HDMI cables and if price is an impact on overall PQ and SQ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 05:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I have always wondered if the picture quality and audio quality are any different on expensive HDMI cables when compared to cheap HDMI cables. To take the length of the cable out of the equation lets say the difference between a $100 and a $10 HDMI cable at a length of no more than 10'. Aside from personal preference are there any actual video and audio measurements that show a $100 HDMI cable will perform better than a $10 one?

I also saw this post quoted below from the Denon 4520 thread and I have no idea what it means or if it is a factual statement. No offense Stereodude but what does "mimic DSP operations on the data to make organized changes to the data going over the cable" actually mean?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post

No, no, no... Cheap cables have random errors that just happen to mimic DSP operations on the data to make organized changes to the data going over the cable.

I am not posting this thread to create any arguments but that I'm actually curious to know if there is any reason to buy a $100 HDMI cable opposed to the one that came with my Oppo 103. Please keep the discussion in this thread on topic and avoid negative personal remarks.

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post #2 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 05:58 AM
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I measure the difference with my eyes and ears between the cheap cables and the pricey cables. I can see and hear no difference so it makes no sense to
me to spend the extra money. Maybe some people have super eyesight and hearing compared to mine.

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post #3 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 06:01 AM
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Bill,

I've never experienced any difference in my system or seen measurements that identify any audible/visible performance improvements in more expensive cables vs. a basic, decently constructed HDMI cable.

Stereodude can correct if I'm misinterpreting, but I think he was being facetious, i.e. people claiming that cables have properties that change sound in a way that would mimic what DSP actually does.

If someone can demonstrate that expensive HDMI (or other cables) demonstrably improve performance, I'll be first in line to purchase. Until then, I'm sticking with BJC for cables.

Ben
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post #4 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 06:06 AM
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http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33199_7-57540275-221/still-more-reasons-why-all-hdmi-cable-are-the-same/

This article confirms my belief that it isn't a matter of having golden ears when evaluating an HDMI picture/sound, its a matter of how the cable works.
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post #5 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 08:16 AM
 
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It is digital signaling. There is no difference in audio or video quality if your devices are receiveing the 1s and 0s fine. If it is not receiving the signal than you won't have a watchable picture or anything close to decent sound. But, if you are receiving the signal fine then there is no difference in sound or video quality with better cables.

Better cables can produce a picture and sound where lesser cables won't. Usually this somes into play with longer lengths but there are some very poorly made shorter cables. Price is not always indicative of quality.
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post #6 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 08:54 AM
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+1

Bill-get your cables from Monoprice or Blue Jeans and use the money you saved for SACDs smile.gif

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post #7 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Stereodude can correct if I'm misinterpreting, but I think he was being facetious, i.e. people claiming that cables have properties that change sound in a way that would mimic what DSP actually does.
You got it. HDMI cables transmit digital data. 1's and 0's. If we assume for a minute that cheap / low quality cables randomly caused 1's to become 0's and 0's to become 1's they would not manifest themselves in an organized fashion. However, the people who claim to hear or see differences caused by HDMI cables tend to describe an organized phenomenon like sharper picture, more vibrant colors, better bass, etc, etc, etc... These outcomes are statistically impossible without a DSP that performs deliberate non-random operations on the data. Problems caused by cheap low quality cables would show up likely show up as static in the image (flickering pixels), a loss of sync (connection dropout), or similar not the organized deliberate behaviors described by people who "see" the difference.

Don't believe me? Grab a box of random loose Legos, shake it up for a while, stir it with your hands, whatever you want, and then dump it on the floor. Let us know when a complete, put together, organized item falls out of the box at the end.
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post #8 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 09:22 AM
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Thank you Bill Mac for starting this thread. I had the same questions as you on the post from Stereodude. Cleared up now! smile.gif
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post #9 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 03:37 PM
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It`s a digital connection, so either it works or it does not. Nothing in between.
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post #10 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holt7153 View Post

+1
Bill-get your cables from Monoprice or Blue Jeans and use the money you saved for SACDs smile.gif

Steve,

I'm with you 100% on that smile.gif! Well the 103 came with a well built HDMI cable so that money went towards another SACD biggrin.gif.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts smile.gif. I had a feeling it was just an issue of whether the HDMI cable worked or did not. It makes me wonder why so many spend big bucks on digital cables when a well built inexpensive cable will work just fine. It also makes me wonder why some claim their PQ or AQ improved when they added a $100 HDMI to their system.

