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


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#1 of 119 Jeff Adams

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Posted June 07 2006 - 02:52 AM

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?
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#2 of 119 MikeEn

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Posted June 07 2006 - 03:06 AM

Quote:
What is the difference between a $17 and a $150 HDMI cable?
$133. That was easy.

Here's a harder one: What's the cube root of 328,509?

#3 of 119 Jeff Adams

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Posted June 07 2006 - 03:11 AM

$133. That was easy.
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#4 of 119 RobertR

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Posted June 07 2006 - 03:24 AM

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

#5 of 119 Jeff Gatie

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Posted June 07 2006 - 04:48 AM

I concur with the "$133" answer. HDMI is a digital format which is not subject to jitter (as if that mattersPosted Image ). 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.

#6 of 119 Philip Hamm

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Posted June 07 2006 - 06:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Adams
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?
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.
Philip Hamm
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#7 of 119 Jeff Adams

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Posted June 07 2006 - 06:59 AM

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.
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#8 of 119 RobertR

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Posted June 07 2006 - 07:17 AM

My pleasure, Jeff. I always enjoy enlightening people on this issue. Posted Image

#9 of 119 Jeff Adams

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Posted June 07 2006 - 07:37 AM

Robert,
Can you enlighten me on my other issue?
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#10 of 119 RobertR

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Posted June 07 2006 - 08:15 AM

Maybe. Pick one. Posted Image

#11 of 119 Jeff Adams

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Posted June 07 2006 - 08:43 AM

Robert, did you see my other post in this forum about audio and lip sync problems?
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#12 of 119 Shawn C

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Posted June 09 2006 - 03:45 AM

Quote:
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.

Eh, I did have some problems doing this once. I had some audio dropouts with my equipment using the el-cheapo freebie cable. I didn't go overboard and spend mad money to replace it. I just went to Radio Shack and got a 1/2 way decent replacement for probably $12.00 or so.

I might have just had a bad cable....who knows.

#13 of 119 Jeff Gatie

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Posted June 09 2006 - 04:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn C
Eh, I did have some problems doing this once. I had some audio dropouts with my equipment using the el-cheapo freebie cable. I didn't go overboard and spend mad money to replace it. I just went to Radio Shack and got a 1/2 way decent replacement for probably $12.00 or so.

I might have just had a bad cable....who knows.

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 of 119 BlueGazoo

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Posted December 19 2009 - 09:25 AM

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 of 119 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted December 19 2009 - 12:14 PM


Quote:
 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!!!).

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.  

Quote:
 (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.)

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 of 119 gene c

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Posted December 19 2009 - 12:29 PM


Quote:
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. 

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.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
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#17 of 119 Blu4ever

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Posted December 19 2009 - 01:21 PM


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

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#18 of 119 Brett DiMichele

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Posted December 19 2009 - 03:45 PM

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) :)

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#19 of 119 gene c

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Posted December 19 2009 - 05:04 PM


Quote:
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) :)
 
Because I said so! /img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif

Besides, the Monoprice cable has...


  • Quote:
    PRECISION POLISHED FIBER TIPS for Maximum Signal Transfer (includes tip protectors)
    Also known as..."metal fancy connectors". So there. 

"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#20 of 119 Blu4ever

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Posted December 20 2009 - 11:18 AM

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

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Klipsch Synergy B2 fronts
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Klipsch Synergy S2 surrounds Sony 10' sub, Sony DVP-NS300 DVD/CD Player LG BD370 Bluray,  Pace TDX-787X HD cable box, Nintendo WII


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