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Many HDMI and Coaxial Antenna Cables in the Market Don't Meet EU EMC Regulations

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The German Federal Network Agency, together with Agentschap Telecom Netherlands, BAKOM Switzerland and Elsäkerhetsverket Sweden have tested consumer HDMI and coaxial antenna cables and come to the conclusion that many of them don't meet regulations when it comes to Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC). The four groups tested 30 coaxial antenna cables and 30 HDMI cables, of which only 11 percent of the antenna cables met the manufacturers declared attenuation and and only 10 percent of the HDMI cables met an acceptable EMC quality of at least 50 dB coupling attenuation.

Usually EMI, or electromagnetic interference is what's being discussed, but EMC is about how a device works and interacts in an environment so it doesn't cause EMI. In terms of cables, the normal cause for EMI tends to be because the cable ends up working like an antenna and starts to simplify the signal being transmitted inside the cable. This can cause all sorts of problems, with the most obvious example being poorly shielded USB 3.0 cables, which can interfere with 2.4 GHz radios, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, wireless mice and headphones etc.



One of the main issues that was pointed out in the briefing is that if poor quality antenna cables are being used to connect set-top boxes or TVs to cable TV networks can cause system wide problems. A somewhat unexpected side effect from this is that it can also cause problems with radio reception in an unspecified area near the poor quality antenna cable, due to interference coming from the cable.

HDMI cables are said to potentially cause radio interference as well, but no further details were provided into specific issues here. Sadly there's no record of which cables were tested, but the report points out that there was no real difference between cheap and expensive cables. It should be noted that all cables tested were of quite short lengths of between 1.5 to 3 meters, so longer cables could perform even worse.

The four groups that did the testing made a list of suggestions to the EU Commission to look into, as well as suggesting that standards organisations need to step up their certification programs. Furthermore they want to test other types of cables, such as USB-C and even Ethernet cables, to make sure they meet the required standards. The sad news here is that according to a similar test done in 2012, the overall quality of coaxial antenna cables, the quality has actually gotten worse.

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That's just the tip of the iceberg. If only someone dug deeper...
 
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It would be good to know if cheaper cables are not up to spec, or if it applies to all price brackets. I'd not be surprised if folk chasing cheap-ass products don't get what the marketing material says. I know it's wrong to advertise false specifications but I'm always amazed when folk buy 5m gold-plated, uber awesome cables for £2.50 and are surprised they've actually bought shit.
 
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It would be good to know if cheaper cables are not up to spec, or if it applies to all price brackets. I'd not be surprised if folk chasing cheap-ass products don't get what the marketing material says. I know it's wrong to advertise false specifications but I'm always amazed when folk buy 5m gold-plated, uber awesome cables for £2.50 and are surprised they've actually bought shit.
As I mentioned, the conclusion from the test was that there was no significant difference between the cheap or expensive cables tested.
 
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Any chance of a list of cables that passed actual testing?

It would be quite useful for finding actual quality cables that can replace the cheap chinese cables that I'm currently using.
 
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Any chance of a list of cables that passed actual testing?

It would be quite useful for finding actual quality cables that can replace the cheap chinese cables that I'm currently using.
Sadly they didn't provide a list, as mentioned, of what they tested or which ones passed or didn't pass the testing.
 
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The sad news here is that according to a similar test done in 2012, the overall quality of coaxial antenna cables, the quality has actually gotten worse.

At least I get the internet speed for what I'm paying for, and no issues with internet or other devices I use.
 
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At least I get the internet speed for what I'm paying for, and no issues with internet or other devices I use.
Keep in mind that the antenna cables in the EU are different from the cables that are used for cable modems and most other uses in the US.
Instead of using F-type screw-in connectors, European antenna cables use Belling-Lee connectors, which are simple push-in connectors.
 
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Well, that's bad and will only get worse as there will be more devices around to spew out whatever, since their manufacturers race to the bottom price point. Show a typical consumer a 3eur HDMI cable made of the finest chinesium a penny can buy and a 25eur reasonable quality/standards compliant one, tell him it will basically work the same and guess which one will he buy. Also, laws differ between countries, but the included cable is often treated as an "accessory" and does not have to be compliant with any quality standard aside from "just working", even if the main device has to be. I fount that out when I was selling custom and semi-custom LED lightning on a local eBay clone. If you sell a power supply by itself, it has to be certified by an applicable authority. If it's part of a bundle, you can just throw in whatever Chinese fire hazard you have lying around.
 
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Well, that's bad and will only get worse as there will be more devices around to spew out whatever, since their manufacturers race to the bottom price point. Show a typical consumer a 3eur HDMI cable made of the finest chinesium a penny can buy and a 25eur reasonable quality/standards compliant one, tell him it will basically work the same and guess which one will he buy. Also, laws differ between countries, but the included cable is often treated as an "accessory" and does not have to be compliant with any quality standard aside from "just working", even if the main device has to be. I fount that out when I was selling custom and semi-custom LED lightning on a local eBay clone. If you sell a power supply by itself, it has to be certified by an applicable authority. If it's part of a bundle, you can just throw in whatever Chinese fire hazard you have lying around.
Did you bother reading anything more than the headline?
There was no significant difference when it comes to how interference prone or not the cables were based on price.
The test was performed on retail cables and not cables that were supplied with TVs or monitors.

And I hope that you're aware that you're legally responsible for electrical devices you sell in the EU, which means if someone's home burns down due to a dodgy power adapter you sold them, their insurance company will take you for everything you have.
Never sell uncertified products.
 
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Hurray for testing! Reminds me to wear proper protection gear for the ... you know... :p

 

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Soundslike another tax...
 
