Which Monoprice HDMI Cable is Best? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-16-2012, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm confused on all the different HDMI cables that Monprice carries and which would be best. The connections are between new Panasonic blu ray player & Vizio tv and also between cable box & TV. TV is the new Vizio E701i-A3 (on order) 1080p, non-3D. Run lenghts are between 6-10 feet. Not sure yet if I will be going through a receiver or not.

Looks like there are the following options along with the 6ft prices:

- 28AWG HDMI High Speed Certified Cables w/Ferrite Cores ($3.50)
- Premium 24AWG CL2 High Speed HDMI® Cable w/ Net Jacket ($7.36)
- Premium 24AWG CL2 Silver Plated High Speed HDMI® Cable ($9.67)
- 28AWG Metallic Series High Speed HDMI with Ethernet w/ Ferrite Cores ($7.08)
- Slim Series High Performance HDMI® Cables w/ RedMere® Technology ($14.91)
- 28AWG High Speed HDMI Category 2 Certified Cables with Ethernet ($2.75 or $3.76)
- Premium 24AWG CL2 Flat Type HDMI Cables ($6.90)
- Premium 24AWG HDMI Category 2 Certified Cables with Ethernet ($7.54)
- 30AWG HDMI High Speed Certified Cable ($1.76)
- 24AWG Flat Type HDMI Cable with Ethernet (7.67)

Please provide your opinion on which is the best of this bunch.
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post #2 of 23 Old 11-16-2012, 11:50 PM
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Define "best". For me, that usually means the product that will do the job at the lowest price. Any certified high speed cable will do the job. CL2 is only required for cables going in a wall, ceiling, etc. Flat cables typically don't perform as well as round cables all other things being equal and are typically only used where the form factor is an advantage. Ferrites are a worthless marketing gimick at best. Redmere is a built in equalier that lets a smaller cable be used for a given distance, or to go farther than a given cable would be able to by itself. Nobody needs ethernet because AFAIK there aren't any products yet that support it.
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post #3 of 23 Old 11-17-2012, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Good point Colm, I should have clarified that for me best = best for my application for the money given the list I provided from Monoprice. I did just finish a chat online with a Monoprice tech support person and they told me that their "best" for this application would be their Metallic Series High Speed HDMI Cables with Ethernet. However, they mentioned that if I am going to a receiver first to use a thicker gauge (i.e., 24AWG wire) because of the resistance.

Thus if this true, then I first need to figure out what my cable routing configuration is going to be. So let me ask this question. Considering that I am putting together a a new HT system (TV, blu ray, receiver, speakers, cables), is it better to have the HDMI cables from the devices (blu ray & cable box) go to the receiver first and then to the TV or is it better to go from the devices directly to the TV and then use the digital out on the tv to go to the receiver? As I mentioned above my TV will be the new Vizio E701i-A3, blu-ray will be either tha Panasonic DMP-BDT220 or BD87. I don't have a receiver picked out yet but it will probbly be a mid range one around the $300-500 range.
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post #4 of 23 Old 11-17-2012, 12:00 PM
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In most cases, digital out from the TV will only give you stereo sound. Your best bet is to go from your sources to the AV receiver, then from receiver to TV.
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post #5 of 23 Old 11-18-2012, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so back to my original question, which 6-10ft Monoprice cable is best for the following applications?

- Connecting blu-ray & cable box to receiver
- Connecting receiver to tv
- Connecting blu-ray directly to tv
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post #6 of 23 Old 11-19-2012, 05:02 AM
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If you want the cheapest cable from Monoprice that will do the job, then go with these.

