HD199 Review | Bridgee MARK® HDMI 2.1 Cable

      "To be honest with you, HDMI fiber optic cables are hard to test" - that was my initial reaction when Joe Zhang, the founder of Bridgee brand, asked me to test his second version of 8K HDMI fiber optic cable.

      We both have engineering backgrounds, he in communications engineering and myself in radio, so we share a common ground in materialism and can communicate well.

      "My equipment is not high-end enough, I can't even play 4K well, let alone 8K," I continued to be humble.

      "Don't worry about being too professional, just feel the design," Joe was very understanding.

      The HDMI fiber optic cable in my living room theater was the Fiber 15 meter HDMI 2.0 fiber optic cable that Joe, who was still working at Fiber, sent me to solve my urgent need to upgrade to 4K UHD.

      When I built my 7.2.4 panoramic sound theater two years ago, I also used the Fiber HD199 15th anniversary commemorative edition. The HDMI cable next to the sofa used to connect my laptop was also sponsored by Joe's Bridgee HDMI 2.0. Unknowingly, all my HDMI solutions in recent years have been obtained from Joe.

Given a lord's pay, one must be loyal to the lord. Therefore, a 15-meter trial sample cable, two finished products with lengths of 10 meters and 2 meters of Bridgee Mark HDMI 2.1 fiber optic cables, and a MONSTER 10-meter fiber optic cable for comparison were brought to dupin67's panoramic sound theater.

      Preface: Some thoughts on HDMI cable testing

      As a data cable, the highest requirement for HDMI cable is to transmit perfectly losslessly, which is completely different from analog cables such as speaker cables and audio signal cables. For the latter, a certain degree of "distortion" is necessary.

After reading a few HDMI cable reviews online, some are simply unbearable: the colorimeter measures the accuracy of the color temperature and color gamut of the projector, and there is a reading difference of more than 10%. These artificially created differences can only be understood as the reviewer no longer cares about the authenticity of the data in order to appease the manufacturer's expectations.

Compared to HDMI copper cables, the quantification of the differences in comparison tests for HDMI fiber optic cables is more limited. Copper cables have a long history of development, so there have been various technologies. However, because all fiber optic cables use the same module and optical cable, the differences are not significant. The tiny resistance, inductance, and soldering points that the signal passes through from the connector to the PCB board, and the optical cable structure can affect the AV signal and shielding and compatibility, respectively. For products of the same quality from different brands, whether these subtle differences can be perceived by the human eye is what this review wants to explore.

So if you are very confident that you will see conclusions like "Bridgee's cable beats XXX cable in XXX aspect" in the dupin67 review, you will surely be disappointed. It can be predicted that I like Bridgee cables very much, but I do not demand that Bridgee cables beat any other cables.


      On the dark-colored background, the rainbow Möbius loop printed by letterpress has the white "bridȝɛɜ" which is a variation of the English word "bridge". The Möbius loop represents infinity, which fits the brand "Bridgee" and the meaning of connecting bridges and infinite boundaries.

      Product Name:

       "MARK series ultra high-speed HDMI active fiber optic cable."

      HDMI is divided into copper cables and fiber optic cables, and copper cables are further divided into active and passive. Passive copper cables are easy to understand. Active copper cables have signal amplification chips added to the ends of the copper cable to reduce signal attenuation over long distances. HDMI fiber optic cables must use optoelectronic conversion chips to convert digital signals into optical signals at the signal source end and convert optical signals back to digital signals at the display device end. Therefore, HDMI fiber optic cables must be active.

      In the upper left corner of the front is the highest gold content HDMI Ultra High-Speed certification label:

      Scan the QR code on the label with the HDMI Cable Certification application, and the certification information will appear immediately: "Congratulations, you have just verified an Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable", and the brand Bridgee and model MARK-0020 (MARK-0100) are clearly displayed.

