Hardware AA from an HDMI cable? mCable Gaming Edition Review!

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Better picture quality is promised when using this HDMI cable, adding contextual anti-aliasing to anything passing through it - plus other image enhancements. From our tests it absolutely delivers, but for its high price, it's worth considering the pros and cons. Tom covers all the details - including the matter of input latency. Subscribe for more: http://bit.ly/DFSubscribe A high quality, pristine version this video can be found at: https://www.digitalfoundry.net/2018-03-17-mcable-gaming-edition-hdmi-review-free-anti-aliasing-on-console

Comments from Youtube

NGClayton : I mean the tech itself is cool, but for 120$ its not worth it

ParadoxicGer : That cable works best for older consoles. I have one and use it for my original Xbox and the amount of difference it makes is crazy. For PS3 and Xbox 360 it's also still quite good but I wouldn't buy it for a PS4/Xbox One and ofc not for a PC

sugonmaballs : I would have liked to see how it handles older consoles like a PS1, PS2, and N64 (through a HDMI adapter of course since those consoles don't have HDMI) where AA was almost never used. Also, I assume you can put this cable on the output of an HDMI switch/receiver and have it apply it's affect to everything plugged into the switch?

RJ : I see a Vita in the background. I found a new friend! Good job on the vid!!

Lee Everett : You should have tried older consoles without much AA/post processing, like the PS2, Gamecube and OG Xbox.

Gabriel Morais : to be honest I'm not seeing much of a difference

Keyboard G : Yea. $120 for AA on Minecraft

DK Baller : $120 uhh no thanks I think I’ll keep to my basic $20 cable😬

necropig : Was it part of the DF Cv to require crazy hand gestures?

Leo Gabriel Roque Fariñas : I have 2 of these (the gaming edition). One connected to the switch on a 4K Oled and the other one connected to a 360 to a regular 1080p screen. It’s basically free antialiasing for games that don’t have it. The IQ improvements is noticeable at first sight. At this point, it’s basically a requirement for Switch gaming in 4K docked mode for me. One thing DF didn’t mention, the antialiasing also improves the shadows. In Mario kart, arms , Zelda, etc. The shadows get more “rounded and curved” instead of kinda jagged

El Chaos : Sounds like it's the official PlatinumGames HDMI cable, haha.

GeneralMyke74 : test this on 360 ps3 and wii please!

TofumanFC3S : One of the first things I thought it would be great for is a HDMI modded N64. You can set the output to 480p through line doubling and disable the blurring feature. Then use this cable to smooth out the resulting pixelation. GameCube with GCVideo would be another great candidate

Christian Stout : I got one of these to use my last-gen consoles (360, PS3, Wii U, PSTV) with my 4K TV. Works like a dream.

yodagamer1 : For $120 I'll just stick with aliasing.

Game Buffet : I’m getting this for Wii U

aL3891 : I don't really get why they made this into a cable rather than a box... Maybe to be able to be able to charge huge extras for the longer length? Seems like a huge ripoff to get anything but the shortest one and just connect a regular hdmi cable the rest of the way :) it would be kind of cool if someone made a more feature rich image processing box that you'd pass the hdmi signal through though.. maybe that exists already

Matt Turner : Does unplugging the USB Power Supply turn off the post processing (ie effectively an on-off) or does it render the cable dead?

Raw'N'Proud69 : I would consider this for my PS3 oldies if it wasnt so overpriced

Salient Simon : It would be cool to see if this would improve Riddick on original Xbox. That game has a shit ton of aliasing so it would have been a perfect test subject. Obviously you would need additional peripherals to test it, but still. I doubt it would improve it at all judging from the effects it seems to produce in these tests, though.

Kerolos Abdrabbo : yea on pc it is useless you better invest that money in a better GPU instead

Mondo : Any plans on testing freesync and 1440p output on Xbox one X?

Cursed Chungus : The manufacturer recommends you guys get 2 cables connected through an HDMI female to female adapter for games with a lot of jagged edges

Richard : Okay, so I'm going to sound like Kramer from Seinfeld here but... I had this exact same idea about 5 years ago. A cable that upscales or super-samples the output of your console/PC to whatever resolution with real-time AA and low latency. They stole my idea Jerry!!!!

Emerson-Biggons : What if you use the Mcable with AA enabled, wouldn't that make it look even better?

DJHeroMasta : "Removes chromatic aberration"/"reduced aberration", for me, that alone justifies its price. Gimmie!

frankmoolah : You know how many High Speed 4K cables you can buy for $120... And what's even more disappointing is the 1080p limit, smh

ุุ ุ : SMAA lookalike, sharpening, dynamic contrast, digital vibrance, tone mapping. _Chromatic aberration should not be added to the game in the first place._ Exept the first one, everything can be enabled on any TV with the same <1ms lag.

