Enjoy Full HD Through the Gefen USB to DVI HD Adapter

This adapter right here is built especially for those people who often use their laptops for way too many purposes, including entertainment. Whenever you want to watch a movie through the HDTV, from your HD-supporting laptop/netbook, difficulties may appear because your portable system did not come with a HDMI out. And here is where this USB to DVI HD adapter from Gefen steps in. Because it uses an USB port, it will be able to connect to all netbooks, a desktop computer, or any other gadgets that are able of supporting high-definition resolution.

The Gefen USB to DVI HD adapter allows for high definition video to be passed on to the large TV in the entertainment room easily, without any fuss or quality loss. You no longer have to sacrifice video quality because all you had was a VGA out at your disposal.

The Full HD 1080p resolution is supported by this very practical adapter, which means that you can forget about the frustrating times when you considered your notebook a piece of junk and wished you could exchange it soon. With the right adapter you can make any device do your bidding, no matter how old or affordable it was in the first place. From a PC for example, this new Gefen gimmick will support the 1,920 x 1,200 resolution without any difficulties.

Gefen’s USB to DVI HD adapter doesn’t even need a separate power supply, as the USB port is sufficient for it to draw the power needed in order to offer you a very good your home entertainment experience.

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Eight displays with a single-slot PCIe – Matrox


Matrox M9188 supports up to eight DisplayPort or DVI Single-Link outputs and can be combined with a second M9188 to drive up to 16 displays, all from a single workstation

Matrox Graphics, the leading manufacturer of specialized graphics solutions, today announced the launch of the Matrox M9188 PCIe x16 Octal graphics card, capable of supporting eight DisplayPort or DVI Single-Link outputs from a single workstation. The Matrox M9188 PCIe x16 offers 2GB of memory, resolutions up to 2560×1600 per output, and advanced desktop management features—such as independent or stretched desktop modes—to drive energy, transportation, process control, financial trading, and other mission-critical environments with exceptional performance.

“The M9188 is designed specifically for professional monitoring environments that require visualization of large amounts of data at once to enhance mission-critical decision making,” says Ron Berty, Business Development Manager, Matrox Graphics. “The expansive multi-monitor configuration allows system operators to accurately manage energy grids or train dispatch applications, while ensuring maximum performance across all displays.”


The Matrox M9188 offers robust support for Microsoft Windows XP, as well as for Linux, which is critical for energy and transportation applications that commonly use display configurations of more than eight monitors.

Matrox also announced a second addition to the M-Series product line with the Matrox M9128 LP PCIe x16, DualHead DisplayPort graphics card. This dual-monitor add-in board is the economical choice to drive business, industrial, and government applications across two displays at resolutions up to 2560×1600


Matrox M9128 and M9188 Key Features

  • Native PCIe x16 performance
  • Single-slot graphics cards
  • 1 GB (M9128) and 2 GB (M9188) of memory
  • Drive two (M9128) or eight (M9188) DisplayPort monitors at 2560×1600 per display or DVI Single-Link monitors at 1920×1200 per display
  • Can be combined with other M-Series products (multi-card support)
  • Support for stretched or independent desktop modes across all monitors
  • Easy deployment and wide enterprise flexibility with unified driver package
  • Support for Microsoft Windows 7 (32/64bit), Windows Vista (32/64bit), Windows XP (32/64bit), Windows Server 2003/2008 (32/64 bit) and Linux


Matrox M9128 and M9188 Availability and Pricing
The Matrox M9128 and M9188 graphics cards will be available in Q4/2009.

  • Matrox M9128 LP PCIe x16
    Part number: M9128-E1024LAF
    $259.00 USD
  • Matrox M9188 PCIe x16  
    Part number: M9188-E2048F
    $1995.00 USD

Power-saving Mitsubishi’s 23-inch monitor


We know it’s been tough finding a 23-inch, full HD monitor that’s just nondescript enough to cause not so much as a passing glance, but it looks like Mitsubishi finally has the monitor for you. In addition to that 1,920 x 1080 resolution, its new RDT231WLM-S model packs a decent 5 ms response time, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, a full range of ports including HDMI and DVI, and an “ECO Professional” mode to cut down on power consumption whenever possible. Unfortunately, it also makes use of a TN panel, and it eschews any modern conveniences like a built-in webcam or USB hub — but, hey, at least it’s one monitor that won’t collect fingerprints left and right. No price or release just yet, but we’d expect those details to be fairly inexpensive and fairly soon.


