How fast is your HDMI cable? Monster Cable is attempting to cut through all the confusion about what various types and models of HDMI interconnect can and can't do, introducing a range of speed-rated cables showing the data throughput they can achieve.
In addition, the new cables will carry a series of information logos on their packaging, showing what they are guaranteed to deliver in terms of picture and sound, such as their ability to handle 1080p, 50/100Hz, 'deep colour' and lossless audio formats. And the range-topping model will be guaranteed against obsolescence caused by advancing high-definition video and audio standards.
The new cables were launched in the USA a month or two back, and now make their European debut in the UK. Speaking at the launch of the cables in London today, company founder Noel Lee(left), aka The Head Monster, took attendees through a swift history lesson on the growing data requirements of HDMI cables.
He also hit out at HDMI cables sold under some other brands which in fact carry no official accreditation from the HDMI licensing organisation, and the misinformation he says proliferates on the internet, from the suggestion that all HDMI cables look the same to the simplistic 'digits are digits, so the cable can't make a difference' view.
Lee pointed out that at the time of the launch of the original HDMI standard, the best picture quality available was 576p, requiring a throughput of about 0.74Gb/s. Step up to today's 1080p 100Hz displays, and you need about ten times as much data capacity.
Future developments in colour definition, such as the arrival of true 12-bit colour rendition on PS3 games expected next year - it's within the unit's capability, but as yet all software available uses 8-bit colour depth - will require even greater data capacity.
That last point is one reason why Monster's range-topping Ultra-High Speed cable, capable of 10.2Gb/s will be joined next year by an Ultimate High Speed model, with an even greater data capacity of 14.93Gb/s.
The new Monster cables, which start with the entry-level 2.23Gb/s Standard Speed 550HD and go up to the 1000EX (left), will initially be sold through Comet stores.
The 1000EX will also come with Monster's 'Cable for Life' guarantee, reported here a couple of months ago, which guarantees to replace the cable should technology overtake the product's capabilities.