mCable HDMI features built-in Anti-Aliasing chip; Put to Test

Marseille has introduced a new premium HDMI cable, called the mCable Gaming Edition. What’s unique about this mCable HDMI is that it features an embedded video signal chip which is capable of applying anti-aliasing – particularly in games.

In addition to providing contextual anti-aliasing, Marseille’s mCable promises adaptive resolution scaling, support for high frame rate up to 120 fps @ 1080p, and sub-1 ms lag. That may sound like a marketing gimmick as it did to Ken Addison of PCPerspective who put the cable to test and rather came away impressed.

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mCable HDMI - Hitman comparison (PCPer)

mCable HDMI - ROTR comparison (PCPer)

Addison tested the mCable with Hitman, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Unreal Tournament 2004, and found a “noticeable difference in image quality” when swapping a regular HDMI cable for it. The site also observed no additional lag during the testing.

Apparently, the video chip inside mCable HDMI applies a post-process AA algorithm to the image before spitting it on the screen. This would smooth out those jagged edges without noticeable blur.

mCable HDMI PS3 sample image
Sample image from PlayStation 3 (via Marseille)
mCable HDMI Xbox 360 sample image
Sample image from Xbox 360 (via Marseille)

mCable HDMI - AA with & without blur

The mCable is mostly aimed at gaming consoles, particularly for games being rendered below 1080p. Marseille says the consoles don’t have enough processing power left inside them “to mitigate aliasing,” which is where mCable comes into play.

Gaming consoles have a problem: they can’t draw very well. Even if they’re high powered, they still miss a lot of key details because all processors are physically limited, leading to insufficient sampling resolution and framerate, which leads to common ‘artifacts’ such as jagged edges and shimmering textures.

For a long time now, we’ve been wondering why nobody has bothered to address the issue, so we decided to address it ourselves via the mCable, adapting it to the specific graphical needs of gaming consoles.

That said, you could use the mCable HDMI with a PC but it might be of secondary use, since most games already offer built-in AA options, like FXAA. So the performance impact isn’t as much of a concern.

The Marseille mCable, of course, doesn’t come cheap: a 3-feet (30 cm) version costs $119; 6-feet (182 cm) and 9-feet (274 cm) are also available for $129 and $139 respectively.