HDMI Cable facts and myths - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-27-2007, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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ok so everyone know a high doller high quality cable makes for a better video and sound. but when it comes to HDMI this know longer applies and i want people to do some research and make a full fact and fiction forum regarding hdmi cables.

a $100 5ft cable is better then a $20 5ft cable false HDMI is full digital all of its info is sent in 0's and 1's so theres know need for shielding, twistin and large copper wires. because a digital signal cant get interference like a analog cable can, the signal either makes it or it doesn't. so if you have a cheep cable and it is sending 1080p to your tv and your tv is displaying it then thats as good as it gets. A better more expensive cable will not look and better. analog cables need to have shielding and big copper and gold plated terminals to produce a good signal but when it comes to HDMI this is all mostly bogus and unnecessary, its there to raise the price when it a HDMI cable. there is one factor whut i mention above that isn't fully true, and that is when your using a long HDMI cable longer than 5 meters a high dollar cable is sometimes needed to send the signal long distances (5meters and longer) but most wont need that long of a hdmi cable. most all cables under 5 feet can and will display full 1080p if there HDMI branded meaning the HDMI tm is printed on the cable. This means the cable was inspected by a HDMI facility and is verified to work. some cheepo Ebay cables are not certified and may not work.

This is just a starter if anyone has more true or untrue things to state about HDMI cables please do so. i fined it funny that one of the more simple cables to produce is also the most expensive. lol.

DON'T BE FOOLED BY GIMICS SUCH AS GOLD PLATING, TWISTED CABLES, AND SHIELDING, WHEN IT COMES TO HDMI GET THE CHEEP CABLE IF IT DOESN'T WORK RETURN IT AND GET THE NEXT STEP UP BUT 9 TIMES OUT OF 10 THE CHEEP $15 3FT HDMI CABLE WILL WORK JUST FINE.
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-28-2007, 12:00 AM
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i'd believe you if you knew how to spell "cheep" ... cheap...

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post #3 of 13 Old 10-10-2012, 05:52 AM
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First of all your opening statement is not true at all, you get what you pay for.

So lets give the facts against your fiction....

1. An HDMI 1.4a compliant cable is 2 CAT6e "TWISTED PAIRS" without separate sheathing, and an extra 2 pairs for redundancy. (BTW, HDMI cable have been the same since there debut....)
2. 1080p is not the highest resolution, 4kx2k is, and a cheaper cable at greater distances will not be capable of producing uninterrupted video, you will have pixelation due to signal loss.
3. Gold plating is to provide better continuity between the device, and cable. This will ALWAYS result in better signal, but is not necessary.
4. The 5m (16ft) distance is recommended because of signal loss with longer cables, it is true. Because the data is digital, it has a bandwidths in which the data travels. this bandwidth is rated based on length of the cable. If exceeded data loss will occur, cause a loss of picture or intermittent video.
5. An HDMI branding is NOT going to let u know that a cable is good or bad, that's the name of the interface and cable. I can put a HDMI branding a football, does it now transmit HD video?. Because it says HDMI does not mean it will ALWAYS work, as your insinuating.


Lastly, Buying a more expensive will guarantee that you will not only have the cable for a long time, but that it is backed by a name you can trust, because they (the company) stand behind the image they project to the end user. If you dont have long distance, just tv atop of cable box, then buy a cheap one. If you want DolbyDIgitalTru HD Audio with 3D, you already spent the money buy a better cable....

Component BTW, is cheaper, give you 1080p resolution, can be extended with just the cable to 1000 ft, and is great for equipment in separate rooms. You can run one can5e or cat 6 cable, send it 1000 ft, and get video AND audio......

Cheaper cables have the following downfall....

1. they break easier and tend to have thin sheathing, making them get cut easily on sharp edges. This can break the inner pairs, TWISTED PAIRS!!! (all HDMI cables are twisted pairs, sometimes shielded.)
2. They cant "go the distance"
3. The shroud around the connector itself is not reinforced, making it easy to bend and breaking the cable
4. they use thinned strands of copper, again resulting a easily broken wire in the cable, reduring the whole thing useless.

My relevant experience is 7 years cabling experience including, but not limited to; HOME THEATER INSTALLATION, building cabling engineering, and IT support, and electrical engineering.
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-10-2012, 06:34 AM
 
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Isn't it interesting how we have two posters, 1 with 6 appends and then 1 with 1 append, taking sort-of opposite views?


