With their DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 Active Adapter, Accell knows the home theater enthusiast has gone through hell and back with advent of consumer ultra-high definition (also marketed as 4K, UHD, or 4Kx2K). A pixel resolution that promises lifelike picture and clarity, but continuously marred by poor implementation and content protection woes up until now.
Being an early adopter has perks: You’re usually at the top of the food chain with the latest technology, and course, having those sweet bragging rights, and a sense of pride and admiration that shows you paid more for the indulgence. But just as self-fulfilling, the drawbacks of bleeding edge can be equally swift and just as humbling.
It doesn’t get any simpler than a self-powered HDMI female port tied to a 3.1-inch (.07 meters) DisplayPort cable. And it also couldn’t be any easier or straightforward either since the DisplayPort (DP) is intended for PC sources like a motherboard or monitor, while your compatible TV or AV receiver is connected via HDMI. Of course, you’ll have to bring your own HDMI cable (High Speed type) into the mix.
The holy grail of ultra-high definition has been limited to well-heeled HTPCs and the self-proclaimed master race of PC gamers. This is typically fine with a desktop setup but daunting if you bought a big screen UHDTV or recent benchmark video cards, expecting a flawless conversion. An issue has always been ports as video cards typically opt for plenty of DP 1.2 inputs while TVs stick with HDMI (although a very small handful of models include one DP port), and more often than not, HDCP encryption has only turned up black screens.
Since testing is basically make-or-break we kept things simple with the Accell adapter, starting with a Gigabyte Radeon R9 380 G1 Gaming video card and a Vizio 49” M-Series 4K TV. Current AMD cards can’t natively support 4K@60Hz through HDMI, but with the adapter acting as a bridge, everything worked. Going further back with an older AMD Radeon HD 7870 the DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 adapter properly gave us the additional pixels without dropouts, skipped frames, or tearing.
Trying the adapter with an older GeForce GTX 760 on hand also produced the same enhancements, including resolution and potential 4:4:4 Chroma subsampling. So you’re equally set if firmly entrenched within the Nvidia camp.
We also tested surround sound audio with a Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A850 receiver and found that worked too, although we had issues enabling it the first few times. At first, everything went smooth and delivered 7.1 PCM to the PC, but handshake problems happened after waking the desktop from sleep with our output device not even being recognized. It occurs sporadically and the only fix involves turning all components off then on in specific order, an annoying trait of some HDMI components that only gets complicated with more devices daisy chained to one another.
Ultimately, the DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 Active Adapter from Accell is something needed, considering all the buyers’ remorse that 4K resolution has brought to the table. Now that the seemingly prohibitive is now a viable reality for your HTPC, many can finally justify those expensive graphic cards they bought over a year ago. It’s almost perfect except for the audio output that add other rudimentary quirks, but true 4K@60Hz content can finally be had — which was always the point.