October 4, 2009

Don't Over Pay for HDMI Cables

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.

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

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