Advice about cables

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Harrison, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. Mark Harrison

    Oct 14, 2000
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    A friend of mine went to Best Buy and was ready to buy a 55 inch Mitsubishi RPTV for around $2300. When he started to purchase the item, the salesman told him that if he wanted the tv to work properly he needed to buy some special cables (he used some phrase such as "air injected") that I never heard about and also said that he should purchase some set up or maintenance contract for 200 dollars where someone would come and adjust the set every 6 months for a couple of years. I told my friend that he should be able to buy all of the cables he needs (whether just composite or S-video cables for his DVD player, stereo and VHS for $150. I also told him that we could perform the initial set up using Avia as well as any subsequent adjustments unless sometime in the future he decides to get an ISF calibration. What do you folks think?
  2. Peter.LeBlond

    Jun 4, 2002
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    I used to work at Best Buy and most of the times the guys over in video are morons, they just try to regurgitate whatever their managers say to try to sell accessories and product service plans. What he was attempting to talk about was Nitrogen injected PE dielectric that Monster (and others) use to improve signal transmission. I'd definitely recommend doing your own research from manufacture's pages or message boards and leave the $7/hr salesman's recommendations at Best Buy.
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    For long runs, look for a thicker gauge wire that is shielded. For short runs, the shielding should be the priority in looking for cable to send video through them.

    If you have doubts on the "mega-video" cables, buy them from a store with a generous return policy, and compare them to "generic" video cables you can get at places like Radio Shack (their gold series) or Home Depot. If the generic look just as good, keep them, and return the more expensive cables. If you get a value from the "mega-video" cables, keep them, and return the generic cables.
  4. Scott_AH

    Scott_AH Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 26, 2002
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    As far as I know, Best Buy doesn't have a 2-year $200 plan on their RPTVs. I think they only have a 4-year $300 plan that doesn't include any sort of maintenance. Make sure he gets that cleared up.

  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Ok Mark. Lets get into it a bit.
    You CAN spend way too much for cables. I usually like to recommend people follow the 10% rule: Budget 10% of the electronics price for the wires. This means that a $230 component video cable for that television is NOT out of line. Yes, you need component cables to send progressive/HD video to the TV.
    Component video tops out at about 4 Mhz and most good component cables work well for this, including the AR brand.
    But Progressive Scan video goes up to about 13 Mhz, and 1080 HD video goes up to 35 Mhz.
    The cable for this type of video should be built with these frequencies in mind. This DOES NOT MEAN TONS OF $$$. Think of the asphalt in the street in front of your house and the asphalt on the freeway. It's roughtly the same stuff, but the freeway is built with different speeds in mind.
    I tend to recommend the AR or Radio Shack brand of video cables for 'modest' systems. Then I recommend one of the offerings from the custom web sites for 'sensitive' systems.
    By 'sensitive' I mean sensitive to the cable. This means any of the following:
    - Display size bigger than about 40 inches
    - Pushing Progressive/HD video
    - Running to a HDTV where a LOT of processing is done to up-convert the signal
    - Long run to the TV/Projector
    Your friends TV DOES qualify as sensitive.
    Here would be my advice:
    For a GOOD quality source like a HDTV decoder or a DVD player - go to and get a HD rated cable. It will cost you a lot less than $230 and you will be getting a superior-to-retail cable.
    For the lower-quality sources (DSS, VCR, CATV box) you CAN go with the AR brand of cables. But you might want to price out what BetterCables can do for you with SVideo cables and such. You may find that it's not too much more expensive.
    Good Luck.

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