Monster HDMI "Speed Rated" Cables vs. Monoprice - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 94 Old 12-09-2007, 03:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are the new Monster HDMI cables:
"Standard Speed"
2 m. length - 6.56 ft. MC 500HD-2M 127663-00 $69.95 ea.

"High Speed"
2 m. length - 6.56 ft. MC 700HD-2M 127659-00 $79.95 ea.

"Ultra-High Speed"
2 m. length - 6.56 ft. MC 1000HD-2M 127655-00 $129.95 ea.

Monster claims "the payoff is a breathtaking picture, free of common cable-induced artifacts, such as streaks and flashing pixels." Monster is also providing training to the Best Buy sales teenagers. One was taught that there would be less ghosting for sports action scenes (which is the basis for this thread).
http://monstercable.com/productdisplay.asp?pin=3831

Here are the new Monoprice HDMI cables:
Monoprice HDMI 1.3a Category 2 Certified Cable 28AWG - 6ft w/Ferrite Cores 3992 $6.43 ea.

Monoprice claims:
"Monoprice HDMI 1.3a cables have been designed to meet the high bandwidth performance standards set by HDMI 1.3a. Monoprice cables are constructed to the highest quality with full triple layer shielding from end to end, strong, solid wire welds and the highest quality materials including high purity copper, gold plated connectors and tin plated conduits."
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

So like should we consumers be paying $6 or $130 for a HDMI cable? Since the Monster cable claim to prevent common cable-induced artifacts then maybe they are worth it? Is this "speed rating" meaningful or just marketing?
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post #2 of 94 Old 12-09-2007, 07:05 AM
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post #3 of 94 Old 12-10-2007, 07:55 AM
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No ifs and or buts about it---- $6
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post #4 of 94 Old 12-10-2007, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Monster Technical Quote:
"Featuring exclusive connector technologies and precision-wound conductors, 700HD maximizes digital signal transfer. The payoff: a breathtaking picture, free of common cable-induced artifacts, such as streaks and flashing pixels. Step up to 700HD and experience a level of high definition that's beyond expectations."
http://www.monstercable.com/productdisplay.asp?pin=3832

Who thinks these Monster Cables are "free of common cable-induced artifacts"?
As most cable subscribers have undoubtedly seen, cable company induced artifacts are from programs which have been downsampled from their original data rates. This is the major source of artifacts in cable broadcasts. (Shame on the industry here too)
So how can any cable claim to restore the missing data and eliminate these artifacts? Is it like an mp3 restorer?
Inquiring minds want to know!


update: fixed typos with added good humor
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post #5 of 94 Old 12-10-2007, 01:14 PM
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So how can a any cable claim to restore the missing data and eliminate the artifacts?

Its called marketing Lucky for Monster that 99% of the population doesnt "waste" time on forums like this Monster would change their pricing, marketing and in the end may actually go under if their customers where educated on the truth!!

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post #6 of 94 Old 12-10-2007, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Notice in the above Monster referenced link there is a URL which takes potential Monster customers to an embarrassingly tacky page:
"Get all your HDMI questions answered at MonserCable.com/HDMI".

Lets see how long it takes to fix this blooper!
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post #7 of 94 Old 12-16-2007, 03:51 AM - Thread Starter
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HDMI at 120Hz?
---------------
What is the optimal refresh rate to send high definition film based movies to today's 1920*1080p projectors and displays?
I thought it was 24p or 24Hz

From an HDMI perspective, the 24Hz data rate puts less strain on the cable than even common 1080i/interlaced broadcasts.
I mention it because Monster is advertising HDMI at 120Hz to justify their most expensive cables here:
http://monstercable.com/hdmi/advancedhdmi.asp

Is it ridiculous to imply HDMI video data rates of 120Hz?
Is Monster's ad writer confused?
Is there any display which accepts HDMI based data at 1920*1080@120Hz?
Don't all HDMI cables have trouble transmitting high data rates at extended lengths?
Does Monster advertise or guarantee the lengths their cables will transmit data at, especially this imaginary 120Hz?

