Jessy Crabb
“Our R&D lead is a working custom installer, so all of the items are fully tested in real–world applications before they get into our dealers’ hands.” - Jessy Crabb

Jessy Crabb, General Manager of Metra Home Theater Group, discussed HDMI® 2.0, Ethereal products, and handling technologies including HDR and HDCP 2.2.

By CE Pro Editors, September 04, 2015

CE Pro went one–on–one with Jessy Crabb, General Manager, of Metra Home Theater Group.

Q. HDMI is moving into the 2.0 specification. How would you assess this transition?

A. We have found that with all the conflicting information in the industry dealers have been left confused and wary, just like with every other revision. Custom installers not only have to worry about making sure the sources and displays are capable of HDMI 2.0, they have to make sure that with double the bandwidth, their cables and accessories will go the distance to make their components work.

Q. How is Ethereal helping dealers make the transition from 1.4 to 2.0 technologies?

A. We focus on dealer training at trade shows, distributor shows and on a one-to-one basis. We provide ongoing, YouTube videos that are a great way for the dealer to keep up to date on the latest technology. We also have regular meetings with DPL Labs to keep both ourselves and our dealers in the know, and our tech support is available seven days a week.
In addition, due to the strict engineering of our HDMI cable products, many of our existing cables in the field are able to support HDMI 2.0 technologies already! We are launching another two-week home theater installer course at our Installer Institute this September. A large portion of this 80-hour course includes the HDMI 1.4 to 2.0 technologies.

Q. How is Ethereal working to ensure its products handle technologies such as High Dynamic Range (HDR) and HDCP 2.2?

A. We work closely with Invisions Technology to keep our engineering team up to the date with the latest technologies and then work with DPL Labs to verify the performance of our digital products. We are very adamant that our product is in fact “our product.” We closely manage the design, testing and manufacturing process of all products in our lineup.
Our R&D lead is (and has been for over 25 years) a working custom installer, so all of the items are fully tested in real-world applications before they get into our dealers’ hands.

Q. What is Ethereal doing to support long cabling runs for these new formats and technologies?

A. Fortunately, Metra Home Theater Group has been involved with DVI and HDMI products since the very beginnings of the digital revolution and had one of the very first product lines certified by DPL Labs. We spend a lot of time and investment to stay ahead of the format changes.
With the introduction of the HDMI 2.0 spec, we started looking at what was needed to support the current version (all current sources/sinks within the 10.2Gbps standard) and the eventual true 18Gbps goal as well. Our Velox cables and passive cable repeater system support HDMI 2.0.

Q. Some dealers may not be aware that Metra offers more than just Ethereal HDMI products; can you briefly summarize these brands and their applicability?

A. The Ethereal brand focuses on HDMI cables, extenders and solution products, analog cables, wall plates, TV mounts and installation accessories. This brand is targeted to custom installers.
EHD by Ethereal focuses on high-performance ultra-thin cables and is only available dealer direct. Helios (formerly Audio Solutions) includes retail packaged HDMI cable and solution products, analog cables, wall plates, TV/projector mounts and the Audio Solution TV wall-mount/processor/ multi-channel amp and speaker system.
Spyclops is video surveillance products, apps and installation accessories. We have found that many of our current customers have and are moving into this category.

Q. What differentiates the EHD line?

A. For EHD, we set a goal of creating the smallest and best performing cable on the market. The result was a very small diameter, high-speed cable that performed to the highest standards by DPL Labs and provided a true 10.2Gbps at any distance between .5 meters and 25 meters.
The second goal was to provide our custom installers with a very high-performance product that was only available from the dealer and not on eBay or Amazon. This protected the dealer and helped us build a trained and well-equipped dealer base.

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