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Cable Quality Advice needed


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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 OFFLINE   Gerald LaFrance

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Posted September 30 2005 - 09:57 AM

Hi I am in the process of building my HT and now I am looking for needed cables and where to buy them from I just came across this website:
http://www.cablewhol...e.com/index.php

There prices are LOW I want to know how the Quality is of these cables??
I looked at Blue Jean Cables but they wanted $445.20, AGI wanted $161.10 for the same cables. AGI seems to have some Quality Cables my question is will the Cables at CableWholesale be of GOOD Quality.

I am on a Tight Budget but I dont wanna get something that will not be of good quality, I went to Blue Jean first but they where way over what I wanna spend then I found AGI with a more reasonable price for Cables. AGI LINK:

http://www.audiogeneral.com/

I would like input on both AGI and CableWholesale???

here is a link to my Website W/Pics I have to update it as I Finished my rear riser and I am now installing all speaker wires and Cables:

http://home.comcast.....ome.html-.html

THNX!! Gerald!!Posted Image
"IF the Facts don't Fit the Theory Change the Facts"    Albert Einstein

#2 of 15 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted September 30 2005 - 01:28 PM

Hi Gerald.

You have 3 things going against buying the cheaper cables:
  • You are running wires in walls. The expense of tearing things out and replacing them later will swamp the cost of the wires. You really want to put in decent wires from the start because it will be MORE expensive to retro-fit later.
  • You are planning for a huge screen. Think of a newspaper - how much magnification before you start to see grain/fuzz/imperfections? A screen size of 100" will magnify small problems that smaller displays will hide.
  • The cheap cables dont provide technical information that allows us to say if they can handle Progressive or HD video. Remember that Component Video is a 1940's standard designed for a 9" black-and-white tube. If the website simply says "Component Video" - they only have to be compatible with 4 Mhz video signals. You want (in writing) that the coax used for your cables has a analog bandwidth of 90 Mhz or more. This is what an engineer would require to handle the 35 Mhz HD video signals.

This link to Chris White's site on

How to make your own high-quality cables

has taught many of us how to make our own cables. It's not really hard and you dont really need the fancy $150 stripper as long as you practice 5 or 6 trims on some spare coax.

Hope this helps.

#3 of 15 OFFLINE   Gerald LaFrance

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Posted September 30 2005 - 03:53 PM

Bob, Thnx for the Technical info I was NOT aware of Analog Bandwidth?. I will be installing DVI-Component-S-Vid to the Projector. But what about a DVI cable is there a Bandwidth minumum like with the component??? Will using Lesser cable quality really an issue??

It Definetely is easier to put in Quality cables now but you dont have to rip out the walls, you just have to know how to Fish it throgh I am very inclined to do but I want to put in Quality cables now SO I WONT have to go Fishing. Posted Image

I was looking to go with a 92" screen and Projector Central Calculator said I could go with a 100" but it wasnt HDTV standard the next size up was so I decided on that, I figured that going 6" more inches wouldnt hurt.

I plan on getting a Sanyo Z3 with a Perm Wall High Contrast Da Mat screen but I want the HDTV format I will be getting HDTV mainly for Football. BIG Eagles Fan Posted Image

I am still considering going with the 92" screen? I will be back 13' from the Front row the back row bout 15'??

I just got this off the AGI website:

Precision 75 ohm impedance
for maximum signal transfer -
extended 1GHz bandwidth- is this GOOD????
"IF the Facts don't Fit the Theory Change the Facts"    Albert Einstein

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted October 01 2005 - 01:46 PM

There is a limit on the length of DVI cables. Over a long run a digital bit in one wire will create a bump in a nearby wire. They are trying to make DVI cables that can go 20+ feet - but these are still new.


Yes, "1GHZ" sounds impressive, but hidden in the fine print is that this means for Satellite signals from a dish - which are digital signals, not analog. A coax cable tends to have different bandwidth values for analog vs digital.

If you are ok with fishing things or you can install 4" flexable conduit to pull more cables later, my advice would be to only buy a set of Component cables to reach from your equipment to the projector. Get the good stuff from BlueJeans cables. Wait on the SVideo and DVI cable. If you get a HD cable box or Sat box - they will provide all signals via component.

I am all for future-proofing by running extra cables like SVideo and DVI - but you said you were on a tight budget and seem ok with fishing more wires later. Go with a single run of good component cables to start. It will get you through football season. And I suspect - you wont ever miss not having SVideo or DVI.

Hope this helps.

#5 of 15 OFFLINE   Gerald LaFrance

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Posted October 01 2005 - 02:10 PM

Man there is more to this than I thought well you know what happened to Thought Posted Image.
I was planning on hooking up the dvd player thru DVI and also the Cable box for hdtv they both have DVI, and use a DVI switch?? so your saying go with Component???

I am getting a Denon1920 DVD player and was told, to be able to get the 1080i upconversion I needed to hookup the DVI, cause the component would not upconvert to 1080i???

So these AGI cables probally arent GOOD Quality??

How about RAM they are in the HTF Mall they should be GOOD ????? :b THNX for the Help!!
"IF the Facts don't Fit the Theory Change the Facts"    Albert Einstein

#6 of 15 OFFLINE   Gerald LaFrance

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Posted October 02 2005 - 03:12 PM

bumpPosted Image
"IF the Facts don't Fit the Theory Change the Facts"    Albert Einstein

#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted October 02 2005 - 04:59 PM

Ok. I went to the RAM website and they carrry Canare-based cables. These are the ones I have researched and know the bandwidth is HD compatible.

Yes - for a DVD player to up-convert the 480p signal into a 1080 - most of these players require the DVI type connection.

Perhaps it would be simpler if you would list the types and lengths of cables you need for your system. (The DVI cable for the up-converting DVD player is new information).