Toshiba’s Wireless universal docking station


Wireless docking stations have been around for years now, but the main issue has been bandwidth. Sure, it’s easy to send a wireless mouse signal through the air, but try shoving 720p video, four USB signals and a little bit of arrogance though those highly-spaced particles. Toshiba’s new dynadock wireless U USB docking station does a commendable job of doing the best it can with what it has, tapping into wireless USB technology in order to nix the need for your laptop to actually be seated into your docking station. The device can be setup to auto-connect when your machine is in range, and a one-touch undock button carefully shuts down all of your peripherals as you exit. There’s six USB 2.0 sockets (included two of the Sleep-and-Charge variety), integrated 7.1 audio and support for a VGA / DVI monitor with resolutions as high as 1,680 x 1,050. Nah, that’s not quite 1080p, but we’ll take it for now. The $299.99 asking price, however, is a bit harder to swallow.


Dell 24-inch U2410 IPS monitor


Already seen in Japan, the 24-inch UltraSharp U2410 professional monitor is up for retail on Dell’s US store. The IPS-panel features a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution, 6-ms response, 178-degree viewing angles, 1000:1 typical contrast, and 12-bit internal processing (1.07 billion colors), and 96% AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB color space coverage. Connectivity options are vast with jacks for DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, component, composite, and VGA. That’s a lot of rig for $599. Hit the link below if you just have to have it since you won’t find it promoted on the Dell US monitor pages just yet.


HDCP in detail

High Definition digital video allows users to experience high resolution, near perfect video content. Asmore content is delivered digitally, the content creators are increasingly concerned with content piracy because digital content can be perfectly duplicated. Therefore anti-piracy safeguards such, as High Bandwidth Content Protection (HDCP) is necessary in order for original content creators to protect their assets. In this article we will touch on the key points of HDCP.

What is HDCP

High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection,HDCP, is an encryption scheme developed to defend against uncontrolled copying of digital content over high bandwidth digital interconnects such as DVI and the HDMI. The FCC approved HDCP as a “Digital Output Protection Technology” on August 4th,2004. A HDCP protected system consists of: 1) HDCP transmitter(DVD player for example), 2) the digital interface (DVI orHDMI), and 3) the HDCP receiver (your display monitor). Inbrief, the content is encrypted at the transmitter and the signal is passed to the HDCP receiver (display) via the DDC lines (in essence an I2C bus) where it is decrypted before viewing. HDCP requires that both the transmitter and the receiver comply with standards. If either one does not comply,the video will not be displayed properly. Incidentally, HDCP does not apply to analog interface such as component video although component video can be used to display high definition video.

Why should the consumer care about HDCP

It is highly recommended that consumers be aware of HDCP and purchase sets that are HDCP compliant. Here is why. It has been speculated that the two competing high definition DVD standards HD DVD, and BLUE RAY, due out in 2006 will only deliver full resolution on HDCP protected outputs such as HDMI or DVI. If true, then usersmust have a HDCP monitor in order to experience full resolution HD DVD technology. Therefore it is prudent for the consumer to select HDCP compliant displays so the display can be used with future applications.

What is involved during a HDCP session

HDCP is a complicated process but can be broken down to 3 key functions: Authentication, Encryption, and Renewability


The first step before video is actually sent is for the HDCP transmitter to determine if the receiver is “authorized” to accept HDCP protected content. Stored in the PROM of each transmitter and receiver is an array of 40, 56-bit secret keys and a 40-bit entity called Key Selection Vector. Authentication requires that the transmitter and receiver pair exchange “secret keys” and key selection vectors. The keys are scrambled and never revealed. The mathbehind the encryption allows each half to calculate a resultant number, call it Rs, based on the key exchanges. The Rs value is then shared and compared. If the Rs value matches, the receiver is accepted as an authorized HDCP receiver and video transmission can start.


Once authentication is completed, transmission of the video content can commence. To prevent an unauthorized receiver from receiving the content, the video data must be encrypted prior to transmission. At the transmitter end, the video data bits are exclusive-ored with ashared calculated number lets call it Rt ( Rt is similar to howRs was calculated) and sent to the receiver. At the receiver end the encrypted data is again exclusive-ored with Rt. Since the XOR function is invertible, XORing with the same Rt at the receiver end will reveal the true unscrambled video bits. Incidentally, a new Rt value is calculated about every 2 secondto prevent corruption due to hacking.


