Expensive HDMI cables versus Inexpensive HDMI cables. Can you tell the difference?

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When you buy a new TV one of the big margin items that they try to sell you at places such as Best Buy is an expensive HDMI cable such as a Monster Cable.  I've been an electronics hobbyist for 30 years and am an Advanced Class amateur radio operator (ham) and I know a fair bit about cables.  

When it comes to very short runs of cable, especially for digital signals, you do not need these thick cables with all sorts of marketing hype attached to them.  I defy anyone to tell the difference in a picture between a Monster Cable HDMI cable and a cable you will find on Amazon for five bucks or so.  I have setup this demonstration many times for family and friends and you simply cannot tell the difference in picture quality.

All of my HDMI cables were bought for a buck each from Hong Kong with free shipping. Every once in a while I will swap one of these out for an expensive cable that I inherited to show my sons that you cannot tell the difference.  Save the $50 to $100 for a nice dinner to celebrate your new TV!


erick99 posted Feb 18, 2012
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9 Comments
encorez
buy the cheap e-bay ones......
encorez (rep: 9.96k) posted Feb 18, 2012
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rd995
ebay or amazon sometimes they run deals on one day sale pages too never pay for overprice cables that do the same job
rd995 (rep: 105k) posted Feb 18, 2012
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kffight3r
got a $1 one and works like a charm
kffight3r (rep: 712) posted Feb 18, 2012
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AgentGhost
I buy all my cables from monoprice.com, they're always good quality and fairly cheap. I also like them for their fast delivery times (ships within 2-3days). if you're in the market for any sort of cable or accessories, you should definitely check them out :)
AgentGhost (dealspl.us mod) posted Feb 18, 2012
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qlotusboy
At what length do you suggest buying the more expensive ones?
qlotusboy (rep: 5) posted Feb 19, 2012
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erick99
When you get around 20' to 25' you are going to need a well insulated cable to avoid signal attenuation. But even those can be found cheaply.
erick99 (rep: 17.1k) posted Feb 19, 2012
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krmills1
All of the HDMI cables I have purchased were the inexpensive ones and they provide an excellent picture.
krmills1 (rep: 14.2k) posted Feb 19, 2012
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egate2
The thing with a digital signal is either you have a good picture or you don't. There's no inbetween. So the cheap ones are just as good as the expensive ones they try and make you buy at the stores.
egate2 (rep: 509) posted Feb 19, 2012
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erick99
egate2 is absolutely right. HDMI is not an analog signal so it is "all or nothing" and, as long as you detect the signal, you have a 100% accurate signal.
erick99 (rep: 17.1k) posted Feb 19, 2012
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