      The "REFERENCE" in the upper right corner on the back reflects the manufacturer's "reference-level" positioning of the MARK series, and the 6-star rating shows Joe's confidence in the quality of the MARK series. However, given that most people are accustomed to the highest 5-star rating system, it is recommended that Bridgee use the traditional "reference level 5 stars, mainstream level 4 stars, entry-level 3 stars" rating system.

      The easily overlooked five-color symbols indicate the materials used in the product. Look closely and you will see:

  • 8K/10K Chip: optoelectronic conversion chip that supports 8K/10K image signals

  • Silver-plated OFC: silver-plated oxygen-free copper (yes, HDMI fiber optic cables also use copper wire, which will be explained later)

  • Gold-plated copper connector: copper interface plated with gold

  • 4 II-IV Lasers: 4 II-IV laser generators

  • Foil Shielding: metal foil shielding layer

      Remove the outer paper sleeve, and what appears before your eyes is the black hard cardboard box with the BRIDGEE hot silver logo. Open the box and you will be pleasantly surprised to find a black velvety fabric bag as the final layer of protection.


      In summary, since Bridgee products comply with the European Green Dot packaging standard, the packaging of the MARK series is low-key and delicate but not overwhelming.


      The combination of black nylon braided mesh, zinc alloy shell, and gold-plated connectors gives the MARK series a sleek and tough feel.

      The plump golden color of the connector reminds me of the wrapping paper of a chocolate I ate as a child. See for yourself.

      The size of the connector part of the MARK series is the smallest among the HDMI cables I have used. There are two advantages to having a smaller connector: one is that it is more convenient to install the plug when the device is installed against the wall, and the other is that the smaller size means lighter weight, less pressure on the HDMI socket of the player, amplifier, and projector in the vertical direction, and less likely to cause deformation.

      This is the situation where the MARK-0100 and the MONSTER M3000 series HDMI cables (model PMM3-H1000, 10-meter active fiber optic cable) for comparison are plugged into the N8 at the same time. Compared to the MONSTER cable, the MARK-0100 is more compact.

      The MARK series cable feels light in the hand, with the 10-meter length being a gentle roll and the 2-meter length being palm-sized. Compared with the MONSTER cable, the diameter of the wire is slightly larger, and the flexibility is about the same. Fiber optic cables are directional. Bridgee's cable has "SOURCE" or "DISPLAY" laser printing on the connector, and also thoughtfully attached a trilingual (Chinese, English, Japanese) label of "Attention to Direction!" and "DISPLAY"/"SOURCE" near the connector for multiple reminders.

      When I wrote this review, I specifically compared the trial sample cable and finished products that I received earlier. The model of the internal plastic base of the HDMI connector has been changed, and the color has been changed from blue to black, making the style more uniform (the left side is the finished product, and the right side is the trial sample):

      There is nothing to fault. The Bridgee MARK series cable meets all my requirements for the appearance of HDMI cables.

      Hardware Design

      First is the schematic diagram. From this picture, we can see that there are two types of cables, four black optical cables connected to the optoelectronic conversion module (yellow-transparent cube), and the colored copper wires directly connected to the PCB board.

      Why do HDMI fiber optic cables still need copper wires? As the HDMI standard gradually improves, the data transmission bandwidth gradually increases (10.2Gbps, 18Gbps, 48Gbps), and copper wires become increasingly inadequate for long-distance high data transmission rates. The biggest advantage of fiber optic transmission is extremely low loss over long distances, so HDMI fiber optic cables were born.


      Among the multiple channels of HDMI, the data channel requires a high-bandwidth and low-loss medium, while the control channel can ensure data transmission integrity without using fiber optic due to its low bit rate. Currently, most fiber optic HDMI cables are optoelectronic hybrid cables, where EDID handshake signal and HDCP are transmitted through the DDC channel, which is a bi-directional communication protocol channel that uses copper wire core instead of fiber to transmit. Joe specially prepared the MARK series connector PCB and gold-plated copper plug real shot for this evaluation:

      The rectangle labeled U24 in the center of the PCB is the reserved position for the optoelectronic module. The entire PCB is powered by the 5V pin of HDMI. From the perspective of dupin67, a software engineer who knows a little about hardware and has more than 20 years of experience in embedded software development, the layout and process of this PCB are very good, with neat wiring and full soldering.

