HDMI past its sell by date?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by Andy8421, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. Andy8421

    Andy8421
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    672
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Ratings:
    +101
    Damn, but I hate upgrading. Nothing ever works properly.

    Its been a few years since I have posted on this site, but I am afraid I am back asking for help. My old Panny plasma that had a projected lifespan of 5 years when I bought it has soldiered on for 10, but it is now time to upgrade to 4K.

    Having read a few cautionary tales, I had purchased 3 different 7.5M 'high speed' HDMI cables to test prior to installing the new setup in my TV room (LG65 oled / PS4 pro). I couldn't find a single cable that would work at full fat 4K (60fps, HDR, RGB - which I guess is 4:4:4). The Amazon Basics 5M cable worked OK, but none of the 'high speed' 7.5M cables worked at all (including the Amazon Basics 'high speed' 7.5M cable).

    Having surfed this forum, it would seem that full fat 4K is not really possible at cable lengths over 5M, and that fibre or 2xCat6 is the only way to go for a 10M cable run.

    Have I got this right? and if so, is fibre the best way to go forward or would 2xCat6 be best for a 10M run? I really don't want to have to do this twice.

    - and just an observation, but it would seem that current data rates have left the HDMI standard behind. Perhaps HDMI has had its day and it is time to move to a fibre based standard instead.
     
  2. andy1249

    andy1249
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,651
    8 meters is still the official cutoff for a HDMI " high speed" cable as that is the longest cable that has ever passed the test.
    This has been the case for years.

    The high speed tests have always gone to 4K, but until now this bandwidth was only simulated because the content didnt exist, so users were not exposed to the fact that 4K is pushing the cable to its limits and any cable not carrying the official HDMI high speed logo probably cant do it.

    To stay safe , 5 to 6 meters is probably a real world limit without living on the edge.
    Any longer and you need extenders.

    All high frequency " live streaming" interfaces such as HDMI, DVI, DP etc, have similar length limitations when it comes to cables.

    HDbaseT was the go to standard for extenders but they have been caught napping and dont have a solution available for full spec UHD.

    Currently HDMI over fibre, relatively new and expensive, is the known working solution for long UHD connections.

    HDMI will of course be around for a long time to come, but as it has maxed out the bandwidth for single link, it will most likely switch to HDMI type B dual link 29 pin sockets in the very near future.
    This socket has been in the spec from the outset, it just hasnt been used yet.

    HDMI is the most successful interface ever, and is likely to be around for a long time.
    It has a technology roadmap for the future, unlike , it would seem, HDbaseT and other extender " standards " which have been badly caught out by UHD.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
  3. Andy8421

    Andy8421
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    672
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Ratings:
    +101
    Andy,

    Thank you for the reply. It would seem it is as I feared. Expensive fibre here I come....

    Regarding your HDMI comment, I don't think 29pin connectors and dual cables is a credible solution long term. As it is, the long 'high speed' HDMI cables I have are like a small hosepipe, and about as easy to fit.

    The LG oled is a smart TV and can stream full fat 4K from Netflix down a single cat5e cable. The video is of course compressed. Trying to shift uncompressed 18Gb/s around is no small task, and it probably makes sense going forward to give up trying and just send the video compressed.

    I guess we shall see.
     
  4. andy1249

    andy1249
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,651
    29 pin is on the roadmap and will take the interface to 8K if that ever becomes a reality.

    Regarding network/ethernet transmission, its only recently that TV,s have had the CPU power to render content natively within the TV itself.
    With end of chain devices that can do this, an RJ45 port and associated source is all that is needed yes, but this means " allowing " content to be stored in that format.
    Currently thats is not exactly legal, and content providers prefer mediums whereby their content is protected in some way, so disks, locked down set top boxes like sky, and HDCP protected HDMI streams.

    Note that there were better solutions than HDMI in existence before it came along, but they did not provide any copy protection and were dismissed.
    The content providers control the show, and they love HDMI.
     