Quote:
So these AGI cables probally arent GOOD Quality??

They are likely so-so quality made in bulk to ship with DVD players and cable box's. But they would work fine for a standard-video (480i) system. You have to read the fine-print: "Component" means 480i. If you are only going to push standard-video (480i) along these cables - go with AGI.

Cables are a bit like roads. They are all covered with asphalt so they all look alike. But you cannot drive at freeway speeds on the road in front of your house. It was built for 25 mph, not 55 mph.

Cables - are also built differently for different max frequencies. Make sure the cable you buy matches your needs.

#8 of 15 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted October 02 2005 - 05:06 PM

Ok - I dug a little more into the RAM website. They have "High End" component cables that claim 350 Mhz bandwidth and even provide a frequency chart.

Posted Image

The trick with a frequency chart is to look for the -3db point. This is the frequency at which the signal is reduced by 50%.

If this chart is true - both the Canare based and the "High End" cables from RAM would be good choices for your component cables.

For DVI cables - these are digital and are a lot less sensitive to the quality of the cable than an analog wire. But be careful. I have heard about problems going longer than 10-20 ft with these multi-strand digital cables. Do some more research before you try and shove 50+ ft of these into your walls.

#9 of 15 OFFLINE   Gerald LaFrance

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Posted October 02 2005 - 08:10 PM

Hi Bob thnx for all your Help, here are the cables I need:

1. DVI-D - 1 at 15' / 2 at 3' for HDTV and DVD player
2. Component 1 at 15' / 1 at 3' for gamecube
3. S-Vid 1 at 15' / 2 at 3' for backup

For the DVI am am getting a DVI switch I saw at RAM:

http://www.ramelectr.../hd-DVI-2x1.htm

I kept the runs a short as possible, I am understanding now the differences in Quality cables and Cheap cables.

This is from there website about the DVI cables:

Quote:
However, there is one company (RAM Electronic Industries) that boasts quality DVI cables (without loss) up to 50-ft. (This is good news for those of us who employ a front projection system.)


ALso remember I have no walls put up yet so I wont have to shove it through. I am going to put these wires in B4 Drywall.

I also just noticed that they are located in new jersey I am going to call them tomorrow and see if there is a store front that I can goto and lookaround.

I was wondering will they give me a discount since I am a Member at HTF and they are listed in are HTF MALL??? and again THNX for all your help Bob!!
"IF the Facts don't Fit the Theory Change the Facts"    Albert Einstein

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Gerald LaFrance

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Posted October 04 2005 - 08:31 AM

bump
"IF the Facts don't Fit the Theory Change the Facts"    Albert Einstein

#11 of 15 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted October 04 2005 - 04:15 PM

Ok, those sizes make more sense now. I went to your link and thought you were going to run 20-50 ft of cables.

It wont hurt to mention HTF with your RAM order. But I know of no discounts. Many of our sponsers DO give our members good service because they know the word-of-mouth advertising that goes on.

Some suggestions:

- Separate your DVI cable run from the analog (component and svide) runs. Dont run these right next to each other if you can avoid it.

#12 of 15 OFFLINE   Gerald LaFrance

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Posted October 05 2005 - 09:14 AM

I can make the runs seperate but how far apart should they be, and what is the reason to run them seperated??

Posted Image
"IF the Facts don't Fit the Theory Change the Facts"    Albert Einstein

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted October 05 2005 - 05:15 PM

The DVI cable carries sharp digital signals compared to the analog wires. Running the wires tightly together will "induce" little edges in the analog wires.

How far apart - a few inches should be fine. You just dont want to zip-tie them all together so they react with each other.

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   Bryan.Wayne

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Posted October 06 2005 - 11:10 AM

Is it better to use RG6 rather that RG59? I know that is what we use at work! Also what does "Swept tested to 2ghz" mean. The reason I ask about the 2 cable types is that the Audio General site says that they are RG59 unless the cable is 100ft or more.

bryan

#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted October 06 2005 - 06:36 PM

For these short distances - RG59 and RG6 really wont make any difference.

In truth - RG6 has superior numbers (measuring at 100') and tends to not cost any more than RG59 so it is usually recommended. But there is a down-side: RG6 tends to be a bit thicker and stiffer which makes it a pain for shorter runs behind your equipment.

If I was pulling this stuff through walls 30-50 feet, I'd lean towards finding some coax made with RG6. But for your 15' and 3' runs - RG59 will be easier to work with.

Quote:
sweep tested to 2 ghz

Look at the graph on my post above. This is a "frequency response" chart AKA a "sweep test".

They roll out 100 feet of coax, put a signal source at one end and a measuring device at the other. Then keeping the voltage constant, they start shoving higher and higher frequencies of a signal in one end and measuring the voltage of the signal at the other end.

Notice how the graph goes down as the frequency increases? Every coax does this. Some coax ment for RF CATV signals would drop a lot sharper than this graph - because it was designed for lower-frequency signals than this.

Most of the time, when someone talks about the "bandwidth" or "sweep test" of a coax, they are describing the frequency where the graph above reaches the "-3 db point". This is where the voltage of the original signal has dropped by half.

But ... this is not a law. Someone could actually say that the coax in the graph above was "sweep tested to 1Ghz" because the graph goes that high. (It does not mean that it can handle signals this high, but it was 'tested'. Always ask what the -3db frequency is.)

Also - An engineer picking a coax would decide what the max frequency he was planning to shove down the coax. Then he would look for a coax with a -3db frequency about 4 times higher than his max frequency. This is because a slow-increase of frequency is one thing, but real-world video jumps all over the place from low->high->medium->high frequency. This causes ... issues in a coax. You can ignore most of these issue if the coax was designed to handle 3-times or 4-times your max frequency.





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