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HDMI Labeling Requirements Promise a Stew of Confusion

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the thick-viscous-stew dept.

Networking 396

An anonymous reader writes "In many ways HDMI has revolutionized the way we connect devices. By unifying video and audio into a single cable manufacturers have been able to make their products easier to set up than ever before. Until recently there hasn't actually been much difference in HDMI cables. But things are about to get confusing with the introduction of HDMI 1.4. By the 1st of January 2012 manufacturers of products with HDMI ports won't actually be able to call HDMI 1.4 by its real name. In fact, come November 18 this year those selling cables won't be able to use HDMI 1.4 or HDMI 1.3 to delineate between different products. Instead cables that support version 1.4 of the HDMI standard will have to use one of five different labels. The new labels? Well, as this story explains, they're going to cause a new level of confusion for anyone hooking up a home cinema. Add to this the fact that the HDMI organisation keeps the details of its specifications secret, and translation between version numbering and marketing-speak will be well nigh impossible."

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396 comments

My only question is... (5, Funny)

boneclinkz (1284458) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073080)

Will my $600 gold-plated monster superconductor cable support the new standards?

Re:My only question is... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33073290)

Why take the chance. Just buy the new $800 version and you'll be good to go!

8-)

Re:My only question is... (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074226)

>>>>>Will my $600 gold-plated monster superconductor cable support the new standards?
>>
>>Why take the chance. Just buy the new $800 version and you'll be good to go!

And...

I'm done. The HDTV and Bluray player is going on Ebay. I can't keep up (or afford) all these constantly changing standards. I'll get my entertainment an easier and cheaper way (dusts off the books & old black-and-white tv). Maybe it's time to learn some open source programming too. I work cheap (minimum wage).

Re:My only question is... (3, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073372)

No, but using your computer with a FOSS OS to watch video and a decent p2p setup will render them irrelevant. It's called "opting out of being ripped off". Until Big Media shows a little respect, that's what they deserve because they set it up so that either they steal from you, you steal from them, or you do without. Fuck them.

Re:My only question is... (-1, Offtopic)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073676)

I see some **AA asslicker got mod points again...

Re:My only question is... (4, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074068)

Or maybe just someone who actually knows what HDMI is?

Hint: It's got nothing to do with HDCP, which is what you're bitching about. HDCP is DRM on the video signal, and it works just as well over plain old DVI as HDMI.

So when I plug my laptop (with a FOSS OS and a decent p2p setup) into my external monitor, why should I deal with all the extra pins and thumb screws and sheer bulkiness of a DVI cable, compared with the convenience of HDMI? For me, HDMI is basically DVI in a better form factor.

Re:My only question is... (4, Insightful)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074118)

No, but using your computer with a FOSS OS to watch video and a decent p2p setup will render them irrelevant. It's called "opting out of being ripped off". Until Big Media shows a little respect, that's what they deserve because they set it up so that either they steal from you, you steal from them, or you do without. Fuck them.

You mean the computer I have that has a $5 HDMI cable running between my computer and monitor?

Wait, how is HDMI irrelevant again?

Re:My only question is... (4, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073858)

My friend, $600 will buy you a lot, but a cable that works with the newest HDMI standards it will not. May I interest you in our $1200 version? It's twice the pri.. quality. And in case you want higher quality YouTube videos, we've got the amazing Denon AK-DL1 [denon.com] Ethernet cable. It will sharpen your web-browsing experience, and make it run faster.

Re:My only question is... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33074166)

I think that Denon cable is even better than my now previous favorite, - Best buy sells a fiber optic patch cord with gold connectors to enhance signal quality. Wow.

Re:My only question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33074216)

wow, that cable is amazing $499 for a f*cking $2 ethernet cable.

Re:My only question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33073944)

Sorry mate, new HDMI standards will call for wireless cables.

Re:My only question is... (4, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074168)

No. Using cables labeled "HDMI 1.3" instead of "Standard Speed" will result in rounded harmonics on the peak voicing pressures of cross-coupled sound space reproductions.

