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HDMI cables

esquire.

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When you set up your hi-def TV and plug in HDMI cables, I've heard over the years that it doesn't matter if you use the expensive Monster HDMI cables vs the cheap HDMI cables if the distance is fairly short.

But, when people are making that comparison, are they comparing expensive HDMI 1.4 cables vs. cheaper HDMI cables 1.4 cables? Or, is there still no difference if you're comparing expensive HDMI 1.4 cables to the cheap 1.1 HDMI cables? At what point, do you need to upgrade to a 1.4 HDMI cable?

And, if the HDMI cable is long enough to reach the plugs, does it matter what the length is as long as it can reach the plug?

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Auto-GPS-Units/14649391

I got the above 5 feet Monster HDMI cables, and they're a bit longer than they need to be where something like 3 feet or 4 feet would probably work too. ( I know, I know, Monster cables are a rip-off but they were a Black Friday Special) At 5 feet, they have slack to the cable whereas something at 3 feet the cable would be tighter. Should I keep the 5 feet cables, or get the 3 feet cables?
 

willpower

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The length limit for HDMI is pretty far - if I recall there's no mandated limit, much more than the distances you're mentioning. You've already got the Monster cable, why go through the lines, gas, and time to exchange. Monster isn't bad, they're just overpriced. Keep the 5 footers, who knows if you'll need to rearrange your setup in the future.
 

Blackhood

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Agree; that extra 24" of travel for the data in a cable as decent as Monster isn't going to make much difference.

If it were a $1.50 cable then I could see that it might make a small difference.
 

ter1413

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I need this info also...
 

Ataturk

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HDMI is digital. So if it works, it's working as well as any other hdmi cable could possibly be working.
 

jenlain

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I have had good luck with monoprice and bluejeans cables. Both come highly recommended from avsforum. Much lower cost than monster. I have not seen a head to head comparison, but I also cannot imagine that there is much incremental performance available. Monoprice is 1.4 compliant. Bluejeans is 1.3.
 

pinchi22

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I recall one of the extremely picky online test labs also recommended Monoprice. They were very choosy on source blu-ray and lcd screen, but said they always use Monoprice cables as they are as good as the overpriced ones.
 

GQgeek

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Originally Posted by pinchi22
I recall one of the extremely picky online test labs also recommended Monoprice. They were very choosy on source blu-ray and lcd screen, but said they always use Monoprice cables as they are as good as the overpriced ones.

I read the same tests and I agree.

The bottom line is that for shorter lengths, it doesn't matter much. Where some cables start having trouble is over 20ft. Lots have trouble over 30ft, and very few work well over 40ft. I had 40ft monoprice and it worked well.

When I no longer needed the 40ft I replaced with blue jeans cable though.

FYI I have the BJC speaker wire with ultrasonically welded banana plugs and they're great. I buy pretty much all my A/V cable from BJC.

Monoprice is a fantastic company though.
 

runner-guy

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+1 for Monoprice. I buy all of my audio and video cables from there. Monster cables are okay but they are ridiculously overpriced. You can buy cables through Monoprice that are the same if not better quality for about 80% less. No, you won't notice a difference in picture quality between 3 feet and 5 feet lengths. It's really only in very long distances that picture quality would degrade slightly. Monoprice does not have cables that are specifically labeled "HDMI 1.4" but they do have the equivalent which are the "Premium High Speed" HDMI cables.
 

pg600rr

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I am getting ready to run a 50 ft., my installers will be the ones running it, but from the wire techs they spoke with and previous homes they have done, 50-60 ft. works fine with the current technology, something about I/C chip, blah blah blah.... I dont know much about them, but was told it will either work (i.e., you'll hav a picture) or it wont. There is no inbetween (i.e., picture quality is not going to be less over a long run, than over a short... its either going to show picture or not.

I am in the process at looking at a few myself, they reccomended MIT, Audioquest, Kimber Kable, as some brands. I am guessing it'll prob. cost me around $350ish.
 

Artisan Fan

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It's an oversimplification to say that because HDMI is digital then any digital cable will do. I've played with various HDMI cables and the better ones do perform better. I'm not a huge Monster fan due to their litigious nature but they have some convincing research on this.

And monoprice is crap. I've tried them and they suck. Same for BlueJeans cable. I'm sorry but sometimes you do get more for more money.

You don't have to go crazy here either. Entry level Kmiber, Cardas, and Nordost work well. I'm not a fan of Audioquest. I keep getting cable loaners from our local dealer but they never measure up to my Kimber and Cardas selection.
 

A Y

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First, some practical advice and then the digital cable quality issue.

Get slightly longer HDMI cables than you need so that you have some slack. The HDMI connector is not very mechanically secure, so if you have tension on your cables, they can pull out a little bit and lose the connection.

HDMI cables differ only in the bandwidth of signal they can pass for a given length. If you buy cables that are rated for really long lengths, like 50-100 feet, you'll notice that they're thicker and less flexible than the ones rated for smaller runs. This is because they're using thicker wires inside so there is less loss for the longer distances they'll have to run. If you're not going to run really long runs of HDMI, get the ones rated for lower distance: they'll be easier to deal with. The long-run cables sometimes feel like small garden hoses.

As for quality, either they work or they don't. Almost every display used today is digital in its output (eg. all flat panel displays, all the silicon projectors like DLP), so beyond things like FCC compliance and meeting their rated bandwidth specs, HDMI cables can make no difference in video quality for these kinds of displays.

For audio, one can argue that different HDMI cables could make a difference since they can alter the jitter of the signal. Perhaps, but if that's the case, you have bigger problems because your audio receiver is broken in which case no cable is going to be better, just different.

--Andre
 

imageWIS

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Originally Posted by Artisan Fan
It's an oversimplification to say that because HDMI is digital then any digital cable will do. I've played with various HDMI cables and the better ones do perform better. I'm not a huge Monster fan due to their litigious nature but they have some convincing research on this.

And monoprice is crap. I've tried them and they suck. Same for BlueJeans cable. I'm sorry but sometimes you do get more for more money.

You don't have to go crazy here either. Entry level Kmiber, Cardas, and Nordost work well. I'm not a fan of Audioquest. I keep getting cable loaners from our local dealer but they never measure up to my Kimber and Cardas selection.


What difference did you see and over the course of what length? HDMI is digital, no? If all the 0 and 1's get from the source to the destination intact, how could you tell the difference?
 

Harold falcon

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And if you get nothing else from reading this guide, you should remember one simple fact: There's no reason to pay extra for HDMI cables. Intrigued? Let's get started.
http://reviews.cnet.com/hdmi-guide/

Seriously, if the cable works there is absolutely no benefit to buying expensive digital cables. Monster is a travesty and you should never buy their overpriced garbage.
 

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