The TRUTH about HDMI and 4K 60hz

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by anesthetic, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. anesthetic

    anesthetic
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    Hello all!

    I have a question about Ultra Thin HDMI cables, the 3FT ones. There seems to be 2 kinds right now. There are the Active and Passive Ultra Thin HDMI.

    After hearing the president of HDMI state (Youtube video interview) that all high speed cables are created equal and that active cabling isn't an official spec (HDMI website), the signal will either come through or it won't.

    With that being said, I also noticed that on Amazon, there were customers asking if passive, Ultra thin cables were capable of pushing 4:4:4 Chroma 4K 60hz. The manufacturer of the cables claimed that no, it wasn't possible. On the other hand, there were manufacturers saying that the Ultra thin Active HDMI cables will push the higher spec.

    Above all, at 3FT, does active/passive really matter? A thicker 3ft cable would pass 4K 60hz with no problem, shouldn't the Ultra thin passive be fine? I'm only biting my nails because I just bought a handful of passive 3ft cables and I don't want to have to return them all..... But at the end of the day, isn't it true that a high speed cable is a high speed cable and should push the above signals at 3ft without a problem? Are the cable manufacturers just not testing these cables with true HDMI 2.0 spec? Or, do you think they were just trying to run 4K 60hz on HDMI 1.3 devices?

    Because if I'm clear, I believe the CEO HDMI guy said that the 2.0 spec pretty much allows all cables to push 4K 60hz and that only 4K 30hz was possible with the previous spec....

    Can someone clear this up? I'm confused. I know there's no such thing as a 4k cable.... it's all about length and shielding.... and keeping the runs short.
     
  2. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    HDMI Org have a range of tests the cable and the cable manufacturing line can be put through (at varying costs to the factory - ranging from 'how much' to eye watering!)

    HDMI cables can be officially rated as Premium High Speed, High Speed or Standard - there is also the option to not-certify or create your own 'standards'.

    I'd avoided Active cables as the Active component can easily become obsolete.

    Premium High Speed and High Speed cables are relatively consistent and capable of delivering 2160p, 60fps, 4:4:4 with HDR up to 6m - anything longer and the only consistent option at present is Fibre HDMI.

    HDMI Version numbers are not relevant to cables.

    A cable is only one component in the signal path - you have to allow for inconsistencies in all devices you are interconnecting.

    Joe
     
  3. anesthetic

    anesthetic
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    Thank you! I was asking because I recently purchased; these cables
    Amazon.com: Cable Matters (2-Pack) Ultra-Slim HDMI Cables 3D & 4K Rated with Ethernet – 3 Feet: Home Audio & Theater

    And the employees keep answering, generally saying that the above cables are 1.4 and they don't support a certain hertz (haha), and they're not HDMI 2.0. I honestly don't even think they know what they're talking about. Unless they might be referring to the longer ultra slim cables? What do you think?

    You'll have a select group of people saying they're using them for their 4K displays without a hitch... but by the way some of these reviewers are talking, I really don't think most of them understand anything as far as the most important thing being the shorter the better and HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 is built into the hardware, not the cable.
     
  4. andy1249

    andy1249
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    Im in semiconductor chip design working with the interface.

    Lets get the facts out of the way first.
    HDMI version numbers have nothing to do with cables.Those numbers refer to chipsets only.
    There is no such thing as HDMI 1.x or HDMI 2.x cables.

    There are suites of tests for measuring the bandwidth capability of a cable.
    These are category 1 or " standard speed" tests and category 2 or " high speed" tests.

    Category 1 tests to [email protected]
    Category 2 tests to 4096 @ 60hz and has done for years.

    The new premium cert is a subset of category 2 and tests for current existing UHD formats.

    Bandwidth is all that matters with a cable.

    You cannot make an ultra thin cable without sacrificing on bandwidth.
    So all ultra thin cables will be severely limited in length and in what formats they will pass at that length.
    3 meters would be the max and most will struggle with the higher bandwidths at this length.

    Active cables are not officially part of the spec.
    Active cables contain active circuitry, and all active circuitry requires a power source.
    Most active cables steal the power required from the HDMI 5v line, this is against the spec and the stolen power makes the interface unstable on more than 50 % of equipment out there.

    Regarding the cables you see advertised...
    Any mention of HDMI ver numbers with regard to cables is rubbish...that should be your first red flag warning for a bad product...mentioning version numbers has been banned since 2012...see first line here...
    HDMI :: Manufacturer :: Trademark and Logo

    The "select few" saying the cables are fine are probably paid for reviews...a big problem these days on sites like amazon.

    The logo on the packaging does not match the official logo, and the manufacturer states that it will not pass UHD at higher than 30hz....if thats the case then it has not actually passed the category 2 or high speed suite of tests.
    ( to qualify you must pass all parts of the test...not some)

    My advice, for UHD, stay away from ultra thin cables. Go with standard size " high speed" cables carrying the official logos shown in the link above.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  5. HRL

    HRL
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    Anyone know where I can pick up a 2m HDMI cable that actually manages >18Gbps for my PS4 Pro and HDR support?

    Previous cables I've used that work fine from my PC just aren't cutting the mustard.

    Don't want to spend £50 but happy to spend enough to get the job done.
     
  6. Member 581642

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    Amazon Basics High Speed
     
  7. HRL

    HRL
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    Not according to the critical reviews on Amazon.
     
  8. Member 581642

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    If they are correctly tested as High Speed then 2M will be fine,
     
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  9. anesthetic

    anesthetic
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    Hey guys! One more question. What about using HDMI capstones? With 1080p, I ran a thick, 4ft high speed cable, behind the wall. Then another from the capstone to the HDTV. The other connection was from the source (BD player/PS4/etc) to the receiver and from the receiver to the capstone. Do you guys think this could negatively effect anything? I'm not even sure if you would officially count the receiver as a degradation given it's high power, but I could be wrong.
     
  10. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Any unnecessary break in the signal path can be problematic with 1080p - add 2160p to the party and you are possibly more likely to have problems.

    Pretty much impossible to predict what will happen until you try it out.

    Joe
     
  11. anesthetic

    anesthetic
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    I finally got a chance to try it out today. Conclusion; 4K HDR 4:4:4 has officially phased out keystone plates lol. Now, I have to run the HDMI from the receiver straight to the TV... and I'm lucky because in this case, it's running through the Samsung one connect box. And because my tv is on the wall, it still makes a relatively clean installation with just one cable hanging down.
     
  12. simonblue

    simonblue
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    Most of the cables i have been using are quite old Oppo ones,their are quite thick but had no problems running anything in my setup.
    4K HDR 4:4:4 :)
     

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