New programs emerge to certify 4K HDMI cable

The quality of HDMI cables hasn't often been put to the test in environments involving short throws of traditional 1080p high-def video signals. But the stress test increases exponentially for cables designed for the HDMI 2 standard, which accounts for 60-frames-per-second 4K video where high dynamic range is involved, along with thing like high-resolution multichannel audio and Ethernet.

Several organizations are moving into the void of HDMI cable certification. Access to certified HDMI 2.0 cables will be an advantage to installers of video systems, as consumers increasingly purchase 4K/UltraHD TV sets, and pay-TV operators, online video services and programming networks also migrate to the standard.   

HDMI Licensing LCC -- the group responsible for developing and maintaining the high-definition media interface (HDMI) standard for all devices that use high-definition displays -- has announced its "HDMI Premium Certified Cable" program.

The program includes a best-practices design note and an expanded set of cable testing requirements. Under this program, participants will test their HDMI cables at an HDMI authorized testing center to certify that they can reliably support the full 18 Gbps bandwidth of the HDMI 2.0 specification, which is what is typically needed for the most advanced video formats such as 4K/UltraHD, a wide color gamut and High Dynamic Range (HDR).

"With rapid growth of feature-rich 4K/UltraHD content, it's critical that all components in a 4K/UltraHD HDMI-connected system are fully capable of delivering on the experience. That is why we are launching this proactive program to give consumers absolute peace of mind," said Jeff Park, HDMI Licensing for LLC's Technology Evangelist.

Underwriters Laboratory (UL), a well known brand in the business of testing and certifying the safety all kinds of electronic consumer products, is also throwing its hat in the ring. At the CEDIA Expo in September, the UL introduced a new program that not only tests 4K HDMI cables for safety, but for quality, as well. 

With evolving 4K display technology becoming widely accepted in the marketplace, there is growing concern among brand owners, installers, retailers and end-users about the reliability of the data transmission rate through the cable connecting 4K devices," a UL product announcement stated. "It is important to ensure the cable can deliver the transmission performance indicated on its packaging so as to address the need of all stakeholders along the entire supply chain."

For more:
- read this HDMI Licensing press release
- read this Underwriters Laboratory announcement
- read this TechHive story

Related articles:
HEVC Advance patent group might give Netflix, Amazon and other 4K players a break
Akamai: Only 21% of U.S. homes have enough bandwidth to stream 4K
Amazon introduces 4K Fire TV, further extends SVOD's Ultra HD advantage over pay-TV