The new cables are made with labelling technology that accesses the uppermost reaches of gullibility distortion, ensuring that your credulous experience is the highest quality known to science.

The waiting list is open, and financing is available.

why not REALLY simple? (2, Insightful)

Polo (30659) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073092)

Why not just name them HDMI 1 and HDMI 2?
(or HDMI 3, etc)

Re:why not REALLY simple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33073396)

Numbers are HARD, man.

Re:why not REALLY simple? (3, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073432)

Because people could actually understand it, and then buy just what they need.

Re:why not REALLY simple? (4, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073652)

You joke, but check this from TFA:

The specifics are outlined in a 38 page document on the HDMI website. At the most basic level cables are split into 'Standard' and 'High Speed' versions. Standard cables are tested to support video up to 720p/1080i. High Speed cables on the other hand are tested to 1080p resolution. Within these categories come the inevitable subcategories. Standard is split three ways into Standard HDMI Cable, Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet and Standard Automotive HDMI cable. High Speed Cables come in two versions - High Speed HDMI Cable and High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet.

Oh noes, how are we possibly going to be able to tell which cable to buy? :0

With the exception of "Standard Automotive HDMI cable" they all seem rather good, self explanatory names to me. Much better names than just "HDMI 1.4 cable" anyway. Besides, the packaging probably will still say HDMI 1.4 somewhere..?

Re:why not REALLY simple? (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074014)

With the exception of "Standard Automotive HDMI cable" they all seem rather good, self explanatory names to me. Much better names than just "HDMI 1.4 cable" anyway. Besides, the packaging probably will still say HDMI 1.4 somewhere..?

I agree that the names are relatively self-explanatory... Even the automotive one seems pretty clear to me - if it isn't going in a car you probably don't want that cable.

But it seems like there's some redundancy and un-necessary detail. If "high speed" cables are tested up to 1080p resolution, they ought to work for lower resolutions as well, right? So why not just make that the new standard? If you make an HDMI cable, test it to that standard, and you know it'll work with pretty much anything.

The confusion isn't really going to come from the label, so much as the different types of cable available.

Say you buy a new TV, get it home, discover you need a cable to plug it in. So you go back out to the store. You know you need an HDMI cable because it says "HDMI" all over your TV and BD-player/DVR/receiver/whatever. But then you get to the aisle where the cables are and you see four different kinds of HDMI cables. Did you need a high speed HDMI cable? What resolution were you going to run your TV at? What's the highest resolution your receiver can output? Do you need ethernet with your HDMI cable?

Sure, your average geek probably has a good idea what the answer is to all that... But your average consumer probably doesn't. They just know they need an HDMI cable.

Re:why not REALLY simple? (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074192)

You joke, but check this from TFA:

The specifics are outlined in a 38 page document on the HDMI website. At the most basic level cables are split into 'Standard' and 'High Speed' versions. Standard cables are tested to support video up to 720p/1080i. High Speed cables on the other hand are tested to 1080p resolution. Within these categories come the inevitable subcategories. Standard is split three ways into Standard HDMI Cable, Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet and Standard Automotive HDMI cable. High Speed Cables come in two versions - High Speed HDMI Cable and High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet.

Oh noes, how are we possibly going to be able to tell which cable to buy? :0

With the exception of "Standard Automotive HDMI cable" they all seem rather good, self explanatory names to me. Much better names than just "HDMI 1.4 cable" anyway. Besides, the packaging probably will still say HDMI 1.4 somewhere..?

Of course they could just have one specification for a cable that promises to do all those things like before.

Good start - but needs a minor tweak. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073520)

HDMI.001
HDMI.002 ...
HDMI.999

There, you're good for 999 versions and the names easily sort.

Back to the topic, just buy whatever cable, cut the bag open and if it doesn't work ... RETURN IT TO THE STORE FOR A REFUND.