      Finally, the cross-sectional diagram of the cable shows that four optical fibers are in the center, surrounded by seven copper wires, with anti-tensile cotton thread (yellow and purple wires next to this group of copper wires) and two-stage aluminum foil shielding, followed by PVC outer covering, and the outermost layer is a nylon braided net used to resist tension.

      In order to avoid signal attenuation in long-distance transmission, the MARK series uses silver-plated copper material and special shielding technology to ensure signal integrity while avoiding electromagnetic interference from other peripheral devices. Bridgee fundamentally eliminates image flicker or image black screen flashing due to cable curling through its persistent use of materials and process structures.

      Process and Production

      Fiber optic HDMI sends optical signals through the fiber core through a laser, so the more signals enter the fiber optic, the better the signal integrity, otherwise there will be loss.

      As shown above, the optical fiber and lens need to be perfectly coupled, which is called "coupling" in the process, and generally, four optical fibers of fiber optic HDMI need to be coupled with four lasers.

      As shown above, if one of the optical fibers coupling has a problem, the line will be defective. Although it is still possible to pass the signal with a high probability, the signal quality will be greatly reduced. More seriously, in order to ensure the cable works, the laser is forced to work under high load, which may cause image attenuation or even direct failure after a period of time.

      According to the information provided by Joe, the HDMI fiber optic cables of Bridgee will be judged by a dedicated optical power testing process to determine whether the optical power meets the standard, and the MARK series is operated by the best workers using Keenstone amplification equipment (700,000 RMB) to ensure that the optical fiber and concave mirror can be perfectly aligned, thereby improving the precision of the entire cable.

      To make the evaluation more grounded, I asked Joe to provide some photos related to Bridgee's production. We can see that Bridgee's production has become quite large-scale, with bright and tidy factory buildings and orderly equipment.

      Thanks to Joe's trust, I was able to sensibly understand the Bridgee brand from details outside of some products.

      Evaluation Settings

      The equipment list used for picture and sound quality evaluation is as follows:

      · Source: OPPO UDP-203

      · Amplifier: DENON A110

      · Display device: JVC N8

      · Screen: Focusview 120 inch electric pull

      · Speaker: Elac Debut2.0 series

      · HDMI cable: Bridgee MARK-0100 and MONSTER PMM3-H1000, both HDMI Ultra High Speed certified active fiber optic cables that are 10 meters long.

The Monitor 1 output of A110 is connected to the HDMI 1 input of N8 through MONSTER cable to enable AB comparison. The HDMI Monitor2 output of the amplifier is connected to the HDMI 2 input of JVC N8 projector through MARK-0100, ensuring the consistency of the HDMI signal source through the HDMI matrix inside A110. The cable used between OPPO 203 and DENON A110 is a 2-meter Bridgee cable.

      Picture Quality Comparison

      After receiving Bridgee's HDMI 2.1 fiber optic cable, I replaced the previously embedded Fibbr HDMI2.0 fiber optic cable and watched two movies in full. During the viewing process, I occasionally paused playback and switched input sources with the projector remote control to see if the difference can be seen by the naked eye.

      The problem is that JVC's N8 has a black screen for more than 40 seconds when switching HDMI input, and when the screen lights up again, the visual memory of the details of the previous picture has disappeared. (JVC's old users understand that the automatic aperture needs to move four times with a squeaky sound, which is annoying.)

      After discussing with Joe, the final solution was to use a camera instead of the naked eye, and to capture before and after switching, and then import it into a PC for viewing. In this way, the unreliable visual memory is no longer relied on, and the existence of differences is easier to judge using the built-in tool of the PC (Windows 10's "Photos" application). So, I used two colorful scenes from "Our Planet 2" Disc 1 for testing (Section 12, time axis 001602; Section 1, time axis 000255):

      · The camera is in manual mode, with aperture, shutter, ISO, and exposure compensation strictly consistent.

