Rehash? WHY do manufacturers bundle thin interconnects?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Thomas Smailus, Sep 10, 2003.

  1. Thomas Smailus

    Thomas Smailus Stunt Coordinator

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    Starting with the presumption that the thin RCA type interconnects where its obvious there is little in the way of meat in the video cable as it 'appears' the same as the audio cables - in a 3 cables in one set of audio l & r and video - are not the proper cables to use for feeding composite video....


    then WHY do manufacturers include those interconnects with their systems?

    If I'm buying a $700 Sony STR-DA4ES - it comes with those skinny composite interconnects. It has been mentioned that its fine for audio but not for video. If thats the case, why don't the manufacturers spend an extra $20 and put beefier interconnects into their boxes for the higher-end systems?


    Or is it that those skinny interconnect cables for composite video, are in fact, perfectly good for video signal transmission, as determined by the product engineers?


    It just seems to me that either one side is needlessly cutting a few pennies that don't mater, for the sake of marketing in hopes that consumers won't notice the difference, even though they are buying a higher-end system, OR the need for thicker cables is somewhat over-rated.
     
  2. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    Probably because they've seen the tiny little 22 gauge wire that they use on the INSIDE of the their TVs and believe that the quality of the interconnect doesn't really matter [​IMG]
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    because those darn skinny cables don't cost the company much and keep the general consumer happy.

    it's only the enthusiast who thinks, "gee, i wonder if i should get better cables?" that certtainly is not the majority.

    yeah, it may only cost the company 20 dollars more to upgrade the cables they supply, but multiple that by however many thousands of units they produce and the cost gets to be too much for them - it will cut into their profit margin.
     
  4. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    To add to that, there are people out there (none here, of course) that forget to buy the cables when they get their equipment. At least this way they can make sure that it works, and then go back to the store and get the EXACT cable that they want!

    Glenn
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    What Glenn said. I'd say there is a significant number of people who do not even consider what cables they might need to get that new piece of gear hooked up.
     
  6. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    What about higher-end components? e.g. a pricey CD player? Those probably still come with the cheapo interconnects.

    My guess, though, would be that since this is such a subjective area and different folks will have different preferences, and different equipment, e.g. with the CD example above, one fellow will have a warm amp, another lady will have a brighter one, and they'll have different preferences as to the cable's performance to ensure a better match for their system.

    Hence, no point for the manufacturer to spend excess money on something which is not integral to the set, and is subject to personal preferences as well.
     
  7. Cagri

    Cagri Second Unit

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    I am pretty sure that almost every company does its research to find out if they include a better quality cable in the box for $x marginal cost for overall production, and if they can increase their profit by $x with the increase in sales of their product by doing this. As they don't do that, i.e. include a better cable, you can be sure they won't be able to increase their profit by $x. At least this is what basic economics tell us.
     
  8. Thomas Smailus

    Thomas Smailus Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not buying the cost notion - other than you have this annoying tendency to price things at x99 - so you get prices that step up in 50 or 100 dollar increments.

    First of, I'm focusing not on the bottom consumer end, but on the mid and upper end. Sony ES is my example, because thats what I have experience with. Others may know about other brands upper classes. The people who plunk down $700+ for a device, as opposed to $300 for an basically similar functional device are not the 'average consumer' - these are folks seeking a higher level.

    Now putting in high-quality video interconnects (remember, I think we all agree, for the audio patch cables, what we get in the box is sufficient) it may add $20 to the manufacture cost. If profit margin is the issue, add $20 to the MSRP of the device and $20 to the wholesale cost. The manufacturer does not make any less money - that extra cost is passed on to the end user.

    Will it lower sales? I don't think so. I would not choose to buy or not buy a particular unit in this $700+ price range because the price is $20 or even $50 or even $100 one way or another... and I doubt anyone would, but then I could be wrong about what other people would do.

    It is possible that they supply sub-standard video interconnects because it supplies the user with 'something' as they usually forget to get an interconnect. But then, isn't that another argument FOR having the manufacturer supply a quality interconnect? Then its in there - put that on the box/add. Also, if you let users use your hi-end equipment with sub-standard interconnects - are you not letting them use the system in a way that will make it appear as a substandard piece of equipment? Is that not like selling a sports car that demands 96 octane gas to run smooth like it is designed, and having dealerships sell it off the lot with 82 octane cheap stuff?

    I don't know. It still seems to come down to either the marketing guys or engineers are total idiots or we are needlessly buying fancier interconnects. I'd like to see if that very thin, with yellow ends, composite video interconnect is a proper impedance cable or not.
     
  9. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  10. Ralph Summa

    Ralph Summa Supporting Actor

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    I said the same thing when I opened up my Panny progressive DVD player which contained a composite video cable that could be better used for flossing.

    I was impressed with the 8' component video/composite audio cable that came with My Hughes E86 STB. It's solid and heavy and I actually use it on my DVD player. If I had known it wasn't the typical OEM quality and length, I would never have spent the money on the Acoustic Research cable. The Hughes did come with an optical cable that is a downright joke though!
     
  11. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    The reason is simple - it's better than nothing.

