HDMI cables... Monster vs. Rocketfish.. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-02-2008, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys, i have a more technical question. Im not asking whats better...

Is there any true difference between a Monster HDMI and the Best Buy branded Rocketfish cables??? In terms of build, amount of internal wiring, etc. Im pretty sure the rocketfish is Category II speed. Other than that is there anything that can make them different.

I ask this because i do work at best buy, and i heard our Inventory Manager tell one of my fellow employees who was bying a TV to get the monster HDMI's since they are alot better. I butted in and said the rocketfish will give you the same PQ..(and as far as my eyes can tell they really do have the same PQ)...Well that manager looked at me as if i was an idiot, and became an ass to me. He was like blah blah blah monster has more internal wiring, better sheilding, etc. Now i know the old rocketfish cables suck with the purple tips (the connectors broke off all the time), but they redesigned them and now they are great and seem to be a better cable.

Anyway i think im completely right, since this is the same type of argument like monoprice vs. monster. But when i really think about it, i guess i dont know TRUE differences with these two cables. Does anyone know what the EXACT differences are??? Thanks


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post #2 of 17 Old 12-02-2008, 11:30 AM
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Do a search on cables. I would say don't waste your money on Monster or Rocketfish. You can get a great cable from Monoprice or BlueJean at a much lower price and they are AVS sponsors. There have been countless threads on this subject.
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-02-2008, 12:03 PM
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There are differences in internal structure, but without some pretty sophisticated test gear you can't really know much about what the net impact upon cable performance is. Also, at the connector end, it's possible for one cable to be very sturdy compared to another--but to determine whether that's so, you'd need to strip off the outer portion of the connector and see how they're put together.

The things which determine cable performance, primarily, are things which aren't easy to observe. For example, consistent impedance, consistent wire and dielectric dimensions, consistent composition of the dielectric, consistent spacing of wires, behavior of the bundle when flexed (e.g., do conductor spacings change much when the overall bundle is bent?), and that sort of thing--all of these affect how well the signal gets through. The kinds of dimensional tolerances involved here are so small that if you had the cable on a table in front of you, neatly stripped of its jacket, you would never be able to tell anything just by looking at it.

Now, in the short lengths that these store-brand cables typically are sold in, none of this probably makes any real difference in the vast majority of applications. That's due to the fact that the signal is digital, and the relative amount of degradation between two cables doesn't make any difference to the picture until it reaches some threshold where there's actual data loss. Ordinarily, even with cheap cable, this doesn't really happen at short lengths, but once you get up to 30 feet or so, it can start to become a factor. When it does, you'll know--the problem will show up as sparkles, line dropouts, flashing picture, or no picture at all.

In the specific case of Monster versus Rocketfish, I don't know any of the particulars about how they're built internally. Monster HDMI cables usually use a cable stock made by LTK; if the Rocketfish cable has a UL E-code on the jacket, you might be able to figure out who makes their cable stock. I'm not sure who either of them use as an assembly house, and there's nothing physically printed on the cable that would tell you that.

Kurt
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-02-2008, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwestley View Post

Do a search on cables. I would say don't waste your money on Monster or Rocketfish. You can get a great cable from Monoprice or BlueJean at a much lower price and they are AVS sponsors. There have been countless threads on this subject.

that wasnt my question at all....please re-read what i said...its not about a purchase...


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post #5 of 17 Old 12-02-2008, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtBJC View Post

There are differences in internal structure, but without some pretty sophisticated test gear you can't really know much about what the net impact upon cable performance is. Also, at the connector end, it's possible for one cable to be very sturdy compared to another--but to determine whether that's so, you'd need to strip off the outer portion of the connector and see how they're put together.

The things which determine cable performance, primarily, are things which aren't easy to observe. For example, consistent impedance, consistent wire and dielectric dimensions, consistent composition of the dielectric, consistent spacing of wires, behavior of the bundle when flexed (e.g., do conductor spacings change much when the overall bundle is bent?), and that sort of thing--all of these affect how well the signal gets through. The kinds of dimensional tolerances involved here are so small that if you had the cable on a table in front of you, neatly stripped of its jacket, you would never be able to tell anything just by looking at it.

Now, in the short lengths that these store-brand cables typically are sold in, none of this probably makes any real difference in the vast majority of applications. That's due to the fact that the signal is digital, and the relative amount of degradation between two cables doesn't make any difference to the picture until it reaches some threshold where there's actual data loss. Ordinarily, even with cheap cable, this doesn't really happen at short lengths, but once you get up to 30 feet or so, it can start to become a factor. When it does, you'll know--the problem will show up as sparkles, line dropouts, flashing picture, or no picture at all.

In the specific case of Monster versus Rocketfish, I don't know any of the particulars about how they're built internally. Monster HDMI cables usually use a cable stock made by LTK; if the Rocketfish cable has a UL E-code on the jacket, you might be able to figure out who makes their cable stock. I'm not sure who either of them use as an assembly house, and there's nothing physically printed on the cable that would tell you that.

