Originally Posted by ebs33
I was told there is better video transmission with a better quality cable, Audioquest (and a couple others I cant remember) was recommended. The 16" 'chocolate' are $280 @ Best Buy. Was told by contractor and best buy HT people that quality of HDMI cable makes a big difference.
I was considering using the more expensive one and maybe get a cheaper one as the backup in case there is some sort of malfunction. Even if the main cable didnt work, using front of wall cable would not be the end of the world, though I would hope that wouldnt happen.
By now I think you've seen unanomous concensus that you don't need $280 HDMI cables and that a conduit would be a better choice than a second cable. Let me explain why.
HDMI is a digital transmission medium. From a cable standpoint, that means 1s and 0s go into one end and 1s and 0s come out the other. If the same 1s and 0s enter the cable and go out the cable, then your cable is doing its job.
In the case of HDMI, the 1s and 0s are encrypted and they are traveling a pretty high speeds (gigabits not megabits per second). So if you get an error, you'll see it on the screen as very obvious items such as a fully blank screen, a screen of a single flat color throughout, sparkles, lines, etc. In other words it won't be subtle things like slightly redder colors or sharpness loss. The colors and sharpness and all those things people used to worry about with cables are not affected in HDMI because the cable is just sending bits. Screw-up the bits and you see big problems not subtle ones.
Now every so often us engineers feel a need to change the world of audio/video. Then the lawyers get involved (such as on HDMI) and a new A/V interface is born. This new A/V interface usually involves new components and new cables. So the ability to add a new cable to your house at a later date might turn out to be very important. Also, I think everyone of us has damaged a cable connector at some time. If you use a conduit, you can slip out the damaged cable and put a new one in. If you just have an HDMI in-wall then it's likely anchored in place and is not removable and HDMI connectors are not replacable by mortals.
What you need for your in-wall HDMI cable is one that is rated CL2 (that rating allows the cable to be used for in-wall). You'll also want to make sure your HDMI cable is listed as a "High Speed" cable - it must say "High Speed" and you probably should look for the "High Speed" certificate as well.
And, that brings me to my most important point - There are only two types of HDMI cables - High Speed and Standard Speed. There are a number of options with each, but all you have to choose from are two types of cables. More is explained here (HDMI Org owns the HDMI specs, copyrights, first borns, patents, etc).http://www.hdmi.org/learningcenter/faq.aspx#49
Reading the entire FAQ should provide you plenty of HDMI information and a good chance to nap.
So, get a high speed CL2 cable and you might want to make sure it has an Ethernet capability (even though no components yet use that feature). After that, you have everything you need to run in-wall. Then you'll need an out-of-wall HDMI cable for each component-to-receiver connection.
If you pay more than $30 for a 16-foot high speed CL2 HDMI cable, then you're paying way more than you should.
Finally please remember just because those Best Buy guys and gals wear those nifty blue shirts doesn't mean they have a clue what they are talking about or are looking-out for your best interests. There is a tremendous amount of mark-up on cables and the salesmen know this. Next time you're in Best Buy ask them how an HDMI cable works and how a cable could "improve" on the 1s and 0s.
I'd also be concerned about any contractor that wanted that much money for a cable unless that came with installation/warranty included.