A Look at the Official HDMI® Cable Certification Programs
(published in CE Pro Magazine June, 2020)
Are the cables your company uses part of the licensed and comprehensive HDMI technology eco-system of compliance and assurance? Sometimes it can be hard to tell as the licensing requirements may not be known by end-users and resellers’ marketing can be confusing. As 4K content distribution becomes widely available and products with the newest HDMI 2.1 specification’s ultra high speed bandwidth-dependent features are in-market, it’s critical that cables and devices work together seamlessly and trouble-free.
HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc. (HDMI LAI) is the only organization that licenses the HDMI specifications, and it is the primary source of cable information and has authorized cable compliance programs. HDMI LA is the agent appointed by the HDMI Forum to license Version 2.1 of the HDMI Specification and is also the agent appointed by the HDMI Founders to license the 1.4b HDMI Specification. HDMI LA is tasked with enforcing compliance to the HDMI specifications and the HDMI adopted trademarks and logos. It is also responsible for promoting specification features including information on cables. With misinformation spread about HDMI features, testing and certification, HDMI LA is the exclusive source for factual information.
What is the Licensed HDMI Technology Eco-System of Compliance?
It starts with manufacturers who must become licensed HDMI Adopters in order to access and use the HDMI specifications and use the HDMI trademarks and logos. And where do the specs originate? The HDMI Founders produced the 1.4b specification and since 2013 the HDMI Forum all subsequent versions, with the latest being Specification Version 2.1. The HDMI Forum is comprised of almost 80 companies that collaborate on the specification. They also produce the Compliance Test Specifications (CTS) for testing and certifying compliance; and do so in collaboration with authorized test equipment manufacturers whose equipment is used for testing, and HDMI Forum Authorized Test Centers (Forum ATCs) where the testing and certification takes place. This rock-solid system pertains to all HDMI product categories including cables.
Special HDMI Cable Certification Programs
All HDMI cables must be tested for compliance with the specification and in addition there are two special certification programs administered by HDMI LA for added compliance assurance with anti-counterfeiting labeling.
The Premium HDMI® Cable Certification Program was launched in 2015 for High Speed HDMI Cables and adds testing and certification to ensure support for 4K@60Hz and 18Gbps bandwidth. All lengths of cables must be tested at HDMI ATCs and pass EMI testing. With more 4K content being distributed, this cable is vital to both the consumer and commercial sectors especially cable, satellite and IPTV set-top box installations. It also requires packaging to display the Premium HDMI Cable Certification Label for added verification of compliance and to prevent counterfeiting. More info: https://hdmi.org/spec/premiumcable
The new Ultra High Speed HDMI® Cable Certification Program is soon launching and supports the new Ultra High Speed HDMI Cables from the HDMI 2.1 specification. It’s the only cable that complies with stringent specifications designed to ensure support for all HDMI 2.1 features including uncompressed 8k@60 and 4K@120 and the increased bandwidth of 48Gbps. The program is mandatory for all Ultra High Speed HDMI Cables; and ensures quality cables reach the market and support 4K and 8K video, HDR, VRR, eARC, and all other HDMI 2.1 features. All certified cables of any length must pass certification testing at an HDMI Forum ATC and be tested to meet current EMI requirements to minimize wireless interference. Cables will be required to affix an Ultra High Speed HDMI Certification Label to each package. More info: https://hdmi.org/spec21Sub/UltraHighSpeedCable
Both certification programs utilize HDMI LA's proprietary HDMI Cable Certification scanning app available to end-users to verify certification and check the reseller brand and cable length. Also, both programs include HDMI LA audits of marketplace cables to ensure that production cables continue to pass certification testing during their product lifetime. For more information go to HDMI.org
The Adopted Trademarks HDMI, High-Definition Multimedia Interface, and the HDMI Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc.
- Brad Bramy
- July 06 2020