New Sony 900H, Do I need an HDMI 2.1 Compliant cable?

ptb123

Novice Member
Just bought Sony 55" 900H TV (HDMI 2.1, eARC). Ethernet cable connected directly to TV. However, using Digital optical cable for sound to Yamaha RX-V765 AV Receiver because it's not ARC or eARC cable. Have 2013 vintage 30-foot Monoprice Redmere HDMI High Speed With Ethernet cable in wall (was using with older Samsung and the Yamaha). New Yamaha TSR 700 (HDMI 2.1, eARC) ordered. I have been using a Logitech Harmony 900 to control the old equipment. Would like to do away with the Harmony if the eARC and CEC are capable of doing those things.

The only HDMI 2.1 Compliant cables available for 30 feet are optical cables and 2 or 3 times the price of HS with Ethernet cables. I believe the current Redmere cable is 4K capable, ARC capable, but not CEC capable, and not eARC capable.

My question is do I need to replace the Redmere HS cable with an Ultra HS HDMI 2.1 compliant cable or can just upgrade to a Certified Premium High Speed with Ethernet cable? By going with the Certified Premium High Speed HDMI Cable below I would gain CEC and eARC. My internet goes directly to the TV, I do not do any gaming nor do I have any other video source other than the Sony TV.

Specifications for Redmere (current version of what I already have)
Specifications for 4K Certified Premium High Speed HDMI Cable 30ft
 

Otto Pylot

Active Member
If you want/need a certified Ultra High Speed HDMI cable (with the QR label) for the HDMI 2.1 option sets they are available now, but are passive only and limited to a maximum length of 5m (about 16'). Active cables, regardless of the cable type (copper only, fiber, or hybrid fiber) can not be certified so you will have to depend on the cable mfr's reputation and customer support. There is lots of market speak by the cable mfrs when it comes to product descriptions and what they claim so caveat emptor.

Redmere is the old active copper cable technology. They were bought out or merged a few years back with Spectra so if you go the active copper route you need to look for active cables with the Specra 7 chipsets. Active cables were originally designed to transmit the signal over distances longer than the certified Premium High Speed HDMI cable length of 25' (HDMI 2.0 options) by using chipsets in the source/sink connector for error correction, timing etc. They do not improve pq because the cable is just a data pipe. It can not alter or modify the signal.

ARC/CEC can be a real pain in the *ss because lack of compatibility across the various device platforms, and there is no firmware fix that can make it work correctly if there are problems. Quite often ARC and CEC share the same chipset so issues with CEC can affect ARC. A lot of us disable ARC/CEC on all HDMI connected devices and use an optical cable from the tv to a receiver for 5.1 audio from the SmartApps and use a Harmony remote for single remote control of your system.

eARC is possible with the HDMI 2.0 chipsets if the device mfr designed the chipsets to be upgraded for eARC. However, just like ARC, both devices have to be ARC or eARC capable to work correctly. ARC capability doesn't automatically mean eARC capability. The HDMI chipsets in the source and sink end determine what you can send/receive, not the cable.

If your cabling is in-wall hopefully the cable is in a conduit because that is the ONLY way to future proof your cabling, and it makes it a lot easier and safer to install and upgrade your cabling as your needs change. The most reliable cable connection is a single cable, source to sink, with no wall plates, adapters, extenders, etc in-between. 4k HDR can be very finicky with its connections, especially over distance, so it's best to keep your cabling as simple as possible. 4k HDR does not do well with "breaks" in the HDMI chain.

So, at 30' your options are to use an active copper cable (Spectra 7) that is ARC/CEC capable or a hybrid fiber cable (Ruipro 4k) that is ARC/eARC/CEC capable.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
System control - as Otto says hang on to the Harmony until you can prove CEC works for you and works as expected.

eARC - the 'old' active cable is potentially an issue with eARC, once you have the new kit you can connect it up and see how you get on.

