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THX Launches HDMI-Cable Certification

San Francisco – THX developed a certification program for HDMI 2.0 and up cables to ensure the cables pass through 4K content without affecting picture or audio quality.

Two lines of Kordz cables are the first to get certification and will be introduced at International CES.

THX said its testing complements testing by HDMI-authorized testing centers, and that only cables that satisfy HDMI compliance requirements will be eligible for THX certification. The company, however, said it expects “only a small percentage of current HDMI interconnects to pass certification testing” because of THX’s “extremely stringent specifications.”

THX certification will not only help “guarantee that viewers experience content in its truest form but also ensures THX-certified cables will be compatible with future content delivered in years to come,” the company said.

THX said it discovered the need for cable certification when it began evaluating new 4K televisions. During compatibility tests between different source and 4K TVs, THX “discovered that common cables, which perform flawlessly with HD content, begin demonstrating faults when attempting to pass our higher bandwidth 4K test material,” said certification testing manager Mike Del Santo. In further research, the company concluded “that a significant portion of HDMI cables available today, specifically in lengths of five meters and greater, can demonstrate faults when passing high-bandwidth content such as 4K 60 fps,” Del Santo said.

Under THX’s 4K interconnect program, the company will certify cables as fulfilling the performance requirements of 3Gbps per channel (Level 3) or 6Gbps per channel (Level 6) data rates. Future ultra-high resolution content with no chroma subsampling will require HDMI cables to support a bandwidth of up to 6Gbps per channel, he noted.

The cables will have to pass around 75 laboratory tests that cover electrical and communication-protocol performance as well as mechanical integrity and interoperability, the company said.

The tests will ensure that cables “have absolutely zero effect on picture and audio quality” as well as guarantee that certified cables “will be compatible with future content delivered in years to come,” the company said. The latter point is of “significant concern” in custom installations in which long in-wall cable runs make replacement difficult.

Kordz’s THX-certified 4K HDMI cables consist of the THX Level 3-certified R.3 line and the THX Level 6-certified EVS line.