Question more ££ better quality HDMI cables ??

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by wawr, Nov 21, 2018.


    1. wawr

      wawr
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      just a quick question for members ??

      I recently had a new sky Q box fitted and i've just finished a full garage conversion to a 4K & 3d home cinema [Loads of photos on here of my new build and new system] .

      My question is .... when purchasing HDMI leads for 4K does more £ pounds £ mean better quality ??
      in everyday life I go by "you get what you pay for" , but according to the Sky engineer that came to set up my skyQ he is quite Adamant that this is NOT the case ! .

      Now I know he is not a so called expert in these thing's BUT he does instal sky boxes daily and he said they are on a new corse on a very regular basis ! so he does in fact know what he is talking about .

      I need to buy new HDMI leads for my new 4K system and i have seen leads from £10 right up to £100+ !!! some are named brands I recognise and quite a few I don't , so I would just like to get the right ones 1st time and have peace of mind I have purchased quality HDMI leads .

      It seems who ever you talk to gives you different answers , as the Sky engineer said they are all the same no matter what brand you buy or how much , but hifi dealers say quite the opposite ! I have spoken to 2 or 3 hifi shops and they too give me different answers they obviously want to sell me what they have on the shelf !

      Its just a bit confusing for me , so any help / advise would be very much appreciated .
       
    2. Joe Fernand

      Joe Fernand
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      Cables are not 'all the same' - though one working cable will deliver exactly the same Sound and Vision as the next working cable, the price and construction of the cable is immaterial.

      With 4K what you have to be aware of is the length of cable - once you start to go out over 5m you can quickly run into bandwidth problems with many cables.

      If you have existing cables and they are working without any obvious problems with your 4K kit stick with them.

      Joe
       
    3. andy1249

      andy1249
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      No.

      With HDMI you have certified and uncertified.
      “ premium “ certified is guaranteed to work and is currently the best you can get.
      They can be had for under a tenner.
      Any more is just price gouging....
      https://www.amazon.co.uk/Omars®-Pre...TF8&qid=1542822777&sr=8-3&keywords=Omars+hdmi
      Note the official HDMI.org QR Logo, they dont come any better than that.

      As Joe says, longer than 8 meters is a problem for any passive cable, for long runs you will need HDMI over fibre, these are expensive and range somewhere berween 100- 200 pounds.
       
    4. grahamlthompson

      grahamlthompson
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      HDbase T baluns and cat 6 cable would be much cheaper and far easier to run
       
    5. andy1249

      andy1249
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      Not lossless for UHD.
      HDbaseT is not recommended until that issue is sorted.
       
    6. wawr

      wawr
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      Thank you all so much for your time & effort in trying to help me out ,

      Here is where I am ... I am lucky where I only need 1 metre max cable length ! secondly as per my local richer sounds advise I have gone down the cat6 cable rout as its about 10 mitres from Receiver to projector , so my HDMI cables are going in to a
      Blustream HEX70CS-KIT -I am using 2 of these boxes @£434 for the pair !!:facepalm: phew !!
      I do know for sure that my current QED HDMI cables are more than 6/ 8 years old , so having spoke to my local RS I am going back there tomorrow to buy 2 new cables & for the 3rd I am now using the one that came in the box with the oppo 203 player .
      RS tell me that my current leads are 100% NOT 4K compatible , so here goes .. I will let you all know if there are any improvement within the next few days .
      Again thank you for your feedback & help so far :lesson:
       
    7. Joe Fernand

      Joe Fernand
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      Unless it is impossible to run Hybrid Fibre HDMI the advice to use CAT6 + Extenders is flawed as the Extenders have to compress the 4K video signal.

      Joe
       
    8. NicolasB

      NicolasB
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      The first thing to say about HDMI cables is that, at any given moment, they either work or they don't. If there's a problem with the cable, you'll know about it: you may get no picture at all, or the screen will flash white every now and again, or you'll get weird "sparkles" all over the place. If you're not seeing any of that, your cable is fine, and a "better" cable will make no difference whatever to the picture quality.

      In the old days, almost any HDMI cable would work in almost any situation. 4K HDR video is more demanding, particularly as the cable length increases - if the cable needs to be more than 5m long, that can be a problem - but you still don't have to go "expensive".

      Many people seem quite happy with Amazon Basics cables. My own recommendation is that you should always get something that is independently certified as "Premium High Speed". You can tell which those are, because they will come with a bar code in the package which you can scan and which will take you to the web page of the certifier. If you're browsing on Amazon, then look for the barcode image within the picture of the cable.

