Monster, a well known U.S. manufacturer of audio/video accessories, recently revealed an innovative type of HDMI cable which actually displays the resolution currently being transferred by the cable which should help both home users and professionals install home entertainment systems more easily.
According to Monster the new cable eliminates one of "the most pressing issues in today’s HDMI universe, namely, making sure that the HDTV content from sources such as Blu-ray players and satellite receivers is actually being sent over the HDMI cable properly to your HDTV". The new Monster "Smart" ISF cable lets you know visually, as soon as you connect it to any compatible device whether or not the signal you are getting is in standard definition, high definition or in the most recent 4K resolution.
The "Smart" ISF cable uses 3 tiny LED lights to indicate SD/HD/4K resolution. This should tell you right away when you connect and turn on the device what you are getting, however since the LED lights are next to the HDMI connector which is typically hidden behind the device (be it a HDTV, Blu-ray player or any other device) you will find it very difficult to see most of the time.
4K resolution which is said to be supported by the new cable has 4 times as many pixels as Full HD. Although 4K display prototypes have been shown way back in CES 2009, only recently actual products have start reaching the market with Toshiba and LG in the front and other manufacturers promising to have their own offerings soon (4K projectors are already gaining some traction).
Currently there are no 4K players on the market and although some device can upscale 1080p to 4K, true 4K can only come these days from a computer and you can find 4K content online (youtube is one place to find 4K content) but for the most part we shall have to wait until 2013 at least to see the first players and possibly more content ready for consumers.
Monster’s new line of "Smart" cables are available in three speeds categories, including the ISF 2000 (21 Gbps), in lengths ranging from 5- to 75-feet, (SRP: $150 to $350); ISF 1250 (17.8 Gbps) in lengths of 5- to 75-feet (SRP:$100 to $225); and the ISF 750 (14.3 Gbps), in lengths ranging from 5- to 16-feet (SRP:$60 to $200).
Iddo has a B.A. in Philosophy and Cognitive Science and an M.A. in Philosophy of Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is currently writing his Ph.D. thesis on the relationship between the scientific community and industry. Iddo was awarded the 2006 Bar Hillel philosophy of science prize for his work on the relationship between science and technology. He is a member of the board of the lifeboat foundation and was the editor of several high-profile science and technology websites since 1999.