Pearl HDMI embodies all of AudioQuest’s core philosophies on cable design. It employs solid Long-Grain Copper conductors, Solid High-Density Polyethylene Insulation, and precise geometry. Specific attention has been paid to maximizing the performance of HDMI, and indeed, AudioQuest’s HDMI cables push sonic performance to new levels.
SOLID LONG-GRAIN COPPER (LGC) CONDUCTORS: Solid conductors eliminate strand-interaction distortion. Pearl’s solid Long-Grain Copper allows a smoother and clearer sound than cables using regular OFHC (Oxygen-Free High-Conductivity) copper. OFHC is a general metal industry specification regarding “loss” without any concern for distortion. LGC has fewer oxides within the conducting material, less impurities, less grain boundaries, and definitively better performance.
FOAMED-POLYETHYLENE INSULATION: Any solid material adjacent to a conductor is actually part of an imperfect circuit. Wire insulation and circuit board materials all absorb energy (loss). Some of this energy is stored and then released as distortion. Pearl HDMI uses air-filled Foamed-Polyethylene Insulation because air absorbs next to no energy and Polyethylene is low-loss and has a benign distortion profile. Thanks to all the air in Foamed-PE, it causes much less of the out-of-focus effect common to other materials.
HIGH SPEED DATA CAPACITY: HDMI standards and capabilities have improved significantly since DVI first evolved into HDMI. All generations are backward compatible. However, not all previous HDMI cables can transmit the full 18Gbps of data required to optimize today’s HDMI 2.0 equipment. While there is currently no 4K/60 4:4:4 software requiring the full 18Gbps capability of HDMI 2.0, some sources (UHD Blu-ray players) can be set to upsample, requiring 18Gbps capability. (Upsampling often should be done in the TV rather than in a previous component — but that’s your decision.)
It is important to understand that all AudioQuest HDMI cables up to 8 meters are guaranteed to exceed the requirements for all possible HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 data streams, including 4K UltraHD, HDR, and Blu-ray Ultra HD. In addition, AudioQuest Pearl makes use of Active Frequency-Equilization to enable full 18Gbps/4K UltraHD performance from 10 to 15 meters.
ETHERNET AND AUDIO RETURN CHANNEL ENABLED: All AudioQuest HDMI cables up to 10 meters are rated High Speed with Ethernet. From 12 meters to 20 meters AudioQuest HDMI cables are Standard Speed with Ethernet.
DIRECTIONALITY: All audio cables are directional. The correct direction is determined by listening to every batch of metal conductors used in every AudioQuest audio cable. All signal conductors controlled for digital-audio direction in AudioQuest HDMI cables, and care is even taken to run the conductors used in the Audio Return Channel in the opposite direction to ensure the best performance for that application. Arrows are clearly marked on the connectors to ensure superior sound quality.
HDMI ACTIVE: Active frequency-equalization enables 18Gbps over long distances.
• Solid Long-Grain Copper Conductors
• Low-Jitter Low-Distortion Audio
• Signal Conductors Controlled for Digital- Audio Directionality
• Bi-Directional Ethernet Communication and Audio Return Channel Enabled
• Gold-Plated Connectors Up to 3.0m: CMG (CL3 & FT4) rated, Black/White PVC 5.0m and longer: CMG (CL3 & FT4) rated, White PVC
HDMI 4K Compatibility
As interest and enthusiasm in 4K technology continues to surge, many of our customers continue to have questions regarding cable compatibility. First and foremost among these questions is: Are AudioQuest HDMI cables 4K compliant?
The answer, of course, is Yes.
The single qualification by which an HDMI cable is deemed 4K compliant is its ability to pass 18Gbps. In other words, if an HDMI cable can pass 18Gbps, then it is compatible with 4K.
18Gbps data rates allow for, but are not limited to, the following advancements in image reproduction:
- Resolution up to 3840 x 2160
- Wide Color Gamut: 10-bit color depth (with possible provisions for 12-bit in the future)
- High Dynamic Range (HDR)
The following frame rates:
- 120p, 119.88p, 100p, 60p, 59.94p, 50p, 30p, 29.97p, 25p, 24p, 23.976p
The following Chroma Sub-Sampling:
- 4:4:4: In which every image pixel has its chrominance value included. Y/Cr/CB all have the same sampling rate. Therefore, there is no sub-sampling. (100% of the color.)
- 4:2:2: In which the horizontal chroma resolution is halved, with vertical resolution remaining full. This reduces the bandwidth of an uncompressed video signal by one-third, with little to no visual difference (1/2 the horizontal resolution with full vertical resolution; 50% of the color.)
- 4:2:0: In which both the vertical and horizontal resolutions are halved, leaving 25% of the color information.
- It is important to note that Ultra HD Blu-Ray discs are all encoded at 4:2:0.
All AudioQuest HDMI cables, up to 8.0m, are capable of achieving data rates of 18Gbps (or greater). Thus, all AudioQuest cables, up to 8.0m, are compatible with 4K.
While the transition from standard-definition to high-definition (720p or 1080i) television was driven by a federal mandate, 4K is an industry initiative and should be viewed as a progressive maturation of technologies. HDMI customers can be confident that all AudioQuest HDMI cables, up to 8.0m, are 100% Capable, meeting the 18Gbps requirements for 4K.