Active HDMI 2.1 Cables Might Be More Common

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by AlphaAtlas, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

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    8K displays were everywhere at CES this year, which means HDMI 2.1 had to be there to actually drive them. HDMI 2.1 basically existed as a standard and little more in 2018, but the Japanese site 4Gamer took a particularly hard look at the state of HDMI 2.1 at the trade show. Apparently, the chips used to transmit and receive HDMI 2.1 signals are just now going into production. Some 8K TVs will get 2.1 support right off the bat, while others will enable it later through a firmware update. But 4Gamer noted one particular limitation that could hinder the adoption of the display standard: cables over 3 meters (which is just under 10 feet) will have to be active, powered cables.

    Additionally, cables over 5 meters will have to be active optical cables. While such cables usually draw the power they need from the HDMI port itself, 4Gamer notes that active cables are significantly more expensive than "dumb" copper ones. And unlike passive cables, active HDMI cables are directional, meaning users will have to plug the correct ends into the source and the display if they want to get a signal through.
     
  2. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Well, we had plenty of problems with HDMI 2.0 cables longer than 6-10 ft and 4K 4:4:4 Chroma already in 2015, so this is hardly a surprise.
     
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  3. EODetroit

    EODetroit [H]ard|Gawd

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    Why don't we use DisplayPort for everything like we did with DVI when HD was new?
     
  4. Evil_SPanKY

    Evil_SPanKY Limp Gawd

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  5. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    With active cables my concern is with input lag.
     
  6. andrewaggb

    andrewaggb Limp Gawd

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  7. [21CW]killerofall

    [21CW]killerofall Aliens...

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    I don't think that this will be much of an issue for most people. It is pretty unusual to have an HDMI cable over 3 meters. My TV has a built in Roku so I don't need any cables (except for power and antenna).
     
  8. jnemesh

    jnemesh [H]ard|Gawd

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    I wouldn't be surprised if cables over 3M have to be optical...It's pretty common to see them now in longer lengths.
     
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  9. jnemesh

    jnemesh [H]ard|Gawd

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    As someone who works in the industry, I would say it's NOT uncommon AT ALL to have lengths over 3 meters. 25 and 50 ft lengths are common in custom installation, and up to 300 ft is not uncommon (although typically, HDMI over Cat5/6 extenders are used for lengths above 50ft).
     
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  10. [21CW]killerofall

    [21CW]killerofall Aliens...

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    I should have clarified that I was talking about the general public, who only need to connect their cable box and the like to their TV. Business use is different.
     
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  11. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, but custom installations are - what - 0.001% of the market?

    Most people just buy a TV and a TV stand from IKEA to stand it on, and use the internal TV speakers, and are done. At most they will have an external cable box or Roku sitting right next to the TV as a source, if it doesn't have everything built in. (It is difficult to buy a non-"smart" TV today) Most people could probably even get away with a 1.5ft cable.

    Those of us who demand more from our TV setups are a distinct minority, and often seen as frivolous and silly by the majority.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
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  12. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    Most likely for the house thats true. For businesses probably not.

    As an aside I am proud to say I have never stepped foot in an Ikea. Built my own custom TV stand with surrounding book cases.
     
  13. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    This just seems to be getting worse and worse.

    Are we to the point where we need to ditch all compatibility and come up with a robust new standard capable of carrying these high bandwidths over cables longer than 10 feet?
     
  14. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I'm biased (proud Scandinavian here) but I like IKEA for basic furniture. It may not be fancy, but it is basic, sturdy, doesn't break and CHEAP.

    I have a half heifght Billy bookshelf in my office my parents bought in 1985. Still going strong.
     
  15. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    So why aren't we using DP exactly?
     
  16. mtrupi

    mtrupi Gawd

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    DisplayPort will have the same length limitations.
     
  17. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Gawd

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    Quick question then wouldn't this be made easy by basically using a USB port on the TV as the power source, I mean they were on a warpath with those smart TVs and adding all other kinds of crappy junk into TVs to justify overpricing them. This should be relatively simple to accomplish.
     
  18. DanNeely

    DanNeely 2[H]4U

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    Any time you're able to revoke the laws of physics we can have longer and faster passive cables.

    Until then, any new cable standard will run into the same limits that have made things like Inifiband/etc cables active in the high end enterprise/super computer world for something like 20 years and made thunderbolt require active cables since it came out the better part of a decade ago,

    For the same reasons, Displayport v"faster than HDMI 2.1" will also need active cables for anything beyond a few meters length.
     
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  19. NWRMidnight

    NWRMidnight Limp Gawd

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    There is no standard that can be exempt from Ohm's law aka resistance.
     
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  20. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Gawd

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    It wouldn't matter, the standard isn't the issue, modern materials are, it's just like Cat cables the higher the standard the less length you get without crosstalk, copper can only do so much, fiber is the same way, once you reach a threshold of transfer bandwidth, you need a repeater of some kind, USB is also the same way every bandwidth hike has a shorter length capability, hence repeater or active cable........
     
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  21. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

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    The industry uses optical for runs that are up to 1.5 miles long.
     
