Marseille mCable HDMI Cable with inline anti-aliasing

#1
An Interesting but expensive product recently reviewed by PCPerspective, a HDMI cable with an inline ASIC to do some form of analytic/edge-detection antialiasing with minimal amounts of latency. Could be be useful when playing older X360 and PS3 games lacking AA solutions. Price is crazy at $120 USD for their shortest cable and it requires a usb port to power the ASIC. The AA results look close to SMAA solutions, better than FXAA, as seen in the test shots below:





Unfortunately the review is not very in depth, would have been nice to see more test cases. Specifically the results when the inline AA is applied over a previously applied analytic solution.
 
#7
Sub millisecond latency is impressive. It must work on each horizontal line one at a time. Which of course is extremely limiting.

This also exemplifies how scaling can easily be accomplished in a fraction of a frame, as some newer TV sets already do.
 
#8
"minimal amounts of latency" usually translate to massive input lag that makes the "improvements" not worth it.

gonna need some local experts to check this one.
 
#9
Wow this seems great, definitely will consider grabbing one when I get more money since terrible AA support is one of the reasons why I dislike console gaming so much.
 
#15
Sub millisecond latency is impressive. It must work on each horizontal line one at a time. Which of course is extremely limiting.

This also exemplifies how scaling can easily be accomplished in a fraction of a frame, as some newer TV sets already do.
Sort of what I was thinking, the latency is low enough that I don't think they are holding the entire image and then applying AA. Though I would think they are taking n-number of horizontal lines at a time.

Modern TV scalers and SoCs more than powerful and fast enough to handle most post processing AA solutions with minimal latency. A more ideal, yet possible, solution would be to have a TV with post processing AA options that could be turned on and off with a button/menu-option.
 
#16
While this seems interesting. Most console ports usually have some form of built-in AA. There are some exceptions I suppose.

HDMI itself isn't doing anything particularly special. Since it's a digital signal, it's either on / off. The Cable either works or it doesn't. With that said, this means the AA function exists solely inside the ASIC chip.

Also apparently the Cable itself does not work unless the source actually has power via the USB. So this brings up some very pointed questions. Also let's assume the ASIC must use a one-size-fits-all approach since it's being powered by the TV's USB this means it's AA is applied at all times. This means it has no way to determine what content is being viewed on screen (remember HDMI is digital, there is no logic outside of the ASIC itself)

This means this Cable is only good on a game by game basis, which diminishes its value somewhat. For example playing game with already an decent built-in AA solution would not make sense to use this because you would be applying AA on top of AA which potentially reduces the image quality.

I think I'll leave the rest for someone like Durante to provide better input. So far I'm not entirely convinced.
 
#18
Yeah, it kinda looks like there are artifacts from edge sharpening being applied in the 'mCable' shots. Unless that's another feature of this thing...
That's the thing that bothers me the most.

The Cable is plugged into your TV from the source device.

Say for example the source device is your PS4. How does the ASIC communicate with the PS4 to produce the desired AA effect to happen on screen. Also who is to say the PS4 even understands the signal the ASIC is sending, which is why I firmly believe this thing is simply doing a one-size-fits-all approach to applying AA.

It can't really communicate with the PS4's graphics chip because it's not built into PS4 hardware for that level of functionality. So the ASIC is handling everything externally after the image is outputted from the console. In that case everything is post-process which means it's just doing a basic AA effect over and above whatever it's being displayed on screen regardless of whatever content shown, which isn't always necessary.
 
#19
This is neat. I remember someone on this forum using a capture card + SMAA to apply AA to console games. I would like to see this feature built into TVs and receivers.
 
#20
It is just applying a post-AA algorithm, it will have similar results as injecting FXAA, MLAA, or SMAA (non-temporal) into a game. There is no reason for it the communicate with the source (outside of the handshake and HDCP), the HDMI signal contains the resolution and the video stream as specified by the HDMI protocol so the ASIC knows on what data to apply the algorithm.
 
#28
What's the speed on the cable? 10.2, 18Gbps?

Edit: Seems like a high speed cable. Durante. What are the chances this could be used with VR?
It's exceedingly unlikely it could be used, but even if it could, there would be absolutely no point.

Post-process AA is basically useless in VR (and detrimental in some ways).
 
#29
Aside from the obvious questions of Input Lag and degrading IQ on games that already have AA solutions:

I wonder if this thing plays nice with Receivers. Big mark against it if it doesn't.
 
#30
Linus Tech Tips have a video coming, its on their premium service and they were impressed too. Also tested the input lag and it was still really good.
 
#32
Regardless of the real world feasibility and use of this its cool. I've really been out of the PC game for years so just seeing something like this is pretty awesome in my eyes. Striving for something better is never a bad thing.
 
#44
Their AA solution seems to miss quite bit of the edges.
Also a strong sharpening filter does exact opposite of what good AA should do for all the small aliasing bits.

If there would be some way to adjust settings or modes, this could be quite nice.
Lol, cables and snake oil
Selling HDMI cables within a can filled with snake oil..
Certainly has a potential to be the next big thing.