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What is the difference between a $17 and a $150 HDMI cable?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Jeff Adams, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    I have always bought high quality audio and video cables. I just purchased a Toshiba DLP 50inch HDTV and want the picture to look the absolute best it can. I was ready to drop $150 on an HDMI cable but from Monster Cable but thought that was a ridiculous price for it. I am about to stick with the HDMI cable that came with my HDTV DirecTV receiver and save some money. What do you guys think? Is there really a difference in quality between a $17 and $150 cable or is it a complete waste of money?
     
  2. MikeEn

    MikeEn Stunt Coordinator

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  3. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    $133. That was easy.

    Everyone is a comedian these days.
     
  4. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Seriously, Jeff, look at this thread. Monster cable is overpriced stuff built on sheer marketing hype, NOT on any real improvement.
     
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  5. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I concur with the "$133" answer. HDMI is a digital format which is not subject to jitter (as if that matters[​IMG] ). Any cable that meets or exceeds the HDMI spec is going to get the 1's and 0's to the display/receiver. An extra $133 is not going to make those 1's and 0's any faster, brighter, or 'spatially superior'.
    As an example - The SPDIF specification for digital coax audio was made to use a standard 75 Ohm video cable for transmission. All you need is a $5 video cable, one of which comes with every DVD player made. Yet, people still buy $30-100 "digital" coax cables because they think they need a "digital" cable for digital coax.
    Edited for atrocious spelling.
     
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  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I think you are wise to stick with the less expensive cable. Don't worry about cables unless you see a glaring error. Just enjoy.
     
  7. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Thanks Robert for the link. You just saved me $150. I knew that the 0's and 1's were all the same for audio connections via coax or toslink but didn't know how the video side worked. I am enlightened. Thanks! Sticking with the cable that came with my receiver.
     
  8. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    My pleasure, Jeff. I always enjoy enlightening people on this issue. [​IMG]
     
  9. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Robert,

    Can you enlighten me on my other issue?
     
  10. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Maybe. Pick one. [​IMG]
     
  11. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Robert, did you see my other post in this forum about audio and lip sync problems?
     
  12. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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  13. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    It may have been an audio instead of video cable. Video cables are definitely 75 Ohms, while audio cable do not have to be. Then again, it could just be a bad cable.
     
  14. BlueGazoo

    BlueGazoo Auditioning

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    I bought three $5 HDMI cables when hooking up my new Home Theatre. Had so many problems and couldn't figure out what component was giving me the grief.

    I finally went out and got the Monster cables ($180 each!!!). I asked the guy if i could return them no questions asked if they didn't give me a better picture - he said yes.

    After using Monster, everything was working good with the new cables, except the surround sound - I'm returning that component.

    The problems i was having:
    1. When changing channels on my cable box, i would get a 3 second dely (sound and video)
    2. I would get what looked like fuzzy blue pixels on the HDTV Screen
    3. I would get crisp white dots on the HDTV Screen
    4. No sound would come through ont he first channel i tunned into. I would have to change channels to get the sound and video.

    With Monster, i got non of these problems. Keeping everything the same and just changing the cables did it.

    (I know in the states you have an assortment of cables with various prices, but not here in canuck-town; it's either cheap cable or Monster-Like cable.)
     
  15. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    With $5 cables from who-knows-where there is a chance that the sheer build quality and materials were so lousy that there were broken wires inside the bundle or poor terminations. So yeah, that sort of thing will give you the kind of drop-outs that you're talking about. But a $15 or $30 cable would have solved you're problem just as thoroughly.

    Problems 1 and 4 on your list above are obvious handshake issues - the communication between your TV and your video source broke down, probably because the ultra-cheap cables had electrical transmission issues or bad connectors.


    Well, you obviously have an internet connection, so Blue Jeans Cable and Monoprice are as much an option for folks in "canuck-town" as they are for those of us below the 49th parallel. Even with shipping and import fees they'd be a much better deal than spending as much on three cables as you'd spend on a good AV receiver and a quality sub. Any chance you can still return those cables and buy something reasonable?

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  16. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    With all the talk about in-expensive cables working well enough we have to remind ourselves that cables are not un-like anything else. Buy cheap ones from an un-known retailer or the local flea market and you could experience problems. But buy them from a well known parts house and chances are they were put to the test before being put up for sale.

    A perfect example is this optical cable from MonoPrice.com. At $6 for a 6 ft cable it's better than any $30+ cable I've seen in any store.

    Monster makes good products they're just way over-priced. Too bad you couldn't find a better compromise locally. As Joe said, buy on-line and save bunch.
     
  17. Blu4ever

    Blu4ever Extra

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    Try this link for all your cable needs www.monoprice.com Their prices are great and their products are even better./img/vbsmilies/htf/thumbsup.gif
     
  18. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    But Gene, the ends of that Monoprice Toslink aren't gold plated, how could it possibly be as good as a Monster Cable Toslink with it's superior gold plated tips that aid in conductivity! (of optical data) :)
     
  19. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Because I said so! /img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif
    Besides, the Monoprice cable has...


    • Also known as..."metal fancy connectors". So there.
     
  20. Blu4ever

    Blu4ever Extra

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    Gold plated terminals have better conductivity and will not corrode easily.
     

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