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A/V HDMi cables cheap vs. expensive

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Simon bridgeford, 27 Nov 2010.

  1. Simon bridgeford

    Simon bridgeford i'm a pc

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    i had a debate with manager at work today about hdmi cables i say cheap are as good as expensive and he says vice versa, because he went to belkin show thing where they showed off there cables being amazing but i personally i think how can digital signals be different??

    who is correct?

    if i am how can i prove him wrong???
     
  2. padrejones2001

    padrejones2001 Puppy Love

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    HDMI provides a digital signal, which means it's not effected by signal attenuation like analog cables are. The digital signal either arrives at its location or it doesn't. As long as the cable can transmit the signal from point A to point B, the signal will be at 100% quality. There's nothing in between. As a result, a three dollar cable can compete on a level playing field as cables costing hundreds of dollars.
     
  3. outlawaol

    outlawaol Geeked since 1982

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    They are litterally the same - two things. One, if the ends are poorly manaufactored you'll have issues. Two, if the shielding inside the cable is bonkers it'll have issue. I argue this point with people all the time. A digital signal is not going to lose its integrity over either a gold connection or a standard connection. The only thing gold is good for is if that computer is in a VERY high humidity room - and thats even being a bit skeptical about that.

    Cables are the most overly hyped pieces of technology on the planet IMO. Once when analog was king gold did matter. But not now. Go buy your $3 6' cable off ebay and laugh at your manager. Then plug it in and tell him to try and see what is different about a $60 monster cable and yours (could be clever and use price as the example of difference, if you want to be a smartass, lol )
     
  4. NethLyn

    NethLyn Minimodder

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    For computer equipment, cheap all the way if you wouldn't just stick with DVI in the first place between graphics card and monitor.

    For A/V, "it depends". Technically yes they're all the same, and cables that were a tenner a year ago are less than £3 now on Zavvi on average.

    But two different people will look at a TV picture and disagree over, for example, flesh tones, whether they are washed out on Freeview and people look like waxworks or embalmed corpses, especially in soaps - vs more the analog-styled picture when you can actually see flesh tones and red blood vessels but maybe the overall look of the picture was softer.

    However you could just mess about with brightness/contrast/colour settings to achieve the preferred look and then the cable still wouldn't matter. I'd only get an expensive HDMI cable when subbing to What Hi Fi, I wouldn't pay silly money for one (and the definition of "silly money", I'll grant you, will vary! But some peeps might need solid ethernet or 3D support). As Outlawaol says, the days of SCART where it made a difference, are gone.
     
  5. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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  6. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Cheapo is fine, but the quality could be an issue if you buy absolutely bottom-drawer; i.e. so awful that you get a cable which isn't shielded and with poor connectors. Beyond that the Amazon Basics ones will do. :p
     
  7. Lord-Vale3

    Lord-Vale3 His Tremendousness

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    Dont HDMI especially and DVI to a lesser extent lose quality over distance though? I was under the impression that HDMI loses its true 1080p quality after 6 ft? Is that utter rubbish or true?
     
  8. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    Yes over a long distance a good quality cable is recommend but it was like 30 feet before anything was noticed between cheap and expensive
     
  9. Salty Wagyu

    Salty Wagyu moo

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    I bought cheap 10m cable before and the signal couldn't get through at all from my PS3 or PC. I had to pay £15 more for a premium cable and now it works.

    It probably has something to do with the fact my new cable is 24 AWG (american wire gauge?). The cable that didn't work was 28 AWG. The less AWG the better, it does make your cable thicker (and heavier) afaik though.

    Course, you probably don't need to bother with such details for cables under 5m though, in that case - go for the cheapest one.
     
  10. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    So buy 5 of them, like this you are sure that 1 of them will work. That will be 5$ that you spend on those HDMI cables.

    HDMi cables don't need to be shielded. Again, it's digital signal. There is no interference.
     
  11. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    This may be for completely different reasons, but i have 2x PCs.....One with a DVI to VGA connection hooked up to my TV, and the other with a HDMI to HMDI hooked up to the same TV.

    When using Dual view (2 independantly controlled resolutions) the DVI picture is much better quality, and the HDMI one seems to have some issues when scrolling down pages, and some text looks....weird.

    Although this is probably slightly unrelated to the quality of HDMI cables
     
  12. Tulatin

    Tulatin The Froggy Poster

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    The comments on the CBC piece are really painful. Replacing your $12 cable every 6 months? I'm terribly sorry, but where the hell are they getting those cables, and what are they doing with them in the mean time - whipping one another with them?
     
  13. padrejones2001

    padrejones2001 Puppy Love

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    That probably has more to do with the TV, honestly. DVI and HDMI carry identical video signals, just HDMI carries audio as well.
     
  14. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    Hmmm i see. Might have to do research into that. See whats causing the difference between the two.
     
  15. TheJackal

    TheJackal Getting Old

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    only think i would lookout for with cheepo HDMI cables is what ver it is 1.1,1.2,1.3,1.3b,1.4 with 1.3b cables can handle more data and 1.4 adding 3D support
     
  16. Siwini

    Siwini What is 4+no.5?

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    How about thickness in wire, does that matter?
     
  17. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    Not for digital signals FWIR.

    This debate over cables reminds me of something I was reading on an audiophile forum.. Some guy has a $2000 budget for a headphone rig (dac, amp, headphones) and is allocating half of the budget to cables. Power cables included. The USB cable for his external hard drive was also 'audiophile quality'.

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=CRCLESB

    I can understand people wanting to change cables when there's an analog signal involved, but with digital I don't understand how there can be a difference.

    I only buy cables from Monoprice now, and haven't had any issues. 15' of silver plated sleeved HDMI cable for $16 plus a very small shipping fee. If I needed HDMI, that's what I'd go for. Their basic unsleeved 15' cable is $6, IMO the only value of the extra $10 is the visual appeal of the sleeve and the fact that I know that I'm paying for a bit of silver in the wire.

    TL;DR your boss is wrong, but don't push your opinion onto your customers. Some people are happier buying Monster HDMI just due to the fact that they can tell their peers that they have Monster cables. These are the same people who get conned into buying Bose home theater systems or other similar products.

    EDIT: Old topic..
     
  18. rob the bank

    rob the bank What's a Dremel?

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    I think like a lot of items the move from cheap to mid-range is worth it i.e from £2 to £15 above that they have blown the extra money on flashy packaging and advertising, the products will cost the same to manufacture.
     
  19. r3loaded

    r3loaded Minimodder

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    Even in the analog realm, I remember a recent double-blind test involving speaker cables. The result - the testers (who were true audiophile nerds with golden ears) couldn't tell the difference between a cable worth hundreds of dollars and a length of coat-hanger wire. The important factor is wire gauge, it just needs to be thick enough to have a low enough resistance to carry the signal.

    Anyone who claims differently is talking out of their ass, especially with digital signals.
     
  20. sb1991

    sb1991 What's a Dremel?

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    That's the thing I never got about the 'OMG99.99999% pure copper gold plated !!!111' type cables: why not just make it a bit thicker?
     

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