By C. I. Source

In Part 1 we discussed “In the Beginning”: specs, roadblocks, software, hardware, cables, standards, and more. Now, let’s look Into the Future of HDMI®.

Here is what we will need to do to continue to work:

Now that you are completely flummoxed and plotting your escape from the world of “CI” to a job flipping burgers, how do you salvage your career and start planning for the future? You will do this by looking forward — great scott! For years we wired the world with coax in various forms, from one to six cables per bundle. It worked pretty much every time. Then along came HDMI. We had to switch over to Category X cables to get some distance. At first, it took Cat/X 2 cables, but now we are down to one — or are we? Yes, there are cables that will support the UHD standard of 4K/60, 4:2:0, some even up to 100’. Ethereal Evolv cables are an example and we do have a new “true” 18 Gbps cable in the new Velox series, now shipping.

Most installers still want to install a bulk cable that they can terminate as needed. For this I recommend that they use two RG/6 cables and two Cat/6 Cables. Why two each? Right now SDI 3G (single coax) allows a dealer to push 1080P up to 300+ feet and soon they will be able to support the current UHD standard down that same cable with SDI 12G. However, that will not be enough in just a few years! By adding one more coax on the job site the dealers will be able to use the Dual 12G SDI products that will be introduced to the market soon. The same applies to the Cat/6 cables. HDBaseT may require that we double up on cables and transceivers to carry the needed bandwidth in the future.

I mentioned our new 18 Gbps Velox Cable. This product has been designed and built to go well beyond the existing HDMI 1.4 High Speed Max Cable Spec of 10.2 Gbps* which is the most recent spec available. VELOX UHD cables are now available in lengths of one up to 12 meters and can handle anything the HDMI 2.0 spec can throw at it! VELOX UHD cables are the first-to-market cable line to combine evolutionary design and engineering techniques to support the new generation of HD, Ultra-HD and 4K video applications.

The elephant in the room HDCP 2.2:

HDCP is all content providers are concerned about — and is the most important part of HDMI. It is what protects their intellectual property from theft by copying. HDCP has been with us since the very beginning of HDMI, in fact HDCP is the real reason for HDMI. Over the years, HDCP has gotten more sophisticated and harder, but not impossible, to hack. However, with the introduction of HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, content is fairly secure. It is important to note, despite common thinking, having HDMI 2.0 in your product does NOT guarantee that you will also have HDCP 2.2.

OK, then when will HDCP 2.2 impact your installations? Simple! Anything that switches, processes, distributes, displays or extracts must be HDCP 2.2 if the source is HDCP 2.2. Cables and extenders as a rule are not subject to this rule.

HDMI 2.0 Cables: Who makes them and how much are they?

There is no such animal! HDMI LLC does not have a spec or a test to support any cable technology beyond the current 1.4 High Speed Cable specification.

Does HDMI 2.0 require new cables?

No, HDMI 2.0 will work with existing HDMI cables. Higher bandwidth features, such as 4K@50/60 (2160p) video formats, will require existing high speed HDMI cables (Category 2 cables).

Here is what HDMI states about cables:

So are there any products that exceed this spec?

Yes, yes there are, and as usual we have them.

Our new VELOX UHD cables are the only cable as far as I know that will meet and exceed the 18 Gbps requirement without Eq.

Hopefully this information helped clarify UHD and HDMI 2.0, so that along with Metra Home Theater Group’s technical support and products, you feel more confident with your gear choices and installs.

*Remember that just because it is “high speed cable,” it does not mean it reaches the 10.2 Gbps capability.

So, what do you think? Be sure to send me your questions and any feedback you may have. I’d love to hear from you!