Video Vibes – How HDMI cables matter for Audio AND Video

Video Vibes: Image quality worthy of an audiophile

By Anthony Chiarella

We audiophiles are a strange bunch. When it comes to sound, we obsess over every detail of our HiFi systems, moving speakers half an inch at a time, adjusting toe-in by fractions of a degree, using micrometers, jewelers’ scales and USB Microscopes to precisely calibrate our turntables and spirit levels in order to optimize our equipment racks. We spend a fortune on items that, to the uninitiated, seem to be minutiae, because experience has taught us that EVERYTHING influences sound quality. And yet, when it comes to video, we suddenly become misers. Lazy misers, at that!

Think about it: How many hardcore audiophiles apply the same rigor to video performance as they do to audio? Audiophiles either don’t care about video performance or they don’t think they can do anything to improve it…and nothing could be further from the truth! Anyone who owns a projector knows the importance of proper video calibration. Years ago, Joe Kane and ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) developed effective calibration standards for all video display devices — CRTs, DLPs, Projectors, Plasmas, etc.— and any dealer that sells quality home theater products insists on careful calibration and optimization of the video systems they install.

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The point of all this, of course, is that image quality DOES matter, and that careful tuning can provide significant enhancements in video performance. When it comes to “Bang for the buck,” the most profound improvements come from upgrading your High Definition Cables.

If you’re reading this blog, you already know the impact that changing interconnects or speaker cables can have on the sound of your system. An audio cable has to deal with two basic parameters: frequency and amplitude. The audio bandwidth spans 20,000 cycles, which means that an interconnect must carry two (stereo) channels of 20 kHz bandwidth. By comparison, the bandwidth of a Hi-Def video signal is 6GHz. That’s 6,000,000,000 Hz, or about Three Thousand Times the bandwidth of an audio signal! And that’s not the whole story: whereas an audio cable carries two channels of data, an HDMI cable carries three High Speed Digital Signaling Channels, eleven Channels of full-range Audio (plus LFE), as well as a TDMS Clock Channel, and a Data Display Channel (DDC), not to mention FIVE grounds! Of course, all of these various signals must travel the length of the cable in perfect synchronization and arrive at precisely the same instant in time. Obviously, the job description of an HDMI cable is far more complicated—and far more demanding—than that of an audio cable. So, why haven’t video connoisseurs been investing in better cables the way audiophiles have been doing for the past 40 years?

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The problem is that, until recently, most HDMI cables have been indistinguishable from each other. Made in enormous Asian factories, generic HDMI cables are designed and manufactured to the lowest common denominator, with cost, not quality, as the overriding concern. All of which explains why Nordost HDMI cables are the ONLY choice for quality and performance. The same philosophies that Nordost applies to their audio cables—conductor design, material quality, mechanical and electrical isolation, dielectric optimization, ultra-wide bandwidth, and precision manufacturing—make Nordost HDMI cables the world’s finest. Need proof? DPL Labs, an independent testing facility that has developed standards for HDMI cables, has certified that all Nordost HDMI cables achieve the highest possible level of performance.

Available in three grades—Blue Heaven, Heimdall 2 and Valhalla 2—Nordost HDMI and 4K UHD cables are precision-manufactured in the USA from the finest materials available. All feature Micro-Monofilament dielectrics, silver-plated Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) conductors and DPL High Speed Certification. Most importantly, however, these three Nordost AV cables share one unique feature: each offers a cost-effective means of elevating your Audio/Video system to new and higher levels of performance. Try one and you’ll see…and hear!


LEARN MORE:

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Pushing the 4K/UHD Digital Envelope

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Danger Lurks at the Bottom of the HDMI Abyss


 

The Sound Environment — Nordost Event

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The Sound Environment is happy to invite you to “An Evening With Nordost”. Please join us Thursday, November 10th at The Sound Environment’s showroom in Omaha, Nebraska from 4-8 PM. Nordost sales manager and product trainer, Mike Marko, will be in attendance to guide patrons through Nordost’s philosophy, technology and all of the advances that Nordost cables can bring to your sound system. Presentations will be held at the top of every hour, so there are plenty of opportunities to listen to great music and gain some valuable information.


