German manufacturer Delock makes cables, switches, splitters and adapters for all kinds of usages, including video and audio. I was intrigued by their inexpensive ultra-slim HDMI cable that has the same specifications as Atomos’ coiled HDMI 2.0a cables. A month of a lot of trying out this cable with different monitors and recorders later I’m pretty certain this Delock cable is a great cable if you want to record in 4K/60fps.
Delock offers splitters and switches for all video systems, keyboard/video/mouse switches (KVM), as well as additional specialised products, including extractors that are able to divide video and audio signals from each other and then put these out onto different devices. The company prides itself on the diversity of interfaces it offers — VGA, DVI, HDMI, SDI, DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort — and for the support of Multi-Stream-Transport (MST) and HDCP 2.2 as examples of them steadily following fast-paced technology evolutions.
The Delock cable I tested is a “High-speed HDMI with Ethernet – HDMI-A male > HDMI-A male 3D 4K 1 m Slim High Quality” cable that transfers signals of up to 3840 x 2160 at 60Hz (60fps). These cables exist with standard HDMI plugs, but also with mini and micro plugs. When I received the cable, it was indeed a slim cable — about half to a third of the diameter of a normal HDMI cable!
Atomos’ coiled cables have a standard diameter, so I feared the worst for my tests. It turns out I didn’t need to worry. Despite the cable’s slim diameter and short connectors, it is triple-shielded, supporting a maximum bandwidth of 18 Gb/s. The cable allows a simultaneous transmission of two video channels, as well as the simultaneous transmission of up to four audio channels. Audio transmissions can have a sampling rate of up to 1536 kHz. The short connectors have full metal shielding.
When connecting this cable to an Atomos device on one end and a GoPro on the other, you can move the lightweight GoPro any way you like without the cable sitting in your way due to its rigidity. I had a 1-metre cable, so I could also try it out with the YI 4K+/60fps and it all worked like a charm. In total, I recorded some three hours of footage in UHD at 60fps and two hours in UHD/30fps. The Atomos didn’t miss a beat and the cable didn’t introduce any sort of artefacts.
The most important part of my tests: the cable never sat in my way. It simply is too thin to be a hindrance. Even if it sat right before the Atomos’ screen, it didn’t block my sight. If it ran too long, it was very easy to make it a bit shorter using a bit of Velcro to remove the surplus cable — I did that when I mounted the camera and Shogun on a slider, only to be sure the cable wouldn’t be caught by the motorised carriage wheels.
So, instead of buying a coiled cable that can handle UHD at 60fps, I will take a slim Delock that costs me €18 tops anytime.