The store will try to re-sell it ... but which of the regular customers are going to buy a cable when it is obviously rejected by someone else.

So, eventually, the store will try to return them to the manufacture for a refund.

That's when the manufacturers can put pressure to get the label restrictions fixed.

Re:Good start - but needs a minor tweak. (1)

Dogers (446369) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073998)

Back to the topic, just buy whatever cable, cut the bag open and if it doesn't work ... RETURN IT TO THE STORE FOR A REFUND.

Which they probably won't accept as it's not in re-saleable condition! :o

Re:Good start - but needs a minor tweak. (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074126)

999 model numbers aren't a bad start.

But don't forget to take a page out of the book of CPU manufacturers where a higher model number doesn't necessarily have to mean that it's better. Wouldn't want customers to make sense of what model they have to buy unless they've memorized the list of current versions and their background.

Re:Good start - but needs a minor tweak. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074128)

Depends what you mean by "work" -- for example, I want my HDMI cables to support 1080p, even if I only use it for a 1080i signal right now. I don't want to have to take it back years later, when I try to plug it into a different source.

Re:why not REALLY simple? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073626)

Probably because the connectors haven't changed, only the functionality (and the internals of the cables)

Wow... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073106)

Why are all the old jokes about IBM marketing flooding into my mind?

Re:Wow... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073402)

Why are all the old jokes about IBM marketing flooding into my mind?

Well, I don't know about IBM, but this reminds me why I've been treating all forms of HD as "in a constant state of change" since about 1999.

The fact of the matter is, it seems like every two years something comes along which becomes incompatible with all previous incarnations of HD.

Hell, as far as I recall, HDMI was the one that locked down everything with DRM and would no longer work with older devices.

The technologies are changing so fast as to make it a pointless (and expensive) exercise to invest in any of this stuff. I'm glad I'm still running the same amp and TV I've had for almost a decade and never invested in any of this stuff. It's a friggin' moving target.

Re:Wow... (5, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074204)

Hell, as far as I recall, HDMI was the one that locked down everything with DRM and would no longer work with older devices.

Please, please stop spreading this bullshit, and start correcting people when they repeat it.

How hard is it to tell the difference between HDMI and HDCP?

HDMI -- DVI plus audio, maybe plus ethernet, in a neater form factor.
HDCP -- encrypted video signal, which works over DVI just as well as over HDMI.

If you're currently using DVI instead of HDMI because you're afraid of the DRM, you're a moron. Again: It's just DVI which is easier to plug in. It doesn't do DRM unless your video card, OS, and monitor all agree to do so.

I'm sorry if I'm overreacting, but EVERY FUCKING SLASHDOT ARTICLE that mentions HDMI, there's at least two people who confuse it with HDCP. That's like refusing to buy a DVD burner for backup because you're afraid of DRM on DVDs.

Remember kids (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073118)

Unless you are doing a permanent wall installation, if you spend more than $10-$15 on an HDMI cable, you got Effed in the A!

Re:Remember kids (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33073180)

monoprice.com, the saver of dollars.

Re:Remember kids (5, Funny)

boneclinkz (1284458) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073266)

I once feigned ignorance (not much of a feat for me, in most things) and asked a Best Buy employee what was better about the $100 HDMI cables. He said two things that I thought were amazing*.

1) My Playstation3 was not going to look as good on the $20 cable, because all the colors could not go through the cheaper cable fast enough.

2) The more expensive cable uses a better conductor metal for "better frequency".

*I don't really fault an employee that's making $8 an hour with no commission for talking out his ass, I just thought this was funny.

Re:Remember kids (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33073448)

...he colors could not go through the cheaper cable fast enough.

Did you ask him what the speed of unladen European colors are through the cheaper cabling?

Re:Remember kids (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073664)

I don't really fault an employee that's making $8 an hour with no commission for talking out his ass, I just thought this was funny.

I don't fault him, but as soon as one of them lies to me out of either ignorance or greed, that is when I tell them to leave me alone.

