Product Review (August 2008)
Accell Corporation™ - UltraRun™ 1.3 HDMI Cable

By Kevin Nakano


Projectors have become very popular among home theater enthusiast and for good reason. However, setting up a projector can be difficult because of the long cable runs and high data rates, both of which work against each other. Designing an HDMI cable that can perform over these long distances is challenging for manufacturers and often requires active electronics in the cable to maintain good signal integrity. We have seen plenty of cables that are marginal in performance that often results in picture artifacts and dropouts. Recently, several companies have introduced long HDMI 1.3 compliant cables capable of running 1080p with deep color.

One such company is Accell Corporation, a leading supplier of high quality A/V cables for the audio and home theater market. Accell has recently introduced the UltraRun 1.3, an HDMI cable capable of running up to 25-meters while still maintaining good signal quality. UltraRun 1.3 cables are HDMI 1.3 Category 2 (High-Speed) compatible, supporting data rates as high as 6.75 Gbps (225MHz). The cable comes equipped with a detachable signal repeater designed to boost the differential HDMI signals and increase performance after long cable runs.

Repeater
The attached HDMI repeater regenerates the electrical signals to improve signal integrity after they have been sent from a distance of up to 25-meters (82 feet), ensuring that the display device (in our case a projector) sees valid HDMI (TMDS) signal levels without errors. The repeater is directional (due to the active electronics) and its orientation is indicated with an arrow on the body of the unit. While many solutions exist for sending HDMI signals over long distances, few work well and those that do carry high price tags. The UltraRun 1.3 cable is very reasonably priced with an MSRP of $259 for the 10-meter model. Various lengths are available from 10 to 25-meters in 5-meter increments. The cable design has a screw at one end that is used to fasten to the repeater module to keep the connector from slipping out when installed. Accell includes a small switching AC power supply if needed.

The Accell UltraRun 1.3 cables features 24K gold-plated connectors and contacts for long-term reliability of your A/V system. The cable has a Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Listed CL3 rated jacket making it ideal for in-wall installations. The connector housing is small, making it easier to pass through walls. Our test cable was the full 25-meter length, so we were ready to put the cable to the test with some real-world content.

Full HD 1080p at 24 fps
Blu-ray is the format of choice for high performance home theater systems. Recently, Warner Brothers tipped the scale and put HD-DVD on the endangered species list. However, while Sony may have won the battle, they have not won the war. At least not until Blu-ray becomes accepted by the masses. So far that has not happened, but hopes are high that as prices of Blu-ray players drop, more consumers will eventually move towards the new high resolution format. These new Blu-ray machines have the advantage of playing movies at 24 frames per second, matching the original film frame rate. This results in video that is smooth and free of judder (artifacts seen with motion) often seen with traditional DVDs. For years, movie watchers were subjected to 60 frames per second or worse 30 frames per second (with interlacing) resulting is a lack of smoothness due to the 3-2 pulldown process needed to convert the two different frame rates. Newer displays and projectors typically multiply the 24 frames per second rate to prevent flicker and some even interpolate between frames to try and further increase smoothness. Regardless of the frame rate, 1080p requires significantly more bandwidth due to the number of pixels per frame being sent over the HDMI cable.

Full HD 1080p at 60 Hz
Finding material to push the bandwidth envelope is easy when playing games. Gaming is largely responsible for driving faster computing technology along with high performance graphics. While most Hollywood movies run at 24 frames per second, games such as NBA07 can run 1080p at 60 frames per second. This more than doubles the bandwidth requirement of the HDMI cable. NBA07 has some excellent scenes with fine detail and natural looking contours that fully exercise the display's capabilities. Pushing these high data rates is usually where many standard HDMI cables begin to fail. Even at these high data rates, the new 25-meter Accell UltraRun 1.3 HDMI cable we tested never missed a beat and the video looked flawless at all times. This was very impressive for a 25-meter HDMI cable with a street price of less than $200.

Conclusion
Accell's new UltraRun 1.3 cables are now available at prices that are very tough to beat. The performance, design, and value of these cables are unsurpassed and if you value your home theater system you owe it to yourself to check them out. We have reviewed many long cables over the past year and the new UltraRun 1.3 is the best value we have seen that is currently available to consumers.

- Kevin Nakano





OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player




Review System

Display: Mitsubishi HC5500 Full HD 1080p LCD Projector
Screen: Stewart Filmscreen 100" FireHawk Screen on a Luxus Deluxe ScreenWall
Video Processor/Scaler: Anchor Bay Technologies DVDO iScan HD+ A/V Processor
Preamplifier/Processor: Parasound AVC-2500U THX-Ultra DTS/DD Preamp/Processor
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier
Bass Management: Miller & Kreisel BMC Mini 5.1 Bass Management Controller
Front Speakers: Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC (Center) Speakers
Rear Speakers: Miller & Kreisel SS-250 Tripole® Surround Speakers
Subwoofer: Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull Subwoofers
Room Treatments: Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
Set-top Box: Dish Network ViP722 HDTV Satellite and Terrestrial Receiver with HDMI
Blu-ray DVD Player: Sony PlayStation3 with HDMI
HD-DVD Player: Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD Player with HDMI
DVD/CD/SACD Player: Sony DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player
DVD Audio/Video Player: Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M 400-Disc DVD Changer
DVD Player: OPPO Digital OPDV981H DVD Player with HDMI Output
D-VHS VCR: JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS High-Definition D-Theater VCR
Media Server: Kenwood Sovereign MRH1 Entre
Remote Control: Remote Technologies Inc. T3 Controller
DVI Cable: AudioQuest DV-1 20m DVI-D Cable
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables


Review at a Glance


Accell Corporation - UltraRun™ 1.3 (25-meter) HDMI Cable

Features:

  • Built-in miniature signal equalizer and booster for cable runs of up to 82 feet (25m)
  • Supports all HD resolutions including 1080p
  • UL Listed CL3 and CSA FT4 rated cable for in-wall installation
  • Fully compatible with HDCP compliant components
  • Removable repeater module allows for easy module replacement
  • Works with DVI devices when coupled with an HDMI to DVI adapter
  • 24K gold-plated connectors and contacts provide superior connectivity

Specifications:

  • TMDS Rate: Up to 6.75Gbps (225MHz)
  • Input Video Signal: 1.4 Volts p-p
  • Input DDC Signal: 5 Volts p-p (TTL)
  • Power Input (adapter included): +5VDC, 500mA
  • Input/Output Type: HDMI 19-Pin Single Link
  • Maximum Supported Resolution: 1080p/120Hz

Company Information
Accell Corporation
44951 Industrial Drive
Fremont, California 94538
Tel: 510-438-9288
Fax: 510-438-6775
Support: 510-438-9288

Product: UltraRun 1.3 (25-meter) HDMI Cable
Street Price : Less than $200
Source: Manufacture supplied

Warranty: 10-Year Manufacturers Warranty

URL: www.accellcorp.com
Support: support@accellcorp.com


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