  5. Andy8421

    Andy8421
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    672
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Ratings:
    +101
    Andy,

    I have spent some more time delving into this, and while I understand your points, I do think we are reaching the end of the line for HDMI as a hardware standard.

    Your points about copy protection (HDCP - a software protocol) are independent of the physical layer chosen - as evidenced by the fibre solutions that are now available for those requiring more than a 5M run for full fat 4K.

    The general confusion around 'standard speed' 'high speed' and now 'premium high speed' is frankly a complete mess. Try searching for a 'premium high speed' cable - everybody thinks their product is premium. Wasn't 'high speed' supposed to cope with everything that 4K could throw at it?
     
  6. andy1249

    andy1249
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,651
    I work in chip design for a well known multinational, very specifically integrating HDMI into larger chipsets.
    HDCP is both a hardware and software solution, it requires microcircuitry within the HDMI chipset and the software to work.

    This is why you need HDCP 2.2 hardware to work with it. You cannot get HDCP 2.2 with a software upgrade.

    High speed category 2 testing has been testing to 4096 x 2160 for almost a decade now and any genuine high speed cable under 8 meters should work fine with UHD.
    The main issue with the high speed test suite is that the tests were simulated because actual UHD content did not exist at the time it was implemented.
    The premium program is a subset of the high speed suite that now tests actual content along with supporting metadata like HDR.

    In both cases the actual limiter is bandwidth, and genuine products, i.e. Those carrying the actual logo from hdmi.org, should all be fine.

    Note: A jump to type B sockets and cables will ease the bandwidth issues because it will be dual link ... so the situation will be back to almost any cable being good enough.

    As an industry insider, I can confirm, without doubt, that HDMI is here to stay, there are major changes coming over the next few years, but its still here to stay.
     
  7. Andy8421

    Andy8421
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    672
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Ratings:
    +101
    Andy, thank you for your reply.

    Just to pick up on one of your points, HDCP could be handled in software - it is a logical protocol, whether manufacturers choose to go down this route or use application specific hardware, then that is a design or a standard decision. It is not a function of the HDMI physical connections.

    Until I looked into this in detail, I hadn't appreciated that HDCP had been hacked, and that the many versions of HDCP were an arms race with those who have broken the protection scheme. If I am to believe Wikipedia, 2.2 has now been hacked, so I guess we have 2.3 to look forward to sometime soon.

    As for the longevity of the standard, over my career I have seen standards come and go. You may well disagree, but at the risk of butchering the quote from Upton Sinclair 'don't expect someone to agree with something, when his salary depends on him not agreeing'

    Good luck for the future.
     
  8. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
    Messages:
    28,609
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    The Borders
    Ratings:
    +3,497
    Fibre HDMI Cables are 'active' devices and HDCP compliant - you cannot use an 'old' Fibre HDMI or DVI cable for UHD protected by HDCP 2.2.

    DCP are working hard to close down the various HDCP 'converter' manufacturers - which will be a pain for the Installer and Enthusiast market.

    I don't see anything supplanting HDMI any time soon - folk have been forecasting its demise since the day it arrived.

    My UHD 'test' rig is currently outputting 'full' UHD via a 6m BetterCables HDMI cable - which is at least 8-years old.

    Joe
     
  9. andy1249

    andy1249
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,651
    If there were no cops we could all be robbers , it could have been implemented in software only , but it wasnt .... thats all she wrote.
    As it stands , it IS a hardware and software solution full stop!

    Hacked or not ... and they are all hacked at some point , content providers still insist on their cash cows being protected in some way.
    It works for them in that they still make substantial sales of legal product.

    Only the knowledgeable rip and store their titles , most cant be bothered learning how to.

    Like I said , HDMI is very popular with content providers , there are currently no planned alternatives for home AV.
    Dont hold your breath waiting for one.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  10. Andy8421

    Andy8421
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    672
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Ratings:
    +101
    Joe, Andy,

    Thank you for your replies.

    Firstly Joe - I don't understand why fibre extenders need to be 'active' from an HDCP perspective. Fundamentally there are two bitstreams on the cable - one in each direction. If the fibre just passed the stream along without decoding it, then that feels like it should work.

