The 28-gauge HDMI cables at MonoPrice have little plastic cylinders near each connector. Similar Belkin and Blue Jeans cables do not. What are these things called, what is their purpose, and do they indicate anything about the quality of the cable?
Theyre ferrite filters. They filter out EMI/EMF interference. All I use are the monoprice HDMI cables, no reason to waste your money on some "name brand" cable that wont make any difference. I'd rather use a cable with a ferrite filter than one without if I had the option.
Ferrites are put on cables to reduce the amount of eletrical noise radiated into the environment. They also affect the signal that is being transmitted along the cable. If you don't have a reason to reduce the amount of noise your cables are radiating, like they are interfering with the operation of a receiver, it is a good idea to not have ferrites on your cable because they will reduce the performance of the cables.