Thursday, March 25, 2010

Field-Terminable HDMI: An Idea Whose Time Has Come, Or Past?

There's a post today on CE Pro talking about vendor BTX Technologies, and their new field-terminable bulk HDMI cables, that allow installers to make custom-length HDMI cables, something that had previously not been feasible.

I just have to say that this is an idea that, were it five years ago, I would cheer "Yea!" Now, however, it seems like kind of a "Meh."

The fact is, HDMI is, at the best of times, flaky, unstable, and prone to inexplicable failure. Everybody inside the CE industry knows it. I routinely get email from custom channel dealers sharing their jobsite horror stories with me and asking me to write another story detailing the woes that surround using HDMI.

The trick to executing custom install jobs is, ultimately, to keep it simple. Adding complexity increases the odds of something going wrong. I'm sure that BTX Technologies means well, but in my opinion, installers are better off using stock cable lengths for short distances, and proven extenders using network cables or fiber for longer distances, rather than futz around with terminating custom lengths.

With that in mind, I have trouble envisioning much of a market for field terminable HDMI cables.

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