    Joe / Andy, I think I may have dragged the discussion off track. My original point was that HDMI comprises two aspects - the physical cable and HDCP encryption. I can see that the HDCP encryption may have legs - even if it does regularly get broken. The physical cable seems to be reaching the end of its ability to cope with the demands of the high data rates required by UHD displays 'Well, just use two cables in parallel' doesn't seem to be an elegant solution.

    While I am sure that the posters on this forum are a niche market, wanting to run a cable from one side of the room to another doesn't sound a radical request, and the HDMI standard currently has no solution for me.
     
  11. andy1249

    andy1249
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,651
    Dual link is the go to roadmap for the future , it has already been implemented with some success on DP and DVI ...HDMI will follow at some point.
    Elegance is subjective , not really an engineering requirement , its a cable , not a car.

    You are correct , all of the above limit the working length , 8 meters max for HDMI and even less for the others.
    The main target audience are users who have devices under their TV and Require 1 to 2 meters , and that target audience , which would be well over 90% of users , is met easily.
    HDMI.org dont really care about custom installs. That is not their brief.
    Indeed , I would suspect the length limitations suits them just fine , this encourages more "box" sales.

    It is without doubt a miserable situation for those that want to go long , there are solutions , but are expensive for the most part.
    You must note though , that all solutions simply work with HDMI , its still HDMI in and HDMI out , so regardless of carrier medium on the cable , the HDMI spec is still a big part of it.
    Indeed , most of these extender solutions can still be test to either category 1 or category 2 specs , i.e still treated as a cable with an input and output and tested accordingly.
     
  12. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
    Messages:
    28,609
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    The Borders
    Ratings:
    +3,497
    Re HDCP and Fibre HDMI cables Andy is in a better position than me to confirm - I've seen folk receive the dreaded 'your Display does not support HDCP 2.2' message when they are dealing with an HDCP 2.2 compliant Display.

    Joe

    PS I think too you have to 'follow the money' - look who are behind HDMI. From the HDMI Wiki:

    The HDMI founders are Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, Thomson, RCA and Toshiba.[11] Digital Content Protection, LLC provides HDCP (which was developed by Intel) for HDMI.[12] HDMI has the support of motion picture producers Fox, Universal, Warner Bros.and Disney, along with system operators DirecTV, EchoStar (Dish Network) and CableLabs.[4]
     
  13. andy1249

    andy1249
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,651
    Yes, members of these companies constitute the standard commitee and make up hdmi.org.
    Sony, universal, warner and disney along with the cable companies control 99.9% of existing content.
     
  14. sunbear

    sunbear
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1
    Given that
    1. most TVs nowadays are perfectly capable of decoding almost any compressed video format that broadcasters use to distribute their video, and
    2. Content providers are already happy to trust their compressed streams being sent via Netflix, Amazon, etc via Ethernet/wifi to TVs,

    it's hard to understand the logic of hdmi.org pushing inexorably down a dead-end path of having fatter and fatter hdmi cables in the attempt to distribute needlessly uncompressed video streams.

    If a TV is capable of decompressing the MPEG stream then the STB should simply send the stream through as-is. If they supported such an architecture, we wouldn't need to connect our TVs via a cable at all. Wifi would be fine.
     
  15. andy1249

    andy1249
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,651
    Point 1 is not correct.
    Only the higher end smart TV,s have the processing power to render content locally at present, and even then, file format capability is limited.
    The vast majority of TV,s can not do this.

    Regarding Netflix Amazon etc. Their content is not lossless, even their 4K content is not quite the equal of a 1080p blu ray yet.
     
  16. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
    Messages:
    28,609
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    The Borders
    Ratings:
    +3,497
    A quick flick through the various TV 'Owners' threads plus Network Streamer 'Owner' Threads here on AVF would give any TV Product Manager faced with being responsible for Universal support for all streaming formats nightmares.

