TECH ICON GLOSSARY
AOC is the acronym for Active Optical Cable. Active optical cables use optical fibres to transport data, which is converted from electricity to light. This conversion enables signals to travel significantly greater distances than copper-based cables. AOC uses active electronics, built inside the head of the connector, which requires power (either from the source device or a separate power supply) to convert and transmit the signals.
High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is the latest version of copyright protection, which is embedded in HDMI and DisplayPort. HDCP 2.2 was released in 2015 and is backwards compatible. Devices requiring HDCP 2.2 must have 2.2 compliant devices from source all the way to the device.
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. HDR is a newer advancement in television which enables displays to show a greater range between the black and white levels on a display (called dynamic range). The greater the dynamic range, the more detail one can see in an image. There are various versions of HDR and each one has its pros and cons. The most common forms are HDR10, HDR10+, DolbyVision
Dynamic HDR is the next evolution of High Dynamic Range video. How HDR differs lies in the metadata transmitted by source content. In standard HDR, a signal is sent when viewing begins where HDR is determined and if present, it remains in that state for the remainder of the content. Dynamic HDR allows for frame by frame HDR which allows for a movie to only show HDR in specific sequences, which allows for more efficient video transport and more impactful uses of HDR during the content.
ARC, or Audio Return Channel, is a feature that started in HDMI 1.4 and allows for audio to transmit from a television to a receiver or other device, as opposed to only sending audio from a source such as a Blu-Ray player to a television or receiver. This is a very useful feature for those “cutting the cord” where off air antennas are used or built-in streaming applications such as Netflix, which allows for a better listening experience by bypassing television speakers, which are usually substandard quality.
eARC or Enhanced Audio Return Channel is the next iteration found in the new HDMI 2.1 standard. The biggest change in eARC is immersive audio formats such as Dolby ATMOS, DTS:X and Auro3D. These audio formats allow for a greater listening experience by adding audio overhead and in a greater 3D type space, called object-based audio. eARC supports up to 32 channels of high resolution 192/24 audio.
HEAC stands for HDMI Ethernet/Audio Return Channel. Beyond ARC, HDMI 1.4 also added ethernet support. This enabled two-way internet connections via HDMI if one device has an established ethernet connection. This is particularly useful if a display needs an ethernet connection and a source, which is HEAC compatible, is already connected.
3D stands for three-dimensional video. 3D was very popular in the early 2010’s and typically relies on glasses, either coloured or active shutter, to give an image three-dimensional depth. 3D often required higher refresh rates to allow for each eye to receive full resolution of the image. There are various formats for 3D, some of which require more data than others.
1080p is the top resolution for non UHD/4K displays. 1080p means there are 1080 vertical lines of resolution, along with 1920 lines of horizontal resolution. The “p” stands for progressive scan, which is a method where each horizontal line is scanned consecutively (1.2.3 etc) as opposed to interlace where odd then even lines are scanned (1,3,5 … then 2,4,6…) Progressive scan provides a much better viewing experience than interlace. A 1080p image has 2.07 million pixels (2 megapixels).
4K ULTRA HD
4k Ultra HD is the next generation of high definition video, where both the vertical and horizontal resolution is doubled to 3,840 x 2160. There is a bit of a misnomer when calling Ultra HD 4K, as the resolution for Ultra HD falls just short of four thousand horizontal lines of resolution. This is due to the aspect ratio of televisions (16:9 or 1.78:1) being slightly narrower than cinemas (1.85:1). An Ultra HD image has 8.3 million pixels (8.3 megapixels).
4K 60Hz 4:4:4
This icon needs to be broken into a couple explanations, 4K refers to the native resolution of 4K, as described in the icon above. 60Hz refers to the how many frames are shown per second. There are many frame rates, but most common are 24, 25, 30, 50, and 60. The higher the frame rate, the more data. As an example, HDMI 1.4 could handle Ultra HD/4K with 4:4:4 24Hz, as the bitrate 8.91 gigabits/second (Gbps). The same signal at 60Hz comes in at 17.2 Gbps.
4:4:4 refers to the colour compression scheme, called chroma subsampling. Without getting too detailed 4:4:4 means there is no colour compression, thus providing pristine colour accuracy. Other options are 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 colour compression. For more information on chroma subsampling, head over to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chroma_subsampling
4K UP TO 3M
This icon states that this HDMI cable is capable of transmitting Ultra HD/4K signal up to 3 meters (9.84 feet).
4K UP TO 5M
This icon states that this HDMI cable is capable of transmitting Ultra HD/4K signals up to 5 meters (16.4 feet).
