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Nordost Wyrewizard HDMI Cables

Part II

December, 2005

Kris Deering

 

In Use

After installing the cable to my Sony VPL-HS51 projector I re-checked all my calibrations to ensure there were no variances from just the cable. Everything checked out just fine. I then went through a lot of different video content ranging from DVD to HD cable to pre-recorded D-Theater High Definition content.

For DVD playback I used both my reference Denon DVD-5910 Universal Player and the new Lexicon RT-20 Universal Player. Both of these players deliver a great image with standard definition DVDs.

With this new cable, I noticed an incredible amount of detail and complete lack of artifacts with some of my reference transfers such as Disneyís The Incredibles and Universalís The Chronicles of Riddick. This compared to my previous HDMI cables where I had been getting the annoying dropouts every once in awhile. This is something that had been driving both my wife and I insane at times.

Moving on to high definition feeds from my HD PVR, I was thrilled with the artifact-free delivery of some of my recorded content. Images were extremely clean and detailed and the only artifact noticed was compression issues inherent in the commercial system. I really wish that broadcasters would stop trying to cram a million channels onto their streams and start making the channels they have look better. It is the only way they will ever take over as the delivery medium of choice for content. One gets awfully tired of the swimming effect of compression in the signal and the pronounced macro-blocking with fast movement.

Last but not least I connected the Nordost cable to the HDMI output of my JVC D-Theater D-VHS deck. I looked through several of my pre-recorded titles such as Moulin Rouge, Master and Commander, and I, Robot. The Nordost cable delivered in spades without a single dropout at 1080i throughout all of the films. Detail was exquisite, especially with I, Robot which I feel represents the best pre-recorded high definition film to date. Colors were impeccable, and the lack of artifacts was very satisfying. At last, the dropouts were gone.

The difference when viewing pre-recorded high definition via a digital connection rather than an analog connection is not as subtle as most would think (at least in a digital setup like mine). Fine detail takes a big step up as does the pop of the colors. Analog conversions and filtering do take their toll. The Nordost HDMI cable preserved the presentation and never once broke the image up or caused any dropouts of any kind, something I canít say for HDMI cables Iíve used in the past.

Unfortunately, at this point in time I am unable to test the cable for audio performance. While I will be upgrading my reference Anthem D1 Surround Sound Processor to the D2 which will add audio support for HDMI, this is still a little ways down the road. I will update this review at that point though and comment on the audio performance of this cable with both movie soundtracks and DVD-Audio playback.

Conclusions

My experiences here have definitely changed some of my outlooks on cables. The quality of the construction of cables used for high frequency (MHz) digital signal transmission is really important. Cutting corners in construction and quality of terminations can result in frequent losses of signal, or worse, a total loss. No one wants to have their friends over for a night at the movies only to have to fiddle with the cable all the time because of dropouts; believe me Iíve been there. Nordost seems to subscribe to this philosophy and has delivered a cable with phenomenal build, quality, and performance.
 

- Kris Deering -  

© Copyright 2005 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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