June 15, 2009
| by Arlen Schweiger
We first heard about Torrent and its eco-friendly HDMI cables back at CES in January. They were officially launched last week, giving us another chance to get a hands-on look at their unique properties.
On the green side of things, it’s great to see companies ditching materials such as PVC, halogen, phthalate, and lead to make their products more environmentally friendly.
From the tech side, we’re equally impressed after seeing the Torrent cables. Especially in light of problems homeowners and custom electronics professionals have with HDMI cables failing to stay firmly in place when connected.
Speaking of being “in light of problems,” the SureConnect HDMI cables feature a built-in LED indicator light “VeriFYI” that confirms the connection is running with the signal properly transmitted. Depending on the type—SureConnect Advanced of 6.68 Gbps or SureConnect Elite of 10.2 Gbps—the LED will glow purple or blue.
There’s no LED indicator on the SureConnect Select entry-level 4.95 Gbps version, but you still get another Torrent feature that makes it a unique HDMI offering—the company’s “MagLoc” magnetic connector. Torrent says the connector increases the cable’s connection strength 3x to 5x, so you really don’t have to worry about it popping out or loosening if, say, you’re TV is moving and tilting on a cantilever or articulating wall mount, or if you’re prone to shifting your receiver’s position to access other connectors or wires.
According to Gregg Wilkes, vice president of sales, the magnet O-ring will not affect signal quality. “The LED light will help homeowners troubleshoot their system. If the light is on, it means the HDMI cable is carrying the signal. That means the homeowner will know that the the problem lies in the Blu-ray player or some other device, for example,” says Wilkes. “For homeowners who use professional installers, they can call their technical lines and with the assistance of the installer, hopefully prevent the cost of an on-site service call.”
The cable also has an adjustable plug depth to accommodate different HDMI input depths. “Not all HDMI inputs are the same depth. This plug will adapt to that depth to provide the best possible connection,” says Wilkes.
The company is selling the cable online at Amazon.com, from $49.99, and to professionals via D&H Distributing.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.