HDMI is better than coaxial or RGB

October 24, 2007 – 5:35 pm

HDMI is better than coaxial or RGBRecently at work we had a Vizio plasma TV installed in the lobby/entry area.  The problems are 1) the Vizio plasma got burn-in after about 30 minutes of being on (ya, really); 2) HDMI cable wasn’t readily available for the length required.  Now I don’t usually take pictures at work and share them, but this is an exception so be prepared to enter my work.

First a little about HDMI.. HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) was created by a group of electronics manufacturers (Hitachi, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic/National/Quasar), Philips, Sony, Thomson (RCA), Toshiba, and Silicon Image).  The HDMI standard is a set of guidelines for creating high-bandwidth connections between digital devices. With the right setup, HDMI can make a significant difference in systems where it is supported. The current standard can carry 1080p high-definition signals, and it supports eight channels of uncompressed audio, enough for a 7.1 surround-sound system. HDMI can cut down on the number of cables required to connect components, and it can even reduce the number of remote controls needed in some situations.

Now for those of you wanting the more technical aspect of HDMI, there’s a little table below with a breakdown of each HDMI connection pin.

So now that you know that HDMI is better than non-HDMI connections (take my word for it) I need to introduce you to the price of HDMI, which is significantly more expensive then other connection types.  Imagine a good quality coaxial cable of 10′ costing $9.99, now think of a good quality HDMI 10′ cable costing between $25-$100, depending on the quality that you get.  Of course, you don’t have to get great quality, but you might want to check into that later.

So the distance from the plasma TV in the front office to the video signal sending device (a.k.a. my computer) is approximately 15 feet when measured linearly (or straight, assuming no obstructions).  This is not going to be one of those perfect situations, so let me show you a picture first before giving you a chance to guess at the distance required.

HDMI distance guessing game
(my office is on the right, semi-decorated for Halloween)

Now that you have seen the picture, what’s your guess on the distance required?  Wait, before you guess, let me tell you that this isn’t not a two story office and though there is a lot of obstructions in the ceiling area, that is the best (cleanest, easiest) way to run the cable.  Alright now, place your guess.  (It’s alright, I’ll wait)….

Nope, close but you were a little high (or low).  The distance required would be 65′.  That’s sixty-five feet.  Yep.  No joke, just ridiculous.  The reason is because of pipes and A/C venting and whatever animals are up in the ceiling area.

So I went to price a 65′ HDMI cable (custom made, as that’s a distance most places do not carry).  Online the pricing was from $119 to $250.  When I called a custom cable manufacturer down the street from where I work the price was $195 plus $20 for shipping and handling (even after I expressed my ability to drive 3 blocks to pick it up).

The reason for the cable is to deliver a presentation (made with Adobe Premier, ya, I geek like that too) that has quick movie sequences and doesn’t seem as clean over the current coaxial cable (colors are not as well produced, probably due to non-plenum grade cable that was installed by the electrician).  Going with RGB would give better color reproduction, but I don’t know about the ability compared to HDMI.  Plus, no reason not to be as technologically advanced as possible (well, except for my cell phone thing).

Now you know a little about HDMI.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

HDMI female plug

Pin 1 TMDS Data2+
Pin 2 TMDS Data2 Shield
Pin 3 TMDS Data2–
Pin 4 TMDS Data1+
Pin 5 TMDS Data1 Shield
Pin 6 TMDS Data1–
Pin 7 TMDS Data0+
Pin 8 TMDS Data0 Shield
Pin 9 TMDS Data0–
Pin 10 TMDS Clock+
Pin 11 TMDS Clock Shield
Pin 12 TMDS Clock–
Pin 13 CEC
Pin 14 Reserved (N.C. on device)
Pin 15 SCL
Pin 16 SDA
Pin 17 DDC/CEC Ground
Pin 18 +5 V Power
Pin 19 Hot Plug Detect

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