Kurt
Blue Jeans Cable

Thanks Kurt, thats more or less the kind of information im looking for. I read through your guys website on the differences between hdmi cables and it all makes sense to me. I guess i was just trying to see if anyone knew that true differences between these cables. I believe you are correct though, with the short lengths these cables come in there is probably little difference.

But im still on a search to figure this out lol. I've torn apart both a monster and rocketfish and both look the same inernally to me...But as you said it may be impossible to tell to the naked eye...


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post #6 of 17 Old 12-02-2008, 02:37 PM
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Yes, it's definitely impossible to tell...conceivably, I suppose, there could be some cable which is so badly made that when you tear it apart it's obvious. The twist rate could change from foot to foot, or the shield foil could be all messed up, or something like that which you could see. But the much more likely scenario is something like one of these (just a few examples; I could add many, many more):

(1) a wheel over which the wire is drawn just after passing through an annealing furnace is slightly out-of-round, and this is causing the wire, which is hot and quite malleable at this stage, to flatten out by a visually imperceptible amount at a regular interval, every few inches. The resulting irregularity causes a return loss spike at a certain high frequency and all of its harmonics.

(2) The extruder does not center the wire well within the dielectric. Consequently, the insulated wire is asymmetrical and, depending upon its orientation with relation to the other member of its pair, the impedance of the pair varies. This variability will have a periodicity to it as the pair twists, similarly causing a return loss spike at specific frequencies.

(3) When a pair was being twisted, slightly more tension was maintained by the wire prefeeder on the one member of the pair than the other. Consequently, one member of the pair is physically longer than the other, resulting in unacceptable intrapair skew (that is, the "plus" and "minus" sides of the differential signal fall out of sync with one another) and increased crosstalk.

These are just a few of the sorts of things that can go on. In fact, they happen in every cable; the question, which is hard to answer without the fancy test gear, is whether the process controls which have been put in place to minimize periodicity, center wires in dielectrics, maintain symmetry in pairs, and any number of other things, are keeping the overall tolerances in the cable down to an acceptable level. No wire is perfectly round; no dielectric is perfectly applied; no pair is perfectly symmetrical; it all comes down to controlling all of these variables at a microscopic level, while nonetheless being able to run the cable through the process at a practical speed. It's a daunting task, and that's why nobody builds HDMI cable stock in his basement--the whole task requires an enormous amount of practical engineering and in-process monitoring to yield a good result.

Kurt
Blue Jeans Cable

Kurt

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post #7 of 17 Old 12-02-2008, 03:11 PM
 
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Quote:


I ask this because i do work at best buy, and i heard our Inventory Manager tell one of my fellow employees who was bying a TV to get the monster HDMI's since they are alot better. I butted in and said the rocketfish will give you the same PQ..(and as far as my eyes can tell they really do have the same PQ)...

The short answer to this is that you are correct, and your manager is wrong. If you are getting a picture with both cables, and you are not having any sparklies, dropouts, snow, lines, or no picture at all, they are providing 100% identical performance.

However, keep in mind that your manager likely has other motivations like profit margin and the like, or simple doesn't know what he/she is talking about and probably just sat through a monster marketing training.
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post #8 of 17 Old 12-02-2008, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

The short answer to this is that you are correct, and your manager is wrong. If you are getting a picture with both cables, and you are not having any sparklies, dropouts, snow, lines, or no picture at all, they are providing 100% identical performance.

However, keep in mind that your manager likely has other motivations like profit margin and the like, or simple doesn't know what he/she is talking about and probably just sat through a monster marketing training.


see i would have believed he was just trying to get more profit, but

1.) he was telling this to another employee buying a TV
2.) we actually make more with the rocketfish cables, not monster


So i was a bit perplexed... In short i also knew i was right, but i just technically dont know in depth information to properly get my point across.


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post #9 of 17 Old 12-02-2008, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtBJC View Post

Yes, it's definitely impossible to tell...conceivably, I suppose, there could be some cable which is so badly made that when you tear it apart it's obvious. The twist rate could change from foot to foot, or the shield foil could be all messed up, or something like that which you could see. But the much more likely scenario is something like one of these (just a few examples; I could add many, many more):

(1) a wheel over which the wire is drawn just after passing through an annealing furnace is slightly out-of-round, and this is causing the wire, which is hot and quite malleable at this stage, to flatten out by a visually imperceptible amount at a regular interval, every few inches. The resulting irregularity causes a return loss spike at a certain high frequency and all of its harmonics.

(2) The extruder does not center the wire well within the dielectric. Consequently, the insulated wire is asymmetrical and, depending upon its orientation with relation to the other member of its pair, the impedance of the pair varies. This variability will have a periodicity to it as the pair twists, similarly causing a return loss spike at specific frequencies.

(3) When a pair was being twisted, slightly more tension was maintained by the wire prefeeder on the one member of the pair than the other. Consequently, one member of the pair is physically longer than the other, resulting in unacceptable intrapair skew (that is, the "plus" and "minus" sides of the differential signal fall out of sync with one another) and increased crosstalk.