HDTV technology is changing rapidly. Content providers need to protect against piracy by implementing HDCP. HDCP and digital connection standards such as HDMI will become the de facto standard for digital video connections. We have outlined the important features of HDCP, so the consumer can make intelligent purchasing decisions.


Is HDMI the ultimate digital source or just souped up DVI

High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) has been largely hailed as the ultimate interface to enjoy supreme quality high definition audio and video but is it really that good, after all, surely DVI is just as good. Do we really need HDMI?

HDMI was developed with the specific intention of replacing DVI. DVI was primarily used to convert analogue signals to digital for computer monitors. There are actually three different types of DVI, which are DVI-A, DVI-D and DVD-I.

DVI-A uses analogue signals the same as VGA. DVI-D uses a digital signal (as with modern home cinema systems and consumer products). DVI-I is a combination of both DVI-A and DVI-D. Modern electronics use the single link standard for performance but DVI-I can handle this as well as dual link to make it adaptable for future advancements. DVI-I supports a fully digital protocol, which means video up to 1080p can be viewed.

HDMI on the other hand offers an uncompressed digital audio and video interface that has the full support of manufacturers including Panasonic, Sony, and Toshiba to name but a few. Major movie companies too have backed HDMI including Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures. HDMI offers an interface that can connect any audio or video source together. It can do this through a single HDMI cable.

HDMI supports high definition video, normal video as well as digital audio and also have bandwidth to spare in order to make it ready for future advancements in HDMI technology. It must be remembered though that HDMI and DVI are a lot similar and are actually based on a set of specifications that were extremely alike, in fact, HDMI was derived from the DVI requirements.

So, is HDMI any different to DVI? Well yes it is. HDMI actually incorporates a form of content security known as High Definition Content Protection (HDCP). HDMI also can support both audio and video signals through one cable at the same time whereas DVI is limited to only video.

The number of cables needed to set up with DVI is at least two. One is for the audio and one is for the video. HDMI requires only a single HDMI cable therefore leaving fewer cables to be tangled up behind the electronic equipment. This means that anyone using HDMI is going to end up with a cleaner less cluttered space around their equipment.

The important thing to remember is that quality wise; HDMI and DVI are the same. This is because as mentioned earlier they are both derived from the same specifications but HDMI’s ability to support digital audio gives it the edge over DVI. Combine this with the fact that HDMI can do this through a single HDMI cable and it is easy to see why HDMI and HDMI cables have proved to be so popular.


The Truth About Monster Cable

Hey guys: I just got back from meeting with Noel Lee from Monster Cable, along with a posse of affiliated ladies and gentlemen, and their heavy equipment. I was there to talk to them about the fact that they sell—and have convinced a lot of retailers to sell—very expensive cable ($120 for 2 meters, last I checked). At the same time, there are cheaper non-Monster cables available on the Internet. My simple question Why? resulted in an organized, technical 2-hour response. I won’t give you the blow-by-blow, but I have information that might make this debate interesting, and a bit more three-dimensional.

Let’s start with my allegation about Monster, which isn’t mine alone, because Lee helpfully pointed out the gist of it in the opening of his presentation:

I say, since everything is digital, and since HDMI is a spec, the cheap cable will get the data from point A to point B as well as any other cable. Additionally I say that if there are subtle (i.e. videophile-grade) differences in cables, the average consumer isn’t going to spot them on the TV.

Am I wrong? Monster says yes, but in Lee’s elaborate answer I felt both his POV and mine were justified.

Here are Monster’s truths:

Bandwidth is King.

The requirements of 1080p and beyond is what separates from the high-end cable from the knock-offs. This is the same as Ethernet cable, in the sense that a cable certified for HDMI 1.3a “Highspeed” will guarantee greater throughput. The newest spec, 1.3a means just over 10Gbps of bandwidth. Standard 480p requires less than 1Gbps, the current 8-bit 1080p requires 4.46 Gbps, but the next gen 1080p formats will require nearly 15Gbps, more than the highest certified HDMI cable can support. (See chart if you can, if not I’ll try to get a better one up later.)

Not all cables are the same.

During Lee’s slideshow, he demonstrated via X-Ray slides that pricier cables (OK, Monster’s) have a smaller chance of wear and tear damage at the point where the cable meets the connector. t’s a concept that’s easy for any musician to understand—remember all of those shorting-out patch cords?

Even if it has an HDMI-style connector, it may not be certified HDMI.