An Evening With Nordost

The Sound Environment

11021 Elm St.

Omaha, NE 68144

Thursday, November 10th 4-8PM

RSVP/Contact Information: 402-391-3842


RMAF 2016 with Nordost and VPI

By Mat Weisfeld of VPI Industries

Let’s take a minute and talk about cables!  No really, this blows my mind because I was on the side that used to say, “changing your cables?  What could it really do to the sound”.  Let me tell you it can do a lot! Nordost brought an Avenger Reference with two arms mounted up to Rocky Mountain Audiofest 2016.  One arm with standard VPI wire, and the other arm wired with Nordost Reference wire.  This is not the first time we have done this comparison together but the first time it has been done on this level of clarity.  We stepped up our game by upgrading the table from a standard Avenger to Reference and the cartridge to an Ortofon Cadenza Black.

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Most comparisons of product are actually not accurate or fair.  When someone changes a variable in their system it is important to only change ONE VARIABLE!  That might sound like a no brain-er but there are often listening comparisons when more than one component is changed.  “Wow, cartridge A is so much better than cartridge B”.  What about the fact that you were using two entirely different arms or different cable?  If every other variable, besides the one you are testing, are not the same than it is not a fair comparison, even down to the setup, which brings us back to the Nordost demonstration at Rocky Mountain.

I personally set up both arms and ensured that they both had the same alignment, VTA, and tracking force.  Setting up the arms and cartridges was easy, getting them both EXACTLY IDENTICAL to each other, that took some time, quiet, and soft music in the background to achieve.

Once all the set-up/fine tuning and just a touch of drinking was done… it was time to move the needle!  We listened to a track using the standard tonearm wire that already sounded great on it’s own!  However, from the first note, switching to the reference tonearm wire added a whole other level of articulation and detail that wasn’t present on the first listening run.  I found my foot tapping and my overall experience felt natural and alive.  Not only that, the whole system was just fired up and sounded fantastic right out of the gate when it would only get better as it warmed up and broke in.  We were extremely happy with the overall sound and even happier about the distinct difference being demonstrated by the good folks at Nordost!

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Read more blogs by VPI industries


Pictures from Nordost Nation! October 2016

Nordost is lucky to have such incredibly loyal and enthusiastic customers! One great way that our fans let us know that they are happy with the work that we do is by sending us pictures of their Nordost products in action. Here are a few photos that have been shared with us recently. Feel free to send us pictures of Nordost in your system so that we can continue to share them with the whole Nordost family!


 

Audio By Mark Jones has a beautiful showroom seen here wired with Norse 2 and Valhalla 2 cables

Audio By Mark Jones has a beautiful showroom, seen here wired with Norse 2 and Valhalla 2 cables.

 

@the_hifigirl posted this great shot of our QB8 Mark II with Valhalla 2 Power Cords, QV2, QK1, Sort Kones, and even a Valhalla 2 Speaker Cable just for good measure!

@the_hifigirl posted this great instagram shot of our QB8 Mark II with Valhalla 2 Power Cords, QV2, QK1, Sort Kones, and even a Valhalla 2 Speaker Cable just for good measure!

@balalaikka is keepin it old-school with this instagram of his used Red Dawn Speaker Cables!

@balalaikka is keepin it old-school with this instagram of his used Red Dawn Speaker Cables!

Batman and Chun Li are making sure no one tries to steal the Heimdall 2 USB Cable from @_shak_

Batman and Chun Li are making sure no one tries to steal the Heimdall 2 USB Cable from @_shak_

Audio Nirvana (@audionirvana) is having fun supporting their Odin 1 Speaker Cables with the new Sort Lift.

Audio Nirvana (@audionirvana) is having fun supporting their Odin 1 Speaker Cables with the new Sort Lift.