      · Time is at night (to reduce the impact of daytime sunlight changes)

      · Use a tripod and use a 2-second delay shutter (to reduce human shake and make the shooting range of the photo as fixed as possible)

      · Each scene is photographed with three shots using HDMI1 (MONSTER), and three shots using HDMI2 (Bridgee).

      Looks simple, right? In fact, I spent a whole night tweaking for these 12 screenshots. Sometimes the camera ran out of power, sometimes I had to retake a group because of the tripod, and using a 2-second delay shutter was a lesson learned from practice. The funniest thing was that when looking for a suitable screen shooting scene in the "Jungle" chapter, because the picture plot was too attractive, I forgot about the evaluation task for a while and watched it with relish for nearly ten minutes before remembering that I hadn't done my job!

Finally, I got the following 12 photos:

      Note that I marked the abbreviation and shooting order of the HDMI cables in the upper left corner of each photo. For example, B1 represents the first photo taken with the Bridgee cable, and M1 represents the first photo taken with the MONSTER cable, and so on. The reason for taking three photos of each scene with one HDMI cable is that (using the first scene as an example) if there is a difference between B3 and M1 that is clearly observed, we can compare whether B1/B2/B3 are consistent and whether M1/M2/M3 are consistent. If they are consistent, then we can determine that the difference between B3 and M1 is indeed due to the cable change, rather than the influence of environmental factors.

      Here are the comparisons of B3 and M1, and M6 and B4 (compressed to 1920*1280). Please try to observe the differences on your own browser. (The original JPEG format zip package will be provided in the final evaluation for interested enthusiasts to download and compare.)

Scene 1, left B3, right M1:

B4:Scene 2, left M6, right B4:

      There is a small trick for observing the differences: do not view them on the same screen, download the two images to your local computer, and use a photo viewing tool (such as the "Photos" app in Windows 10) to switch back and forth.

The conclusion is:

      · Using the screen capture comparison method, there is no visible difference that can be observed even on RAW format images.

      · If there is a difference, it is so slight that it may have already reached the level of instrument measurement. It cannot be described as "different styles", let alone used to judge the quality of the cables.

      (Note: There is a slight difference in the picture range between M6 and B4 due to the slight movement of the camera position.)

      In short, under the same endorsement of the Ultra High Speed certification, Bridgee's cables and MONSTER's cables are comparable in terms of brightness, color, and sharpness of the image.

      To rule out the possibility of "differences in amplifier and projector HDMI lines offset the differences in HDMI cables", I also did a separate test with the Blu-ray player directly connected to the projector's HDMI 1 input, testing the two cables one after the other. The same conclusion was reached: there is no visible difference in the image between these two HDMI fiber optic cables.

      Disappointed? Not at all. On the contrary, if there were visible differences between two cables of the same type of digital cable product that had undergone the most stringent quality certification, that would be when "physics no longer exists".

      Audio Comparison:

      In the audio evaluation, I compared 1) Bridgee 2m HDMI cable, 2) OSD Audio's AURUM Ultra series RCA signal cable, and 3) the optical cable that comes with the Razer Leviathan soundbar.

      Here is the rear interface of the OPPO UDP-203, with HDMI, optical fiber and RCA signal cables connected to the Blu-ray, CBL/SAT, and CD inputs of the amplifier:

      In terms of audio quality, compared to the contrast in picture quality, there is a stronger subjectivity due to the lack of a means to overcome the short-term memory of hearing, such as screen shots.

      The track "Jerusalem Girl" from my most familiar album "Can't Forget" by Tong An Ge was selected for comparison, and the prelude part before 35 seconds of the comparison was repeatedly switched. The sound effects in this music are rich, with many instrument types and high separation of left and right channels, and even moving sound effects, which are very pleasant to listen to.