Smooth Video Refresh Rate™
----------------------------
What is this new "Smooth Video Refresh Rate" as trademarked by Monster? Is it part of the HDMI specification?
How can Monster HDMI cables alone perform this miraculous feat to generate 120Hz smooth video that no one else can do?
Is there something here that I didn't even realize I needed?
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post #8 of 94 Old 12-16-2007, 05:43 AM
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I bought some short Ultra Speed Monster cables ... THey have a tight fit and look far better constructed than the Monoprice. THe 1 Monoprice cable I had experience was loose fitting and failed (sent back). But for $7, what do you expect? THe Monster cables are surely overpriced but they give you no worries re: performance, handshaking and a good fit. This was a piece of mind purchase ad I have had so many HDMI / handshake issues..

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post #9 of 94 Old 12-17-2007, 02:35 PM
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Do they have any that work at Ludicrous Speed?
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post #10 of 94 Old 12-18-2007, 01:28 PM
 
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LOL! Although I doubt many will get that one..
Best,
Chris

Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane View Post

Do they have any that work at Ludicrous Speed?

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post #11 of 94 Old 12-18-2007, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCONKLIN1 View Post

LOL! Although I doubt many will get that one..
Best,
Chris

Nope, too fast.
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post #12 of 94 Old 12-19-2007, 01:18 PM
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Quote:


THey have a tight fit and look far better constructed than the Monoprice. THe 1 Monoprice cable I had experience was loose fitting and failed (sent back).

IMO, all HDMI cables have crappy connectors and all come loose unless we dont touch anything or breathe on them. I have both Monster and monopriced cables, both have connection issues

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post #13 of 94 Old 12-22-2007, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reincarnate View Post

Here are the new Monster HDMI cables:
"Standard Speed"
2 m. length - 6.56 ft. MC 500HD-2M 127663-00 $69.95 ea.

"High Speed"
2 m. length - 6.56 ft. MC 700HD-2M 127659-00 $79.95 ea.

"Ultra-High Speed"
2 m. length - 6.56 ft. MC 1000HD-2M 127655-00 $129.95 ea.

Monster claims "the payoff is a breathtaking picture, free of common cable-induced artifacts, such as streaks and flashing pixels." Monster is also providing training to the Best Buy sales teenagers. One was taught that there would be less ghosting for sports action scenes (which is the basis for this thread).
http://monstercable.com/productdisplay.asp?pin=3831

Here are the new Monoprice HDMI cables:
Monoprice HDMI 1.3a Category 2 Certified Cable 28AWG - 6ft w/Ferrite Cores 3992 $6.43 ea.

Monoprice claims:
"Monoprice HDMI 1.3a cables have been designed to meet the high bandwidth performance standards set by HDMI 1.3a. Monoprice cables are constructed to the highest quality with full triple layer shielding from end to end, strong, solid wire welds and the highest quality materials including high purity copper, gold plated connectors and tin plated conduits."
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

So like should we consumers be paying $6 or $130 for a HDMI cable? Since the Monster cable claim to prevent common cable-induced artifacts then maybe they are worth it? Is this "speed rating" meaningful or just marketing?

jan '08 issue, widescreen review mag is dedicated to hdmi 1.3 and why peeps should buy the 'faster''expensive spread'.

see page 16 for editorial mention of 'internet culture' (thats us'ns, folks!) ; apparently, we consider expensive hdmi cables to be a "marketing scam".
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post #14 of 94 Old 12-22-2007, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westgate View Post

jan '08 issue, widescreen review mag is dedicated to hdmi 1.3 and why peeps should buy the 'faster''expensive spread'.

see page 16 for editorial mention of 'internet culture' (thats us'ns, folks!) ; apparently, we consider expensive hdmi cables to be a "marketing scam".

bump
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post #15 of 94 Old 12-23-2007, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westgate View Post

jan '08 issue, widescreen review mag is dedicated to hdmi 1.3 and why peeps should buy the 'faster''expensive spread'.

Just to give a bit of back story Widescreen Review in their November 2007 issue had a 5 page "article" with Noel Lee from Monster Cable which sounded like an advertisement in which he repeatedly encouraged people to buy the most expensive HDMI cable they could afford. In their January 2008 issue they had a 2 page "article" once again with Noel Lee in which he promoted HDMI cables from Monster Cable. As westgate mentions that issue of Widescreen Review also has several other high end cable companies promoting their HDMI cables. I notice that almost every one of those cable companies happens to be advertising in Widescreen Review (AudioQuest, DVIGear, Kimber Kable, Monster Cable, Straight Wire, Tributaries, and Ultralink).
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post #16 of 94 Old 12-23-2007, 01:15 PM
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You're talking about a digital signal not analog. Either you have the bandwidth or you don't.

