HDMI Licensing wants to make sure consumers’ HDMI cables aren’t too crappy for 4K UHD video

by on October 7, 2015

Stephan Jukic – October 07, 2015

HDMI Licensing, LLC, founded by Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, Thomson and Toshiba as THE licensing vehicle for the HDMI standard, is setting up to launch a new certification program that ensures consumers who buy themselves a new HDMI cable will be getting their hands on the best possible connectivity for the best possible viewing experience.

The program applies particularly to high-speed cables such as those of the 4K-capable HDMI 2.0 standard and its successors that have been designed for HDR capacity and other additional video specs.

Currently, finding HDMI cables which support 4K ultra HD resolution is definitely not difficult but not all cables are created the same and many manufacturers are apparently putting out sub-par product that simply doesn’t transfer the high data video loads of 4K consistently enough to ensure a smooth flow of footage at a solid 50 to 60 frames per second. This applies especially to longer cables.

Thus, the new program by HDMI Licensing is aimed squarely at ensuring that all consumers can quickly know when they’re buying quality HDMI cables which have the full approval of the parent organization behind this video transfer technology.

More specifically, the organization simply wants to get rid of all phony cables on the market over a certain period of time by applying an anti-counterfeit labeling system to only the cables they’ve approved themselves.

This labelling system will include additional product testing, proper certification and give assurances to not just consumers but also retailers and electronic accessory distributors that the cables they sell are the best possible kind. The intent of this program is also to raise consumer awareness of this new certification and testing regime so that market pressure is applied to those who sell HDMI connection technology.

Manufacturers of HDMI cables will have to submit their particular products to an Authorized Test Center (ATC) belonging to HDMI Licensing Inc and the main procedure at these test centers will be to ensure that all submitted cables are capable of supporting a solid, consistent 18Bbps of bandwidth, the core spec of the HDMI 2.0 standard. This translates out to a cable that can handle 4K ultra HD video at a frame rate which consistently sits between 50 and 60 frames per second and also offers high dynamic range as well as EMI levels adequate for assorted environmental conditions in 4K TVs, PC monitors and other devices.

The new HDMI Licensing sticker for "HDMI Premium Certified Cable" quality.

The new HDMI Licensing sticker for “HDMI Premium Certified Cable” quality.

Finally, all those cables from assorted licensed manufacturers which do pass the ATC’s testing process will be labeled as a “HDMI Premium Certified Cable” with a distinct and forgery or tamper-proof holographic sticker that assures their quality.

This will make all premium HDMI cables distinct from standard generic versions which have not been submitted to the testing.

In a further tech savvy twist, HDMI Licensing will also release a mobile app that consumers and retailers can download for free and use to verify if the cables they have in their hands are the real thing or not.

According  to Rob Tobias, president of HDMI Licensing, “as they upgrade their equipment, consumers expect to fully enjoy the 4K Ultra HD features that the HDMI Specification  enables” Thus, his organization, which is behind HDMI technology, wants to do everything possible to deliver this “peace of mind”.

We can expect the new cables to hit the shelves in early 2016. They’re going to cost a bit more than your usual generic HDMI 2.0 package but the testing should make that worthwhile, especially for users who need guaranteed maximal bandwidth in their connections.

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  • MrSatyre
    October 7, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Um, what? The HDMI spec does not include anything over 3 meters, and the cables’ pin configuration hasn’t changed since Day 1, so longer cables and so-called “highs-speed” cable authentication is pure marketing bullsh*t. The chips in the sync and source devices are what matters for audio and video, not the cables, per se. Are all cables created equal? As pointed out in the article, emphatically no. But all this testing is going to accomplish is a) confirm that quality cables from ANY manufacturer and ANY prior year or decade will be able to handle any and all audio and video formats that fit within the physical bandwidth limitations of HDMI, and b) that longer cables will require baluns to push higher and higher bit rates over longer distances.


    • Reallynotnick
      October 7, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6a all have the same pinoutputs but have very different speeds. I honestly don’t know what you’re getting all upset about.


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