  22. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Gawd

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    Why exactly? You can just run coaxial connections
    Rg-6u? I am curious what application demands that rediculous of a length that should involve an overlengh HDMI cable.
     
  23. Drep

    Drep [H]Lite

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    A bit confused on the article. Hasn't Apple and Belkin been advertising a 2.1 cable that will do 8k for over a year now? Have they been mis-advertising it for this long and suckering people? I dont see anything in the specs of their cable that relates to what this article is saying. If they are just now going into production how has Belkin been selling this for this long?

    Here is a snip from Belkin:

    The Belkin Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable, AV10175 is an HDMI cable that is perfect for usage with UHD Blu-ray™ players to your TV. This HDMI cable supports HDR technology, the highest resolution and refresh rates, and up to 8K resolutions to provide the most immersive viewing experience.

    labeled as
    bandwidth 48Gbps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  24. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    So will these things be version dependent? "We're sorry, your version 3.2 cable isn't compatible with the 3.31 firmware we just uploaded to your cable box, you will need new cables." Customers cusses and gets new cables. "We're sorry, your 3.2 firmware TV isn't compatible with the 3.31 cable box and the 3.31 cables, you need to get a new TV."

    Is there some reason we can't just switch to a passive optical solution for the connecting cables?
     
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  25. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    What a neat opportunity to multi quote!

    Add more conductors with a new connector designed to accommodate them. Not that hard guys.

    And since I apparently need to explain everything, yes the cables will need to be bigger, but you know what? They'll be passive. Hell they could make it so the additional conductors are only needed on longer runs so they can be omitted from short cables to keep them thin. It didn't even require revoking the laws of physics either.

    Alternatively we could just make a new optical cable standard.
     
  26. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    Maybe we can also make them Oxygen free so they conduct faster!
     
  27. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    Yet ;)
     
  28. The Mad Atheist

    The Mad Atheist Gawd

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    Hey, as long as there's little lag gaming, IDK.
    Wonder how much Monster Cable is going to mark these up? lol
     
  29. mtrupi

    mtrupi Gawd

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    Monster cable prediction, move the decimal point one maybe two to the right. Pretty simple.
     
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  30. clockdogg

    clockdogg Gawd

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    Yes! That and run the cables through our temperature-free super-conducting smart conduits at 0.000325 °K.

    LN2. Not just for CPUs anymore.
     
  31. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    Don't forget the monster hdmi cables with the leds on the connector to indicate resolution!
     
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  32. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    3 meters sounds good enough to me. My htpc is right next to the tv anyway
     
  33. horskh

    horskh Limp Gawd

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    So, they really mean active optical cables? Basically fiber glued into SFPs? I don't see this as a long-term solution, and I'll wait until they put the transceiver into the equipment before I move to 8k.

    I can understand copper wires not being able to handle the bandwidth over extended distances, but fiber is more than capable.

    The only reason this is relevant to me is that I have a projector, so the distance from it to the AV unit will be longer than the passive cables can handle. Fortunately, 1080p has been just fine for me for now.
     
  34. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Gawd

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    People won't pay for a 100$ cable, making an active cable may cost 40$ for a passive 20$ cable, making it thicker means emi shielding and increasing the costs substantially also fiber needs special cabling that prevents light leakage into other cables.....that is going off what I know but it isn't just as simple as you think bmaking it thicker gives more bandwidth but doesn't mean it increases distance without a repeater, there is a reason the transcontinental cables cost is in the billions.
     
  35. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Gawd

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    ? Yet what exactly????
     
  36. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Gawd

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    Optical has its own challenges, researchers were doing work on extending the length by new sheathes that allow for less light leakage between fibers and revamping how impulses are sent across the fiber.
     
  37. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Gawd

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    Haha they were such a rip off, Cables to go a tenth of the price same thing without the flash.
     
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  38. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Gawd

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    Interesting thought actually, but in absolutely no way ethical, or possible for the average person. Quantum cables...how many quibits can you get...lol
     
  39. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Gawd

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    Actually there might be a way, but it's not possible unless you do some physics voodoo in a very specific environment under 10000000000% unideal conditions for the actual minuite event to take place that can ignore the principle of the law. Law of Conservation would be a corner stone of the process.
     
  40. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Don't hurt yourself when you climb off that horse.

    Let me explain this to you in hopes you can understand it. I'll preface this by saying it helps if you first realize you're not all knowing and everyone else isn't a moron.

    The very first part of my suggestion was to add more conductors. That means more individual wires making the cable a thicker, not increasing the size of individual wires. This accomplishes something very simple that you clearly missed. Triple the conductors from HDMI 2.0 and you have triple the bandwidth (actually more than HDMI 2.1) without changing any other properties. We're turning a 2 lane highway into 4. This means the length you can make the cable stays the same because you're not required to tinker with the signaling rate.

    I guess you also ignored the part of my post where I said normal size cables could still be made to support short runs, so they'd still be cheap. People who have long runs will have to pay more, which they'd have to do anyways, and it wouldn't be $100 by a longshot. Nice comparison with cables that cross an entire fucking ocean though.
     
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