5K WIDE ULTRA HD
5K is specific to video shot in anamorphic aspect ratio (2.35:1). You most often see these commercial movie theaters. Videos output in anamorphic typically have a black bar on the top and bottom of the screen. The typical video resolution for 5K is 5120x2160. You’ll notice that the vertical resolution is the same as 4K. Since there are more horizontal pixels, 5K resolutions have higher bitrates than 4K and not all cables are capable of transmitting 5K signals. 5K images come in at 22.1 megapixels.
8K ULTRA HD
8K is the next wave of high-resolution video and is double the vertical and horizontal resolution of Ultra HD/4K at 7680x4320. There are 33.2 million pixels (33.2 megapixels) in an 8K image.
10K WIDE ULTRA HD
10K is the double the vertical and horizontal resolution of 5K, which is found in videos shot and produced in anamorphic (2.35:1) aspect ratio. The most common resolution of 10K will be, as it is not widely adopted currently, 10240x4320. 10K equates to just over 44 megapixels.
10.2 Gbps means that the HDMI cable is capable of the speeds required in the HDMI 1.4 standard, which was released in 2009. In this case, the cable must be capable of sending/receiving 10.2 billion bits per second.
18 Gbps is based on the HDMI 2.0 standard, which was released in 2013. This means that the cable is capable of handling 18 billion bits per second.
48 Gbps is the latest speed for the newest standard, HDMI 2.1, which was released in the fall of 2017. At 48 billion bits per second, these cables are transmitting massive amounts of data and thus significant engineering and care is required to pull these off, particularly in distances beyond a few meters.
TOSLink is an optical audio cable, originally designed by Toshiba. TOSLink is easily identified by its square shaped connector, is used to transmit digital audio via S/PDIF (Sony Phillips Digital Interface) from a device or display to a receiver. TOSLink does have limitations and is not designed for immersive audio formats.
HD Audio is a term for high resolution audio. HD audio typically refers to content recorded and played back at rates at or higher than 44.1K samples per second and a bit depth of 16 or greater. Common HD audio formats are 96Hz/24b and 192Hz/24b.
HDBaseT is a proprietary format of transporting uncompressed HD and UHD video over ethernet. Founded by Valens, HDBaseT enables ease of distributing HD and UHD quality video throughout a residence via existing or new ethernet cables within the home.
4K 60Hz 4:2:0 UP TO 40M
This cable is able to transmit 4K video with 60 frames per second with 4:2:0 chroma subsampling up to 40 meters (131.2’). This equates to approximately 10.2 Gbps.
4K 60Hz 4:4:4 UP TO 40M
This cable is able to transmit 4K video with 60 frames per second with uncompressed colours up to 40 meters (131.2’). This equates to 18 Gbps.
PoE (or Power over Ethernet) allows for devices to operate without the need for a separate power adapter, as the power is provided by a PoE switch. Based off the IEEE 802.3af-2003 standard, PoE provides up to 15.4 watts of power. IEEE 802.3af-2009, called PoE+ provides 25.5watts of power. PoE is very useful for wiring devices such as video cameras and wireless access points. PoE is standardised to adhere to specific voltage ranges between 37 and 57 volts. This ensures that any PoE device connected to a system receives a compatible power supply.
PoC (or Power-over-Cable) works to similar principles (supplying simultaneous power and data signals over Cat cable) but is non-standardised and is applied to proprietary systems. Therefore, the voltage supply can be set to meet the needs of a specific product/system (which may be lower or higher than voltage range of PoE).
PoH (or Power over HDBaseT) combines the flexibility of PoE with HDBaseT. PoH has more power than PoE, at 100 watts which is enough to operate PoH enabled televisions.
This connector on this cable requires a minimum of 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of force to remove it from the connected device.
This connector on this cable requires a minimum of 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of force to remove it from the connected device. This connector on this cable requires a minimum of 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of force to remove it from the connected device.
This connector on this cable requires a minimum of 3 kg (6.6 lbs) of force to remove it from the connected device.
4K 120Hz DSC
This denotes a cable which is able to output Ultra HD/4K resolutions at frame rates up to 120 frames per second utilising Display Stream Compression, which is a new feature added in the HDMI 2.1 specification.
8K 60Hz DSC
This denotes a cable which is able to output 8K (33 megapixels) resolutions at frame rates up to 60 frames per second utilising Display Stream Compression, which is a new feature added in the HDMI 2.1 specification.
32.4 Gbps refers to 32.4 gigabits per second. This amount of data is often used in widescreen computer monitors, which are attractive to games looking for a wide field of view.
DSC 1.2 or Display Stream Compression version 1.2 is a video compression scheme developed by VESA which enables 3:1 compression over HDMI and DisplayPort. DSC is considered lossless and enables higher resolutions and frame rates to be transported over cables otherwise unable to do so. HDMI 2.1 is the first HDMI standard which has allowed video compression.
FEC or Forward Error Correction is a transmission scheme/protocol used to prevent errors before they occur. DisplayPort 1.4 utilizes FEC which allows it to provide a more reliable signal.