HDMI cable - if you can stick below 8m (26') you can try a passive Premium High Speed or High Speed cable and see how it goes with eARC.

Active HDMI (Copper, Fibre or Hybrid Fibre) - look for eARC being supported and ignore any talk of 'Verison' or 'Certification' and ensure you fully test before you pull the cable through your wall.

Joe
 

ptb123

Novice Member
Thanks for your responses gentlemen! We were using Apple TV 4k for TV apps, we were using an old mac and digital coax to play Amazon/Spotify music to our Zone 2 speakers. We wanted to K.I.S.S. and get a 2.1 TV and a 2.1 AVR and just manage these two with our Harmony 900. We haven't used our Blu-ray in years and will donate that and the current Yamaha AVR. Our cables are in conduit, AVR in closed vented cabinet, TV on opposing wall.

We are very much enjoying the the new TV now as it directly connected to Ethernet for streaming video input and we output sound with to old receiver with digital optical cable. Wires temporarily running across floor and Redmere HDMI not connected. We do plan to keep using the Harmony. You have given me food for thought.

1). What do I gain by using the new HDMI cable VS using TOSLINK for sound output and Ethernet direct from modem to TV? HDMI will not improve video since that is via Ethernet, correct? Will I notice the improvement in sound?--(Main: 3 Polks front, 2 Polks back ceiling, 1 Polk SW) and 4 Polks on Zone 2 behind 2 Niles VCS 100s. We watch lots of movies, stream classical music videos. We do no gaming.

1a.) Should I run the TV from the Ethernet on the new AVR? I would think not.

2). Should I ditch the TSR 700 and look for a Sony product? Otto, you said ARC/CEC can be a PITA due to incompatibilities among platforms. I have ordered the Yamaha TSR 700 because I was replacing the Yamaha RX-V765 and initially looked at the Yamaha RV-V6A (2.1/ARC/CEC/eARC) but was at Costco and found the TSR 700, which appears to be very similar at a much lower cost.

Sorry for so many questions but I'd like to get it right and enjoy it without problems.
System control - as Otto says hang on to the Harmony until you can prove CEC works for you and works as expected.

eARC - the 'old' active cable is potentially an issue with eARC, once you have the new kit you can connect it up and see how you get on.

HDMI cable - if you can stick below 8m (26') you can try a passive Premium High Speed or High Speed cable and see how it goes with eARC.

Active HDMI (Copper, Fibre or Hybrid Fibre) - look for eARC being supported and ignore any talk of 'Verison' or 'Certification' and ensure you fully test before you pull the cable through your wall.

Joe
 

ptb123

Novice Member
Sorry for the confusion. I guess I just don't know, does the HDMI provide something to the AVR that TOSLINK does not? If not, then I would think I do not need the HDMI anymore since I have no cable box and am able to directly wire Ethernet to TV. Sorry if I've wasted you experts' time. Guess I thought there had to be some back and forth between the TV and the AVR.
 

Otto Pylot

Active Member
An HDMI connection has far greater bandwidth capacity than Toslink (optical). The use of ethernet to your tv is for internet. If you want to use ARC then you need to use HDMI from tv to receiver using the HDMI ports on the tv/receiver labeled for ARC. If you choose not to use ARC, you can still use the ARC-labeled ports for HDMI. If you have external sources that you run thru the AVR then you can push HD Audio (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-MA, etc) via HDMI and then just use HDMI from the receiver to the tv for video.

ARC will allow you to send audio from your tv to the receiver so you don't need to use an optical cable.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
TV Audio - eARC has the capability to send full uncompressed audio from the TV to an eARC capable AVR whereas ARC and the Optical Out on the TV are ‘limited’ to lossy DD.

The content you are streaming may or may not take advantage of the potential which eARC offers so even with eARC in place you may find there is not much content which could not be handled via the Optical Out on the TV.

Quite a few variables at play so if possible I would try eARC vs Optical with some actual content before you take the plunge with installing new cables.

