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HDMI cables.... Good vs BEST

Discussion in 'Displays' started by -, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    There are still some supposedly knowledgable people, like Terry Paullin of WSR among others, who feel there is a reason to buy the much more expensive hdmi cables (and pretty much everything else) than the "...$14 HDMI cables".
    He did write something I do agree with. "All things in balance, folks". I wouldn't use a $14 cable with a $10,000 display but I wouldn't use a $200 HDMI cable with a $500 32" tv either.

    For most of us, a $25 Monoprice, or a BlueJeans cable for a little more, is more than adequate. Buy an HDMI cable the same way you buy anything else. Just look for what appears to be good video shielding, quality ends and an over-all high quality feel to it. If it looks to be a little bit better than you think you need then it probably will be. If it looks a bit cheap but it's quite a few bucks cheaper then don't complain if it doesn't live up to it's stated specs.

    There very well could be a difference in mega-buck HDMI cables over the less expensive ones, who the hell really knows, but I doubt anyone could actually see it, especially with our modest level of equipment.
     
  2. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Gene...... HOW can there be a difference?? It's D I G I T A L ..... It's either works, or it does not. A 1 does not go in one side and come out the other side as a 2.... Or a 1.5 ..

    I won't argue that a more expensive cable may be physically more robust and may outlast a cheaper cable, it it will not outperform it by what you see on the screen.
     
  3. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Actually, although in practice under normal circumstances w/ reasonably sufficient cables, that *should* be true, but that mantra does sometimes get a tad overused.

    The signal itself is actually an electrical signal ... or rather, the digital signal is carried over an analog electrical carrier. If stuff like shielding (or poor connector) somehow becomes an issue under stressful situation (perhaps due to poor QC, etc. and not truly compliant to HDMI specs perhaps), it can lead to inconsistent behaviour kinda like how OTA HDTV reception can get iffy during weather changes, etc. even though reception may be perfectly fine most times.

    Of course, I'm just simplifying that -- and I'm no HDMI expert either -- but a digital signal carried over some wires is not quite as "digital" as people often assumes.

    I'd add that one probably doesn't need to worry about this stuff unless one requires very long runs of cabling that may need to be snaked thru walls, etc. (perhaps for a FP setup w/ all gears hidden away as much as possible). If you are doing things that would push close to the limits of the HDMI specs (and would be a serious hassle and might involve extra labor costs to resolve any potential cabling problems), then you should certainly go the extra mile and spend a bit more $$$ to ensure things go well for the life of the setup. Afterall, you do need to factor in your time and efforts (and any intolerable troubles) and/or labor costs, if hiring out the setup work, into the final cost of setting up and operating your HT.

    _Man_
     
  4. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Man did a pretty good job of explaining why I said there "might" be a difference. Shielding, poor quality connectors, long cable runs and generally poor construction once again "might" cause a cheaper cable to under-perform.

    The main reason though is, as Man said, I'm no expert either so I'm not going to completely dismiss the idea that there isn't a difference based on information and arguments that go way over my head. I like to at least understand the basics of both sides of an argument before coming to a firm decision and I just haven't looked into it deeply enough to do that yet, and probably never will.

    All I know is the $28 Premium cables I bought from Monoprice seem to work very well and I can't imagine a more expensive cable performing any better in my situation. However, I did pass over the $4 cables at Monoprice and the .99 cent ones at the Flea Market (which should have done just as well?) so maybe all the hype did get to me. At least a little bit.

    As I said before, use your head. Buy what's approriate. If you have an OPPO or a Pioneer 51, as I do, then the Bluejeans or Monoprice cables (the Premium ones
     
  5. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    For relatively short distances (6 - 10 feet), the quality is not terribly important. Most of the actual problems usually have to do with the HDCP handshaking, which is on a return path.

    A cheap cable could cause a roll-off of the edges of the square-wave, which could get bad enough to cause read errors if the receiver doesn't have good detection and buffer circuitry. This means that a Cheap TV or Player probably requires a better cable than a Premium set. (and longer distances might need a bi-directional repeater) This might seem counter-intuitive but the better circuitry should be able to supply or read the Digital signal better than a cheap one.
     
  6. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    People, there is no "being safe" with HDMI. It either works, or it doesn't work. "Works" means the best picture available from the source. "Doesn't work" means an unwatchable picture, full of sparkling and pixelization, and eventually complete failure. No matter what you pay, your cable will give one or the other (and nothing in between). If it gives the former (as in about 99.9% of the cables), then you have a good cable, and cannot buy a "better" one. If you get the latter, take it back. That's it folks; all you have to know about HDMI cables.
     
  7. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    I'm one that believes there's no difference in cables. As was said, it either works or it doesn't. If you want to have some fun, go to the Polk Audio forums, and say there's no difference in cables. Especially audio cables............
     
  8. DJVan

    DJVan Extra

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    I thought my question might belong here; instead of starting a new thread.


    Just a simple question: for HD and 3D, should I get a least a 1.4 HDMI cable?
     
  9. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    HDMI cables are not rated "1.4"..."1.3" etc.

    Standard speed
    High speed
    High speed with Ethernet

    But either high speed version.

    If you find a cable rated as "1.4"(or even worse, 2.0) the seller/manufacturer is a complete moron.

    Cables have been SS, HS or HSwE for 7 years now.
     
  10. DJVan

    DJVan Extra

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  11. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I don't read Italian much anymore(was my foreign language in high school and college...been over numerous times. About the only correct thing I can do in Italian is order food and wine...) but "HDMI high speed" worked in search. Lots came up without v1.4.
     
    DJVan likes this.
  12. DJVan

    DJVan Extra

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    :lol: hehe; Sam, Google would translate but not order you a pizza and a beer :cheers:


    In this case the difference is 1 cent :laugh: ... I will get the one that mentions Ethernet.


    Thanks
     

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