Buying a new HD TV?
Do NOT pay outrageous prices for the cables to hook it up!
If you visit Best Buy or some other electronics stores, you will likely find HDMI cables for your High Definition TV. But at a very expensive price! The sales person may even tell you that if you get the very best quality cables, you will get the best quality video. That is not entirely untrue – except that the same is true for the much cheaper versions of the HDMI cables as well!
Rick Broida of CNet News asked, “Are [all HDMI cables] created equal?” And then answered, “No, but there’s ample scientific and anecdotal evidence that dirt-cheap generic cables perform just as well as their pricey big-name counterparts (cough *Monster* cough). Don’t get suckered into buying the latter.” His article, “Get a 6-foot HDMI cable for $3.19 shipped” provides links to such deals on Amazon.
Gary Merson is MSNBC’s “HD Guru” and he has published an article “Buyer beware: Misleading HDMI cable labels suggest needless upgrades.” He subtitled the piece “Cable makers and dealers make money exploiting the ignorance of TV buyers.”
In Merson’s article, he makes the following statement:
AudioQuest has a line of “High Speed” HDMI cables; its packaging states that it “delivers 100 percent of the data required for 120Hz, 240Hz, 600Hz displays.” It costs up to a whopping $229.99 for its 6-1/2-foot Carbon model (sold online from Bestbuy.com). The BB website states “High speed 1080p/120Hz/4K” — there are no 4K consumer video signals.
Merson then explains that there are only two grades of HDMI cable: Standard & High Speed. All of the extra wording about 120Hz or 1080p or even 4K is just advertising. There are no HDMI specifications for these things and therefore they mean nothing.
By comparison you can purchase a 6-1/2-foot “High Speed” HDMI cable from Amazon for as little as $3.99. It is a “High Speed” rated cable that will pass any HD signal (including 3-D) to any HDTV. Keep in mind a signal carried over an HDMI cable is all digital, meaning any properly functioning cable will provide a perfect picture. There is absolutely no picture quality advantage of purchasing a cable that is rated higher than the HDMI “High Speed” standard of a 10.2 Gbps!
That means that if you buy a “High-Speed” HDMI cable for $3.99 at Amazon or for if you go to a high-end video store and pay $229.99, the picture on your TV will be the SAME. As long as you buy the “High Speed” cable, you will get the same video performance.