Originally Posted by scirica
Nitra: While I agree that most cable hype is way out of control, I do believe that a quality HDMI cable is required for long runs, especially for 3D capability. Do you disagree? I have seen the degradation myself. Years ago I bought into the high end interconnects (AudioTruth and the like). I'm less inclined to overspend on cables these days.
Also, keep in mind that quality doesn't always mean expensive.
Many expensive cables seem to focus on the conductor. Sure, pure silver with gold plated connectors isn't going to do you a bit of good compared to OFHC copper/nickel on a short run (maybe not even a long run), except to jack up the price.
On the other hand, the quality of the terminations has a lot to do with whether or not the cable will fall apart or even conceal a hidden open circuit and be the bane of your attempts to troubleshoot a missing signal.
Also, cable design can have a great impact on shielding, not only RF pickup, but capacitive and inductive pickup. Ground loops are another concern where proper cabling may help. Unfortunately, there is often no way to easily tell if an expensive cable is any better than a cheap one in these regards, unless you take it apart and compare. Sometimes, you might be able to note a more robust termination or thicker cable that might indicate better quality or improved shielding, but usually you have to trust manufacturer's sales propaganda or online reviews. Optical cables were superior in all of these areas. It's a shame HDMI wasn't an all-digital optical format. When you are connecting multiple components, some through long runs of cables to different rooms, optical is the way to go to prevent a lot of common issues.