Go with Monoprice.
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post #17 of 94 Old 12-23-2007, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Paul View Post

Just to give a bit of back story Widescreen Review in their November 2007 issue had a 5 page "article" with Noel Lee from Monster Cable which sounded like an advertisement in which he repeatedly encouraged people to buy the most expensive HDMI cable they could afford. In their January 2008 issue they had a 2 page "article" once again with Noel Lee in which he promoted HDMI cables from Monster Cable. As westgate mentions that issue of Widescreen Review also has several other high end cable companies promoting their HDMI cables. I notice that almost every one of those cable companies happens to be advertising in Widescreen Review (AudioQuest, DVIGear, Kimber Kable, Monster Cable, Straight Wire, Tributaries, and Ultralink).

i saw the nov article also. 'kudos' to n. lee, and the rest, for living the 'american dream' and trying to make it big, but it wont be at my expense.
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post #18 of 94 Old 12-23-2007, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reincarnate View Post

I mention it because Monster is advertising HDMI at 120Hz to justify their most expensive cables here:
http://monstercable.com/hdmi/advancedhdmi.asp

They also use lossless audio and xvYCC as features for their most expensive cables even though both features would work just fine using their "Standard Speed" cable. Only Monster Cable could take a two category standard for HDMI cables (75 MHz and 340 MHz) and turn it into four different grades of cable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by reincarnate View Post

Is it ridiculous to imply HDMI video data rates of 120Hz?

Technically speaking it is possible but it is very unlikely to happen since there isn't any need for 1080p120. Also from what I have heard all of the current HDMI 1.3 chips have a maximum bandwidth of 225 Mhz which is just enough for 1080p60 at 12-bit color (Deep Color).
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post #19 of 94 Old 12-23-2007, 02:07 PM
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Just looked at Monster Cable's "Ultra High Speed" HDMI cables and noticed something rather amusing when I reached the bottom of the page:

Quote:


12-Bit Color**
Smoothest Gradation of Colors
Greater cable capacity for support of 12-bit color, also called Deep Color, available from advanced HD sources and displays. Greater color depth, from 8-bit to 12-bit, allows more detailed gradations of individual colors for the display of billions of colors.
...
** Available at lengths up to 35 ft, 50 ft and 75 ft are 8-Bit color

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post #20 of 94 Old 12-23-2007, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Paul View Post

Just looked at Monster Cable's "Ultra High Speed" HDMI cables and noticed something rather amusing when I reached the bottom of the page:

LOL! so, the longer the cable, the smaller the bit rate? sounds like a plan! 100'=4 bit? etc?

im waiting for the 'lightspeed' version, cant be too many things faster than that.

maybe 'multi-warp' speed?
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post #21 of 94 Old 12-23-2007, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westgate View Post

bump

No need to bump, as others are finding out too, there is a large amount of infomercial marketing interspersed with some good technical information. The Monster stuff is the least defensible and is coincidently (), a major Wide Screen Review advertiser.

Why not take our sweet time (like a cat playing with a mouse) and relish pursuing the objective truth in a responsible manner. The January 2008 WSR* is the best issue in recent memory and is recommended if you have the discernment to separate fact from marketing. So let us test the claims to see if our advice to the consumer differs from the manufactures of expensive HMDI cables.

One goal is to not let the rather tawdry cable history repeat itself. That is the egregious excesses of the analog era which culminated with the multi-channel inputs should be avoided. Manufactures, publications, installers and retailers simply loved the rats nest of 7.1 analog connections** as this meant eight cable purchases per component. All at the expense of the uninformed consumer. Toward the end of the analog era the consumer realized that he had been duped and the backlash was considerable. Now, after the flames have died down a bit (remember consumers have a short memory) the marketeers are obviously planning for a repeat performance.

Custer's Last Stand
-------------=-----
But now with HDMI, we are down to just one cable per component. So the battle to sway and convince is intense. Should anyone be spending over a $100 per cable? Is a cable more important than the gear itself? Does the cable lead the horse?