If you want something that looks a little better and works just as well, then go with these.
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-24-2012, 10:57 AM
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I've got a similar conundrum. Normally, I would just get the 28awg cables, as I have had good luck with them in a simple setup with Blu-Ray, Comcast, XBOX, an Onkyo AVR, and a Sony TV, as well as with the XBOX and a small TV. However, I am going to be building a bigger home theater setup in my new apartment with a DVDO EDGE, more components, etc etc. As a result of adding more stuff, I will need an HDMI switch to feed the DVDO EDGE, which will then feed the TV. The product page for the HDMI switch on Monoprice says they recommend 24awg cables when using a switch. I have no problem paying a few bucks more if they're that much better, but everything tells me that there is no reason I need 24awg, and they are ridiculously thick! They would be a major PITA to wire up compared to the 28awg cables, which will be bad enough. Why do they recommend 24awg cables with the switch, and should I take their advice? Or should I just go with 28AWG and risk having to rip half the setup apart later if they need to be replaced?
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-24-2012, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

"Why do they recommend 24awg cables with the switch...?
Why don't you ask them? My guess it is to minimize returns. I suspect it has to do with the fact that the typical switch chip only buffers the TMDS signals. The others are simply passed though. Thicker wire will have a better chance of delivering unbuffered signals that are usable. That doesn't mean that thicker wire is necessary for all, or even most, uses.
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-24-2012, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

Why don't you ask them? My guess it is to minimize returns. I suspect it has to do with the fact that with the typical switch chip only the TMDS signals are buffered. Thicker wire will have a better chance of delivering unbuffered signals that are usable. That doesn't mean that thicker wire is necessary for all, or even most, uses.

They said it was mostly the switch, not the overall length that causes they to recommend 24awg cables. "Switches tend to put a great load on the signals passing through".
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post #10 of 23 Old 11-24-2012, 01:15 PM
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Now I'm thinking about going with the Redmere cables. They are a lot more expensive, rightfully so since they have chips in them, but they would significantly reduce the cabling mass of the whole system (mess too), and would relieve a lot of stress on HDMI connectors, and also eliminate components that want to move because of force being transmitted through the HDMI cables. That would answer the whole 24 vs 28 question, since they are better than 24 in terms of signal loss.
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post #11 of 23 Old 11-27-2012, 05:33 AM
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^^^

that would be rather pointless...

fwiw, i use 28awg cables to connect to my monoprice hdbaset unit with no issues... smile.gif

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post #12 of 23 Old 12-23-2012, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^
that would be rather pointless...
fwiw, i use 28awg cables to connect to my monoprice hdbaset unit with no issues... smile.gif

I ended up going with the Redmere cables, and I'm SO glad I did. Even compared to the 28awg ones, they are much easier to work with, and they've been 100% functional so far, including a bit of a clusterf*ck of a setup in which some of the components from from the component to an HDMI switch to a DVDO EDGE to a wireless HDMI sender (for a secondly small kitchen TV) to the TV.
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post #13 of 23 Old 12-23-2012, 10:38 AM
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I've been buying cables and hardware from Monoprice for years. It still amazes me how great the quality is and for so little money.

I doubt you will see any difference between the gauges on HDMI. I always go 14 gauge speaker wire, even though I know 16 would work just as well. Must be some kind of overkill syndrome on my part. If you pick the shorter lengths say less than 25 feet, you can get the cables in red, green, blue and other colors. This is really helpful when chasing down which cable is connected to what.

Here is a good link about HDMI cables: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI. Don't waste your money on cables from these boutique A/V shops. Consumer Reports agrees with that advice and so does the DIY speaker forum (specifically see Wayne Parham's opinion). These place would sell aluminum hats for $10,000.

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post #14 of 23 Old 12-23-2012, 12:01 PM
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Frankly in the realm of HDMI cables 'best' isn't a single whit better than 'good enough'. MonoPrice, it seems, has always had good reliable product.
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post #15 of 23 Old 12-23-2012, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydster View Post

I've been buying cables and hardware from Monoprice for years. It still amazes me how great the quality is and for so little money.
I doubt you will see any difference between the gauges on HDMI. I always go 14 gauge speaker wire, even though I know 16 would work just as well. Must be some kind of overkill syndrome on my part. If you pick the shorter lengths say less than 25 feet, you can get the cables in red, green, blue and other colors. This is really helpful when chasing down which cable is connected to what.
Here is a good link about HDMI cables: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI. Don't waste your money on cables from these boutique A/V shops. Consumer Reports agrees with that advice and so does the DIY speaker forum (specifically see Wayne Parham's opinion). These place would sell aluminum hats for $10,000.
Floyd

