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Old 2 Mar 2006, 12:25 AM   #1
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Question-2 HDMI Cables?

Does anyone know if there is a difference between an HDMI monster cable costing $85.00 dollars and a so called "certified" HDMI cable that I purchased on ebay for $11.00 dollars? Would there be a huge difference in the picture quality on my 42" HDTV Plasma?
I bought an upconvertion DVD player and set it at 720p and I don't think I see a difference from the component cables I use to use. I'm viewing movies that I backed up using DVDSHRINK.
The bottom line is I really don't want to pay $85.00 + dollars for a cable.
Thanks for any opinions.
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Old 2 Mar 2006, 03:09 AM   #2
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I really doubt you will actually see any difference at all. Possibly when you view an exceptionally high bitrate source you may be able to see it, but in my opinion, most of the benefit would be a placebo effect.

As for the component cables, you are still viewing the same source as you were before, so the actual content has not changed and should not exceed the bandwidth limitations of a component video cable. Some people may be able to see the difference between the analog and digital feeds, but most will not.

Again, this is just my opinion.
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Old 2 Mar 2006, 03:32 AM   #3
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cables make the world of difference. Although this is a very touchy subject with many people. I'm all for cables. think you go out and buy a top of the line tv for better picture why wouldn't you go out and buy the best possible cables? You do want the best possible picture right? You don't want to use the cables that came with your unit cuz it is the bare minimum to make your new product work. What you want is something to give you the absolute best you can get.
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Old 2 Mar 2006, 04:08 AM   #4
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Thanks all for your input .
I still don't know if I should buy the upgraded cable or just keep what I have.
If I get some more feedback I think I'll be able make make better choice.
Thanks,
Goldy
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Old 2 Mar 2006, 05:12 AM   #5
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I don't want to argue, as it is more an opinion based matter than anything, but comparing the cost/performance of an interconnect vs a display device isn't really a very good analogy. There are a few more things to look at when trying to improve a display, but for the most part an interconnect is dependant on bandwidth and ability to deliver data at varying voltages.

I don't disagree that it won't hurt the performance by spending the extra money, but is it really necessary?? I have tried many types on all sorts of displays and have never experienced a large enough variance to make me want to spend the extra.

If you can afford the upgraded cable Goldy, go for it. If not for the performance/reliability, at least for your peace of mind as you'll not be doubting what you are viewing.
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Old 2 Mar 2006, 05:15 AM   #6
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Take a look at This Article from PCworld, it may not be worth anything to you, but perhaps it may?? There are 4 pages to it, outlining analog and digital tests.
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Old 2 Mar 2006, 05:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubber knob
think you go out and buy a top of the line tv for better picture why wouldn't you go out and buy the best possible cables?
But how do you know which is "best"? High price/bran name doesn't necessairly equal "better". I can pretty much guarantee you that most people could not see/hear a difference between a decent $10 cable and a $100 cable. Ever wonder why, if expensive Monster Cables, etc. were SO much better than the "cheap" cables, you NEVER see or hear an actual demonstration of their superiority in a store? It's sad that people waste millions of dollars a year on "snake oil" cables
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Old 2 Mar 2006, 11:01 AM   #8
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my opinion-- http://forum.digital-digest.com/show...108#post352108
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Old 2 Mar 2006, 03:08 PM   #9
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OK. I'm going to go out on a limb and post my GOLDEN RULES of CABLES.

1) Cables Make a Difference.
2) Price does NOT correlate with Signal Quality.
3) The Shorter, the Better. Especially with Speaker cables.
4) The thicker the conductor, the better. So, a 12 gauge would be better than a 14 gauge (remember in gauge, smaller numbers are thicker).

What do you pay for with more expensive cables?
1) Better / thicker conducting materials. You will get better quality (purer) copper or silver depending on the application. Silver makes a big difference. Reason: It has a much higher band width than copper. Also most importantly, it oxidizes (rusts) to silver oxide which happens to be a decent conductor where as copper oxide is a poor conductor. Purer copper can lower resistance as can purer silver.
2) Gold terminations. Gold is not a better conductor than copper or silver. Then why is it used for terminations? Because it doesn't rust. A thicker layer of gold will insure that the underlying material is not exposed. Also the terminations are usually of a different design than out of the box cables, and will grip the terminations much better, hence increasing conductivity.
3) Better / more insulating materials. More expensive cables usually have more shielding (for video) which keeps out interference. Now without getting into a really technical discussion, there are people who believe shielding is deleterious. Anyway, what you're paying for is more layers and better materials like Teflon.
4) Better design. Now here's the snake oil part. Of course all manufacturers are going to tell you that their design is better. This you gotta just try out.
5) Fancy packaging. I've seen cables that cost thousands of dollars that come in a nice wooden box with velvet inside. Sorry, not gonna help the video/audio quality.
6) Advertising. Hey, someones got to pay to spread the name around.