If you know it's a lie, get away from me. If you don't know it's a lie, you're not qualified to help me shop for it.

If you insist I buy the cables that give you the extra commission, I'll cancel the whole damned sale.

Re:Remember kids (2, Informative)

saider (177166) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073876)

Don't forget the all important "playing games" category where retailers try to come up with the most outlandish explanations for the premium widgets and compare stories in the breakroom. I understand it stems from the unending boredom of the job.

I'm surprised more of these are not on YouTube.

Re:Remember kids (-1, Flamebait)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073484)

The most expensive cable I can find, WireWorld Platinum Starlight [wireworldcable.com], legend has it costs a thousand bucks a meter, boasts of, "carbon fiber connectors and 24 solid silver conductors in the DNA Helix design, to deliver the richest sonic textures and the most tactile images that the finest A/V systems can produce." It's not just twisted pair, it's "patent-pending DNA Helix cable design, which has 24 conductors – double that of conventional HDMI cables – arranged in an innovative symmetrical geometry that reduces noise while providing a precisely balanced 100-ohm impedance at every point along the cable’s length. These advantages minimize the timing errors known as digital jitter and the resulting data corruption, to produce amazing improvements in sound and image quality". Not only that, but "Common lengths of Platinum Starlight HDMI cable are capable of transfer rates above 30 Gigabits per second, far exceeding the HDMI v1.4 High Speed with Ethernet specification of 10.2 Gigabits per second. These extraordinary cables reveal an astonishing new dimension of acoustic and visual detail, bringing music, film and sporting events to life in your home."

Bwahahahahah. Can you imagine being invited to your gay boss' party and trying to keep a straight face while he explains why his A/V system is so much better than everyone elses.

In my experience... (4, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073692)

...there's no reason to think that gays are stupider than anyone else, and since they comprise a minority of the population, said boss, while undoubtedly stupid, is probably straight.

Perhaps some day you will be able to apply that same intellect that allows you to detect snake oil in audio gear to the snake oil in sexual bigotry.

Re:Remember kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33073730)

Reminds me of the Mapleshade Isobase. [ultrahighendforum.com] That's some funny stuff right there.

isn't that the point? (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073128)

Confuse customers so the only guidance they have is the price. "Well, it's more expensive so it has to be better!" Once you get consumers thinking that, they're easy pickings. Oops. I should have sugar-coated that with some intellectual discourse to obscure that simple truth... Oh well.

Re:isn't that the point? (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073272)

Only if they get to the shop in the first place. Otherwise apathy will ensure this generation of connectors gets skipped.

Re:isn't that the point? (4, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073808)

Once again a Slashdot summary designed to rage or amuse, yet the names are... wait for it....

Standard HDMI Cable
Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet
Standard Automotive HDMI cable
High Speed HDMI Cable
High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet

Standard cables are tested to support video up to 720p/1080i.

High Speed are tested to 1080p resolution.

How can anyone complain about that? It isn't any more complicated than Standard vs HD, though admittedly some people won't know what ethernet means. I don't know what the difference with the automotive cable is either, but I assume that the High Speed with Ethernet would work for all needs.

How hard was it (2, Informative)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073138)

> By unifying video and audio into a single cable manufacturers have been able to make their products easier to set up than ever before.

Seriously how hard was it to hook up the $2 three color coded RCA jacks?

Re:How hard was it (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073174)

That depends. If you're asking the "average" consumer, the answer would be "very!"

Re:How hard was it (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073368)

When talking about just 1, maybe 2 things connecting to your tv or receiver composite video plus audio wasn't a big deal, once you had several it gets messy. With component video it gets even messier. Granted, they weren't difficult to work with, just ugly and messy.

