THX have announced a new 4K interconnect certification program designed for HDMI cables capable of supporting HDMI 2.0 bandwidth requirements and beyond. THX testing is designed to complement that of HDMI Authorized Testing Centers and only products that satisfy HDMI compliance requirements are eligible for the new certification. The THX program includes two testing tracks designed for passive or active cable types.
“The need for this program arose when our video engineers began evaluating new 4K televisions. Part of our testing process is a plug-fest of sorts where we test compatibility between different source devices in various configurations. In this testing we discovered that common cables, which perform flawlessly with HD content, begin demonstrating faults when attempting to pass our higher bandwidth 4K test material,” said Mike Del Santo, THX Certification Testing Manager. This discovery led THX to launch a program focused on identifying the current and future capabilities of HDMI cables and their potential effects on 4K entertainment experiences. “Our finding is that a significant portion of HDMI cables available today, specifically in lengths of five meters and greater, can demonstrate faults when passing high bandwidth content such as 4K 60fps.”
The functional lifespan of an HDMI cable should exceed that of 10 years. Future Ultra-high resolution content with no Chroma subsampling will require an HDMI cable to support a bandwidth of up to 6 Gbps per channel. Under the 4K interconnect program, THX will certify cables as fulfilling the performance requirements of 3 Gbps per channel (Level 3) or 6 Gbps per channel (Level 6).
Each cable will need to pass approximately 75 THX laboratory tests that span not only electrical and communication protocol performance, but also mechanical integrity and interoperability. Specialized testing equipment and processes are designed to make certain that cables have absolutely zero effect on picture and audio quality. This not only helps to guarantee that viewers experience content in its truest form, but also ensures THX Certified cables will be compatible with future content delivered in years to come. HDMI cable replacement is an especially significant concern in custom installations where long in-wall runs can make replacement challenging.
The first company to offer THX Certified 4K HDMI cables is the Australian based brand, Kordz. Kordz will introduce two THX Certified cable lines at CES 2015 – the THX Level 3 Certified R.3 line and the THX Level 6 Certified EVS line.
“As a company we are dedicated to designing HDMI solutions that can be counted on – no exceptions. We 100% support THX 4K Interconnect certification as it ensures that not only the HDMI standards are met, but that each and every THX Certified cable will perform reliability today, tomorrow and for years to come. As more of our customers install 4K solutions, such assurances become critical – our customers know that installing a Kordz cable means the highest level of reliable performance,” said David Meyer, Founder of Kordz.
Due to the extremely stringent specifications THX expects only a small percentage of current HDMI interconnects to pass certification testing. The company hopes that as cable manufacturers improve their products, the performance requirements mandated by THX today become the industry standard of the future.
For more: THX.