So we have a high definition TV and a gaming system or a upconverting dvd player or HD player, and we need an HDMI or Component cable. Typically we walk into Best Buy or any brick and mortar store and see that $50-$100 is average for a cable and buy it. Why? well.. we already shelled out a lot for the tv and the salesman said you should get this brand or that brand because they are the best. So why not?.You don't want to mess up this expensive purchase, right?
You do not need to pay that kind of money for a fully functioning, heavy guage, shielded HDMI cable.The salespeople make money from the commission, and small peripheral items have the greatest markup value, so you will be overcharged.
Monster Cable, as one example, is a very well known, reputable company that has great high end cable, and truthfully, unless your a high end user that will need extremely long amounts of cable, or have a budget that can afford these types of cables and REALLY notices a difference in signal quality, you really won't need it.
If the tv or playback device is low quality or very inexpensive, the cable isn't going to make a big difference in the picture quality. You can use an inexpensive cable for 30 feet and have a great HD picture.The high end stuff SOMETIMES works better for the really long cable runs. Again, if the HD product your buying ( TV, Blu-Ray player, upconvert dvd player) is of low end, maybe an unknown Korean or China brand as an example, the expensive cable will not improve what could be a cheap manufacturing of the HD device itself, which may have a poorer HD picture compared to other manufactured products that use high end components that yield a better HD picture overall by comparison.
A lot of these high end companies outsource cable manufacturing to China and other countries, you pay for the name, the hype, the sales tactics.Some do require a certain manufacturing criteria to keep quality high, but for the cables I have purchased, they could rival these major companies.
Like any cable, you want heavy gauge wire, and you want good connectors, sheathing, and a good stress relief, that's the molded plastic/rubber around the connector and the cord that keeps the wires from getting stressed near the plug. Don't go for some really off the wall made cable, that has questionable manufacturing. Some of these cables barely meet the standards in manufacturing and if you move them a lot or need to bend them a bit, you may find they go bad. Monster is really good at making heavy duty stuff for this reason. You can see the cheaper cables have a plastic sheathing, are thin in diameter, have no EMI shielding, have low gauge copper wire and the stress relief is solid hard cheap plastic.
Monoprice and Cables To GO HDMI cables , in my opinion, are very good .No fancy packaging, no frills, just a sealed HDMI cable.Gold connectors to reduce corrosion, and solid stress relief. I have 3 for my PS3, 1080p up convert dvd player and my cable box and the picture is sweet.I get no interference, no video noise, no loose connection problems and no handshake issues with any components. Two of my friends bought them after I did and love them.
You can find similar or maybe even cables from the above companies on Ebay and pay 1/10 of normal retail cost of other brands that are sold in stores. Since these companies sell in large quantities at cheaper prices, the savings are literally passed on to the consumer. Read the descriptions of the cables and make sure your getting a decent quality cable. You can even buy Belkin cables if your inclined and pay about $50 for a 3-6ft cable with a lifetime guarantee if it makes you feel more comfortable.
There are many places that you will find quality cables for under $20. Just do a search and don't fall for the hype.
There are many discussions on the subject on the web. I like the one on Digg.com the best as you can see how even those that aren't videophiles like me, won't be oversold.
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