You have to look for the HDMI logo, says Steve Venuti of HDMI Licensing. There are tons of knock-offs, especially the bundled or online cables, since you can’t look at the packaging when you buy. Really high-end cables will certify other things, such as HDMI 1.3a and even “Highspeed.”

Just because digital information is made up of ones and zeros it can still degrade, especially over distances.

I get this now, because it’s not about the digital info just getting there, like packet data. It’s video, so it’s about the digital info getting there at the right time to make sense. It’s also audio, and over distances, there’s a greater chance that audio and video will get out of sync. The following pictures show a test that they run that measures data throughput. In the interest of brevity, I’ll just say that the more those lines crowd the center, the greater the risk of having crappy video.

Differences in cable are easily spotted by untrained eyes.

A PS3 feeding 1080p signal to a Samsung 1080p LCD TV starts to jitter and throw digital noise lines across the screen if the cable can’t hack the bandwidth. We tested the two cables above on a PS3 showing a Blu-ray of Chicken Little and it was totally noticeable, there were lines and jitters, none of this videophile matter-of-opinion stuff that I had anticipated. It was totally obvious, and something that Monster says people often blame on their TV, not their cable.

Future proofing and heavy-duty cable are crucial for in-wall installation.

This probably made the most sense of all. Given the fact that in-wall cable is longer than others, you’d need something that can handle the bandwidth. (In fact, when it gets to 50 feet, you don’t have many choices in the cable world for that reason—Monster says it’s soon headed for 100 feet of HDMI.) Couple that with staples, kinks and other weirdness that might happen with in-wall installation, and the fact that when you upgrade your TV, you don’t want to have to re-do your drywall, and Monster has a good point.

Lest you think I be drinkin’ Lee’s Kool-Aid, here are my caveats to Monster’s truths:

• If you are going from any source to a 720p or 1080i TV set, you should really be in the clear using a full-on crappy ass cable.

• As long as you’re not doing installing the wiring in your wall, start with the crappy cable. If it sucks and you only paid $20 for it, go back and spend more on something certified.

• In the demo, Monster even proved that good components can offset crappy cables: that PS3 and that Samsung 1080p were able to work around much of the problems, all the more reason why, in a non-custom non-in-wall installation, you should try out the lower grade stuff first.

So listen, you’ve heard it from me: there are differences in cable, but there are also differences in technical requirements. We don’t all need $120 cables for our components. As to the question of why Monster won’t offer a lower-priced product in recognition of these differences in technical requirements, Lee told me to “stay tuned.”


New Series of HDMI Video Fiber Optic Extenders Aimed at Pro Install, Medical, and Government Markets


Capable of sending HDMI v1.3 digital audio/video signal through multimode optical fibers, AT-HDF20SR and AT-HDF30SR allow any HD display to extend signals up to 1,320 ft at WUXGA or HDTV resolutions. They offer self adjustment with no compression, bit reduction, or signal degradation and can run multiple signals in single conduit without crosstalk. CEC compliant units support 12-bit color depth and have 8 dB input equalizer, which compensates losses over 16 ft.

Atlona Technologies is releasing a new line of video extenders that transfer high definition video over multi-mode Optical type fiber optic cable up to 1000 ft without any signal loss. These new extenders serve not only as a way for companies to send video signal far beyond the lengths of actual cables, but also provides a measure of security due to their use of Fiber Optic cable. Since Fiber Optic cable is immune to interference caused by electromagnetic fields (EMF/EMI), these extenders are perfect for medical imaging applications where a perfect picture is not only ideal, but necessary.

Atlona HDMI versions, model AT-HDF20SR and AT-HDF30SR, are capable of sending HDMI v1.3 digital Audio/Video signal through multimode fibers (SC connection) allowing any HD Display to extend resolutions up to 400 meters (1320 ft) at WUXGA (1920×120 @ 60Hz) or full range of HDTV resolutions 720p/1080i/1080p.

Along with being HDCP/DDC compliant, these UL/CE approved Atlona units are equipped with advanced digital fiber optic technology allowing for self adjustment with no compression, bit reduction, or signal degradation. Multiple signals can be run in a single conduit without crosstalk. These CEC compliant units support 12-bit color depth and have an 8dB input equalizer, which compensates losses over 5 meters (16 ft).

The AT-HDF20SR is an adaptor styled baluns with a small form factor that lends itself perfectly to HDMI matrix switchers where space is limited. The larger of the two baluns is sold as two separate units, the AT-HDF30R and the AT-HDF30R, to allow users the ability to convert among multiple HD video types depending on the receiver unit. This unit is compatible with Atlona’s RGB or DVI receiver units (models: AT-DVIF30R and AT-RGBF30R) making it versatile enough to handle even the most complicated digital signage application.