These are just a few of the sorts of things that can go on. In fact, they happen in every cable; the question, which is hard to answer without the fancy test gear, is whether the process controls which have been put in place to minimize periodicity, center wires in dielectrics, maintain symmetry in pairs, and any number of other things, are keeping the overall tolerances in the cable down to an acceptable level. No wire is perfectly round; no dielectric is perfectly applied; no pair is perfectly symmetrical; it all comes down to controlling all of these variables at a microscopic level, while nonetheless being able to run the cable through the process at a practical speed. It's a daunting task, and that's why nobody builds HDMI cable stock in his basement--the whole task requires an enormous amount of practical engineering and in-process monitoring to yield a good result.

Kurt
Blue Jeans Cable

Awesome Kurt thanks for some more in depth information. That definately gives me alot of knowledge.


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post #10 of 17 Old 02-17-2009, 09:00 AM
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Wow great info , thanks

I need to add a new twist if I can be so bold

Im pretty well sold on Rocketfish now , but my twist

is that my PC , which I run to my tv , is dvi from my PC

to hdmi on the tv

Its a 2 meter-6ft monster cable

Im moving , and the pc and tv will be much further apart , so

I can only afford the pricing Rocket fish allows for a 12 ft cable

The problem is do I get another ( if even made/available) dvi2hdmi

cable in a 12ft length , or take the Local best buy salesmans

advice , and get a 12ft Rocketfish with hdmi on both ends ,

( his reasoning is that in future pc upgrades most video cards are/

will be hdmi not dvi) , which right now requires me to get a monster

adapter for my pc/video card end of it all .

My concern is any quality loss via an adapter , even if it is monster

How should I go here ? Will I get quality loss via this monster dvi2hdmi

adapter ? should I get dvi2hdmi in one cabe instead ?

Thanks
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post #11 of 17 Old 02-17-2009, 09:51 AM
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I guess you'd have to compare cost of an DVI to HDMI Cable vs. an HDMI cable with a DVI to HDMI Adaptor to see what's better from a cost point of view.

I prefer the adaptor route for the same reason as the bb salesguy...you can just get rid of the adaptor when your source becomes HDMI.

As far as quality, I've never heard of any kind of loss using a DVI to HDMI adaptor so I wouldn't worry about that.
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post #12 of 17 Old 02-17-2009, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by t@bes View Post

I guess you'd have to compare cost of an DVI to HDMI Cable vs. an HDMI cable with a DVI to HDMI Adaptor to see what's better from a cost point of view.

I prefer the adaptor route for the same reason as the bb salesguy...you can just get rid of the adaptor when your source becomes HDMI.

As far as quality, I've never heard of any kind of loss using a DVI to HDMI adaptor so I wouldn't worry about that.

agreed. The salesman is correct. Alot of computers already have hdmi outputs. So the adaptor is your best future proof route.


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post #13 of 17 Old 02-17-2009, 12:16 PM
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Thank you

Wow fast informed replies here

Many thanks
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post #14 of 17 Old 02-19-2009, 12:41 PM
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post #15 of 17 Old 06-11-2009, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigred7078 View Post

Hey guys, i have a more technical question. Im not asking whats better...

Is there any true difference between a Monster HDMI and the Best Buy branded Rocketfish cables??? In terms of build, amount of internal wiring, etc. Im pretty sure the rocketfish is Category II speed. Other than that is there anything that can make them different.

I ask this because i do work at best buy, and i heard our Inventory Manager tell one of my fellow employees who was bying a TV to get the monster HDMI's since they are alot better. I butted in and said the rocketfish will give you the same PQ..(and as far as my eyes can tell they really do have the same PQ)...Well that manager looked at me as if i was an idiot, and became an ass to me. He was like blah blah blah monster has more internal wiring, better sheilding, etc. Now i know the old rocketfish cables suck with the purple tips (the connectors broke off all the time), but they redesigned them and now they are great and seem to be a better cable.

Anyway i think im completely right, since this is the same type of argument like monoprice vs. monster. But when i really think about it, i guess i dont know TRUE differences with these two cables. Does anyone know what the EXACT differences are??? Thanks

hi i am an a/v expert but not a professional. the monster cables do have some leads as far as air tight cable housing for less oxadisation and pure copper 18-16 awg wiring with gold tip pure copper is best for signal transfer often you see brighter video sharper sound is more notasable. so you pay more and the product should last longer.
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post #16 of 17 Old 06-11-2009, 05:29 PM
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hi i am an a/v expert but not a professional. the monster cables do have some leads as far as air tight cable housing for less oxadisation and pure copper 18-16 awg wiring with gold tip pure copper is best for signal transfer often you see brighter video sharper sound is more notasable. so you pay more and the product should last longer.

You are not talking about HDMI cables, which is the subject of this thread, but some other type of cable. HDMI cables with 18-16 gauge wire would be at least an inch thick (an HDMI cable has 19 wires).

Gold contacts and pure copper (or low oxygen copper) wire have no significant effect on the quality of the HDMI signal.

Even low quality cables will generally last for many years unless they are plugged and unplugged many times.

Carl
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