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Not a surprise. $5 cable made in let me guess, and probably not done to current applicable standards, materials who knows, and same goes for testing.

Mine/wreck the planet to get raw materials only to manufacture a product to go straight to landfill.
 
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I've got an entire box of HDMI cables of various lengths, most of which cant do above 1080p and even one long one that only does 720p (i really do need to bin that one)
Maybe 3 of the cables that are very short, can handle 4k.

HDMI cables are often very cheap, and very crap.
 
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I've got an entire box of HDMI cables of various lengths, most of which cant do above 1080p and even one long one that only does 720p (i really do need to bin that one)
Maybe 3 of the cables that are very short, can handle 4k.

HDMI cables are often very cheap, and very crap.
Ironically, I bought my first Monster Cable ever this year, because it was long and could reliably do 4K@120hz according to user feedback. It felt all kinds of wrong, but it did work.

Cable in question:


Not as bad as it sounds, 12ft of true hdmi 2.1 is hard to find. In the past these cables were garbage money sinks though, hence my comment.
 

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Yeah actually $50USD for that monter cable is totally reasonable for that sort of length

It's not like the good old days where that was a $500 cable
 
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Not a surprise. $5 cable made in let me guess, and probably not done to current applicable standards, materials who knows, and same goes for testing.

Mine/wreck the planet to get raw materials only to manufacture a product to go straight to landfill.
Did you read further than the headline? There was no significant different based on price.

I've got an entire box of HDMI cables of various lengths, most of which cant do above 1080p and even one long one that only does 720p (i really do need to bin that one)
Maybe 3 of the cables that are very short, can handle 4k.

HDMI cables are often very cheap, and very crap.
That might have something to do with the fact that older HDMI cables weren't designed for current standards...
How many of your USB 2.0 can do USB 3.0? My guess is zero. Obviously a bit of an unfair comparison, but still.

Ironically, I bought my first Monster Cable ever this year, because it was long and could reliably do 4K@120hz according to user feedback. It felt all kinds of wrong, but it did work.

Cable in question:


Not as bad as it sounds, 12ft of true hdmi 2.1 is hard to find. In the past these cables were garbage money sinks though, hence my comment.
Yet it's not HDMI Ultra certified...
 
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Well if you take apart those cable you would guess where the differences come through.

The cable ends are often exposed. Soldered on PCB, then glue and then the shell. Good gables encapsulate the PCB and cable with copper foil and the cable shield is worn very high up, leaving no exposed places and then the case(metal same that goes in to the end device, I don't mention the rubber plastic) comes over. It applies to USB3 cabling also.

The cable core itself often is made from who ever knows. It is starting to show marks of oxidation while being kinda new. But The data wires ain't the problem usually itself.

The main culprits of causing problems are the connectors itself and their design. I've seen receivers start to whine and the whine crawled in the analog audio section, while suspecting the usual lack of proper ground changing to another floating device(groundless) is a good test ie battery powered device like laptop. The HDMI capture devices also exhibit that to a certain degree, but mostly because of the camera end there is a microHDMI. Latest cameras cut the crap and started to use a proper sized HDMI. The actual flaw you see is crackling HDMI audio.

I bet most of the problems can be solved making a loop or two through a ferrite ring or using the clamp on ones. Guys living near radio amateur towers have no other means but do like that, otherwise they got all sort of trouble.
 
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Yet it's not HDMI Ultra certified...
At the time of purchase literally nothing was, so...

At least it does what it claims. I hardly advise paying for it over a cert'd cable though. And their advertising is still a cringefest.
 
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Well if you take apart those cable you would guess where the differences come through.

The cable ends are often exposed. Soldered on PCB, then glue and then the shell. Good gables encapsulate the PCB and cable with copper foil and the cable shield is worn very high up, leaving no exposed places and then the case(metal same that goes in to the end device, I don't mention the rubber plastic) comes over. It applies to USB3 cabling also.

The cable core itself often is made from who ever knows. It is starting to show marks of oxidation while being kinda new. But The data wires ain't the problem usually itself.

The main culprits of causing problems are the connectors itself and their design. I've seen receivers start to whine and the whine crawled in the analog audio section, while suspecting the usual lack of proper ground changing to another floating device(groundless) is a good test ie battery powered device like laptop. The HDMI capture devices also exhibit that to a certain degree, but mostly because of the camera end there is a microHDMI. Latest cameras cut the crap and started to use a proper sized HDMI. The actual flaw you see is crackling HDMI audio.

I bet most of the problems can be solved making a loop or two through a ferrite ring or using the clamp on ones. Guys living near radio amateur towers have no other means but do like that, otherwise they got all sort of trouble.
Unfortunately there weren't a lot of pictures in the report, but they did actually pull the cables apart, to check the strength of the construction around the connectors, as apparently there are regulations for that too.
 
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Buying anything has become more and more annoying. You have to do research all the time, because reliable brands, price brackets or shops actually sourcing quality products more or less are dying out. :(
Also makes you appreciate outlets with prober reviews.
 
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Did you read further than the headline? There was no significant different based on price.
Yes.

I would assume it would have more to do with the place of manufacture, standards, testing, and qa/qc. Odds are probably good that a $5 cable or a $75 cable are manufactured in the same area.

Unfortunately there weren't a lot of pictures in the report, but they did actually pull the cables apart, to check the strength of the construction around the connectors, as apparently there are regulations for that too.
I would guess a lot of the issues come from, either not following the standards, or there is too many standards/overlapping standards.
I would not be surprised if there was iso, ansi, ieee, and a bunch of others involved in some part of construction, testing, etc. at some point in the production of a cable.

End result is it's unfortunate that the earths resources are basically wasted.
 
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