By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Monster announced what the company is hailing as "the world's first and only" speed-rated HDMI cables.
The introduction of cables is being accompanied by a consumer "Need for Speed" education campaign Monster is launching. The company hopes the program will help clear up consumer confusion about the quality differences and benefits of speed-rated HDMI cables.
Monster's line of speed-rated HDMI cables feature five different levels: Standard Speed, High Speed, Advanced High Speed, Ultra High Speed and Ultimate High Speed
As additions to the M Series line, Monster's highest-performance cable will be designated Ultimate High Speed with a model name of M1000 HD. They are certified by Monster to meet speeds greater than 14.93Gbps.
The Ultra High Speed cable are designed for current and future technologies, said Monster, and are certified for speeds greater than 10.2Gbps. Model names for the Ultra High Speed cables are M850 HD, MC 1000HD and U3 V1000 HD. These cables support 1080p video, 12-bit color depth, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD surround sound, and 120Hz frame-refresh rates.
Advanced High Speed cables are engineered for those who want "better performance from today's technologies, such as advanced color and lossless audio." They are used for 1080p video, 12-bit color depth and 60Hz frame-refresh rates. Model names are M650 HD, MC 800HD and U3 V850 HD
High Speed cables can deliver current high-definition picture and sound. Model names are MC 700HD and U3 V600 HD. They are certified for speeds greater than 4.95Gbps for 1080p video, 8-bit color depth and 60Hz frame-refresh rates.
Standard Speed cables are designed to provide entry-level high definition connection for "HDTV buyers on a budget," said the company. They are certified for speeds greater than 2.23Gbps for 720/1080i, 8-bit color depth and 60Hz frame-refresh rates. Model names for the Standard Speed cables are MC 500HD and U3 V500 HD.
All of the cables in the Core, Monster Ultra Home Theater and M Series line will be identified with the Monster Speed Medallion System and Performance Bars on the package. The performance bars will identify cables as to their capability with higher refresh rates, advanced color and other HDMI features.
The 1000 level cable in all lines will carry the company's Cable for Life replacement offer, so if the cable is ever outstripped by the technologies of the displays or sources, Monster will replace the cable at no charge.
Meanwhile, the Need for Speed campaign is designed to educate retail salespeople and consumers, and it will reportedly be offered to every Monster HDMI retailer as part of Monster's M5 attachment selling program.
According to Noel Lee, Head Monster, much of the consumer confusion about HDMI cables stems from the advent of HDMI 1.3 Category 2 standards with even higher speed capabilities than conventional HDMI. Most important to understand, according to Lee in a press release, is that speed is dramatically affected by cable length.
"Consumers and installers alike have many questions about HDMI cables such as 'What speed of cable is necessary for the best of today's video displays and sources?', 'Should I buy the cheapest cables or the highest performance cables?' [and] 'What is the performance of long-length HDMI cables?' People also wonder whether their HDMI cable will have adequate bandwidth for their application, as well as what will be the requirements for higher bandwidth intensive components in the future," said Lee.
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