      The conclusion is that not only can no difference be heard between the optical fiber cable and the HDMI cable, but I can't even hear any repeatable differences between the digital and analog lines. The volume and resolution are almost the same, which means that the quality of the digital-to-analog conversion chip of DENON A110 and OPPO UDP-203 are in the same level, and the use of components is also of high quality.

      Regardless of whether the digital-to-analog conversion is completed on the OPPO side or on the DENON side, or whether the digital signal is transmitted via HDMI cable or optical fiber cable, the final sound output is indistinguishable to my level of hearing (I believe that differences can be detected using instruments, but I do not have such testing conditions, and can only rely on my ears to receive). These three cables (HDMI, TOSLINK, and RCA) have faithfully completed the task of transmitting audio signals.

      The biggest advantage of HDMI in audio transmission lies in its high bandwidth.       Therefore, playing music Blu-ray discs may be the best way to experience the crushing of HDMI format.

      I happened to have a "John Williams and the Berlin Philharmonic" Blu-ray disc with a DOLBY ATMOS panoramic sound track and a 24-bit/96Hz high bit rate panoramic sound pure music disc. With such high-quality audio, listening to the film theme songs of "Star Wars", "Jurassic Park", and "Indiana Jones" conducted by the composer himself and performed by the Berlin Philharmonic can only be described as the ultimate enjoyment for film and music enthusiasts. This is the home field of HDMI, and optical fiber and RCA cables can only withdraw from the stage.


      Thinking back to 1995 when I first came into contact with HiFi, the initial signal source was Panasonic's LD player, and later my family bought a popular iDo VCD player at that time. When I put a familiar CD into the VCD player, I immediately noticed the difference-the music had become less pleasant to listen to? The music that should be pleasant and smooth suddenly became dry, which is hard to describe. I was restless and studied it for a long time, and finally found in the manual that the signal-to-noise ratio of Panasonic's LD player was 110dB, while iDo VCD (honestly) labeled the signal-to-noise ratio as 85dB. At that time, the stereo signal between the signal source and the amplifier was transmitted through the RCA cable, so the sound quality largely depended on the quality of the signal source's digital-to-analog conversion. And 110dB vs. 85dB is almost a difference that can be heard with one ear.

      In 2023 today, with the Ultra High Speed certification, I believe that as long as HDMI products have passed this certification, they can achieve faithful and lossless transmission of data. Accuracy is the hallmark of this era, and the chaos represented by 85dB has been eliminated by the times. Occasionally, I can't help but feel that there is no longer the surprise of 110dB vs. 85dB.

      Bridgee is the representative of accuracy. With the Ultra High Speed certification, Bridgee has been proven to have reached such a high level. At this height, accuracy is no longer the focus of attention, and the product's appearance design, ease of use, and the pursuit of Joe to make a good HDMI cable that I have always felt, this sense of identity is the reason why I can recommend Bridgee to all audio enthusiasts without reservation.

      Let me end this review with a photo of a plain-looking Bridgee HDMI 2.0 cable. Its appearance and materials may not be comparable to the MARK series, but after countless times of plugging and unplugging over the years, it has never been wrong, and every time I play a video on my PC or play an REW test sound during review, it reliably connects between my laptop and amplifier.

      The ambition of the green robe, the practice leads to the future. The cloud city begins, soaring into the sky! (End)

Attached: About Ultra High Speed Certification

      The following information comes from my communication with Joe, and everyone can have a deeper understanding of Ultra High Speed certification:

"The UHS certification is certified by length, and a length is about 50,000 RMB. We have certifications for 5/7.5/10/15/20m, and the 20-meter certification is the most difficult (note: I also received certification information for the 2-meter MARK-0020 I received). Each label is sent by the American Association to China, and the cost of each label is about 3 yuan. You can use the HDMI Association app to scan and obtain brand/model/length information to ensure authenticity."