Ethernet - connect the TV, AVR and streaming Source device to your wired or wireless network independently, wired being preferable for video sources.

Joe
 

Michael7877

Active Member
If you're not planning on upgrading your receiver I think you should be fine with optical. As Joe said, optical and ARC are limited to lossy DD, so are essentially the same.

"Quite a few variables at play so if possible I would try eARC vs Optical with some actual content before you take the plunge with installing new cables."

So you'd need a new receiver. In addition to the content, some of the variables are the quality of the DAC in your receiver, and your speakers. If it's not a very resolving system, you might not notice anything at all. Exception maybe being Atmos content on a compatible receiver
 

ptb123

Novice Member
Okay gentlemen, looks this link to a Sony page from October 2020:
says "high-speed HDMI cables with Ethernet are enough to support eARC" and to "...only use certified cables..."

I've found this 30-foot non-active cable from Vanco:

Both TV and AVR are eARC so this should fit the bill for me. If it works, great. If not, at least I've upgraded the old Redmere active AND this cable is more sturdy than a TOSLINK cable.

Thanks to you all for my edumahkashun! This setup is my wife's Christmas present. I know she will be happy, and in that light, my wish to you all is

Have a GREAT Christmas!
 

Otto Pylot

Active Member
Okay gentlemen, looks this link to a Sony page from October 2020:
says "high-speed HDMI cables with Ethernet are enough to support eARC" and to "...only use certified cables..."

I've found this 30-foot non-active cable from Vanco:

Both TV and AVR are eARC so this should fit the bill for me. If it works, great. If not, at least I've upgraded the old Redmere active AND this cable is more sturdy than a TOSLINK cable.

Thanks to you all for my edumahkashun! This setup is my wife's Christmas present. I know she will be happy, and in that light, my wish to you all is

Have a GREAT Christmas!
The ethernet channel on HDMI cables was a feature that was never used, until eARC came along, so that unused channel is now being used for eARC. If eARC doesn't work you may still be able to use the limited bandwidth of ARC.

Typically, certification for Premium High Speed HDMI cables is limited to 25' maximum but some mfrs have supposedly pushed that to 30'. Hopefully the Vanco cable comes with a QR label of authenticity. If not........ The cable is passive and will probably be a bit stiff due to the wire gauge so be mindful of bend radius (no sharp 90º bends) and strain on the HMDI ports due to the weight of the cable.
 

ptb123

Novice Member
So.., I emailed Vanco tech support to ask if it was specifically certified for 30 ft or if typo. If it comes back positive for QR label of authenticity, then we'll probably order it. If not, can you guys recommend a decent active cable with Spectra7 chip. AND, if I go the Spectra7 route how do i find the correct cable? I've read there is Spectra7 HT8181 and HT8182, both 2.0, not 2.1. Can you recommend a couple of Spectra7 providers based on their reputation?
 

Otto Pylot

Active Member
So.., I emailed Vanco tech support to ask if it was specifically certified for 30 ft or if typo. If it comes back positive for QR label of authenticity, then we'll probably order it. If not, can you guys recommend a decent active cable with Spectra7 chip. AND, if I go the Spectra7 route how do i find the correct cable? I've read there is Spectra7 HT8181 and HT8182, both 2.0, not 2.1. Can you recommend a couple of Spectra7 providers based on their reputation?
Spectra7 replaced Redmere. HT8181 was the first iteration so HT8182 may be an upgraded version. I don't know of an active copper-only cable that claims it can reliably push any of the HDMI 2.1 option sets.

Keep in mind that no active cable, be it copper, fiber, or hybrid fiber can be certified by HDMI.org for the HDMI 2.1 option sets (or even HDMI 2.0 for that matter). And certification for passive cables is only good to 25' for HDMI 2.0 and 16' for HDMI 2.1. Legitimate certification, as recognized by HDMI.org will have the QR label of authenticity on the packaging that you can scan and check.
 

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