David's Take: These Cables Improve The Original Signal

David Susilo

Published: 10/10/2018 02:16:59 PM EST in David Susilo

David's Take: These Cables Improve The Original Signal

I've said in the past that it is impossible for a cable to improve the input signal. But I've also noted a caveat, that this is unless the cable applies some kind of processing. Well, I've found such cable. The Marseille internal chip in this cable, marketed under several brands, including Marseille's own mCable, Philips, and Seiki, is certified by the Technicolor 4K Image Certification program.

With Technicolor 4K Certification, these cables can create a quality 4K viewing experience for consumers.

The Seiki U-VISION HDMI cable that I tested is designed to work with any 4K Ultra HD TV (or in my review case, a projector) to enhance picture quality of HD video content by performing real-time detail enhancement, edge restoration, and noise reduction. The cable supports 1,080p up-conversion to 4K video signals up to 30Hz (on the Philips and Seiki brands, up to 60Hz on the mCable brand) with quite an astonishing quality. They sell for US$70 piece on Amazon.com, which is less than most of the HDMI cables I use in my home theatre! (You can get the mCable variant directly from marseilleinc.com for US$150).

The Marseille video processor used in the Seiki cable I tested has a number of key features, including: up-conversion of 1,080p content to 4K; up-conversion of 720p content to 1,080p (due to the lack of processing power to bring 720p to 4K resolution); adaptive edge enhancement of lines and curves for improved video and user interfaces; and adaptive sharpening and noise reduction to refine video content. It offers relatively low-latency processing for HD video gaming, although when playing ultra-sensitive-timing video game, the lag can literally kill your character. But for US$70, you should not complain. Additionally, it offers brightness, contrast, and saturation improvement, although it doesn't quite accurately map the REC-709 colour space to the REC-2020 colour space. Nonetheless, at least the colour space expansion is pleasing to the eyes.

Although the upconversion barely passed in many objective test-pattern tests, the subjective viewing does not suggest that at all. It's nowhere as good as the Sony's 4K X1 Ultimate engine, but it's not a US$4,000 product either. And unless you have the tendency to pause a movie you're watching and/or love to watch test patterns, in most cases, this upconverting cable is extremely good. It's even better than the built-in upscaler found in any cable box, streaming box, or entry-level TV I've tested to date.

Now, if you want something that is better in terms of picture quality, you can easily buy Marseille's mCable Cinema Edition. Or, for gaming (with virtually no lag), there's the mCable Gaming Edition for about US$150 for a three footer.

So there you go. Seventy bucks, looks good, what else can you ask for? Even if you don't think so, just use it as a regular HDMI cable. I'm not returning mine. I will use it for my cable box in my living room. And for the cable box in my home theatre, I will be getting the mCable Cinema.

Article Tags:  david's take, cables, improve signal, home theatre, marseille, mcble, philips, seiki, technicolor, 4k, video


David's Take: These Cables Improve The Original Signal

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