@stevechavez instagramed this amazing shot of his Audeze LCD-3 with our Heimdall 2 Headphone Cable.  #happyplace :)

@stevechavez instagramed this amazing shot of his Audeze LCD-3 with our Heimdall 2 Headphone Cable. #happyplace :)

Our International Salesman and Product Trainer, Dennis Bonotto, shared this great shot of his SME V arm internally wired with Nordost Reference Internal Tonearm Cable.

Our International Salesman and Product Trainer, Dennis Bonotto, shared this great shot of his SME V arm internally wired with Nordost Reference Internal Tonearm Cable.

@guigounou's Elac Speakers must sound fantastic wired with Heimdall 2!

@guigounou’s Elac Speakers must sound fantastic wired with Heimdall 2!

@toddcc1 and his dog are having an easy time relaxing to some Miles Davis!

@toddcc1 and his dog are having an easy time relaxing to some Miles Davis!

@mervynaugustine shared this cool instagram picture of his Legacy Classic HD with our Norse Bi-Wire Jumpers!

@mervynaugustine shared this cool instagram picture of his Legacy Classic HD with our Norse Bi-Wire Jumpers!

"Yeah...Reference...Top Notch" - Michael Tdj  Reference Bi-Wire Jumpers! :)

“Yeah…Reference…Top Notch” – Michael Tdj
Reference Bi-Wire Jumpers!
:)

PinCha Audio shared this clean image of a system with our Leif cables!

PinCha Audio shared this clean image of a system with our Leif cables!

The next generation of hi-fi lovers is on the way thanks to Nordost and @audionirvana!

The next generation of hi-fi lovers is on the way thanks to @audionirvana and Nordost!

 

 

Nuts About HiFi — Nordost Event

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Come and join us for a night of demonstrations, comparisons and great music! Nuts About HiFi, in Silverdale, Washington is hosting a Nordost Event in their showroom on October 21st, from 4-9 PM. Nordost product specialist, Jon Baker will be showing attendees the benefits of using high quality audio cables in a hifi system.  We hope that everyone in the Silverdale area will be able to visit us next week for what will prove to be a very informative and fun evening!

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 Nuts About HiFi

9960 Silverdale Way

Silverdale WA 98383

United States of America

(360) 698-1348

Dealer Spotlight: HiFi Innovationen

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In northwest Germany, surrounded by beautiful green meadows, parks and valleys, you will find the city of Kassel, equidistant from major cities such as Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Leipzig, and Hannover. Kassel’s relaxing environment is the perfect setting to enjoy good music, and at HiFi Innovationen, owner Klaus Kirchhof goes out of his way to make your listening experience in these idyllic surroundings unforgettable.

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Each year, HiFi Innovationen hosts several events where customers can listen to new releases from different manufacturers and setups at every level. This spring, Nordost was invited to participate in two separate demonstrations and was greeted by a full attendance throughout the whole weekend.

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First, we put the emphasis on power—starting with the power cords. We showed attendees that feeding electronics with good power cords can make a great difference. In fact, these often overlooked components are fundamental in making your system play at its best! We also used our QV2 and QK1 harmonizers and enhancers in order to demonstrate how to minimize the electrical noise that sneaks into our setups through the power supply. However, electrical noise isn’t the only thing affecting the sound quality of your system negatively. Mechanical noise can also seriously degrade musical reproduction, which Nordost remedies with Sort Kones and Sort Füt. During the demonstrations at HiFi Innovationen, we showed that even the power distribution block is subject to noise that feeds into the signal chain.

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Finally, we featured our new, Supreme Reference Range, Odin 2. During our demonstration of this revolutionary cable, HiFi Innovationen customers had the rare opportunity to hear A-B comparisons between the original Odin and Odin 2 cables, including power cords, loudspeaker cables, and digital/analog interconnects. By the end of our presentation it was clear to all in attendance how Odin 2 has improved technology, construction and fidelity, lifting our reference bar to new heights.