Do we spend $100 per Ethernet or any other cable? What, if anything makes HDMI cables special? It can't be in the inferior design which does not even keep the impedance constant.

HDMI Design is Something of a Mess
----------------------------------
http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/...bles/index.htm
http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articl...nformation.htm

HDMI and the Chinese Connection
--------------------------------
http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/...dmi-cables.htm
http://www.electroniccomponents.glob...0000082766.htm



*WSR is a relatively tiny publication with a dwindling circulation of 11,672. Owned by The Ruber Family Trust (Gary and Mary). These folks are rather paranoid about any direct quotes so its best to paraphrase here.

** Its ironic that the content providers first allowed only analog connections. Now they prohibit them.
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post #22 of 94 Old 12-24-2007, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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One glaring fault with the HDMI articles in the January 2008 WSR magazine is they largely focus and emphasize on just the cables.

Should not we, the informed consumer, be concerned with making sure our entire system will operate in a reliably manner?
Is not a system only as good as its weakest link?
Is HDMI Organization certification sufficient to make a prudent purchasing decision?

Should we spend most of our budget on high-markup cables?
Will buying expensive cable guarantee that our system will function once connected?

Or would a better strategy be to concentrate on each component which makes up our HDMI system and then shop for the least expensive HDMI certified CL2 cables? (Similar to how we purchase a PC with its inexpensive Gigi-bit Ethernet cables)
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post #23 of 94 Old 12-25-2007, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is an excellent statement from the HDMI expert himself:
"First off, the vast majority of image quality or interoperability issues with HDMI devices are related to the software used for device communication and content protection, and have nothing to do with the HDMI cable. In particular, these issues are often caused by the software related to HDCP handshaking, or from devices improperly handling the device capability information read through HDMI (e.g. the device has an incorrect EDID, or an inability to properly read an EDID). It is fairly uncommon for the cable to be the cause of HDMI compatibility problems, or for non-compliant cables to be found in the market. In fact, the robustness of the HDMI specification has been verified by the fact that we have not found a compliant HDMI cable that is the root cause of HDMI playback issues with compliant devices.

All HDMI cables are required to support, at minimum, a standard HDTV video signal (i.e. 720p or 1080i) by virtue of being tested to verify that they meet the HDMI spec requirements. This is referred to as a Category 1 test. More recently, the HDMI Authorized Testing Centers (ATCs) have added equipment to be able to test the cable's ability to support 1080p (which is 2x the 720p/1080i video rates) and higher rates up to the maximum HDMI speeds. These higher speeds are called Category 2...

"It is most important to note that the quality of the HDMI receiver chip (in the TV, for example) has a large effect on the ability to cleanly recover and display the HDMI signal.
Personally, I have seen demonstrations by HDMI semiconductor companies showing a 1080p signal run on a 50 ft cable with a clean image, and a 720p signal run on a >75ft cable also with a clean image. It's likely that these cables would not even pass the Category 2 cable test, but this seems to indicate that a high quality receiver chip (particularly those with equalizer electronics built in) can have a significant impact on the signal margins, and thus the ability to have clean image with a lower quality and/or long cable."
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post #24 of 94 Old 12-25-2007, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Correct me if I’m wrong but the HDMI Licensing Organization’s compliance testing appears be legally binding, objective and most importantly independent. This independence eliminates the potential for any favoritism or bias. It sounds like a great way to ensure that the cables from all manufactures are tested and treated equally.

Its all the assurance I need to sleep at night!
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post #25 of 94 Old 12-26-2007, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Sometimes buying expensive cables can be dangerous to your equipments health. That is, they can break the input connectors of the equipment they connect to. There is long history of incompetent designs (especially for the legacy RCA type) in the cable world as marketers attempt to add perceived value.

