Solid 0.5% Silver Conductors
Solid conductors minimize the harmful effects of both electrical and magnetic strand-to-strand interaction. For digital cables, whose signals are of such high frequency that they travel almost exclusively on the surface of the conductor, increasingly thick layers of silver plating are applied to AudioQuest's long-grain copper (LGC) conductors to further improve noise dissipation. Placing the superior metal on the outside of the conductor produces the greatest benefit on overall performance.
Hard-Cell Foam Insulation
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 AudioQuest's 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.
AudioQuest Forest HDMI cables make use of active frequency equalization to enable full 18 Gb/s and 4K UltraHD performance over long lengths.
All audio cables are directional. The correct direction is determined by listening to every batch of metal conductors used in every AudioQuest audio cable. All signal conductors controlled for digital-audio direction in AudioQuest HDMI cables, and care is even taken to run the conductors used in the Audio Return Channel in the opposite direction to ensure the best performance for that application. Arrows are clearly marked on the connectors to ensure superior sound quality.
High-Speed Data Capacity
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 18 Gb/s 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 18 Gb/s capability of HDMI, some sources (UHD Blu-ray players) can be set to up-sample, requiring 18 Gb/s 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 Gbps" on the box front are guaranteed to meet the requirements for all possible HDMI 2.0 data streams.