SalsaKetchup VR : I actually use a mCable with the PSVR; plugged from the PSVR box to the HMD and it works, though it can sometimes have some issues i.e. you need to be certain that the cable has power before any signal is put though it or it can act like a normal pass-though cable or just not give any signal at all! So the number one issue is normally to do with power i.e. if you plug the usb cable into the PS4 it will be very unreliable, so I use a separate usb power supply for my mCable. Next we come to the blackouts and yes there are a few issues with the V1 PSVR's that I think have mostly been eliminated with the newer version of the PSVR (I can't test this as I only have the V1). The blackouts as I understand them are mostly related to odd HDMI encoding outputs from the PSVR box, so when it switches between modes the HDMI signals can upset the mcable and it will not process the signal right (most times turning the hmd off the on will fix the problem), one of the oddest things is that if you have been playing a PSVR game and then close the game application you will often find that no image will go to the PSVR of the home screen in cinema mode, start a PSVR game up and mostly it will work fine apart from when you go back to the home screen where you will just have no image until you switchback to the game. Now we come to the real odd blackout issue that some times comes up once a month or every few months where you will get constant blackouts at random and the image will not come back on no matter how many times you turn off the hmd or unplug the mcable source end from the PSVR box a plug in again (this normally fixes things if pressing the hmd power off/on fails), now the fix for this should in no way what so ever make a difference, but that said has worked every time for me and that is to unplug the hdmi from the PS4 and plug that end into the PSVR box and the end that was in the PSVR box you plug into the PS4. Now I know that should not make a blind bit of a difference but it has worked every single time that I have had a problem. In conclusion I think you should go back and try again with the PSVR and see if any of the above sorts that out for you so you can test it out fully.

A.G. : This kind of tech is perfect and should be applied on modern TV input though, other than using a cable. Hopefully the TV manufacture will get this and try to implement the tech on their TV with more options to control the intensity of the effects.

SBM : Has Tom been hitting the gym? Looks a bit bigger

Gatsu : Looks good for the switch

Robert Higgins : N64 HDMI mod, composite Vs RGB, cables which make a difference. mCable looks like it makes a difference, yes, but only under lab analysis. Certainly not worth the price Vs visual improvement.

ToKnowIsToDie_TheDeadGameCat : I use the older Mcable for psvr and with a hdmi coupler it does in fact work and improve image quality. There are videos on YouTube that show how to hook it up properly.

RetroSteve : Ive always enjoyed DF videos but you gotta stop cutting back and forth from the game to the person speaking its too much.

seanmcbay : Think I’ll pick this up eventually since Switch is my main console at this point. Great review.

Andrew Ford : As always you've done fantastic work DF. I will however admit I wish you had done more legacy consoles or content, specifically PS3/Xbox360 or when used with consoles that are modified to use the HDMI cables. I think it could be a big benefit to classic console gamers. If you could find a way to provide a bit of comparison here I'd greatly appreciate that. Just a kind request :)

J Rosario : I sent Marseille an e-mail but have not received a follow up reply when inquiring about the differences between the Gaming Edition and Cinema Edition. Also, their video answering this question was insufficient and vague. The owner said that the gaming edition simply "applies more aggressive anti-aliasing" I play games and watch movies about equally. Here are my questions: 1. Do both editions apply anti-aliasing? If so, what does "more aggressive anti-aliasing" actually mean? 2. What does the Cinema edition do that the Gaming edition doesn't? 3. If I could only afford to purchase 1 cable, which would you recommend and why? 4. If I could afford 2 cables, and wanted to connect 2 cables together to double their effect for gaming and movies, which combination would you recommend and why? 5. Also, what is the best way to convert 480i, 720i, and 1080i, to 480p, 720p, and 1080p content so that the Marseille mCable algorithm will work? Thanks guys!

randomguy8196 : Over a $100 for post process AA ... Why are Switch games running with no AA in the first place? (At least have FXAA as an option.) Also it's not due to lack of depth information that cause temporal flicker, it's due to lack of subpixel samples. *ALL* post process AAs effectively just selectively blur the image. End of story.

SilentShad0W679 : Does it turn off if the power is disconnected or does it just not output video.

Mika : Nice vidéo. Please more comparaison with the MCabe and test with PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 please.

RJ : Wow what a difference it made to my vita games on my PSTV!! Godly!! The ones I bought - Marseille mCables- are 4feet and not expensive at all from amazon!

DarkLordYianni : when we reached the era of 4KHD and all that and STILL talk about which cable gives better image....reminds me of PS2/GC era and RGB or component cables vs regular(composite)ones. lol.smh.

No Commentary : A longer review of this item would be nice. You should especially show some games such as Halo MCC and Doom on basic xbox (here you just gave us a 4 seconds glimpse) or even Doom and Mario Odyssey on switch

N a z a : What if you plug 2 or 3 mCables in chain?

DevilsWar Gameplay : Thanks for the info, but for me to purchase this it would need to work with every Switch game. Also it would need to be bit cheaper and have a way to switch it on and off.

박현 : yes. this cable makes switch games look great. but the price! damn!

Kristopher Alonge : Using this in combination with the EON Gamecube HDMI dongle would be pretty sweet..........

Serga MC : Serga MC What about FPS comparison? Sometimes it feels I see more fps in the picture on the right (with MCABLE)