So, what to do?
Ask your retailer if you can try the cables out. If they are reputable, they will accept a return if you don't see/hear a difference. If you don't see/hear a difference your answer is easy. Now what if you do? First determine which you like better. Second ask yourself if it's worth the difference in price. Then try another cable and compare. Be careful though. Some people drive them selves bonkers with this cable stuff.

My 2 cents:
For the majority of you who are asking this question, try a Monster or a Radio shack gold. Keep in mind that Monster has different levels of quality. I'm pretty happy with my M1000 video cables. They're a bit more money, but for me, worth it for the silver. Price/Performance wise, Radio shack gold series is very good. You should be able to notice a difference between that and the out of the box stuff. Honestly, I don't hear much difference between out of the box stuff and the low end Monsters. Better to jump to intermediate. Remember, there are MANY manufacturers besides Monster. Monster is like Budweiser. Popular, but not necessarily the best. There are a lot of micro brews out there. I wouldn't use the wires that are out of the box. I remember getting RCA brand home theater cables for a buck a piece. They were a steal and MUCH better than the flimsy stuff. Happy hunting!
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Old 2 Mar 2006, 03:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by costanza
Ever wonder why, if expensive Monster Cables, etc. were SO much better than the "cheap" cables, you NEVER see or hear an actual demonstration of their superiority in a store?
I used to sell Monter cables (among others) and I used to do demos. I sold a lot of cables. I'd say 85% of my customers walked out with cables. You just need to go to a better store. Companies like Best Buy and Circuit City won't do demos for you. You'll be lucky if you could get them to open a cage to get something you want to buy.
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Old 2 Mar 2006, 06:02 PM   #11
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Personally, buy BOTH and then switch them on an original DVD. See what makes a difference. Use critical viewing skills, then make a choice!
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Old 3 Mar 2006, 04:42 AM   #12
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Yea, buy a few and compare them side by side. Just make sure they take them back!
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Old 3 Mar 2006, 04:48 AM   #13
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Those are good rules to follow TNT. Since cables are the weakest link between components, use the best quality you can for your budget.
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Old 3 Mar 2006, 05:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero G
Those are good rules to follow TNT. Since cables are the weakest link between components, use the best quality you can for your budget.
Great Point. Remember. . .

A System only Sounds or Looks as good as It's WEAKEST LINK!

I always use this analogy. You're trying to duplicate the original event (At least I am). So let's say the original event is getting a sip of water from a clear mountain spring. You can go there (go to the concert) or you can have the water delivered to you. Now, let's say the water goes down a stream then into a reservoir, and is filtered and fluoride is added. Then it goes into the municipal water supply. Then it goes through your home's plumbing and any filters you may have installed. Then you drink from a glass. If any one of these steps does not deliver the water EXACTLY as it was received, then you are not duplicating the original event. So, a purist like me would want as little filters and additives as possible. However, there are people who prefer to to have filtered water. So, your cables are your pipes. Dirty pipes will dirty your water. Filters are things like Equalizers which I would never use. Having a poor quality Speaker or monitor is like drinking from an unwashed glass.
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Old 3 Mar 2006, 06:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by costanza
Ever wonder why, if expensive Monster Cables, etc. were SO much better than the "cheap" cables, you NEVER see or hear an actual demonstration of their superiority in a store? It's sad that people waste millions of dollars a year on "snake oil" cables
If you have ever steped foot in a high end electronics store that carries Monster cable they would most definatley have a display, not just with the cables but line conditioners, power plants, YES you can see and hear the difference. Is it always worth the money?? is the benifit worth it? , it's all in the eyes and ears of the beholder. And like i said if your going to buy a high end display then you gotta back it up with good cables. Do you buy a lamborghini and fill it up with regulor? nope. If you want the best you need the best bottom line!
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