Next time you’re in Germany, make sure you visit Klaus to audition Nordost cables for yourself.

 

HIFI INNOVATIONEN

Dipl.-Ing. K. Kirchhof
Weserstraße 11
34317 Kassel -
Habichtswald-Ehlen
Phone 05606.6155
Fax 05606.6156
Mobil 0172.5644588 

Introducing The Tyr 2 USB 2.0 Cable

Nordost is proud to introduce the new Tyr 2 USB 2.0 Cable, further expanding the most advanced range in the Norse 2 Family. The Tyr 2 Range is truly a unique place in the Nordost line-up, taking reference quality products and making them available for an unbeatable value. Now this same principal can be applied to computer audio. Due to the increasing amounts of data and information being processed through music servers and hard-drive storage systems, as well as the rising popularity of high-resolution audio downloads, the use of hifi audio-specific USB cables is critical to the fidelity of sound reproduction. By utilizing premium materials, cutting-edge technology, and precision craftsmanship, the Tyr 2 USB delivers the ultimate level of performance, and is guaranteed to take your computer audio system to the next level.

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The Tyr 2 USB 2.0 Cable is constructed using 4×20 AWG solid core, silver-plated, oxygen free copper conductors. Implementing a solid core design is essential when working with a cable of this caliber, completely eliminating the negative effects of strand interaction and skin effect. Each solid core conductor is then wrapped in Nordost’s proprietary Dual Mono-Filament technology before being enclosed in extruded FEP, which lowers the capacitance of the cable, both increasing signal speed and bandwidth.

The Tyr 2 USB 2.0 Cable arranges its conductors in a precise, twisted, double helix geometry in order to ensure characteristic impedance, minimize cross-talk, and reduce noise. To even further reduce noise, and protect the USB signal path from any external interference, Nordost employs a dual-layer, silver foil jacket and silver braided shield. Finally, before being terminated with gold-plated, fully shielded connectors, the Tyr 2 USB is cut to mechanically tuned lengths, which reduce internal microphonics and high-frequency impedance resonance.

As with all Nordost products, the Tyr 2 USB 2.0 Cable is handmade in the USA, ensuring a high level of production quality and the extreme precision necessary to manufacture USB cables capable of overcoming jitter and timing errors. The Tyr 2 USB 2.0 Cable is the solution you need in order to achieve the superb sound staging, wide dynamic range, and precise timing you have been looking for in computer audio.

The Tyr 2 USB 2.0 is now available for purchase at select Nordost dealers, worldwide. To find the Nordost dealer nearest you, visit the “Where to Buy” page on www.nordost.com.

Nordost Playlist – October 2016

Nordost is lucky to have a wonderful team of representatives and product trainers who travel around the world educating and demonstrating the effects of Nordost’s products. As part of these demonstrations, it is our job to find an interesting and diverse selection of music to showcase our cables, power devices, sort system and accessories. Whether at shows, visiting our dealers and distributors or even in our own listening room in our headquarters in Holliston, we are constantly getting asked what music we are playing (or if our audience is not so bold to ask, we can see their Shazams working overtime). So we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share our favorite songs of the moment. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your taste, but one thing is for sure …it’s all great music.

Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this October.

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  1. Smaller Than My Mother—Overcoats—Smaller Than My Mother
  2. GOT IT GOOD—Kaytranada, Craig David—99.9%
  3. Cidade Lagoa—Mônica Salmaso—Iaiá
  4. Beast Of Burden-Remastered—The Rolling Stones—Some Girls
  5. Teach Me Tonight—Dinah Washington—Blue Gardenia
  6. When I Get My Hands On You—The New Basement Tapes—Lost On The River
  7. L’Assasin Du Dimanche—Yves Montand—A Paris
  8. So. Good.—Johnny Stimson—So. Good.
  9. Mind Control-Main—Stephen Marley—Mind Control
  10. Kingdom Of Rain- Remastered Album Version—The The—Mind Bomb