    What I said above was only meant partly in jest though. You spend a hundred bucks on this nice meaty component video cable, but take the back panel off your shiny new HDTV set someday and take a look at the wire on the inside of the set that connects the back panel connector to the main board. It's cheap puny stuff. Is *it* the proper impedence? Is the connector on the back of the set? Likely not.
     
  12. Thomas Smailus

    Thomas Smailus Stunt Coordinator

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    Which brings me back to the question - is it then necessary or even a good idea to obssess over 75ohm impedence or the thickness and type of shielding and the conductor thickness.

    The interconnect should match whatever the impedence is at the connections of the equipment. If those are 30ohm, then the cable should be 30ohm - right?

    If the inside of the box carries the signal on small wires and thin traces on an printed circuit board where such traces act like antennas - whats the point of obsessing over the thickness of the wire between the components?

    Maybe the manufacturers have it right when they package the thin cables with the equipment as it matches whats inside the equipment, and a MATCH is all thats needed.
     
  13. Joe Tilley

    Joe Tilley Supporting Actor

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  14. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  15. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Supporting Actor

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    Yeah - I have to also disagree w/ the packaging of better cables in the receiver. For people spending the money at a Circuit City or Fry's, you can be 100% certain that the salesperson will try to Monster them. There goes the cable problem for the average/midend consumer w/o too much hifi knowledge.

    Then there's the rest of us. Personally, I would rather see all (most) of the money that I throw at a receiver or dvd player or whatever, go into that unit. I could care less about the cables that come w/ it. Cables are the most subjective part of the hifi setup.

    Some people swear by their exotic Nordost, Tara Labs, Kimber... while some (like me) would rather do the mid of the road, Canare DIY / BetterCables, while some would argue that HomeDepot zipcord/RG6 would be just as fine. Whichever the case, I think the standard shippack satisfies the most people for its relatively nill price point.
     
  16. Cagri

    Cagri Second Unit

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    Cost notion is the fundamental notion in business (and these companies are doing business, it's not their hobby). The cost notion is, or in fact the notion of "economics" is the main reason why they don't give us better cables. Whether it be an increase of cost, or after some research they may have discovered that there are many customers who feel like Ernest; i.e. who want to pay for the unit not the cable; and they'll prefer other brands thus the company will end up with less sales and consequently less profit, these are all economic decisions.
     
  17. Thomas Smailus

    Thomas Smailus Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not buying that one bit. Maybe I'm wrong here, but I'm not buying it.

    I do not believe for one second that a customer who buys a high end unit (and we are talking top class equipment here such as the Sony ES or Pioneer Elite or any of the numerous specialized brands and NOT the HT in a box or lower end consumer stuff you see at Circuit City or Best Buy covering most if not all of the shelf space) - that such a customer would NOT buy a unit because it came with high-quality cables that raised the price of the unit $20, and would then buy a completely different unit.

    We buy our units because of the features it has, its look, the brand maybe, and how it integrates with what we have and where we want to go. So when a unit is considered, you may get down to 2 or 3 and I'm not convinced that if, Say Pioneer had 'proper' video cables in their kit, which didn't cut into the profit of the Pioneer, as the cost is just passed thorugh, so the unit is $20 more expensive, that someone would say, screw that, I'll buy the Sony with the cheap cables. Who would do that? I cannot imagine anyone using that sort of thinking except in the one case where 2 units were absolutely identical to them and they new they needed a very long or unusual run, thus requiring a custom cable anyway and they really wanted to save $20.

    Its not economics to Sony or Pioneer - they don't loose any money from including better cables unless there really are folks out there that would say, hell I'm buying the $20 cheaper box, and there are a lot of those folks. Maybe my thinking is different than the average bear, but when I'm down to picking a unit, I usually have a favorite or front runner in mind and $20 or $30 will never influence that.

    The proper cables in the stores don't have to cost that much. They do now, because its a separate company that must package and make them, distribute them, put them on endcaps and shelves and compete against other similar makers and pay the salaries of the folks that sell and distribute those cables. If a major company got in the act and packaged them WITH thier equipment, the cost would drop by 80% I'm sure.

    But we can go round and round on this all day long and I don't think folks are going to change their minds. Its like a debate about religion - everyone has their position that they are convinced is correct and no one will sway them. So long as everyone is happy with what they have - its really not a problem.
     
  18. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    As Bob points out, most of these component companies are not in the business of making cables, and there is no real benefit to them to include exotic cables, along the lines of what Cagri said. They include them for the average consumer's benefit, becuase the dissatisfaction will be much greater if the person cannot hook up the unit at all vs having the cheapest cable they can provide.

    I would actually rather they NOT include them in most cases, because I end up tossing them or giving them to friends, since I am going to buy better interconnects for sure.
     
  19. Thomas Smailus

    Thomas Smailus Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    One of my points was that if they unit came with proper interconnects - then you would NOT be tossing them or giving them away, but using them. Right?

    I'm not saying Sony get into the cable making business. They get thier cables they now use from some outfit. So, get the better cables from some outfit that already makes them.
     
  20. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Ok, but what if the Sony machines were packed with Monster cables, and you didn't like Monster? Would you look for another company's machine - just because you didn't like Monster?

    Sorry.

    Another alternative to that would be to have $5.00 off coupons in the box from different cable makers. You could use the one that you preferred.

    Glenn
     

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