    Joe
     
  17. andy1249

    andy1249
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,651
    Agreed.
    There are some very good network streaming boxes out there, like the shield etc, but even those have considerable problems with various formats.

    Can you imagine the support nightmare for the TV manufacturers...they would have to accept every video codec and container format, extra software and hardware, also a HDMI out for feeding to an AVR ....currently they take the easy way...just put a HDMI port on the TV and let others deal with that mess.
     
  18. sunbear

    sunbear
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1
    Of course there would need to be a migration path where older devices without decompression capabilities could continue to receive uncompressed data via HDMI, but I don't see this as a significant barrier to heading down the path I am suggesting. With every change in display technology there is always a migration (black and white TV -> color, component video -> HDMI, HDCP 2.2, etc)

    The main point I'm trying to make here is that the decision to only send uncompressed data down HDMI cables was a short-sighted decision and the impact of this decision is clearly manifested by cables getting fatter and by consumers having issues finding a cable that works at the required length. I agree with the original poster of this thread. It's time to take pause and consider whether we are even heading down the correct path.

    Perhaps there are alternative paths to the one I am suggesting, but so far I'm not hearing a lot of other solutions to the bandwidth issues of HDMI in this thread, other than "don't use HDMI, use HDbaseT instead". In any case, regardless of whether hdmi.org acts and solves the bandwidth limitations inherent in their current design, the trend towards streaming compressed video straight from the cloud to TVs will continue. The quality of these streams will get better as compression technologies and internet bandwidth improve (without any need to change cables). Inaction by hdmi.org in the face of this clear trend will just push consumers away from HDMI and hasten the eventual demise of the video decoding and distribution role of blu-ray/UHD players, STBs and AVRs located in the home.

    I'm sure you are aware that blu ray discs do not store their data in lossless format either, it is compressed. The compressed stream comes off the disc at a few 10's of Mbits/sec, which if left as-is and sent would be no trouble at all for a cat 5e Ethernet cable or even most wireless routers.

    There would of course be a lot of engineering involved to make this work but the technology to achieve this already mostly exists. What also would need effort is the establishment of standards. There would need to be handshaking between sources and sinks to auto-negotiate their capabilities. They already do a similar EDID handshake to announce their various video and audio capabilities to each other - It's therefore not inconceivable that sources and sinks announce which compression formats and containers are supported to each other.

    Also, don't discount the possibility of on-the-fly transcoding. A source could convert a compressed format not supported by a sink into a supported compression format. VESA is doing something like this with their Display Stream Compression Standard (although this particular solution only transcodes into their new format).
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  19. andy1249

    andy1249
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,651
    I think you are confusing compression with lossless.
    Not all comprssion is bad.
    There is both lossless compression and "lossy" compression.
    BD,s contain losslessly compressed material , which , bandwidth wise, needs a lot more than the likes of the lossy content that streaming services like amazon and netflix supply.

    Yes, if all TV,s have the necessary power, HDMI could be ditched in favour of ethernet, that could have been done from the start by making it a condition that HDTV's would have the necessary processing power.

    You are however assuming that the content providers were looking for the best system for everybody at the time and missed that option.

    They didnt , and as far as they were concerned they have the system that was and still is the best "for them".
    Their brief was a system that is hard to interfere with without failing and protects their content as much as possible.
    They have that and are quite happy with it.

    Believe me, they have no intention whatsoever of going the ethernet delivery route, to them , that is far too easy to copy.
     
  20. sunbear

    sunbear
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1
    I'm not sure what material you are claiming is stored "losslessly" in BD's - the subtitles perhaps? All video information is stored using lossy compression codecs:
    Comparison of high definition optical disc formats - Wikipedia
     
  21. andy1249

    andy1249
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,651
    Where are you getting " lossy " from that?
    All you have there is a comparison of codecs used for the format , the only way its lossy is compared to the actual shot footage straight from the camera, ( and only for movie content ) otherwise its as mastered for the format.
    Streaming services are the equivalent of mp3 , you take the blu ray master , throw away 75% of the content , and you have the butchered content typically available from them. That is what I,m referring to as "lossy".
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  22. Andy8421

