The HDMI Licensing organization launched a voluntary testing program for HDMI cables.
The program intends to certify that cables designated as Premium High-Speed HDMI cables have the 18Gbps throughput necessary to carry the highest quality Ultra HD 4K signals available according to the HDMI 2.0a specification.
The certified cables will carry the Premium High-Speed HDMI designation, and their packaging will carry a sticker with a QR code and non-duplicable hologram to signify certification. An app will be available for manufacturers, retailers, consumers and others in the supply chain to scan the QR code to verify certification.
HDMI Licensing will exhibit at the CEDIA Expo to outline its plans.
“We’re not seeing issues yet because content isn’t yet pushing HDMI cables to their limit,” said Jeff Park, HDMI Licensing’s senior product manager. FullHD 1080p content at 60 fps uses up only about half the bandwidth of an 18Gbps cable, he said, “so even if the manufacturing process was bad, you wouldn’t notice because the cables haven’t been pushed to the limit.” Any 4K content at 60 fps or with 4:4:4 pixel encoding will push an 18Gbps cable to the max, he said. Although such content hasn’t been available yet, he said, “we want to be proactive before it becomes an issue.”
The designation will also ensure the cables carry a wide color gamut and High Dynamic Range (HDR) content.
“With rapid growth of feature-rich, 4K/Ultra HD content, it’s critical that all components in a 4K/Ultra HD HDMI-connected system are fully capable of delivering on the experience,” Parks added. The program will “give consumers absolute peace of mind.”
Cable-manufacturer participants will be allowed to brand certified cables as Premium High Speed HDMI Cables or Premium High Speed HDMI Cables with Ethernet.
Three cable tiers: These cables will take their place beside cables designated as Standard Speed cables, capable of 2.23Gbps speeds, and High Speed cable, capable of 10.2Gbps speeds with HDMI 1.4 connections and 18Gbps speeds with HDMI 2.0a connections.
Although Premium High Speed cable will also support the 10.2Gbps and 18Gbps speeds, Premium certification “provides extra assurance with additional testing and counterfeit protection that goes beyond existing High Speed HDMI cables,” Park told TWICE.
Certified cables could be available to consumers as early as the first quarter, and perhaps sooner, HDMI Licensing said.
The tests, conducted at HDMI-authorized test centers, will also test 18Gbps cable for generating electromagnetic interference (EMI). Though government entities worldwide require EMI tests, HDMI Licensing will raise the bar to minimize electronic emissions that could interfere with cellphones, Wi-Fi and other wireless products, the group said.