Cary Audio Cinema 11a Surround Processor and Model 7.125 Amplifier Video Test Bench
Without its companion video switcher, the Cinema 11v, the Cinema 11a offers only two HDMI inputs, one HDMI output with direct passthrough, and no video processing. As a result, only those tests that involve a straight passthrough (1080p to 1080p) are applicable here.
The initial Cary review sample had no problems with Resolution, but failed our Video Clipping tests. HD digital video is comprised of brightness values from 1 to 254, with 16 to 235 reserved for program material and the rest as headroom. The Cinema 11a barely went above peak white and also did not go below black. This was clearly by design. After explaining why we expect headroom and toeroom to be visible for clean HDMI passthrough, Cary looked into this further and decided to issue a software update to allow the Cinema 11a to pass the valid digital range from 1 to 254. Testing on the follow-up sample with software version 1.06 (now available at www.caryaudio.com) confirms the Cinema 11a now preserves head and toe room in addition full luma and chroma resolution. In other words, pristine, lossless HDMI pass through. —TJN/SCB