We've discussed this many times here. Check the archives before continuing the discussion...There is no need for a rehash.
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-10-2012, 07:08 AM
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Understood
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-10-2012, 01:23 PM
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Gee, why would you want to revive a 5 year old thread that obviously everybody just ignored? But since you did, you at least ought to get your facts straight in your rebuttal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Conway View Post

An HDMI 1.4a compliant cable is 2 CAT6e "TWISTED PAIRS" without separate sheathing, and an extra 2 pairs for redundancy.
No, the HDMI specification makes no reference to Cat 6e, although there are similarities like 100 ohms characteristic impedance There are no redundant pairs. There are 4 TMDS twisted pairs, one for the clock channel, and the three video/audio channels. There are also other wires for other purposes, although they should not be twisted pairs, except for the ethernet channel, if it is included.
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...HDMI cable have been the same since there debut....
Well, the pinout has been the same if we ignore cables with ethernet. 1.3 introduced high speed cables which have different performance characteristics, which required tighter control of manufacturing tolerances. So a standard HDMI cable, whether produced before or after the 1.3 spec came out, may be different, if only in the amount of control that went into their production. IOW all other things being equal, a standard HDMI cable may not perform as well as a high speed HDMI cable.
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...a cheaper cable at greater distances will not be capable of producing uninterrupted video, you will have pixelation due to signal loss.
Price has little to do with it. A monoprice 22 AWG cable is near the low end of the price spectrum and will perform as well as cables costing many times what it costs. And the BJC Series 1 cable, which is arguably one of the best cables available, only costs about 3 times as much. Paying more than that is a waste of money.
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Gold plating...will ALWAYS result in better signal...
No, particularly if one of the mating connectors is gold plated and one isn't because of fretting. Gold plating on the plug shield is just marketing fluff.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-11-2012, 10:57 AM
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Wow thanks for the information, but I respectfully disagree with a couple of things you stated.

HDMI is not stated to being CAT6e, its technical wire makeup is the same spec
I was responding to the gentleman who stated it has NO twist or shield.

There are 2 strands of wire, not two pairs as I stated before, that are added to more expensive cables as a redundancy for data transfer, and to add strength to the cable. this is not to be confused with the nylon or plastic strands in place also for strength. I've had a cable cut open due to the connector getting crushed from carelessness on the job-site. Will all have this, no, but I've see it with my own eyes

Gold plating is not a gimmick, it is proven to provide better continuity.

In your statement
Quote:
the BJC Series 1 cable, which is arguably one of the best cables available, only costs about 3 times as much. Paying more than that is a waste of money.
Further proving that a more expensive cable is technically better.

Lastly, (i saved the best for last) a HDMI cable other than having a Ethernet channel has not change to prevent a global spec change. so an older cable will function and connect exactly the same as a old one, unless your attempting to use Ethernet obviously. Essentially I meant, and should have been more clear, that a end user will not notice any physical or performance difference in a cable bought in 2002, or one purchased yesterday.

I just sighed up to this site and rather enjoy the extensive knowledge the users like yourself have, I thank you for taking the time to correct me. You seem to be extremely knowledgeable and passionate about A/V, and I hope to have further discussions and exchange of info in the future smile.gif

This is my first time on a forum (I know sad). I've gotten info, but never signed up and been apart of the community.

Let the information exchange continue, I'll see you around the forums!
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-11-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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Since we're going down this path, let's clarify what "better" means. In the digital world, we live in the non-linear region. What that means is that multiple voltage levels mean the same thing. For instance with TTL logic, a +5V signal was equivalent to a 1 (or a 0 if negative logic was used) and a +0V signal was the opposite. However, the meaning of a +4.9V signal was exactly the same as a +5V signal. It wasn't until you got below +4V (or so) that it was undetermined what type of "meaning" to give to the signal.

So, if I'm getting a signal that is correctly reading as a 1 or a 0 and then I "improve" the cable by making the voltage steadier (less ripple) or faster responding, but it still means exactly the same information on the receiving end, have I really improved anything? Or, have I just spent more time and money to get the exact same information (the 1s and 0s)? So, while the cable may have a better electrical response, it's end result (the information) is the same. From a practical standpoint, I haven't really gained anything but just lost time and money. The old saying of "better is the enemy of good enough" applies to digital transmissions.

Now if you tell me you are getting bit errors then the original cable wasn't good enough and you do need "better". But short of that (and those bit errors are obvious with HDMI), then claiming a cable is better than one that is working perfectly isn't really better from a practical standpoint.