      Some examples:

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/Omars®-Premium-Certified-Cable-Support-Grey/dp/B072L2VSNS/
      https://www.amazon.co.uk/kenable-Certified-18Gbps-Premium-Cable-Black/dp/B07CKV8R45/
      https://www.amazon.co.uk/Monoprice-Certified-Premium-Speed-Cable-White/dp/B01MEHMYOD/
      https://www.amazon.co.uk/Premium-Certified-specification-enabled-features-Ethernet/dp/B075CMMW4V/

      Some more expensive cables are constructed a bit more solidly and may last longer; but sadly there are many expensive cables that are quite flimsy.

      10m runs are going to be a problem. You could try a Blue Jeans Cable series-1 - that is certified as high speed to to 25 feet - but even that might not work. So, as others have suggested, a "hybrid fibre" cable is probably the best option at that distance. Definitely don't use cat 6.

      See https://www.avsforum.com/forum/168-...achment.php?attachmentid=2289710&d=1506665190
       
      Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
    9. NinjaMonkeyUK

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      Wow, you were ripped off there. Those boxes compress the AV signal which obviously impacts picture and sound quality. You could have bought an optical HDMI cable for less than half of that price and with zero signal degradation.

      You might even have been able to get away with a £25 Amazon Basics HDMI cable like I did; mine is 15.2m and runs from my AVR in the cabinet at the front of my cinema room, up into the ceiling, and across the loft to the projector at the back of the room. It works perfectly. And it was £25!

      RS cannot categorically state anything like this. Test your existing cables yourself before parting with your cash.
       
    10. BRAKKUS1

      BRAKKUS1
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      It really comes down to how well the cable is made, I mean a £2 HDMI cable will offer no better PQ over a £100 one, it's all about bandwidth (speed) capabilities.

      For example I've got an 11 year old HDMI 1.3 cable, and I'm using that now for 18gbps HDMI 2.0b 4K 60hz 10bit sources, and it's flawless, but I bought what was supposed to be an 18gbps cable last month, and the picture just breaks up......just goes to show.
       
    11. StanleyKubrick

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    12. HugoFJH

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      personally I always look for two things - at least HDMI 2.0 (anything less isn't guaranteed to cope with 4k or HDR) & 18Gbps +

      to me "high speed" is absolutely meaningless and has been put on HDMI cables for at least 12 years (and I certainly wouldn't want to risk a 10 year old cable with 4k /HDR kit) , some MIGHT work - fair enough - but I wouldn't pay good money on it "might" working in any particular setup when an extra couple of pounds will gaurentee it.

      No need at all to pay 100's for a cable though - £20 for a 5m cable is more than enough (this is on the high street in central London so a little more expensive than the web but imo worth it just in case it has to be returned). At the end of the day Ive just spent £2000 on a new 65" OLED, so spending <£20 on one long run of hdmi is worth it for peace of mind.
       
    13. andy1249

      andy1249
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      Completely wrong.
      Weve dealt with this in another thread.
      Version numbers are not allowed in relation to cables as it is entirely a cable seller fraud designed to sell new cables where they are not needed.

      The only honest thing a seller can say about cables is whether it meets the certifications given by hdmi.org category tests that result in standard speed, high speed, or premium ratings.

      Category 2 testing has been testing cables up to [email protected] fps for a decade now.

      Just like the new category 3 ( Ultra Certification ) will be testing to 11K or more probably a decade before such content will be available, if ever.
       
    14. wawr

      wawr
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      Thank you to everyone that has responded to my lack of knowledge and naivety when it comes to this matter, I am really disappointed to hear that I shouldn't have listened to RS when it comes to the cat6 cable ! not only has it cost me a lot of money but defiantly not given me the best results with picture quality !! and to make things worse there is no way I am able to change it now ! .
      As you can see by my photo's on my other post [your views gratefully appreciated] home cinema showcase section, in the home cinema all my cables has been buried deep in my walls before they were plaster boarded & plastered and decorated !

      From when I first posted this thread, I have bought again from RS new HDMI cables 4K compatible and if I am honest I have seen quite an improvement ! but yes I admit not totally blown away as I thought I would be ! , again wrongly I put that down to the Optoma UHD 51 projector .

      Again many thank you to all who gave me their views and knowledge it is very much appreciated and as in life we live and learn as we go.
       