What’s the Matter with HDMI?

whatishdHow the designers of the HDMI standard screwed up, and what’s to be done about it.

HDMI, as we’ve pointed out elsewhere, is a format which was designed primarily to serve the interests of the content-provider industries, not to serve the interests of the consumer. The result is a mess, and in particular, the signal is quite hard to route and switch, cable assemblies are unnecessarily complicated, and distance runs are chancy. Why is this, and what did the designers of the standard do wrong? And what can we do about it?

The story begins with another badly-developed standard, DVI. A few years ago, there was a movement within the computer industry to develop a new digital video display standard to replace the traditional analog VGA/RGBHV arrangement still found on most computer video cards and monitors. Interested parties grouped together to form the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG), which developed the DVI standard.

DVI had all the earmarks of a standard designed by committee, and it remains one of the most confusing video interfaces ever. DVI could run analog signals, digital signals, or both, and it could run digital signals either in a single-link configuration (in a cable using four twisted pairs for the signal), or in a dual-link configuration (using seven). Identifying which DVI standard or standards any particular device supported was not always easy, and the DVI connector came in various flavors and was never really manufactured in any form that wasn’t well-nigh impossible to terminate.

But the worst thing about DVI was something that the computer-display professionals involved in its development really didn’t give much thought to: distance runs. Most computer displays are mounted at most a few feet away from the CPU, so it didn’t seem imperative that DVI work well over distance. This lack of concern for function at a distance, coupled with common use of twisted-pair cable (e.g., CAT 5) in computer interconnection, led to a decision that DVI would be run in twisted-pair cable.

Had the DVI standard been designed by broadcast engineers rather than computer engineers, things probably would have turned out very differently. In the broadcast world, everything from lowly composite video to High-Definition Serial Digital Video is run in coaxial cables, and for good reasons, which we’ll get to in a bit. Long-distance runs of VGA, in fact, are always handled in coaxial cable (though there may be a number of miniature coaxes in a small bundle, rather than something which obviously appears to be coax).

whatishd1DVI lacked a couple of things which the consumer audio/video industry wanted. It was implemented on a variety of HD displays and source devices, but it was confusing for the consumer because of the many variants on the standard and different connector configurations, and it didn’t carry audio signals. A consortium to develop and promote a new interface, HDMI, was formed; the idea was to come up with a standard which could be implemented more uniformly, was less confusing, and offered the option of routing audio signals along with video.

Here, again, was an opportunity to avoid problems. The difficulties of running DVI-D signals over long distances were well known, and the mistakes of the past could have been avoided by developing HDMI as a wholly new standard, independent of DVI. Instead, the HDMI group elected to modify the DVI standard, using the same encoding scheme and the same basic interface design, but adding embedded audio and designing a new plug. Instead of many DVI options, analog, digital, single and dual link, there was one “flavor” of HDMI (actually, there is also a dual-link version in the HDMI spec–but you won’t find it implemented on any currently available device). This provided the advantage of making HDMI backward-compatible with some existing DVI hardware, but it locked the interface into the electrical requirements of the DVI interface. Specifically, that means that the signals have to be run balanced, on 100 ohm impedance twisted pairs.

We’re often asked why that’s so bad. After all, CAT 5 cable can run high-speed data from point to point very reliably–why can’t one count on twisted-pair cable to do a good job with digital video signals as well? And what makes coax so great for that type of application?

First, it’s important to understand that a lot of other protocols which run over twisted-pair wire are two-way communications with error correction. A packet that doesn’t arrive on a computer network connection can be re-sent; an HDMI or DVI signal is a real-time, one-way stream of pixels that doesn’t stop, doesn’t error-check, and doesn’t repair its mistakes–it just runs and runs, regardless of what’s happening at the other end of the signal chain.

Second, HDMI runs fast–at 1080p, the rate is around 150 Megapixels/second. CAT5, by contrast, is rated at 100 megabits per second–and that’s bits, not pixels.

Third, HDMI runs parallel, not serially. There are three color signals riding on three pairs, with a clock circuit running on the fourth. These signals can’t fall out of time with one another, or with the clock, without trouble–and the faster the bitrate, the shorter the bits are, and consequently the tighter the time window becomes for each bit to be registered.

Consider, by contrast, what the broadcast world did when it needed to route digital video from