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post #1 of 9 Old 08-06-2013, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I really do not know much about HDMI cables and now need some quick and accurate advice. My home theater consists of a 5.1 theater to be soon updated to a 7.1 theater comprising of Aerial Acoustics speakers, Velodyne Sub, 3 Aragon Amps, and a Rotel processor. I will be upgrading my Blu Ray player to the Oppo 103 and a Panasonic ZT 65" monitor. I only watch either Blu Ray movies or Broadcast TV and never stream anything. Now as to the cables, the guy at Best Buy, the only one there who appears actually a little bit knowledgeable is recommending 3 two meter HDMI cables at $240 a piece. This appears to be a bit high but he says because they have a higher silver content they will pass the audio much cleaner and good audio is very important to me. I also do not understand the differences between cables that are rated at 1.4 and lower.

Any advice is welcome. Thanks
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-06-2013, 12:02 PM
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monoprice.com is your friend:

http://www.monoprice.com/Category?c_id=102&cp_id=10240

The guy at Best Buy recommending $240 cables is very much NOT your friend.

Saying the prices seem a "bit" high is a "BIT" of an understatement.

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post #3 of 9 Old 08-06-2013, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Big thanks for the quick response. You recommend Monoprice HDMI cables. Why? What are the differences between cables and their ratings. I really don't know what 1.4 means as opposed to 1.3 or whatever.
Steve
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-06-2013, 12:24 PM
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Version numbers (1.3, 1.4, etc) do not apply to HDMI cables.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-06-2013, 12:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve544 View Post

I really do not know much about HDMI cables and now need some quick and accurate advice. My home theater consists of a 5.1 theater to be soon updated to a 7.1 theater comprising of Aerial Acoustics speakers, Velodyne Sub, 3 Aragon Amps, and a Rotel processor. I will be upgrading my Blu Ray player to the Oppo 103 and a Panasonic ZT 65" monitor. I only watch either Blu Ray movies or Broadcast TV and never stream anything. Now as to the cables, the guy at Best Buy, the only one there who appears actually a little bit knowledgeable is recommending 3 two meter HDMI cables at $240 a piece. This appears to be a bit high but he says because they have a higher silver content they will pass the audio much cleaner and good audio is very important to me. I also do not understand the differences between cables that are rated at 1.4 and lower.

Any advice is welcome. Thanks

First you made me laugh with saying that someone at Best Buy who recommended a $240 was knowledgeable. If so, there are many more knowledgeable people available on the street corners of NYC with many wagering games that you can play or the casinos of LV. You have equal chances of coming away ahead there as you do with a $240 HDMI cable.

Seriously, just remember this is a digital cable, not an analog cable. It sends 1s and 0s. Making the 1s straighter will not get you a better result as long as the 1s and 0s reach their destination without bit errors (see below).

Secondly you disappointed me only because this has been covered many times in this forum. A simple search inside this forum for "best HDMI cable" would have found some answers. However, rather than belabor the point, here is standard answer #1 for this forum:


There are only two types of HDMI cables. They are High Speed (also known as Category 2) cables and Standard Speed (also known as Category 1) cables. Each type has a few options. These two types of cables were defined by the HDMI Org to simplify cable selection for a consumer. Both types of cables have the same pinouts.

High Speed HDMI cables are capable of handling any HDMI signal currently used or planned. Standard Speed HDMI cable are guaranteed to be able to send 1080i and 720p images. Standard Speed cables may be able to handle high bandwidth signals such as 1080p/60, 1080p/24 2D or 1080p/24 3D, but it is not guaranteed. High Speed cables have passed tests to show that they can handle 1080p/60, 4K, etc.

http://www.hdmi.org/learningcenter/faq.aspx#49

The cable does not "know" what it is sending. It is a dumb cable. If only takes bits from one end of the cable to the other. The only thing you have to make sure is that the cable has enough bandwidth to send the signals you want without bit errors. Bit errors will show up as obvious screen defects such as lines, sparkles or screens that change to a solid color or even no picture at all. Bit errors do not cause loss of resolution or loss of contrast, color or anything else that is usually considered "picture quality".

So, for 1080p/24 3D or 1080p/60 2D you would want a High Speed HDMI cable and try to use ones that either provide the certificate online or have great user reviews, such as Monoprice or Blue Jean Cables or some of the others you'll find in this forum's archives. One warning is that some companies claim to have high speed cables that are not. Make sure you check reviews or see their certification. Sometimes they certify a shorter cable for high speed and then claim that longer cables are also covered. The longer cables are not. The maximum length for a certified passive High Speed cable is just over 25 feet. Look at a Redmere technology active cable or converting to Cat 6 for longer runs requiring a high speed HDMI cable.



One almost final note, a 2 meter High Speed HDMI cable should cost you no more than $15 (and that is being generous). So, that knowledgeable Best Buy salesman was looking at about $225 of pure profit (probably less for the blue shirt since the distributor and manufacturer get their share of the pure profit).

Finally, you gain points for being smart enough to ask when the $240 per cable (!) seemed high. Many people fall to the old PT Barnum saying at that point, instead of asking.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-06-2013, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve544 View Post

Big thanks for the quick response. You recommend Monoprice HDMI cables. Why? What are the differences between cables and their ratings. I really don't know what 1.4 means as opposed to 1.3 or whatever.
Steve

I recommended monoprice because I don't want you to get ripped off at Best Buy buying $240 cables. There is no reason to pay for "silver content", magic audio crystals or any other snakeoil the SALESman at Best Buy want to SELL you. We are talking about a 6ft cable that needs to carry electrons... if it's made out of anything electrically conductive it will be fine. You won't hear or see any difference between cables and anything at monoprice will do what you need and save you some money.

You can learn about HDMI starting here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI

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post #7 of 9 Old 08-06-2013, 12:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Osirus23 View Post

Version numbers (1.3, 1.4, etc) do not apply to HDMI cables.

Nor to components anymore...
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-06-2013, 01:48 PM
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^^^^ you're up to 5 standard answers now for this year (or is it 4) biggrin.gif
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-14-2013, 01:10 PM
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Worth throwing out there that Parts Express has some ultra skinny HDMI cables at short lengths which work very well. Anyone who is wiring up at the 1' to 6' range for their HDMI cables should pick some of those puppies up. They are a lot less expensive than the Redmere cables from Monoprice (which work awesome as well!) and maintain the same skinny cable which is so nice to work with.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
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