    15. jfinnie

      jfinnie
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      I'm more relaxed about this these days.

      If you get the right units they use the very light VESA DSC compression and then only at wire rates above 10G, which is basically 4k24p444 / RGB and any 4k50 10bit flavour and above. If I recall this DSC compression is also part of the HDMI2.1 specification so we'll probably all end up using it soon enough anyhow.

      Some of the units out there are quite naughty though and instead of using this compression they just nobble the bits and / or silently convert the colourspace to / from to make it look like the same is coming out as went in.

      Given most folk doing long reach HDMI are into projection, and given that 10bit is only a thing for HDR which is going to have to have all manner of fudgery done to get it onto the screen anyhow, and there are no 444 distribution formats for real video (so just a gaming thing) it seems like a reasonable compromise to get the benefits which are the use of standard cheap cable (I have 3x redundant runs for a few quid), the ease of field (re)termination and the avoidance of the standards violations that the alternative HDMI over fibre cables are undoubtedly pulling with respect to power.
       
    16. andy1249

      andy1249
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      For sure a lot of HDMI over fibre steal power, but that is preferable to an altered signal.
      If there is not enough power to steal it simply wont work.
      Thats better than a compromised feed of unknown quality.

      Yes, compressed signals are allowed as part of 2.1 but they must be flagged and easily identifiable to the user using codes so that you know exactly what you are getting.
      The only indicator with UHD over HDbaseT is a claim of “ visually lossless” which is just sales talk for no damn good.
       
    17. fatdragon1966

      fatdragon1966
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      Hi i just brought an optoma uhd51 projector as an uprade from a Optoma HD300X 1080p that i have had for over 6 years,its really good but i seem to have a problem getting HDR to work from my Sony UBPX700B on the projector.I have my player connected to a Denon AVR-X2400H and then outputting to my LG 4k tv and my Optoma uhd51 projector,i can get 4K and HDR on the tv but only 4K on the projector.I am using a The KanaaN High Speed HDMI cable that is 15 meters in length that i used for my old projector,i brought it 6 years ago.It says on the old order for the cable that it plays 4K but does not mention HDR.Do i need a new cable is that the problem.Cheers in advance for the help.
       
    18. Joe Fernand

      Joe Fernand
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      15m cable - will be rather unique as the only 8m+ cable available which is High Speed rated, I’d ignore the bad marketing.

      With 4K UHD you can run into problems once you hit 8m or longer - we would be suggesting one of our RuiPro Hybrid Fibre Cables at 15m.

      Joe
       
    19. jfinnie

      jfinnie
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    20. SonOfSJ

      SonOfSJ
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      Are you sure that you can't return whatever you have bought from Richer sounds (cat6 cable or the Bluestream kit)? It can't be more than two weeks old ....??
       
    21. dante01

      dante01
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    22. Joe Fernand

      Joe Fernand
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      'It seems that basically for video it is more or less a non-issue' - assuming you are viewing a Samsung TV with your chin on a chin rest at 122cm and viewing half a screen processed and half not and don't have a clue what you are looking at :)

      Joe
       
    23. andy1249

      andy1249
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      2.1 will allow DSC compressed content , but only from original content and from a source whereby that content is clearly flagged as what it is.

      There is no allowance made for extra compession in the link from source to sink whereby that link system is compressing in order to make up for lack of bandwidth.
      In all cases and within all 3 category tests for cabling, what goes in must be what comes out.
      No extra compression is allowed.

      HDbaseT has work to do to overcome its bandwidth limitations.
      In the meantime there are better systems to use for long runs that are truly lossless.
       
    24. jfinnie

      jfinnie
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      I think you're being unfair. The test was designed to be reproducible. The split screen showed the same imagery on each half of the screen, just one side (at random) was processed. It is a quite reasonable setup to get a reproducible test case and I'm not sure what about it you're objecting to. They rejected one test subject because they just weren't able to see any of the issues, which you might argue says something about how difficult it is, or perhaps they were just blind :)

      I don't get the distinction you're making to be honest. Whether the DSC happens in the outside the source in a HDBT box, or in an HDMI2.1 source, you're still going to be watching the result of DSC compression trying to counteract a physical link which doesn't have the capacity for the amount of bits you wanted to shove down in.