HDMI cables are no exception. Here's an example of a very stiff and heavy cable:
http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...943149#reviews

Of course there are exceptions to ever rule: Very long cables tend to be thicker and less flexible. But this special case can be planned for. The bottom line is any stiff and heavy HDMI cable must be supported externally from the equipment they are connected to. If not then budget for some very expensive repairs.
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post #26 of 94 Old 01-26-2008, 02:11 AM
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I am a current BB employee. I agree that there is a huge markup on HDMI cables, I'm not one to complain. Like said earlier, one rule in physics is your equipment/item/product is only as strong as its weakest link, why on earth would you put cheap cables. If you could afford the product, you should be able to afford the best cables possible. This is all relative to your equipment. I won't say you need Monster cables for your cable/sat HD box. But I can argue that there is a noticeable difference between a cheap cable and a Monster. A good analogy would be someone who buys a Mercedes/BMW/Jaguar and has an oil change done. Either sacrifices on the oil or just complains about. Seriously, these type of people should just buy a new Corvette or Ferrari and run the lowest grade fuel and cheapest oil. BTW, I am also a mechanic. I have had experience in the store with our HDMI cables. Never once have I seen a Monster returned because it broke or it didn't work. If the customer just didn't need it, that's different. The cheaper cables we sell I get at least a cable a day (overall cables). Even when we have product that goes on display, any of them with Monster never have issues. I have felt cheap cables, and have felt Monster. To me, it's like getting a standard wrench and then comparing it to a Snap-on wrench. I am curious about these monoprice cables, never heard and I can definitely afford. I got money to burn, just to cut one up and see its construction. From the looks online though, I am not impressed one bit. They look similar to cheap cable that comes with boxed product. Just for the record, I am not necessarily sticking up for BB. Just don't ridicule someone for doing there job, a job they are getting paid for. If each and everyone of you owned your business, how much would you mark product up? BTW, every cable I have connected in my setup is a M-series from Monster. I have no issue spending over $100 bucks on cables. I stick to the physics rule. But I will test this monoprice cable in my system, take some photos and then cut the cable up to check it out. I will give results on this thread at a later date.
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post #27 of 94 Old 01-26-2008, 06:57 AM
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1) the car analogy doesn't work, we've been through that several times before.

2) hmmm... "feeling cables".... please don't tell the snake oil salesmen about that new "test"...

3) your assumption that an "inexpensive" cable is a "weak link" is an incorrect assumption.

4) if you are sticking to the "physics rule", you must live in a world that has different physical laws than the rest of us...

5) first you say "i agree there is a huge markup on monster cables" and then you say "why would you use cheap cables?"... ummm... a huge markup somehow makes your system better?

6) you are confusing "costs more" with "better"... a common confusion...

sorry dude...

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post #28 of 94 Old 01-26-2008, 08:31 AM
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As other have posted, it's HDMI carries a digital signal. It either gets there or it doesn't. Read the following several times if need be.

HDMI Licensing, which oversees the HDMI spec and ensures that companies comply with it, requires that no more than one pixel per billion be lost in transmission. "Even if you lost one out of a thousand pixels, you wouldn't notice it," says Leslie Chard, HDMI Licensing president.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,12...1/article.html
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post #29 of 94 Old 01-26-2008, 12:14 PM
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I hope the BB tester also tests the Monster cable by cutting it and comparing it to the Monoprice cable. Others might want to read how PC Mag tested cables in the link above. They discovered that many of the inexpensve cables work fine. In digital the signal either gets there or does not as many others have stated.
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post #30 of 94 Old 01-26-2008, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by rwestley View Post

Others might want to read how PC Mag tested cables in the link above. They discovered that many of the inexpensve cables work fine. In digital the signal either gets there or does not as many others have stated.

Yes the PC Mag article states what many on this forum have said...Our conclusion: You don't need to spend a fortune on cables. The HDMI cables performed comparably in both our instrument tests and our visual tests

It makes sense too if you think about it. A purely digital signal (HDMI) means it's a stream of bits or 0's and 1's. The stream of 0's and 1's either make it to the source or they don't. You won't be dropping a 0 or a 1 somewhere along the line with a different brand cable, the signal wouldn't make any sense if that happened and you'd see/hear nothing.

EXAMPLE: if your HDTV is expecting to get 00001111 to show a red pixel and it gets sent 0000111 because your cheap cable dropped a 1 from the end, the TV wouldn't show a lighter shade of red, it would be confused and not show anything. (In Spinal Tap terms, the 1 at the end doesn't make it 1 louder).

As long as it's a clean connection (i.e. the wire is not split, crimped, knotted. etc) then Wire is Wire and HDMI cable is HDMI cable.
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