The Marseille mCable is a unique HDMI cable. While all HDMI cables transmit videos, the mCable adds the capability to improve the video quality. This is done by integrating a video chip into the cable itself. This built-in processor enhances and filters the video content before it reaches the television. This cable upscales from 480p to 1080p and from 1080p to 4K. This, in effect, will give you up to 4K video on an old 1080p HD TV.
Set up for the cable is very easy. There are only a few slight differences between setting up the mCable and plugging in a regular HDMI cable. The mCable has an attached USB cable that it uses for operating power. You are instructed to plug in the USB cable first, then plug in the mCable. Also, the mCable is asymmetrical, meaning that the ends are different. Thankfully, they are clearly labeled. The shorter end is marked SOURCE and must be connected to the source device like the digital cable box, Blu-ray player, etc. The longer end is marked TV and should be connected to the television.
If there is no USB port on your television, you will have to use an external USB power adapter and possibly a USB extension cable to hook up the mCable. The mCable itself looks just like a regular HDMI cable, except that the ends are a little larger. The width and height of the two ends is 20.8×11.3 mm or 0.819×0.445 inches. The SOURCE connector has a depth of 48.4mm (1 29/32’’) and the TV connector depth is 69.1mm (2 23/32’’). As you can see in the image below, the mCable has 18K gold connectors.
When I hooked up the mCable to my 55” LG TV, it worked wonderfully. It also bettered the picture on my 30” Sony television. I was actually quite amazed by the results.
Marseille uses proprietary contextual processing algorithms that are very detailed. Each pixel is analyzed to produces clean and sharp video experience. Edges are enhanced and noise is reduced. The mCable improves details, manages color, and even removes artifacts. This is especially noticeable when looking at the edges of objects on the screen and viewing text overlays. Dull looking scenes are often brought to life with crisp edges. There is no visible latency. It is the only cable 4K Image Certified by Technicolor, Hollywood’s premier technology provider. It can also be used for 3D movies.
Currently, 4K content is only available by streaming and this takes a lot of bandwidth. So the mCable may be an answer for those looking for a better picture on their televisions, but who don’t have or can’t get the bandwidth to support 4K content streaming.
Of course, you can get upscaling from the TV itself, from a DVD player or streaming box. Depending on your equipment, this upscaling can be quite mediocre. In fact, the sloppy upscaling that some devices provide simply scales and compresses the entire picture producing jagged edges and lack of depth.
In my testing, I found that the mCable works better on some devices and in some instances. For example, it handles only progressive content not interlaced content. All TVs made today are progressive, but some content may be interlaced (480i or 1080i) and the mCable will provide no upscaling if that is the case. While mCable works seamlessly on many devices, it doesn’t perform well if the device you are using has built-in upscaling. So if your television has upscaling, you may have to turn it off to have the mCable work at its best resolution.
Since most DVD and Blu-ray players have upscaling built-in, this can present an even a bigger problem. If you attach the mCable to a standard DVD player you will want to set the output resolution of the DVD player to 480p. When playing a standard DVD on a Blu-ray player, you will also want to set it to 480p. But when playing a Blu-ray disk on a Blu-ray player, you should set the Blu-ray player to 1080p. This means some inconvenient switching of settings when you want to watch a DVD on a Blu-ray player.
Also, you should realize that this cable can only be hooked up to one device at a time. The mCable supports cable boxes, DVD players, Blu-ray players, and Tivo. It supports streaming devices like Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Roku (but not Chromecast). It also works with video game consoles. So if you want to use it on from your cable box to your TV and your DVD or Blu-ray player or streaming device, you will either have to constantly move the cable or purchase more than one cable. The lone exception is that if you have an AV receiver, you can control all of your devices with one cable.
Also, to get the best picture quality of your television and the mCable you may have to adjust your TV settings. Instructions can be found in the Tech Zone on the Marseille web site under “Tips on fine turning your television.”
To the delight of many gamers, Marseille recently announced that they are developing an mCable Gamer Edition that will use Marseille’s proprietary contextual anti-aliasing algorithm to enhance and repair video game graphics. It is expected sometime in 2016.
If you have heard the old saying that “all HDMI cables are the same,” then the mCable will definitely change your mind. The mCable also has Dolby/DTS-HD support and comes with a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty. The 5’ cable is currently $129.95 USD at Amazon. The 9’ cable is $149.95 USD.