality of the cables. Alternatively see what distance these cables work over...

    My 2c
     
  18. h2oxide

    h2oxide Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,890
    Location:
    Perth
    Good read/point raised. I'm intrigued and interested. Doograsss you wouldn't happen to want to do a review yourself would you, or Zee?
     
  19. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    8,348
    Location:
    3844
    I think the point was to show that the quality of the cables in the end doesn't matter to the final picture quality, as long as the picture gets through. You can't have a brighter or sharper image just by changing your HDMI cables and any perceived change of such is 100% false

    Tests have been done on HDMI cables for their quality before, just that you need some pretty damn expensive test equipment to do so. But they then don't take into account the quality of the sender or receiver as well, which makes up the other half of the equation to whether the cable works or doesn't.

    My rule of thumb is, anything less than 3 meter, buy as cheap as you can find and if that is more than $20 you aren't trying hard enough
     
  20. arytel

    arytel Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Messages:
    2,689
    Location:
    Adelaide
    A great thread and a good read.

    So what would people recommend for running HDMI through a wall from a cabinet to a wall mounted TV? maybe less than 2m max.
     

Share This Page

Advertisement: