Are all HDMI cables the same?
October 21, 2005
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I just purchased a Toshiba DLP HDTV. I'm looking around at the HDMI cables, and I want to get the best bargain I can. Are all HDMI cables the same? For example, would I really notice the difference between a Transparent HDMI cable and a Monster cable?
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Hi, James. One of the joys of digital transmission is that the cables have less of an effect on video quality than they do with analog signals. They're still subject to interference and poor-quality connectors are always an issue, but there's no need to blow a fortune on digital cabling. In almost all usage situations, less-expensive HDMI and DVI cables should offer nearly identical performance compared to expensive name brands. The exceptions are long runs--say, more than 10 feet--where high-quality cables often work better, although often you'll need some sort of extender for these situations anyway. Personally, I would buy the cheapest cable I could find from a local or online vendor with a return policy and try it out. If you do notice image degredation, which sometimes appears as "sparklies" in digital transmissions, then upgrade to a higher-quality cable.
, a TV reviewer with five years' experience, has color bars and a resolution chart tattooed inside either eyelid.