Wednesday, July 25, 2007

HDMI Cable Quality question

(Q) I am really confused about HDMI cables. I need to connect my DVD to my Receiver (1.5 - 3 feet) to my TV (1080p)(6 feet). Do I need to buy the high end cables? Some people say yes (they advocate Monster 400's) and others say no. I just want to make sure they have good shielding. Any suggestions?

(A) Normally, you do not need a special HDMI cable, even for 1080p at relatively short cable lengths. Any good quality HDMI cable should work at 6 feet or less. As the cable length goes over 10-12 feet and beyond it gets harder and harder for a small gauge inexpensive cable to work adequately, and there will start to be more and more "bit" errors. The higher the video resolution, the higher the bandwidth required, and the shorter the cable length can be.
Unlike analog video, when digital video goes bad it goes really bad. With analog video, if a signal is weak, you just get slightly less signal, so the color or brightness level is a bit less. With digital, increases in errors mean more and more bits of information that have nothing to do with the original signal. What you start to end up with on the screen is pixels that are not the correct color, often referred to as sparkles. Worsening errors cause wide swathes of obviously digital distortion on the screen or throughout the screen. This is a really, really ugly sight.
Aside from a cable working properly when you first plug it in, there are some other longevity issues you may want to take into account. If the cable is too delicate or cheaply made, it will damage easily. Small amounts of damage to a twisted pair cable like these hdmi cables, such as a small kink in the cable, slightly over bending the cable or even stepping on the cable may render an HDMI cable unusable. Contacts can also oxidize or retain contaminants from the air causing problems. These are all pretty good reasons to get a "better" cable. We are not saying to get one that costs 5 times the price of your average cable, but we are saying that in the long run, cheapest is not always best.

more info Link:
Real World DVI and HDMI Cable limitations


  1. Anonymous6:00 PM

    If you're looking for the ultimate in top end HDMI cables then these guys over in the UK offer a brand of HDMI cable called Oehlbach from Germany.

    Check out the Oehlbach XXL HDMI cables.

    Remember those prices are UK pounds (1UKP=$2). Mind blowing! Saying that they do look absolutely beautiful... :)

  2. Well, anonymous, those are certainly very nice looking cables. Very expensive as well. They don't seem to publish their gauge, even for longer lengths. They are HDMI 1.3a certified, which is good. Our "high end" cables are HDMI 1.3b (higher bandwidth than "1.3a") certified and much less expensive. They certainly don't look as nice, though.
    Ram Electronics HDMI Cables


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