The HDMI ecosystem has been growing by leaps and bounds since it was introduced in 2002. Currently, more than 1,700 consumer electronics manufacturers offer HDMI connectivity in their products. To support HDMI, you need HDMI cables- we all know that!
But if you have ever tried buying one, you must have faced a few challenges. How do you ensure if an HDMI cable is really fast? How can you ensure the cable provides the bandwidth it claims? Also, what about counterfeit products?
Buyers face a lot of dilemmas when it comes to buying HDMI cables. The need for quality assurance and verification has grown as the HDMI format has traveled through generations to reach HDMI 2.1. Unless you have a cable that supports high bandwidth, you risk losing out on the features and quality of the format.
Addressing the concerns of the consumers, the HDMI Forum has announced a new mandatory certification program for Ultra-High-Speed HDMI cables. Let's find out more about the program.
What is Ultra High-Speed HDMI Cable Certification
The HDMI Forum and the HDMI Licensing Administrator (HDMI LA) announced the new certification program at CES 2020. The certification program is the expansion of the existing Premium Certification Program that certifies HDMI cables that support Ultra HD content and 4K.
The Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable certification will ensure the cables provide full support for 4K and 8K video in the HDMI 2.1 format. Cables that pass the certification will also support the full range features of HDMI 2.1 like eARC, VRR, HDR, 8K 60Hz, and 4K 120Hz.
All HDMI 2.1 cables will have to undergo the testing at an HDMI Authorized Testing Center (ATC). Cables passing the test will support 48Gbps bandwidth for providing all 8K features. The certification will also include testing to ensure the cables are compatible with current EMI requirements to cut down wireless interference.
Both consumer and commercial Ultra High-Speed HDMI cables will have to undergo the testing. The certification only tests the cables for design and quality, and not for long. The certification program also conducts ongoing compliance audits to ensure the cables fulfill specifications for their whole lifespan.
After the cables pass the test, they will be required to feature the Ultra High-Speed HDMI Certification logo on their package. The logo will tell consumers that the cable is fully HDMI 2.1-compliant and comes from a credible manufacturer. You will no longer be uncertain whether the cable you are buying supports 8K resolution or HDMI 2.1 features.
Who Will Manage the Certification Program?
The parent body of the program is the HDMI Forum, which comprises of top manufacturers of consumer electronics and cables. The forum has a mission of expanding the HDMI ecosystem by fostering wide-scale industry participation. Under HDMI Forum, the cable certification program will be managed by HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc. (HDMI LA).
HDMI LA is appointed by HDMI Forum to license HDMI versions, including HDMI 2.1. The new certification program will be provided as a part of the Premium cable certification program.
Rob Tobias, CEO of HDMI LA, said that the industry already has five years of experience with the existing HDMI Premium Certification program. Many cable manufacturers have already applied for the testing and using the anti-counterfeit logo on their products. He added that the new Ultra High-Speed HDMI Cable certification program would bring in the Ultra High-Speed HDMI cables under its purview and provide a seamless verification process.
More than 140 cable manufacturers are already part of the Premium cable certification program. Consumers have learned to put trust in the anti-counterfeit label to identify authentic products that support 8K.
The new program is expected to start within March 2020. The HDMI Forum will inform all HDMI adopters once the program is launched.
David Glen, president of the HDMI Forum, said that the Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable is the only tool that can connect the source to a display to provide all capabilities and features of the HDMI 2.1 specification. The new certification program will ensure that the Ultra High-Speed HDMI cables are compliant with HDMI 2.1, and has great importance for the HDMI ecosystem.
He also added that the certification label and the scanning results go a long way to provide peace of mind to consumers. They can now be sure of the quality of the cable and that it meets all the HDMI Forum's guidelines.
A Look At the HDMI Cable Market
The HDMI Cable market has been growing at an unprecedented rate of CAGR of 5.3% for 2018 - 2025. The HDMI cable market is expected to reach $3613 million by 2025. HDMI cables simplify the whole process of cabling and connections for HD equipment like TVs, monitors, and large display screens.
Since its introduction, HDMI has become the global standard for connecting high-definition equipment and accessories. The bandwidth and features have also increased significantly with full support for 4K and 8K content. HDMI cables are in high demand, especially for the high bandwidth requirements of present-day content. The all-digital interface of HDMI is ideal for delivering the best quality data with simplicity and ease.
Some of the leading companies in the industry include Panasonic, Philips, Kramer Electronics, Shenzhen DNS Industries, and Nordost.
The new Ultra High-Speed HDMI cables support the features relying on ultra-high-bandwidth that consists of HDR and uncompressed 8K video. The cables can transfer data at 48Gbps bandwidth and comes with significantly low EMI to reduce interference with nearby wireless devices. Ultra High-Speed HDMI cables are backward compatible and can be used to connect existing HDMI devices.
The Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable certification program comes at the right time to help out consumers. The industry needs a governing body to test and authenticate the best products so that everyone can have the best in terms of quality and features.