Definitely. I went with 12 gauge speaker wire, but going from 16 to 12 is actually an upgrade, even if it may not matter that much, whereas overpaying for an HDMI cable is probably a downgrade, as the cheap ones from Monoprice are made like a TANK.
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post #16 of 23 Old 12-24-2012, 08:20 AM
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The last time I redid my home video set up going from a big DLP on a stand to a larger LED on the wall, ran into where do we put the rest of the stuff. I do not like having cables showing, putting everything inside the walls, power to. I used 2 25 foot of the 22 gage high speed cl2 hdmi from Monoprice, along with there 14 gage cl2 speaker and cat5. Every thing works great. I think if I had to do it over would use the new Redmere cables that were not out yet. I just checked and it would have cost about twice as much but that 22 gage is stiff and when I was inside the walls and attic pulling it and fishing up and down something a little softer to work with would have been great. Also I have both monster and Monoprice sperker wire and both work the same. I was reading on something ells, not audio/video and discovered that oxygen-free copper is standard set by rule is the U.S., got to thinking that 14 gage lamp cord would work just as good?
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post #17 of 23 Old 12-24-2012, 09:13 AM
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Here is how it is supposed to work:

A manufacturer is supposed to have his cable rigorously tested to ensure that it can transmit at least 74.25 MHz ("Standard", or 720p60), or 340 MHz ("High Speed", or slightly over 4k30).

It doesn't make sense to me to offer different gauges. The cable thickness should be what's necessary to transmit the signal error-free.

The Ethernet feature is unnecessary, although all it does is twist together a pair of signal pins inside the cable. On the non-Ethernet cables, these pins are straight-through. So no harm in getting it, but virtually no equipment uses the feature.
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post #18 of 23 Old 12-24-2012, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebound View Post

Here is how it is supposed to work:
A manufacturer is supposed to have his cable rigorously tested to ensure that it can transmit at least 74.25 MHz ("Standard", or 720p60), or 340 MHz ("High Speed", or slightly over 4k30).
It doesn't make sense to me to offer different gauges. The cable thickness should be what's necessary to transmit the signal error-free.
The Ethernet feature is unnecessary, although all it does is twist together a pair of signal pins inside the cable. On the non-Ethernet cables, these pins are straight-through. So no harm in getting it, but virtually no equipment uses the feature.

I'm sure they do test them, but not with every possible combination of equipment with switches in the middle that are harder on the signal than just from the component to the TV.
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post #19 of 23 Old 12-25-2012, 05:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebound View Post

Here is how it is supposed to work:
A manufacturer is supposed to have his cable rigorously tested to ensure that it can transmit at least 74.25 MHz ("Standard", or 720p60), or 340 MHz ("High Speed", or slightly over 4k30).
It doesn't make sense to me to offer different gauges. The cable thickness should be what's necessary to transmit the signal error-free.
The Ethernet feature is unnecessary, although all it does is twist together a pair of signal pins inside the cable. On the non-Ethernet cables, these pins are straight-through. So no harm in getting it, but virtually no equipment uses the feature.

Do you know of any equipment that uses the Ethernet feature?

Also check for "eye test' for an explanation of HDMI cable testing (also for IEEE-1394 cables).

The High Speed test is designed to certify that all signals can be handled up to 10.2 gbps *for that cable*. Adding another cable doesn't mean that increasing the bandwidth of the first cable helps. Most likely you would just increase the opportunity for bit errors.
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post #20 of 23 Old 03-24-2014, 02:24 AM
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Is there a major advantage of using monoprice's metallic series hdmi cables for small 3ft runs? I am connecting my Apple TV, Roku, and Time Warner cable box to my Denon receiver which connects to my Sony KDLw850a tv. I just want the best cables to take advantage of my television and surround sound. Would Redmere be better? Thank you.
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post #21 of 23 Old 03-24-2014, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insanecollector View Post

Is there a major advantage of using monoprice's metallic series hdmi cables for small 3ft runs? I am connecting my Apple TV, Roku, and Time Warner cable box to my Denon receiver which connects to my Sony KDLw850a tv. I just want the best cables to take advantage of my television and surround sound. Would Redmere be better? Thank you.