Re:How hard was it (2, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073748)

  • They're behind the gear
  • You only fool with them at install time
  • It's *really* not a problem
  • HDCP, on the other hand, is REALLY a problem

Re:How hard was it (4, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073374)

Depends. Do you have a nice setup, or are you reaching your arm in back of your A/V equipment trying to do things by feel? Avoiding the need to pull out the components to actually look at them (since you can't do color by feel, obviously), is a reasonably nice benefit.

Re:How hard was it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33073702)

Have you ever actually tried to hook up a "D" shaped connector blind? There's no way to know if you're doing it right, or if it's upside down and you're damageing something by forcing it.

As crappy as RCA's are for ensuring good contact pressure, there's no way to plug them in the wrong orientation. If you just look upthe order of the plugs, they're simple to connect without seeing.

Re:How hard was it (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074156)

And if you accidentally plug the green cable into the red jack, the errors will show up in your video signal. Depending on how your equipment handles it, you may get strange colors, or a blue screen, or...

Re:How hard was it (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073860)

how easy is it to feel the direction of a HDMI connection? now try it with sata....

Re:How hard was it (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073492)

> By unifying video and audio into a single cable manufacturers have been able to make their products easier to set up than ever before.

Seriously how hard was it to hook up the $2 three color coded RCA jacks?

It's not hard to hook up three cables but wouldn't you agree it's easier to hook up a single cable instead?

Re:How hard was it (0, Troll)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074176)

> By unifying video and audio into a single cable manufacturers have been able to make their products easier to set up than ever before.

Seriously how hard was it to hook up the $2 three color coded RCA jacks?

3 RCA jacks? Sure, if you want analog video and analog 2.0 audio.

Meanwhile, the rest of us moved to cables that offer us digital video and digital 5.1-7.1 audio.

Which one will work - most expensive (3, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073154)

Welcome to marketing ploy 101.

There are a myrad of confusing options. The only real solution is the really high end that does everything costs the most. Anything else is "it might work". It can also be sold with the "you are going to get the 4K TV someday arn't you?" approach.

There is only one solution and it will cost the consumer. It was planed that way.
Are we surprised ?

Re:Which one will work - most expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33073806)

I'm only surprised it lasted this long before there was a near complete lock on the A/V signal path combined with disinformation to fleece the consumer out of more money that needed.

That said, I've nothing to fear from this. I'm perfectly content with DVD-quality (or less) and mp3's sound fine to me. I neither need nor want the oversaturated colors and artificially sharpened mess of overcompressed HD video. I refuse to be told what I should watch and how to watch it. I'd rather switch all the crap off anyway.

Give me the soft glow of a decades old tube radio and I'm golden...

No problem (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073186)

The audiophool industry will have the exact cables you need ..... for $1800 per 3 foot cable.

Re:No problem (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073510)

The audiophool industry will have the exact cables you need ..... for $1800 per 3 foot cable.

Only $1800? That can't be a good cable! I guess it doesn't even have color-specific gold plating!

Re:No problem (1)

Flea of Pain (1577213) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073950)

Please, my cable is so good that it has it's own gold connector for the R,G, and B colors. You know they won't get mixed up on the way to the TV that way!

People will just buy what works ... (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073206)

... and ignore the rest.

Negative word-of-mouth (and painful difficulties) will separate the wheat from the chaff. The solutions that work well will survive. So has it been, so shall it be. The invisible hand may not always work as we wish, but it can still slap down the business models that suck.

Re:People will just buy what works ... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073440)

... and ignore the rest.

Negative word-of-mouth (and painful difficulties) will separate the wheat from the chaff. The solutions that work well will survive. So has it been, so shall it be. The invisible hand may not always work as we wish, but it can still slap down the business models that suck.

Really? So how come there's so many people on /. making a tidy living out of tidying up after software which should never have been conceived, let alone sold - and have been doing so for years?

Re:People will just buy what works ... (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073642)

> The invisible hand may not always work as we wish, but it can still slap
> down the business models that suck.

Unfortunately it is often handcuffed by government (with patents, in this case).

happens every time (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073214)

Guess that's just the way it is in the world where engineering, marketing, standards and proprietary information overlap - same confusing labels as USB with 'full speed' being much slower than 'high speed' etc.

