How do I determine quality in HDMI or optical cables?
There seem to be thousands of cables out there, from dirt cheap to seriously expensive. Are any of them significantly better than others? How do I choose (other than they're being sold on woot!, of course)?
You don't need expensive cables. I use cables from Woot ($3.99), cables supplied with equipment (Blu-ray, Roku, etc.), and cables I bought from Monoprice.com. Never had any problems. For technical explanations, see these articles:
A lot of good information on cables and links to other articles on HD TVs and signals in the above articles.read more collapse
HDMI is a digital signal and if you are simply going from a DVD/Bluray player to your TV, even the cheapest ones will carry the signal without loss. If the cable is so bad, the worse thing you will encounter is no picture, not degraded video. I have never encountered a cable that bad.
Some HDMI cables have additional wires to support new advanced features such as ethernet over HDMI. At this time, few if any products support that technology so even those cables will not help with quality.
There is very little profit on TVs and bluray players. I suspect retailers only get about a 5% GPM on those product. So there is a huge encouragement for them to sell you add ons like extended warranties (huge profit) and $80 HDMI cables (even larger profit). They can actually make more money with the add ons than the original product. They confuse you into thinking they are necessary when they are not.read more collapse
My best suggestion is to buy from a trusted source (be it product reviews, trusted company, etc).
The selling claims made are generally worthless except for things such as supported resolution, 3d, etc. Those should all fall under their respective versions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI#Versions)
Theoretically as long as you buy the version that you need or better, you should be fine. The only real consideration should be length of cable; the longer, the more signal degradation, the more risk of not getting data on the receiving end.
But be careful to avoid poor quality construction and components. They're simple, but some manufacturers will still cut corners. An HDMI cable poorly made will cost about as much as a reasonably priced, well made cable. For individual items I usually buy on Amazon and make use of Prime shipping. For bulk purchases Monoprice can be a good way to go. You can do well to get dirt cheap on Ebay if you're careful.
- May 14, 2014 3:38 PM
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