More and more integrators are preparing for or moving into the new 48G digital video landscape. With that comes a wide assortment of 48G cable products being tested with DPL Labs’ 48G Reference Standard Platform. The submissions we receive that pass have aggressively capitalized on their successes with pride and deserve it. But what happens to the rest that don’t make the grade?
Fortunately, most DPL members go back to their drawing boards and with some guidance work to get it right. The most common failures discovered are video output inconsistency among all four FRL channels along with Status and Control communications.
In addition, with active devices such as AOC (Active Optical Cables), we are finding input sensitivity irregularities, power supply inadequacies and, worst of all, Multimedia Radiated Emissions CISPR 32.
I’ve explained the severity of Radiated Emissions surrounding digital electronics both in egress and ingress. The invisible pollutant it produces can cause havoc over just about any digital signal environment. These are all serious issues being watched over globally and must be addressed before products are put into service.
However, is when a product enters DPL Labs’ staging process and is accompanied by a pre-certification document only for the cable sample to fail profusely beyond what the test documents report and claim. At that point the question is: How does this happen? All these tests are pretty much standardized and to be this far off, something has gone astray, failing consumer satisfaction.
When Products Fail to Live Up to Certification Claims
It is our opinion that there can be only two reasons for this to happen.
First is the rule of the Golden Sample. This tactic is used when a defined specification for a product is in production and not monitored or enforced. A Golden Reference Sample is submitted into test and has all the attributes required to pass all required limits.
However, over time and multiple productions runs these additional Golden Reference practices are passed over and put into service without the correct material and workmanship the Golden Sample was tested under.
Case in point: We’ve had cable samples re-entered into tests three, four, five times with some eventually passing and others not. On some occasions, they come in after their first go-around and fail due to missing parts discovered after dissecting the device. Yet other active products can arrive with improper label assignments (source and display markers reversed, for instance).
The second way is much easier to happen. The cable manufacturer sends a couple of models in for testing and verification; if one or two pass, they then release the rest of the product line directly into service. To alleviate this problem, certification labels are affixed to each product.
These are copy-protected, encrypted labels that can only be used with a registered product that successfully passed certification. They can be thought of as a cable’s birth certificate — it will never be with any other cable and is there for life.
These maneuvers are sometimes referred to as Run Silent and tell nobody, Run Deep and stay under the radar. To the producer, this could be all good as long as they are not caught. Just one incident can bring this all down be it a complaint from a customer, distributor, or integrator, and the worse is a competitor or test. Big trouble lurks.
It was discovered many years ago that reoccurring product production would arbitrarily be changed or modified after the first delivery was depleted. Many times, changing the performance of the product with no notification to the branded company. All DPL Members have the luxury of having their products re-tested after each production build to verify they are still at peak performance.
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