Product Review (April 2006)
Accell UltraRun HDMI Cables

By Kevin Nakano


Long cable runs have introduced challenges for many front projector installations, especially for those needing HDCP compliant signals from their sources. Some projector owners have opted for the more costly cable extenders, which often require expensive electronics and/or fiber optic cables. Accell Corporation has taken a different approach with the introduction of their new HDCP compliant UltraRun HDMI™ cables. These new cables cleverly integrate a small signal equalizer and booster right into the connector housing resulting in outstanding performance even with long cable runs. The low-power design allows the electronics to operate directly from most HDMI™ sources, so that no additional power is needed in most applications. However, Accell does provide a small AC adapter (5V, 500mA) with the cable that mates to the display side of the cable in the event additional power is needed. We are not sure what active electronics is in the cable, but we suspect Accell may be adding pre-emphasis to the differential drive signals to improve the "eye" (signal integrity) at the receiving end. High purity copper conductors and nitrogen-injected dielectrics help maintain excellent signal integrity over the length of the cable. The high bandwidth design supports resolutions of up to 1080p and has a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed CL3 rating, making it perfect for many of today's in-wall installations. The cables also use triple metal shielding to protect against EM and RF interference. The HDMI™ connectors feature 24K gold-plated connectors and contacts for reliable and low contact resistance. The UltraFlex™ jacket provides a sturdy, yet flexible cable design that is easy to route.

Setup
Our test cable was 40m (131-feet) long and fitted with a pair of HDMI-to-DVI adapters at both ends to interface to our DVDO iScan HD+ and Optoma H77 DLP projector. The adapters didn't seem to have any effect on the performance of our test setup. All video was fed from the iScan HD+ to the projector using this cable. The iScan received a variety of analog video sources as well as high definition digital video from our Samsung SIR-T165 set-top box. What's nice about the SIR-T165 is it can accept HD content via the IEEE-1394 connection from our JVC HM-DH30000U digital VCR. We used this VCR for both D-Theater movies as well as non-encrypted high definition content captured on D-VHS. We were able to watch high definition content completely in the digital domain with this configuration. The UltraRun cable performed flawlessly with our hardware. This cable was twice as long as we needed for our needs so it was a good test to see how well the longer cables perform. It's our recommendation to install only the length you need. Increasing cable length decreases signal integrity and increases jitter in the clock and data signals.

We tested a variety of D-Theater tapes including Cast Away, U-571 and True Lies. These movies use D-Theater technology and often have dropouts if poor cabling is used to carry the data. We have encountered this in the past and are quite sensitive to digital cable issues. We were very pleased that this long 40 meter cable did not exhibit any dropouts during our tests. We continued watching content from our HD-Net archives on D-VHS and some over-the-air broadcasts such as the Tonight Show. Video quality was consistently excellent each and every time we viewed high resolution content.

Conclusion
The new Accell UltraRun HDMI™ to HDMI™ cables offer a cost effective solution for customers needing long cable runs. The design absolutely works and the performance we experienced with the 40 meter ($549) test cable was flawless. It is unlikely you will need the AC adapter included with the cable, but Accell provides one nonetheless. The cable construction and in-wall CL3 UL rating gives you more choices when installing your next home entertainment system. Accell guarantees their cable by offering a 10-Year manufacturer's warranty on defects. We can't think of a good reason not to include it on your A/V shopping list. We love it.

- Kevin Nakano





OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player




Review System

Projector: Optoma H77 High-Definition HD2+ DLP™ 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: Samsung SIR-T165 Terrestrial HDTV Receiver with DVI
DVD/CD/SACD Player: Sony DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player
DVD Audio/Video Player: Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M 400-Disc DVD Changer
D-VHS VCR #1: JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS High-Definition D-Theater VCR
D-VHS VCR #2: Marantz MV8300 D-VHS High-Definition D-Theater VCR
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables


Review at a Glance

Accell UltraRun HDMI™ to HDMI™ Cables

Features:

  • Built-in miniature signal equalizer and booster for exceptionally long cable runs
  • Length of up to 147 feet available
  • Supports resolutions of up to 1080p (1920 x 1200 computer resolution)
  • Triple metal shielding protects against EM and RF interference
  • Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Listed CL3 rated cable for in-wall installation
  • Fully compatible with HDCP compliant components
  • Low power, powered directly from most HDMI sources
  • Works with DVI devices when coupled with an HDMI to DVI adapter
  • 24K gold-plated connectors and contacts provide superior connectivity


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

    MSRP: $549
    Source: Manufacture supplied

    Warranty: 10-Year Manufacturers Warranty

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


  • Any comments or questions regarding the LAAF Web Site should be forwarded to webmaster@laaudiofile.com

    Copyright © 1985-2006 L.A. Audio File.