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The HDMI Cable Discussion - Page 23

post #331 of 338

Out of pure ego, I'll repost something similar I posted on a now locked USB thread some time ago:

 

 

Quote:

There's a gigantic difference between a discovery and an invention. When you say "science has been wrong before" you're talking about discoveries. They are a thing of nature that we study. For example, I can analyze a certain chemical compound and through my results "this is molechule X". And later, though better means and new procedures, another scientist takes an identical sample and determines "the previous observations are incorrect, this is in fact molechule Y". This has happened lots of times along science, a good example is the belief that atoms were spheres with little electrons stuck to them, we now know that model is wrong. All of these things already existed and we simply investigated them, drawing better conclusions each time.

 

However, with USB it's an invention. It's man-made. I don't think it's quite possible for us to invent something like a data transmission protocol and use it without understanding how it works. I don't know if you ever compiled a program in a computer, but it only works if absolutely everything is perfectly correct, so it's not something that you can type by accident and get any results. What I mean is, these things don't come from throwing science at a wall and see what sticks, they only work because we understand them completely. We know it's impossible for a USB cable to actually change the sound in terms of things like frequency response (or soundstage!) because the way it was intentionally designed does not support that kind of change. It's like saying a car might turn into a transformer, that can't happen by accident, only if you added the machinery for that process.

 

I still think an invention is a science, or at least required science to be created. But it's not something we try to understand, it's something we can do because we understand it.

I like the video so far =)

post #332 of 338

Exactly, that's precisely what I meant to explain, although much better articulated IMO.

post #333 of 338

With all that said, I find it ironic how actual manufacturers of these inventions actually claim that their products are superior in this department or that or this aspect.  After all, they're the ones making them and producing them.

 

I don't think anyone is saying that science does not understand its inventions fully (though it's not really unheard of), but in the HDMI case, there are definitely certain aspects that are not being fully shared or exposed to the general public.

post #334 of 338

Note how the people that make these things advertise them with very careful wording - avoiding anything specific that might get them in trouble should someone take them up on it - and rely on hifi/AV magazines or their digital equivalents to do the 'night and day!' talking for them (and of course deny there being anything suspicious about it).

post #335 of 338

With all that said, I find it ironic how actual manufacturers of these inventions actually claim that their products are superior in this department or that or this aspect.  After all, they're the ones making them and producing them.

 

I don't find it ironic at all. After all, they are the ones trying to sell them :P. If I was selling something, it would make sense to do everything I can to convince people my product is the best without lying or misrepresenting the truth. The problem is 99% of companies promote their product with no regard for the truth per se... they only avoid flat out lies because there would be a damaging backlash if they did flat out lie.

 

> I don't think anyone is saying that science does not understand its inventions fully (though it's not really unheard of)

 

It would be correct to say that Science does not know everything, however this doesn't mean Science is "wrong". Generally the well-established parts of science are correct in what they claim to extremely high probabilistic certainty. Ultimately though, yes, science does not and perhaps will never fully understand the universe.

 

But engineering does not deal with understanding the universe, that's the job of science. It is in fact absolutely unheard of that engineering does not fully understand its own inventions. Engineering employs science to create inventions, and these inventions are by definition fully understood. You cannot build an invention upon fringe or pseudo science, otherwise it's not a correctly "engineered" invention.

 

For example crystal healing devices are NOT by any means products of engineering because they are not solidly founded in established science; i.e. principles they claim to exploit are not repeatably or measurably confirmable. HDMI is absolutely a product of engineering on the other hand, and we understand its reliability and error tolerance to extreme precision and certainty.

 

One thing to note is that while this distinction between engineering and science is important, it in no way implies the fields do not overlap and co-depend. Modern engineering would not exist without modern scientific understanding, and modern scientific understanding might not have been discoverable without engineered devices. It's a cycle of technological advancement and the two are absolutely related, but strictly speaking, no engineered device can be misunderstood by its own inventors. Of course, things can be engineered erroneously or probability of failure etc. can be evaluated erroneously, but that's purely human fault, not lack of understanding by any means.

 

>  in the HDMI case, there are definitely certain aspects that are not being fully shared or exposed to the general public.

 

Well the HDMI spec I think is available to the public. Understandably, not everyone is an engineer or cares to be one, so not everyone has the pre-existing expertise or time devotion to actually learn and understand how HDMI works as it does from the ground up. One alternate to evaluate a hypothesis of a system you don't understand is empirical testing. Unfortunately testing it empirically is tedious and I don't think anyone has done full-fledged rigorously reliable tests on any audiophile product, although some loose tests have been done. The only alternate then left is to trust an expert. I claim that trusting a company financially involved in selling cables is a bad choice. I also claim that trusting anyone who is not themselves fully aware of how HDMI works as an engineer is a bad choice.


Edited by ac500 - 4/1/12 at 2:57am
post #336 of 338

Nice wall of text.

 

Too bad that it's nothing new ...

 

 

I just state it as I see it.

 

And once again, this is why I find the HDMI discussion analogous to the break-in debate.  The only difference is that here evidence strongly point that there should be no difference between two given HDMI cables (image and sound quality wise) regardless of pricing and company x's claim. However with break-in, the evidence hints towards the notions that break in is real, yet there hasn't been anything consistent and substantial to support that.

post #337 of 338

Read this nice post from CNET and call it a day on this discussion :)

post #338 of 338

You dont need to spend anywhere near that amount of money on a HDMI cable. I'm in Australia and you can get HDMI cables delivered here for $6
 

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