Welcome to the forum. I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities for these types of discussions!
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-11-2012, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Conway View Post

HDMI is not stated to being CAT6e, its technical wire makeup is the same spec
So, twisted pair makes it Cat 6e? There is much more to a specification than that. FYI the closest equivalent to HDMI, at least the TMDS pairs, is Cat 7.
Quote:
There are 2 strands of wire...that are added to more expensive cables as a redundancy for data transfer, and to add strength to the cable.
Never seen it. Never heard of it. How do two wires provide signal redundancy when the video/audio is transmitted over four pairs? What pins do they connect to? There was only one reserved pin prior to adding ethernet. Now there are none.
Quote:
...I've see it with my own eyes
I think you may be misinterpreting what you see. What brand and model cable were you looking at? Surely they would advertise this redundancy.
Quote:
Further proving that a more expensive cable is technically better.
No, your rhetoric is good, but your logic leaves something to be desired. The BJC Series 1 is technically better, yes. It has a bit better control over impedance and skew than others because of Belden bonded-pair construction. It still is only certified high speed to 25', the same as monoprice. Anyway, it is not particularly expensive to start with. The point was that price is not an indicator of performance. Paying boutique prices for cables buys you little but bragging rights.
Quote:
....so an older cable will function and connect exactly the same as a old (did you mean new?)
No, go back and reread what I wrote.
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-12-2012, 07:39 AM
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YES this site is awesome!

Intelligent points, and valid arguments.

To say the least and keep this short, I agree with you all now that a more expensive cable has no direct reflection on its performance, at short distances. I extend equipment A/V signals to around 1,000 ft and find it did not work with cheaper cables, however the 2 times it happened a swore off cheaper cables and stood by the fact that I paid a more and it worked.

Weren't we all young and ignorant at one point? lol biggrin.gif

Thanks for the info and intelligent rebuttals, you guys have taught me a lot. I am forever learning in this field, and at 24 I think I'm on my way to being a pro like you guys. (pro status YEARS to come obviously)

In regards to the HDMI cable with the extra pairs, I didn't check there PIN out so I don't know were they went, and it was a monster cable. And also further reading not only here but other sites the HDMI cable layout IS closer to CAT7 spec, my apologies for sounding so confident in it being CAT6.

In conclusion I think the lesson here is for me to state cold hard FACTS, and not opinion based on bad experience.
I will learn from this and become better.

Thanks again I really enjoyed this intelligent banter back and forth, put me in my place rolleyes.gif
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post #11 of 13 Old 10-12-2012, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Conway View Post

I extend equipment A/V signals to around 1,000 ft and find it did not work with cheaper cables...
Obviously you weren't using HDMI cables. When I run coax or twisted pair for critical applications, I use quality cable I can trust, usually Belden. It costs more than generic Chinese cable. But the difference isn't an order of magnitude. With HDMI cables the difference can be an order of magnitude or more, and there is no guaratee that the extra money buys you anything.
Quote:
Weren't we all young and ignorant at one point? lol biggrin.gif
The older I get, the more I realise I don't know.
Quote:
...it was a monster cable.
I guarantee that if there was any redundancy in that cable Monster would have made a point of advertising it, and they don't. FWIW IMHO Monster makes fine cables, but they are way over-priced for what you get.
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post #12 of 13 Old 10-26-2012, 08:14 AM
 
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Quote:
DON'T BE FOOLED BY GIMICS SUCH AS GOLD PLATING, TWISTED CABLES, AND SHIELDING,

Google characteristic impedance, differential signalling and transmission line to educate yourself on these' gimicks'.
Look up cadmium chromate as well.
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post #13 of 13 Old 01-16-2013, 06:07 PM
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Good Info,

I do like Monoprice.com and there article about HDMI cables and the info regarding AWG , Cable length , resistance,
and if its a direct connection or will it have a A/V receiver or switch or spitter. And its technically easy to understand
and not trying to charge the fees for cables by well known offenders , its your money though and if You feel they work
thats your dime or dollar(s) I am just getting in to HDTV late entry and even blu ray (and a set top digital HD box
which probably is the weakest link (ha)
I am going to buy some cables for the cable box and B-ray to Sony HDTV (6 feet ) and for a PC laptop with HDMI (we tested it and works with HDMI fine ) a bit longer most likely 15ft as 10 ft (with 2 cats) the cable will be the source of their attention
The 6foot still deciding on AWG but though High Speed Cat 2 with silver at 24 AWG its plenty long but ? would 28AWG be
ok, as far as the longer run (I will keep the resistance and lenghth and AWG in clear mind with that but as it may be unplugged (at one end Laptop) or should it not left connected with a open end of a HDMI cable sitting out (I am thinking no)
? advice and Our TV Manual states use port one for a PC with HDMI (will double check ) it has 4 HDMI ports as well
as component and composite and optical out x1 plus audio out (x1) is that odd or is it me we have Sennheiser Wireless Headphones and were stumped re Hookup (even by the Mfr's reply buying a box or use one of their devices and * (and my Dear Wife solved it used Audio L&R out of the cable box! and they work just fine Not old just too much loud music earlier on
All for Now and Thanks !
Monoprice sure has quite a few Fan's Here on AVS!
Take Care biggrin.gif
David
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