    Andy8421
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    672
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Ratings:
    +101
    There seems to be some confusion here. A lossy compression technique makes it impossible to recover the original data prior to the compression process, a lossless compression technique means the original data is recoverable. WAV files are uncompressed audio samples, FLAC files are compressed audio but the original WAV data is recoverable, MP3 files are compressed audio, but the original WAV data is lost.
    As far as I am aware, the are very few lossless HD video compression methods, and those that exist are used for professional mixing and original image capture. By the time the video finds its way to a consumer, is has been compressed in some way or another - and these are lossy compressions.
    So arguing about the relative merits of streaming vs Blu-ray is just comparing one lossy format with another, in neither case can the original lossless file be recreated.
     
  23. andy1249

    andy1249
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,651
    The point here is to state that blu ray is by far the best quality for home consumption, and in terms of thrown away content from the master source, is miles better than streaming.

    Audio has the same issue.
    The master tapes are the best and compared to them the CD is lossy , but we dont say that CD and mp3 are just comparing one lossy source to another.
    They are not equals and we know this.
     
  24. Gerard Fernand

    Gerard Fernand
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Messages:
    220
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    location
    Ratings:
    +32
  25. Andy8421

    Andy8421
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    672
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Ratings:
    +101
    Hmmn.

    As has been discussed above, I think the HDMI group have rather lost the plot. We finally agreed above that all digital video available to consumers is compressed, so why un-compress in a box before the display and then struggle to send this very high data rate stream of uncompressed data more than a couple of metres? Smart TVs are collapsing in price, a 43 inch 4K HDR LG smart LCD TV is less than £400 and is more than capable of uncompressing a compressed stream.

    I have been following this sub forum for a few weeks now, and I would note the number of anguished posters who can't get their HDMI leads to work.

    The 'high speed' cables that were supposed to work for all 4K don't seem to cope with 60Hz 4:4:4 HDR, the 'premium high speed' cables that no one can find because everyone thinks their cable is premium (try searching for premium HDMI cables on Amazon and see how many come up) - and finally the total confusion (at least in the mind of consumers and high street retailers) between HDMI versions and cable types.

    "Can I have a HDMI 2.0 cable please..."
     
  26. Gerard Fernand

    Gerard Fernand
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Messages:
    220
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    location
    Ratings:
    +32
    so why un-compress in a box before the display

    Because they all want to do something different and hope they find an algorithm or process that they can license on to others, or not have to pay a license to use, but at the end of the day they need a common method of linking everything together i.e. HDMI.

    Personally I agree that streaming would remove so many headaches but the manufactures have to look after there own interests. There main sales target is consumers who have there components sitting within a couple of metres of each other and for that scenario the cables are fine.
     
  27. sunbear

    sunbear
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1
    I currently have a 60 foot HDMI cable run from my media rack to my wall mounted Samsung F8500 plasma run behind the sheetrock walls. Since I'm only sending 1080p I've had no problems since I installed some expensive Belden cable from bluejeanscable. But there's no way a passive cable is going to work at 48 Gbps over 60 feet. I doubt I'm the only person in this forum who doesn't relish the prospect of ripping apart their walls every couple of years to install a new cable.

    I agree that the HDMI.org people have lost the plot. Either that or not one of them ever studied transmission line theory as part of an Electrical Engineering degree. Here's an informative article (skip to the section The Need For Speed) from bluejeans which explains the flawed thinking behind even pumping 18Gbps down a cable with no compression or signal encoding to help reduce the bit rate. Now at 48Gbps they have just made the issue much worse
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  28. andy1249

    andy1249
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,651
    It will probably be a while before we see actual 2.1 devices , eARC is interesting, that will pass HD audio formats and atmos over ARC and will force a standard CEC command set, which will go some way towards cleaning up the current mess with proprietary CEC sets like anynet, bravialink, vieralink etc.
    Assuming it actually gets implemented by manufacturers that is.

    This spec requires a new test rig, so I get new toys.
     

Share This Page

Loading...