Redmere would be a bit of an overkill for 3' runs so the only advantage would be the flexibility and no-strain on the input end. I use Redmere for 10' and 6' runs but could probably get by with smaller gauge high speed cables at those lengths. They do have a chipset in the sink end so they can fail overtime like any electronic device. Any, certified high speed HDMI cable will work. Metallic, Ultra, or what ever are more marketing than anything else and have little to do with the performance of the cable.
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post #22 of 23 Old 03-24-2014, 12:45 PM
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Otto has it correct.

I want to add the following:

Monoprice's cheapest cables are not as well made as their better cables, so there is always an advantage of getting one of their better cables over their cheapest ones.

These cables:
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10240&cs_id=1024008&p_id=3871&seq=1&format=2

Are the ones I have seen fail regularly from Monoprice. I bought a fair number of them, I have seen about 10% to 20% fail. I stopped using or recommending them.

These are their Redmere cables:
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10255&cs_id=1025503&p_id=10206&seq=1&format=2

They are awesome. They are super light, very flexible, don't pull on components, and are somewhat pricey.
I don't use these on runs of 6' or less. To pricey.

I have not used their metallic series, but they seem to be a bit of an upgrade over the cheapest ones they have.

I have used a number of these over the years:
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10240&cs_id=1024004&p_id=4965&seq=1&format=2

Their net-jacket cables (snake skin) are great, but heavy and bulky. With today's lightweight components, they get pulled all around, the cables have a tendency to fall out, but they look good and are a well made cable.

I do use these for runs in-wall where I can't get to the cable afterward. I use their longer versions with higher gauge (22 AWG) for my more serious runs.

For SHORT cables, I use the Parts Express branded super-slim HDMI cables. They are well made, and perform flawlessly, and are cheap. They are really lightweight. Not as thin as Redmere, but no active components means they don't have that as a failure point. Also, they cost less than half as much. Those are strictly the ones I currently use with runs of 6' or less.

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post #23 of 23 Old 03-25-2014, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

Otto has it correct.

I want to add the following:

Monoprice's cheapest cables are not as well made as their better cables, so there is always an advantage of getting one of their better cables over their cheapest ones.

These cables:
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10240&cs_id=1024008&p_id=3871&seq=1&format=2

Are the ones I have seen fail regularly from Monoprice. I bought a fair number of them, I have seen about 10% to 20% fail. I stopped using or recommending them.

These are their Redmere cables:
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10255&cs_id=1025503&p_id=10206&seq=1&format=2

They are awesome. They are super light, very flexible, don't pull on components, and are somewhat pricey.
I don't use these on runs of 6' or less. To pricey.

I have not used their metallic series, but they seem to be a bit of an upgrade over the cheapest ones they have.

I have used a number of these over the years:
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10240&cs_id=1024004&p_id=4965&seq=1&format=2

Their net-jacket cables (snake skin) are great, but heavy and bulky. With today's lightweight components, they get pulled all around, the cables have a tendency to fall out, but they look good and are a well made cable.

I do use these for runs in-wall where I can't get to the cable afterward. I use their longer versions with higher gauge (22 AWG) for my more serious runs.

For SHORT cables, I use the Parts Express branded super-slim HDMI cables. They are well made, and perform flawlessly, and are cheap. They are really lightweight. Not as thin as Redmere, but no active components means they don't have that as a failure point. Also, they cost less than half as much. Those are strictly the ones I currently use with runs of 6' or less.

I've never had issues with the cheap ones. Redmere is a totally different technology. I use all Redmere now, but it's because they are thinner and a lot easier to work with, not because they are any better quality than the $3 ones. I still set up other people's stuff, where there are far fewer components to hook up with the $3 ones.
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