Recent home entertainment video technology like HDTV's or video game consoles use the HDMI interface to connect the audio/video signals. HDMI cables sometimes can be very expensive for the higher end models. But there is really no reason to pay a high price for an HDMI cable.
HDMI cables aren't like traditional audio / video cables. It used to be that the quality of the cables for your home entertainment system would effect the quality of your video and audio. If you connect a low quality cable to your TV or stereo then you'd get a low quality signal. But HDMI cables are digital in nature so the signal either gets through in tact or it doesn't get through. So a higher price cable made with the very best stuff won't get you higher quality signal.
If a $10 cable works fine then its just as good as a $20, $40 or $100 cable. There is usually really no reason to pay more for a higher cost HDMI cable. You won't get a better picture.
Don't just take my word for it. Refer to these other sources.
- Gizmodo has a series on the Truth About Monster Cable where they talk about the quality of cheapest cables vs the very expensive Monster cable brand. They test some cheap cables versus Monster cables in : The Truth About Monster Cable, Part 2 (Verdict: Cheap Cables Keep Up...Usually) they found that for normal situations the cheap cables are just fine.
- What HDMI Cable Should I Buy? from CNet. They put it succinctly : "Expensive cables aren't worth it"
- PC World's article The Cable Game said : "Once you get a good HDMI connection, our tests indicate, you can expect flawless performance from any 4-meter cable, regardless of price"
This is not to say that there is no value to a higher quality HDMI cable. If you have a longer distance, plan to run higher bandwidth in the future, or have some problems with your signals due to interference or something then there might be situations where a higher quality cable might really be helpful. But I think for 99% of us the cheaper cables will be just as good as an expensive cable.
Its fairly easy to pay $30 or more extra for a cable of essentially the same functionality.
On Bestbuy.com the cheapest 6' HDMI cable they have is $20 and you can pay $40 or more for a name brand HDMI cable like Monster.
I look on Newegg and do a search for "hdmi cable" and filter to 5-10' cables. There are 20 options for cables under $8 with some as low as $5. Almost all of those cables have customer ratings averaging 4-5 out of 5 stars which is a pretty good sign the cables work fine.
I bought a fairly cheap HDMI cables from Newegg myself and they have worked perfectly fine for me.
So rather than spending $50 or more for a cable at a retailer I'd strongly recommend you shop around and get a lower cost HDMI cable for $5-20 and save yourself some money.
Image from BestBuy.com