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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a Belkin HDMI cable for my Denon 2910 not realizing I already had one (came with new DirecTV HD stb). I'm thinking this is great as now I can save $150. For kicks, I decided to A/B them and see if I could see a difference. Lo and behold, I'd swear the Belkin cable has better contrast and color depth. Am I losing my mind??? I'm pretty conservative when it comes to cables and in fact use plain 'ol 12ga for my speaker wire, and that's analog! With a digital cable, the signal either gets there or it doesn't, right? Is my mind playing tricks on me or is there a rational explanation for this?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by topspeed
I bought a Belkin HDMI cable for my Denon 2910 not realizing I already had one (came with new DirecTV HD stb). I'm thinking this is great as now I can save $150. For kicks, I decided to A/B them and see if I could see a difference. Lo and behold, I'd swear the Belkin cable has better contrast and color depth. Am I losing my mind??? I'm pretty conservative when it comes to cables and in fact use plain 'ol 12ga for my speaker wire, and that's analog! With a digital cable, the signal either gets there or it doesn't, right? Is my mind playing tricks on me or is there a rational explanation for this?
Have someone perform a blind test with you (so this person is not going to tell you what you see and what you saw, he is siply going to ask you "if this is cable A or cable B" and he will only tell you the score after all runs were made).

Do at least 20 tries.

I suspect you will not find any differences between the cables that way.


HDMI uses a digital signal and as such there could not possibly be any difference between color depth and contrast from one cable to the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by htpcfan
Have someone perform a blind test with you (so this person is not going to tell you what you see and what you saw, he is siply going to ask you "if this is cable A or cable B" and he will only tell you the score after all runs were made).

Do at least 20 tries.

I suspect you will not find any differences between the cables that way.


HDMI uses a digital signal and as such there could not possibly be any difference between color depth and contrast from one cable to the other.
I couldn't agree with you more, and yet...


I've had my wife switch out the wires at least 20 times and I'm convinced I can see a difference. That said, I'm also convinced the difference is small enough that I'll return the Belkin and not lose any sleep whatsoever. $150 will buy a lot of new software for my new toy.


Thanks for your input.
 

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Well wait a second, you say you are convinced, then that implies you did not do a blind test, you really want the statistics to convince you not what you see. After you perform a blind test you can see if there is a statistically significant proof of you being able to tell the difference. However if your wife did the test like this:


Wife: "Ok here comes the Belkin":

You: "yes this is nice"

Wife: "Ok here is the cheap one"

You: "yes definitly different"

Wife: "the Belkin again"

etc


Then that is obviously not a blind test and you are likely fooled by your own subjectivity.

The other thing your wife could do is to say that it is the Belkin but it really is not and see how you respond. :D
 

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Nice article. I was just getting to explain why DVI/HDMI cables just work or just don't work, but the article does a great job. People have bought $5 cables on eBay that work just fine. The nice thing with DVI/HDMI is that you can tell right away if the cable is "bad" or you are using too long a length.


larry
 

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I did the same thing with Rams High end HDMI and the cheap HDMI cable from the Sam 941 and I could not see any difference whatsoever...What counts is...You can see a difference...Enjoy!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by topspeed
I bought a Belkin HDMI cable for my Denon 2910 not realizing I already had one (came with new DirecTV HD stb). I'm thinking this is great as now I can save $150. For kicks, I decided to A/B them and see if I could see a difference. Lo and behold, I'd swear the Belkin cable has better contrast and color depth. Am I losing my mind??? I'm pretty conservative when it comes to cables and in fact use plain 'ol 12ga for my speaker wire, and that's analog! With a digital cable, the signal either gets there or it doesn't, right? Is my mind playing tricks on me or is there a rational explanation for this?
So you explain that you are cable conservative, yet you spent $150 for the HDMI cable? I don't get it.


Ed
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by topspeed
I'm pretty conservative when it comes to cables and in fact use plain 'ol 12ga for my speaker wire,
12 gauge is pretty thick for speaker wire unless you're running some extremely long distances. Doesn't sound very conservative to me.
 

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I don't know if its just me, but I have had terrible luck with HDMI cables. Thank goodness that all my equipment has component inputs for when the HDMI's go down.


First I had Pacific cable HDMI cables, both HDMI-HDMI and HDMI-DVI--totally bogus with no signal. Apparently they had a bad batch of connectors or something like that.


Then I tried a RAM superior grade. This worked well for about 6 months. One day, HDMI stopped working and I had to switch to component (with no upsampling). I wasn't sure if it was the cable or my DVD player.


Now I have a Gefen cable--it seems to be working fine, and hopefully for a good long time.


I have never had similar problems with any other cable interface.
 