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post #11 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 04:59 PM
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It's great that Oppo includes the HDMI cable--do they still give you the Spears and Munsil disc?

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post #12 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 06:22 PM
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The AudioQuest Diamond DBS is the "best sounding HDMI cable", according to someone from Widescreen Review.biggrin.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn View Post

And I use an AudioQuest Diamond DBS (dielectric bias system, uses a battery to create a 72v DC field that constantly "bathes" the insulation and conductors in a steady-state electrical field.) The Diamond is the top of the line HDMI cable and it is no better at all for video quality than any HDMI cable, even $5 or "free" hdmi cables that come in the box with some component. So NEVER spend money on an HDMI cable expecting any difference in video image quality because there isn't any... cheap is perfect for video-only HDMI cables. Movie sound also doesn't seem to suffer over inexpensive HDMI cables. But music playback (without video)... that's the only place I can find ANY differences between HDMI cables and the AQ Diamond is the "best sounding" HDMI cable I've ever found. I'm not expecting music from the 62 over HDMI to sound as good as the dedicated playback system, but I always have to check to be certain something special/miraculous hasn't happened.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #13 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 06:29 PM
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Once caveat I'll add is "sparklies".  So yes you will get a picture, but if the cable is not up to standard or has issues you may get sparkles that are easy to spot on dark scenes.  So the cable does not affect PQ in the sense of color and sharpness, but you can see signs of a cable not up to par.  I've had this happen with two cables.  This tends to show itself on long cable runs or longer cables.

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post #14 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primetimeguy View Post

Once caveat I'll add is "sparklies".  So yes you will get a picture, but if the cable is not up to standard or has issues you may get sparkles that are easy to spot on dark scenes.  So the cable does not affect PQ in the sense of color and sharpness, but you can see signs of a cable not up to par.  I've had this happen with two cables.  This tends to show itself on long cable runs or longer cables.
I've seen many issues with cheap not well built HDMI cables. They also fail. I suggest buying cables that meet spec and are well terminated. Good quality is good quality. I'd rather spend a few extra bucks for a good quality HDMI cable then to have a cheap one work , then fail or waste my time installing it only to have it not work. I've seen that time to time.
You don't have to spend a fortune on HDMI cables , once the job is done correctly without adding Jitter or poor signal transfer , your done. A higher priced cable can't do anything better then a cheaper one that is properly built and up to spec.
I also suggest only using High speed design cables that meet 1.4 spec like audio return , ethernet , 4k etc. This way when you upgrade your gear , you can reuse all your HDMI cables , if the connection is still around in a few years.
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post #15 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holt7153 View Post

It's great that Oppo includes the HDMI cable--do they still give you the Spears and Munsil disc?

Oppo no longer includes the Spears and Munsil disc. When I sold my 83SE I kept it even when the buyer inquired about it. I sold the 83SE for a very fair price and was not including it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

The AudioQuest Diamond DBS is the "best sounding HDMI cable", according to someone from Widescreen Review.biggrin.gif

Why would the AudioQuest Diamond DBS have better AQ for music but not for movies confused.gif?

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post #16 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

The AudioQuest Diamond DBS is the "best sounding HDMI cable", according to someone from Widescreen Review.biggrin.gif

Why would the AudioQuest Diamond DBS have better AQ for music but not for movies confused.gif?

Click on the link of the above quote and follow subsequent conversation. I don't 'buy' any of that just to make it clear. Just to throw it in in case people aren't aware of this kind of 'claim'.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #17 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 08:00 PM
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I would say there is a difference in HDMI cables, but not necessarily by price, but by quality. I don't advocate buying cables at the box store, I've only ordered them from websites. My first Nippon Labs cables were great, but the recent ones I ordered were junk and had to be returned. Then I ordered from Monoprice and got cables that were overkill (24 AWG was too stiff for my setup and it's my fault for ordering them, but the didn't connect well to my devices), but the 28 AWG cables are working perfectly. I can say that consistency is something some brands may have that others don't and digital signals via HDMI as I learned are completely an all or nothing signal. Those Nippon Labs cables allowed snowy interference that I've never seen before from a digital source.

The bottom line, to me, is cables don't need to be expensive. I think it was about $1/ft. that I paid for high speed HDMI to meet HDMI v. 1.4 demands. And remember, cables are not 1.3 or 1.4 spec, that is the software format for the actual devices. The cables don't know what "version" they are.
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post #18 of 28 Old 11-05-2012, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

Click on the link of the above quote and follow subsequent conversation. I don't 'buy' any of that just to make it clear. Just to throw it in in case people aren't aware of this kind of 'claim'.

