Are All HDMI Cables Created EQUALLY?
A. No. There is much controversy over this very topic, and many sources say “Yes,” but our extensive training, research, and field experience yields a different answer. Here are 5 key features to look for when shopping for HDMI cables:
- Guage. It is important that HDMI cables have a certain guage of copper, or the integrity of the 1’s and 0’s that make up the digital signal will be compromised, especially in longer cables. You should always look for the guage and keep in mind that the longer the cable, the lower the guage should be. A good guage range is 23-28awg. If the cable does not specify guage, make sure it is returnable because you don’t know what you are buying.
- Shielding. Unshielded cables will result in EMI, Electro Magnetic Interference.
- RoHS Compliancy. Restriction of Hazardous Substances – restricts the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment, adopted by the European Union in 2006, and widely suggested in the American electronics industry.
- 1440p Rating. Some HDMI cables at a low price are built well enough to handle all the 1080p signal you can feed today, but will not be upgradeable when the technology changes in the near future. On the other hand, higher quality, and yes sometimes higher priced, cables will reduce crosstalk at higher data rates and you won’t have to buy new cables when you upgrade to 1440p in a few years. Most good quality cables will be labeled with “1440p Rated.”
- UL CL2 Rating. It is against the National Electric Code to install a cable that is not UL CL2 rated inside wall cavities and attics. All cables should be clearly marked with UL CL2, or higher, rating on the wire itself.
What is the official date for the DTV transition?
A. Congress has set June 12, 2009 as the final deadline for terminating analog broadcasts. Under the law, on Feb. 17, some full-power broadcast television stations in the United States may stop broadcasting on analog airwaves and begin broadcasting only in digital. The remaining stations may stop broadcasting analog sometime between March 14 and June 12.
How do I prepare for the switch to Digital Broadcasting on February 17th?
A. Most people do not need to worry about this transition, but can't help but wonder, so here's the lowdown:
- If you have satellite or cable, you don't need to do anything to prepare for the impending switch (February 17th).
- If you watch television via antenna (either on the roof, in the attic or rabbit ears), you will need to make sure your TV is digital or purchase a digital signal converter.
- For more information visit www.dtv.gov
Why are there bars on either side of the picture when I watch my DirecTV HD satellite?
A. If the bars on your screen are black, you are tuned into an HD channel, and the network is not broadcasting a High Definition signal at that time. If the bars are gray, you are tuned to a Standard Definition channel. To stretch the standard image to fill your screen:
- Press Menu
- Arrow down to Settings and press Select
- Arrow down to Setup and press Select
- Arrow down to HDTV and press Select
- Change setting from ‘Pillar’ to ‘Stretch’ and press Select.