Forest HDMI embodies all of AudioQuest's core philosophies on cable design. Forest employs solid Long-Grain Copper conductors, Solid High-Density Polyethylene Insulation, and precise signal geometry. Specific attention has been paid to maximizing the performance of HDMI, and indeed, AudioQuest's HDMI cables push sonic performance to new levels.
All drawn metal strands or conductors have a non-symmetrical, and therefore directional, grain structure. AudioQuest controls the resulting RF impedance variation so that noise is drained away from where it will cause distortion. The correct direction is determined by listening to every batch of metal conductors used in every AudioQuest audio cable. Arrows are clearly marked on the connectors to ensure superior sound quality.
Solid conductors eliminate strand-interaction distortion and reduce jitter. Solid silver-plated conductors are excellent for very high-frequency applications, like HDMI audio and video. These signals, being such a high frequency, travel almost exclusively on the surface of the conductor. As the surface is made of high-purity silver, the performance is very close to that of a solid silver cable, but priced much closer to solid copper cable. This is an incredibly cost effective way of manufacturing very high-quality HDMI cables.
Hard-Cell Foam (HCF) Insulation ensures critical signal-pair geometry. Any solid material adjacent to a conductor is actually part of an imperfect circuit. Wire insulation and circuit board materials all absorb energy. Some of this energy is stored and then released as distortion. Hard-Cell Foam Insulation is similar to the Foamed-PE used in our more affordable Bridges & Falls cables, and is nitrogen-injected to create air pockets. Because nitrogen (like air) does not absorb energy and therefore does not release any energy from or into the conductor, distortion is reduced. In addition, the stiffness of the material allows the cable's conductors to maintain a stable relationship along the cable's full length, producing a stable impedance character and further minimizing distortion.
HDMI standards and capabilities have improved significantly since DVI first evolved into HDMI. All generations are backward compatible. However, not all previous HDMI cables can transmit the full 18Gbps of data required to optimize today’s HDMI 2.0 equipment. While there is currently no 4K/60 4:4:4 software requiring the full 18Gbps capability of HDMI, some sources (UHD Blu-ray players) can be set to “up-sample”, requiring 18Gbps capability. Up-sampling often should be done in the TV rather than in a previous component — but that’s your decision. AudioQuest HDMI cables with "Exceeds 18 G bps" on the box front are guaranteed to exceed the requirements for all possible HDMI data streams.
AudioQuest Pearl, Forest and Cinnamon HDMI make use of Active Frequency-Equalization to enable full 18Gbps/4K UltraHD performance from 10 to 15 meters.