I do not see any link to click on confused.gif. Is it for the quote from Widescreen Review?

Bill

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post #19 of 28 Old 11-05-2012, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

I have always wondered if the picture quality and audio quality are any different on expensive HDMI cables when compared to cheap HDMI cables. To take the length of the cable out of the equation lets say the difference between a $100 and a $10 HDMI cable at a length of no more than 10'. Aside from personal preference are there any actual video and audio measurements that show a $100 HDMI cable will perform better than a $10 one?
I also saw this post quoted below from the Denon 4520 thread and I have no idea what it means or if it is a factual statement. No offense Stereodude but what does "mimic DSP operations on the data to make organized changes to the data going over the cable" actually mean?
I am not posting this thread to create any arguments but that I'm actually curious to know if there is any reason to buy a $100 HDMI cable opposed to the one that came with my Oppo 103. Please keep the discussion in this thread on topic and avoid negative personal remarks.
Bill

If you look beyond the fancy labeling and packaging of most HDMI cable you will find some interesting details printed onto the cable itself.
Most of these use the same product/manufacturer no matter what's been said, they are pretty much identical.
Additionally its a cable for digital signals which makes it a lot less prone to analog phenomenons, like noise etc.
This holds true even for those "gold plated" connectors, which make it look expensive.
Have you ever seen a "gold-plated" network cable connector even for a high quality and mission critical gigabit topology ? I don't.
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post #20 of 28 Old 11-05-2012, 10:12 AM
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Man but those fancy expensive cable look so cool when admiring your systems back side,( Picture if you will Black, Red snake like with golden tongue sticking out your amps, to you source ) biggrin.gif It's part of the reason I got into this hobby wink.gif

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post #21 of 28 Old 11-05-2012, 11:10 AM
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My expirience:

i hve a 70 ft HDMI run to my projector. i am using a low gauge (large size) conductor cable. from my computer video card i can only get 720 to work with no signal drop out or color problems. on 1080 some whites turn green and i have problems with the signal cutting out. a lesser gauge cable got no signal to the projector at all. my blu ray player (Panasonic) signal on 1080 has no problems. i guess it has a stronger signal. my installation does ask HDMI to do things it is not spec'ed to do though.

no amount of sending current though an insulator will help clean up digital signal. cables still send electricity though copper wires. this is basic physics people. stop trying to find god in audio cables.
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post #22 of 28 Old 11-05-2012, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post


I do not see any link to click on confused.gif. Is it for the quote from Widescreen Review?

In post 12 above, in the quote box, on the top line next to 'Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn' there is a little icon

go_quote.gif

to click to get you to the original post:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1428692/avs-owners-thread-for-the-pioneer-elite-bdp-62fd#post_22512243

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #23 of 28 Old 11-05-2012, 07:49 PM
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Monoprice cable work as good as any of the expesive cables.

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post #24 of 28 Old 11-05-2012, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurkey View Post

Have you ever seen a "gold-plated" network cable connector even for a high quality and mission critical gigabit topology ? I don't.

Most network connectors I have, at least, are gold plated, but only because the gold eliminates corrosion thus ensuring a better electrical connection.

That said, anyone who pays more than a buck a foot for HDMI cables has too much money, and should buy their cables from me. smile.gif
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post #25 of 28 Old 11-05-2012, 11:24 PM
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I've never experienced any difference in my system or seen measurements that identify any audible/visible performance improvements in more expensive cables vs. a basica112.jpg
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post #26 of 28 Old 11-06-2012, 05:08 AM
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The only difference to be considered is the length of the cable, because signal quality will be affected by the impedance of the cable even if digital.
Up to 9 feet this usually makes no difference, beyond that better screening and lower cable impedance will keep those digital signals better in "shape".
But this will cause only a very moderate price increase due to cable length. Usually using a HDMI repeater for signal refresh in those cases is a technically much better alternative.
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post #27 of 28 Old 11-06-2012, 05:52 AM
 
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capacitance is a big issue with longer cables as well as imnpedance. Capacitance will alter the shape of a wave as it affects more of the rise/fall time. Impedance has more of an affect on amplitude of the wave. Both are important.
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post #28 of 28 Old 11-06-2012, 08:31 AM
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Today the majority of current HDMI processors have an input buffer that helps to compensate for cable length..
However...
If the run is > 25' then the challenge to main signal integrity becomes more complex..

Just my $0.02... wink.gif
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