Anyway, this'll keep audio/video geeks in business, we don't want just anybody hooking up components successfully without working at at, jeesh.

Somebody at Monster Cable... (5, Funny)

Petersko (564140) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073228)

...just jizzed all over his monitor.

Re:Somebody at Monster Cable... (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073662)

Yeah, probably the CFO.

Re:Somebody at Monster Cable... (4, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074092)

Monster doesn't have a CFO. CFOs are for companies that have a chance of a negative unit margin on a product. Monster just has a shovel and a vault.

revolutionized how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33073274)

I still don't have a single HDMI device

There are differences in cables (4, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073302)

I used to have an old cheap HDMI cable I bought off of newegg that I used for my old TV and it worked fine. When I upgraded to a new Samsung TV, it worked for picture, but not for audio. At first I thought the TV was defective. So I tried another cable of the same type (I had bought them both at the same time) and got the same results--picture was fine but no audio. But when I tried out a newer, more expensive cable it suddenly worked fine. So, while I don't advocate spending big $ on ridiculously overpriced Monster cables, there apparently is a difference between some HDMI cables, at least for some TV's (maybe Samsungs are especially finicky).

Re:There are differences in cables (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33073434)

just three words

blue jean cables

These guys got into a fight with monster some time ago. BJ won. Monster cables are good. However they are also WAY overpriced.

Re:There are differences in cables (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33073450)

I have encountered HDMI cables with defective plugs ... the cable is fine most likely otherwise.

Re:There are differences in cables (4, Informative)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073936)

Blue Jeans Cable [bluejeanscable.com] is an excellent source of HDMI cables, and information. That link will actually lead to their slightly less than reverant overview on HDMI which is quite informative.

For less information and more cabling, go here instead [bluejeanscable.com].

I do not work for or have any association with the above except that they sent me excellent cables as ordered for a good price and had excellent pre-sales customer service via E-mail.

Re:There are differences in cables (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33074080)

Same experiment here with my 2010 samsung, old HDMI cables from Newegg, no issues at all.

HDBaseT (3, Informative)

ekimd (968058) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073306)

Looks like we'll just have to adopt the HDBaseT [wikipedia.org] spec instead.

Re:HDBaseT (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073740)

The problem, is that HDMI requires 10 Gb/s, which is only barely do-able on Cat6. But I like where this is going. Basically, all we should really need is a network cable with extra shielding, so that we can have the high transfer rates. That way, we can make our own cables, and we can also use a standard connector that in the future can accommodate even higher transfer rates.

That's odd (1)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073478)

It's almost as if they're deliberately trying to confuse customers, to get them to buy the wrong cable twice and then pay Geek Squad $130 an hour to explain to them which cable to use and how to set it up probably.

But that would be crazy.

Meh... (1, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073528)

I refuse to own any HD-enabled TVs & etc. HD is simply the shiny bauble to get people to adopt a system that is controlled by those other than the consumer purchasers of the equipment in order to plug the "analog hole", further raise barriers to entry for non-corporate/non-approved content & equipment producers, and overall extract more money from consumers.

It's not a video/audio standard so much as a revenue and business model protection & expansion scheme.

Strat

I will continue using my standard approach (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073538)

Why not just buy the cheapest one you can, see if it works, and move up only if necessary? Marketing fog will always try to wring more money out of you (in ANY consumer product area), but it only will if you let it. HDMI is no different; if the plug fits then it will almost always work, if not there is probably a special case, and a Google search will resolve your problem in less than 5 minutes.

I'm sorry, this is "complex?" (1)

yenne (1366903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073568)

What's so hard to understand about "Standard", "Standard with Ethernet", "High Speed", "High Speed with Ethernet", etc? Honestly, this makes a lot more sense to me than 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, gold plated, nickel shielded, and all the impenetrable techno-babble currently in use.

