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Review: Quantumdata 780 HDMI Tester

Now that HDMI sockets are standard on a wide range of LCD and plasma TV sets, set top boxes, DVD players and many computers, there is a need for a standard HDMI test source that can test this equipment. The Quantumdata 780 Handheld Test Instrument is a comprehensive solution which also provides digital audio test signals for DACs and Home Theatre receivers.

Review by Leo Simpson

Here at SILICON CHIP we have been following the development of HDMI interfaces on TV sets and other equipment and wondering just how to test this equipment without having a very expensive line-up of test equipment.

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For example, on the internet you will see lots of claims about maximum length of HDMI cables for reliable operation. Some suppliers say the limit is 10 metres while others make considerably longer cables.

And there are cables and cables – some long cables just don’t perform well.

Nor is it simply a matter of hooking up a DVD player to an HDMI-enabled TV or projector and seeing if it works. There is the question of which level of HDMI is being used and what is the bit rate applied to the colour signals.

Now, with the Quantum Data HDMI tester, a lot of those questions can be answered. And it is also possible to directly compare picture quality using defined video test patterns with HDMI, VGA and component video (YPbPr) cables.

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All functions of the Quantum Data tester and selected and controlled via the touch screen. The unit can test all products which use HDMI connectors.

You cannot do this with any degree of certainty with a signal from a DVD player – even if it is stationary.

So that is the background – now to Quantum Data.

It is quite a compact instrument, measuring 250mm x 68mm x 163mm (W x H x D). It is battery-powered with nickel metal hydride cells to give about four hours of operation. It can also be run from an AC adaptor which will charge the batteries overnight.

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