HDMI cable info dispelling the myth of expensive offerings

By Posted 16 Jan 2012, 17:03

Many unknowing consumers may go out and purchase that shiny new HDTV at their local retailer, and then are convinced they need to spend big on a HDMI cable to connect their equipment to it. Today we have an article looking at HDMI cable info dispelling the myth of expensive offerings that some people purchase.

Besides retailers trying to earn big bucks on expensive HDMI cables there is a lot of the Hi-Fi press that will let you believe it is a must to purchase expensive cables. There is some difference to the old analogue days with cables that may feed your speakers or connect your separate Hi-Fi system together.

But with HDMI cables they are basically transferring a digital signal from your source i.e. Blu-ray player or HD set-top-box to your HDTV that is basically 1s and 0s. Now over a short distance and if the cable isn’t damaged it will make no difference how much you pay for a HDMI cable.

There can be some exceptions to this though as some cheap cables if regularly unplugged and plugged back in can cause some disruption to the image quality of the cable. This is basically because of the cheaper materials used in the manufacture of the cable failing, but most of us rarely unplug our equipment from the TV.

Also if your equipment that is to be connected to the TV is only a few feet away a cheap cable will work just fine, but for longer runs of a meter or more it will probably be a good idea to spend a little more. By a little we don’t mean anywhere $200 that some salespeople may try and get you to spend.

Another issue with cheaper HDMI cables is when there is a lot of different cables and equipment connected close together. The cheaper offerings because of their manufacturing process may pick up interference from other sources, which can slightly affect the picture quality.

As an experiment we tried some cheap cables along with some slightly more expensive units in a home theatre set up. Connected underneath the TV there was a PS3, AV Receiver, HD Satellite box, Apple TV, and a DVD player. With the cheaper cable the picture image across all the sources was great, and connecting the more expensive cable resulted in a very slight improvement in the image.

Now it has to be stressed the difference could hardly be noticed, the blacks were no deeper or the colors more vivid. The image was slightly sharper and could mean the cheap cable was picking up some slight interference. To check this further we decided to check with another HDTV that only has a Blu-ray player underneath it and nothing else.

The same Avatar Blu-ray was used viewing the same scenes of the movie over a number of cable changes. It was found that there were no visible differences between the two cables to our eyes, and proves spending vast amounts of cash on an HDMI cable is a waste of time.

There will undoubtedly be many of you who don’t agree with this and think nothing of spending big on these cables. There is nothing wrong with that as it at the end of the day your choice. What is the maximum you would spend on an HDMI cable?

  • Anonymous

    ALL HDMI cables are exactly the same, whatever the cost. They work as data transfer like USB but faster, rather than actual signal transfer like SCART and therefore the picture will always be sent THE SAME, just like a word doc will always be sent the same through USB, Signal cables have increase and decrease in quality, HDMI are simple, they either work or they dont. As long as they do work, they will work exactly the same.
    There is a slight inaccuracy in the article, the data, when received by the TB or monitor, is checked against a check sum, and if it doesn’t match exactly then there will be no image shown. There will be no degrade in picture quality whatsoever. You have an all-or-nothing scenario. The writer must have been expecting to see a difference or HOPING that he hadn’t wasted all his money, and “saw” a tiny improvement just to just to justify his spend to himself. It’s science.