I often hear fellow customers ask whether they really need that platinum reinforced quad shielded $80 cable, because they're not sure what those features actually add to a digital signal. I'd love to lean over and help them, but honestly I haven't got a clue either. I buy mine for $8 from Amazon and have never had a problem.

Sounds to me like these new labels will clearly indicate what types of signals each cable is certified to carry. Instead of asking "do I need gold plating," customers can zero in on "do I need high speed? Ethernet?" Maybe someone with more experience in the matter can explain to me how this is not a win.

Re:I'm sorry, this is "complex?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33073892)

Yeah, I'm sure my mom and other non-techies in the family will find with completely clear. Not.

Re:I'm sorry, this is "complex?" (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074158)

What's more, whoever wrote that article knows less than he claims to. For example, Thinking that 4k2k means "4K x 2K" and " is used in engineering (and the resolution supported by Youtube) and technical documents". All the while not even considering that 4kx2k would be a 2:1 aspect ratio, which is used by noone. 4k2k means 4k OR 2k, being images with a horizontal resolutiuon of 4000 and 2000 respectively.
Later on, he mentions "Not only that, the high speed cable is labelled as perfect for high definition games consoles. This is in spite of the fact that the Xbox 360 and PS3 have been out for nearly five and four years respectively, well before the High Speed HDMI specification came into effect.". The PS3 for one has been continuously updated from HDMI 1 at release, to it's current state of HDMI 1.4 (in order to output 3DHD).
Finally, " Add to this the fact that the HDMI organisation keeps the specifics of its specifications secret". What? The specifications are published once completed, that's the entire point. If they didn't make them available, nobody could comply with them.

hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33073576)

Well, when i purchased my 1080p tv and home theater maybe 2 years ago, I mistakenly got a standard cable, rated for 720p, and let me tell you, it doesn't support 1080p at all. It works, indeed it works, but if you check the configs, it's not running 1080p.

Went through a few different cables before i settled on the ps3 branded ones and haven't looked back since.

but for this article to state that all hdmi support 1080p is just flat wrong. They work, but if they don't say 1080p, more than likely it's 1080i or 720p at most.

HDMI has become, and will become, such a head ache that I yearn for the simple yellow is video, red and white are audio, setup of yesteryear.

Re:hmmm (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074102)

If you had to go in and check some configs to see if it was doing 720p or 1080p, then why does it even matter?

Good idea with poor execution. (4, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073580)

The five grades listed make sense. Standard Speed and High Speed with and without Ethernet (total of 4 combos of those two) and the Automotive cable.

However the other stuff is poorly executed, like the "4K" rule. And do they have any rules on putting arbitrary meaningless bandwidth numbers on their cables like the example in the article and Monster? Any number that exceeds the bandwidth actually used by HDMI is meaningless, but manufacturers still stick crazy numbers on their cables anyway.

Manufacturers should be permitted:
To state which version of the HDMI spec they are compliant to, or very clearly defined capabilities (such as High Speed-No Ethernet)
To give specific physical properties of their cable's construction such as wire gauge and connector plating materials

They should NOT be permitted:
To advertise any electrical performance numbers that exceed the requirements of the defined HDMI specification, as these numbers are irrelevant to all users.

Closed captions, hello? (5, Interesting)

awtbfb (586638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073594)

I can live with confusing names if they get around to supporting closed captioning data like they are supposed to. They misinterpreted the legal requirements for closed captioning as it being something which is handled by set-top boxes rather than TVs and elected to not transmit the data. HDMI's own FAQ makes this position clear [hdmi.org]. However, the law is quite clear that the TVs are required to render captions. Unfortunately, people use devices other than set-top boxes to push content to the TV. If you need captioning, you can't use HDMI with Blu-ray disc players or other devices.

And what will future versions be called? (2, Insightful)

Confuse Ed (59383) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073668)

In a few years presumably some even higher bandwidth specification will come along - no problem if they used version-numbers, but once you have labelled the first generation "standard" and the current generation "High Speed" what're you going to be left with to use next and not end up looking stupid?