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I think a big problem with HDMI cables and connectors are that they sometimes don't make a good connection. They are talking about setting specifications for a clip that will prevent this problem. PC World talks about this in their article. They found that a cable that is too heavy may actually be worse because it puts a strain on the connectors in the player and TV. I am using low price cables from Monoprice and they work great.
 

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I ordered one of Monoprice "higher" offering of HDMI. The cable is solidly built with a cool net jacket and ferrite plugs at both ends. It actually fits the HDMI slots on my Sony DVD & TV very nicely compared to Ram's high-end cable which tended to leave some play and would fall out if moved. Cost me under $32 (shipped) for a 10 ft run. People should definitely check out Monoprice.


The Ram cable was my first one I ordered thinking I needed a great cable for great picture. Then when I was ordering a second one I realised its a digital cable after all. Just like a optical cable. Bits in and out. A $100 cable isn't going to make my $250 dvd player play like one that costs $600.


That said, I will pay more for a well-built cable compared to the spaghetti ones that come bundled with most stuff.
 

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All cables have different characteristics. Some of the difference will be visible/audible, and some of them will not. Those who preach all the cable is equal fall into one (or more) of these categories.


1. don't have clear understanding of how the signal is modulated. ("bits are bits" crowd)

2. their overall system is not of high fidelity to show the subtle difference in the audio/video signal.

3. their eyes/ears are not sensitive enough to detect the subtle difference.

4. they are determined not to believe. if you are not open minded you will not acknowledge the difference.
 

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I bought a 10 meter from pccables "dot" com for 49.50. It was much thicker then I thought it was going to be (3/8ths of an inch in diameter). I haven't been able to test it yet as I am still in the process of building my HT. What I am wondering is if HDMI sends a parity bit?
 

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Quote:
Then when I was ordering a second one I realised its a digital cable after all. Just like a optical cable. Bits in and out.
If you had thought for one more second, you may not have made this ridiculous statement. The HDMI cables being talked about are made from metal. An optical cable is "glass" inside. Coax would have been a closer guess. But the three cable types are completely different. You can just change connecters


larry
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakeN
I bought a 10 meter from pccables "dot" com for 49.50. It was much thicker then I thought it was going to be (3/8ths of an inch in diameter). I haven't been able to test it yet as I am still in the process of building my HT. What I am wondering is if HDMI sends a parity bit?
Do a google search for TMDS. It's the transport for DVI and HDMI protocols. The DVI and HDMI specs have good descriptions also. TMDS itself does not use error correction (or detection). HDMI does provide for sending extra bits with hi-rez audio for error correction purposes, but not for video.


larry
 

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The only fair way to compare the picture from different brands of cables is to do a double blind test. A Psychological theory Cognitive Dissonance states that people justify their decision even if it not based on logic or fact. When one makes a choice we look for reasons to support that choice. An example is people who smoke often justify their behavior by saying they know someone who smoked three packs a day and lived to 95. A person who spends $150 on a 10' cable often has to justify that purchase to themselves in some way. The high priced cable companies depend on this type of behavior.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwestley
I think a big problem with HDMI cables and connectors are that they sometimes don't make a good connection. They are talking about setting specifications for a clip that will prevent this problem. PC World talks about this in their article. They found that a cable that is too heavy may actually be worse because it puts a strain on the connectors in the player and TV. I am using low price cables from Monoprice and they work great.
Definitely not my problem. I am aware of this issue and spent a fair amount of time seating and reseating the HDMI cable into the player and display. These cables lost all signal--my gues is the connection between the cable and the connector.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwestley
The only fair way to compare the picture from different brands of cables is to do a double blind test. A Psychological theory Cognitive Dissonance states that people justify their decision even if it not based on logic or fact. When one makes a choice we look for reasons to support that choice. An example is people who smoke often justify their behavior by saying they know someone who smoked three packs a day and lived to 95. A person who spends $150 on a 10' cable often has to justify that purchase to themselves in some way. The high priced cable companies depend on this type of behavior.
Why double blind?

Just get a reliable partner to do the switching and recording of the results.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jylee
All cables have different characteristics. Some of the difference will be visible/audible, and some of them will not. Those who preach all the cable is equal fall into one (or more) of these categories.


1. don't have clear understanding of how the signal is modulated. ("bits are bits" crowd)

2. their overall system is not of high fidelity to show the subtle difference in the audio/video signal.

3. their eyes/ears are not sensitive enough to detect the subtle difference.

4. they are determined not to believe. if you are not open minded you will not acknowledge the difference.
Yeah I get it, if you are some sort of an Ubermensch you will notice it. :rolleyes:

Lower species like myself are at a lost to understand the subtleties that only folks like you can detect. We should be greatful that you bothered to come from the high to tell us that.
 
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