8K media players and 8K TVs are coming, but if you develop one of those products how do you test them since 8K players/TVs are not available just yet. Answer: Test equipment.
Astro Design offers just that with their VG-879 digital video generator, as well as their VA-1844A HDMI protocol analyzer.
VG-879 digital video generator key features:
- 4K/60p is transmitted by one channel of 12G-SDI.
- Max.4 slot-type interface units can be selected from 12G-SDI, HDMI2.0b 3G or 6G, DisplayPort 1.2a, V-by-One and Analog.
- By synchronizing 4 or 2 units of VG-879, 8K/120p or 8K/60p signals are supported. (8K/120p by V-by-One HS, 8K/60p by V-by-One HS and HDMI.)
- HDMI 2.0b test functions supported EIA CEA-861-F Timing Format including 4K/50, 60p, YCBCR 4:4:4/4:2:2/4:2:0 timing.
- SCDC parameter change and status display.
- ITU-R BT.2020 color bar and video output setting
- 4K6G with Scrambling Enable setting
- CEA-861.3 HDR (High Dynamic Range) InfoFrame setting
- HDR Test Patterns supported (New)
- 21:9 test patterns as option (VT-8500-0014)
- HDMI2.0 Compliance Test (MOI) (to be supported later.)
- Program data and operation are backwards compatible with VG-870 series.
- Pre-installed 4K and 3D test patterns.
- Optional 8K and 4K HDR Picture Library (VT-7009).
So the equipment does not support 8K 120 Hz using HDMI 2.1 (they are working on a new model for that), but instead through a synchronization module that can handle 8K @ 120 Hz using four video generator as illustrated below.
That generator is useful is you are developing an 8K monitor or television, but what if you are working on a player instead? You can use an HDMI protocol analyzer connected to your set-top box / media player / board instead.
Astro Design VA-1844A model does that with a 7″ display, but is limited to 4K @ 60 Hz for now:
- 7″ touch screen display
- HDMI Input / Output specifications
- Transfer Rate – TMDS 25 to 594MHz(150MHz at 12bit)
- Deep color – 8, 10, 12, 16 bits (8bit at over 300MHz timings)
- Color Space – RGB / YCbCr 444, 422, 420
- HDCP 1.4 and 2.2
- I2S / SPDIF 8ch – 32KHz to 192KHz (L-PCM 2 to 8 channels)
- Compressed Audio – Header (Pa to Pd) decode supported
- DDC ver.1.4 (DDC 2B)
- E-EDID – Supported (CEA EDID Timing Extension : CEA-861-F)
- Protocol analysis of 4K/60p 4:4:4 (Max pixel clock 600MHz) able to analyze and display image.
- Capable of HDMI 2.0b signal generation
- Synchronization of two units for “Through Mode 2” test environment to gather data for source and sink
- Power Supply – 12V via power barrel jack, or battery
- Dimensions – 269 x 182 x 41 mm
- Weight – Around 1.25 kg
The equipment comes with 16GB USB memory, and software such as a Log Viewer and an EDID Editor. It can also be useful to test various HDMI modes and timing, instead of purchasing a bunch of TVs for testing.
I found about Astro Design products via a video recently uploaded by Charbax
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.