"new higher speed", "max speed", "ultimate speed", "super more ultimate than ultimate speed", "I Can't believe its not high speed... speed"?

Re:And what will future versions be called? (5, Funny)

Nkwe (604125) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073720)

In a few years presumably some even higher bandwidth specification will come along - no problem if they used version-numbers, but once you have labelled the first generation "standard" and the current generation "High Speed" what're you going to be left with to use next and not end up looking stupid?

"new higher speed", "max speed", "ultimate speed", "super more ultimate than ultimate speed", "I Can't believe its not high speed... speed"?

Ludicrous Speed

Re:And what will future versions be called? (2, Insightful)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073914)

hmm that sounds familiar... USB anyone?

Re:And what will future versions be called? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33074116)

I-Can't-believe-I'm-not-high speed.
And the cable should be green

Re:And what will future versions be called? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074206)

"Really High Speed"

followed by

"Really, REALLY High Speed"

followed by

"Really, Really, REALLY High Speed -- This time we mean it!"

USB High Speed vs Full speed all over again. (4, Interesting)

EMR (13768) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073766)

It's a good idea to learn from the mistakes of others who like adding confusing naming.

Revolutionized? (2, Informative)

xav_jones (612754) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073836)

Only for Americans. Obviously HDMI is digital but SCART has been a European standard for around three decades, including three channel video. Welcome to 1980!

Seriously? (1)

Adaeniel (1315637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33073902)

This looks like something copied and pasted from some PR bulletin.

In many ways HDMI has revolutionized the way we connect devices. By unifying video and audio into a single cable manufacturers have been able to make their products easier to set up than ever before.

Video and audio have been unified into a single cable for a long, long time. It's called a coaxial cable.

So what are they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33073926)

So what are the requirements? The article says they can't call HDMI 1.4 "HDMI 1.4", but what ARE they supposed to call it. The article mentions High Speed HDMI, is that the same thing?

DRM Crippled Crapware IS NOT Revolutionary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33074016)

If you want a connection that works, kick 'your' Representative/Senator (figuratively) in the nads, and force the FCC to require a REAL standard with an OPEN, PUBLISHED SPECIFICATION which does not support encrypted connections. HDMI is for morons.

Those names are a mistake (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074026)

Calling the currently higher-speed standard "High speed" is going to turn out to have been a mistake when a higher-speed standard appears in the future.

And, as the link referred to in TFA [pcauthority.com.au] points out, "high speed" and "standard speed" don't even come close to suggesting the true applicability space of the cables. Consumers would be far better off if the labelling was required to carry the standard name (HDMI 1.3 or HDMI 1.4 with whatever add-on) and a URI pointing to the standards documentation.

Why do standards bodies continue to make such simple mistakes of relativism? It's not like ISO, ANSI, EIA, etc. haven't been around for decades learning from these mistakes.

In fact, I'd be willing to bet that the meta-standards published by ISO include a statement somewhere not to fall into such traps.

But of course, people who make standards sometimes do so because they don't like reading them...

Um, isn't this actually going backwards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33074130)

From the summary--
In many ways HDMI has revolutionized the way we connect devices. By unifying video and audio into a single cable manufacturers have been able to make their products easier to set up than ever before.

I remember hooking up everything to my tv - antenna, cable box, vcr - with ONE, yes exactly ONE cable. But no, 1 cable wasn't good enough so then we needed pretty red and yellow colors. But then 3 colors weren't enough so then we needed S-Video with it's impossible to connect wire separate from the audio cable. And then component b/c somebody probably wanted the 3 pretty colors back. And then one big black DVI with separate audio, and now finally HDMI.

So say what you will about its picture and sound qualities but do not call a 1 cable set-up either a "revolution" or use the phrase "easier to set up than ever before" unless you are a complete f@cking moron.

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