      I haven't seen any specification yet which says you have to see any sort of indication that DSC is engaged (if that is what you mean by "clearly flagged"). HDMI.org have said that manufacturers may refer to the official designations if they like (eg 8K60A, 8K60B, 8K60AB). HDMI.org are also touting for DSC to be used to allow currently supported resolutions on 18G to be sent with less physical link capacity (eg a poorer quality passive cable).

      Both and HDMI2.1 or an HDBT "18G" link apply compression once they get above a certain threshold.

      In the case of HDMI2.1 that threshold is 48G, in the case of HDBT that threshold is ~10G. If 8K gaming is "your thing" then you're going to be seeing DSC compression in action.

      Re alternatives. Better, or different? If your sole definition of better is lossless, then yes, but I guess looking at the whole experience the current economic fibre based solutions leave a lot to be desired. The affordable fibre solutions have a lot of installation drawbacks which by some definition make them worse.

      The product I'd personally want to install would be an 18GBPS or better fibre solution using off-the-shelf industry-standard terminated fibre which is cheap as chips. Unfortunately they're much more expensive than HBDT or pre-packed fibre HDMI hybrid leads.

      At the end of the day this compression scheme has made it into HDMI2.1, so we will all end up seeing it soon enough.
       
    25. andy1249

      andy1249
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      The distinction is double compression due to an inferior link.
      All links are required to be lossless.

      If you want to send compressed material ,thats fine , source and sink will say what level of compression that is, but extra compression of an unknown level because of the link is not acceptable and there are no plans to make it so.
      As it always has been , what enters one end of the cable link must be what comes out of the other.
      Nothing else is or will be ratified.
      That is a very clear requirement.

      It will never be the case that any cable or cable system is allowed to alter the signal data within the HDMI spec.

      Currently, HDbaseT does alter the data for UHD, and that is not good enough.
       
      Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    26. Joe Fernand

      Joe Fernand
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      'I think you're being unfair' - possibly yes, though I feel 'pushing' DSC or any other compression technique as 'visually lossless' is wrong, I've seen some folk arguing that their 'visually lossless' system is better than others and in the end if I'm sticking a large Display or even larger projected image into my Lounge, Home Theatre, Cinema Room I want to avoid any unnecessary compression.

      Joe
       
    27. jfinnie

      jfinnie
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      Sure, but it is here to stay and it was good enough for the good folk at HDMI.org (who still don't seem to be able to find the time to come up with any sort of spec that active cables can apply for and pass, leaving us in a market which is a bit like the wild-west).

      I mean from previous posts, even you, buying quality cables from a relatively well known manufacturer, have been re-testing them in the UK if I recall?

      I will agree with you that the moniker "visually lossless" shouldn't be used, as obviously it can't be in all scenarios. But as I say, HDMI.org are going to be as guilty of that crime as anyone else from now on.
       
    28. Joe Fernand

      Joe Fernand
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      'I mean from previous posts, even you, buying quality cables from a relatively well known manufacturer, have been re-testing them in the UK if I recall?' - as the majority of our RuiPro cables end up being installed (and we being Installers too) I like to know every cable going out the door is proven to be working, the pre-shipping failure rate is tiny.

      'Sure, but it is here to stay' - agreed, we just need to ensure folk know what they are signing on for!

      Joe
       
    29. andy1249

      andy1249
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      There is provision in the compliance test spec for active systems.
      There is just no leeway between DUT point A , input and DUT B output for the active system.
      Regardless of construction the cable assembly must pass the same tests.
      Power steal and it fails , if it supplies its own power it wont, otherwise it must pass all tests exactly as a passive cable does.

      Direct from the spec...

      “ High-Definition Multimedia Interface Specification Four types of cable assembly are defined based on the material of the cable itself:
      • Wire: Wire-only construction with no circuit components (neither active nor passive).
      • Passive: Wire plus passive circuit components. No active circuit components.
      • Active: Contains active circuit components with equalizer function. Does not have Tx or Rx function.
      • Converter: Contains Rx and Tx functions. Any transmission media like wireless, optical fiber, etc. may be used between the Rx and Tx functions. Acts as a 1to1 repeater where both ends are cable plugs. “
       
      Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    30. ChuckMountain

      ChuckMountain
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      Are you saying you saw improvements with new HDMI cables over old ones? Unless the old ones only worked at 1080p then you wouldn't have done, anything else would be placebo.

      As others have said there is a big thread about it but to cut it short, it's been scientifically proven that passive HDMI cables cannot affect the picture quality. If they could they would have to break the copy protection too ... :)
       

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