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Why 2 Short HDMI Cables Yield Different Results

By Jeff Boccaccio
Why did two relatively inexpensive 1-meter cables yield different results when tested by DPL Labs?


When it comes to HDMI performance, let me restate that reliability has been the major issue, and it usually surfaces with people breaking the rules.


This is not new, we've been following specification rules since the invention of the wheel, so why has it now taken such a toll?


In our experience, some manufacturers have shown a lack of competency in making HDMI products right the first time and continuing that over the products' life span. It is absolutely false that all cables are the same, even at short lengths.




Here's an example: Two relatively inexpensive 1-meter cables came in for testing. They were being used with cable TV, so not such a big deal. When tested with one TV, however, only one of the cables worked, but with another TV they both worked. They were from two different manufacturers, and we were supplied two of each cable.

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..wow...bad mouth a product, but don't name it? It would be nice to know what manufacturer was being tested... All this could be BS and FUD... it would just be nice to know who exactly he's talking about.
 

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Hmm, not naming names... interesting, maybe there's a financial inducement to keep everyone anonymous...


Anyway, you know what the great thing about cheap cables are? If one fails, I can buy another and another and another and still save a ton instead of buying ripoff overmarketed crap from FUD-mongers such as Monster, Tributaries, et. al.
 

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Crappy article. Trying to 'educate' the reader, I guess, but offering no real-world, practical information--after all, who is going to cut open an HDMI cable to check these things? Way too inside baseball.
 

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Overall, I liked the article.


Still, it highlights yet another shortcoming of the consumer electronics industry.


Want to sell me your cheap cable? Want to sell me your expensive cable? Show me what's inside the overwrap. Show me a diagram on the packaging. Show the wiire types and gages, show me the shield construction. Tell me the recommended minimum bend radius for this cable, that cable and the other cable.


If your cable is fully compliant with all the HDMI requirements, tell me that, too. If not, let me know where you fall short.


The manufacturers only need to do this one time and print the results on the back of the packaging. If they leave it up to the consumer, each of us has to do it for ourselves.


The idea that avoiding a trip back to the store to buy a replacement cable is the readson to purchase expensive cable up front is not valid - neither for a pro nor for a consumer. The pro should have a fair supply of cables in their truck. If you find a defective cable, it's not a trip to the store but a trip out to the truck.


For the consumer, there is no dollar value of time. You run to Best Buy and get another cable, or get one next time you drive past. As a consumer, even I have learned to keep a few spare cables on hand from several different makers. This is enabled by the ready availability of low-cost, high performance cables (Blue Jeans Cable, etc).
 

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I hate this article and worse the headline. Here we go again fear mongering people into spending more on cables.


The fact is it sounds like one of the cables was actually defective, but regardless, if it was a design flaw, it points out that garbage is garbage.


HDMI cables can be judged by whether you see a picture without sparklies or dropouts and whether you have sound. In some cases, you need a lower guage wire to make a certain bend work and that might limit the length you can go. These are things to watch out for.


But other than that, if they work, they won't. And, for example, I've yet to hear someone say, "I bought this cheap cable at Monoprice and it didn't work". Well made, cheap cables are the way to go. This was true enough in analog, but in digital, it's not even arguable.
 

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It was a dumb article. Just purchase from an outfit that has a reputation for providing affordable cables *cough*monoprice*cough* and don't worry about it.
 

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I purchased 2`cheap' HDMI cables from a local wholesaler and have had no issues with them. Someone bought my mother-in-law a HD tv so I went with the `consensus ultra-cheap HDMI cable that many avsforum peeps use' and they are terrible (Monoprice). Cheap does NOT mean terrible..it all depends on who made it,etc.
 

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A diagram does not guarantee that is what the cable actually looks like. Just that someone put a nice picture on the package!

There are many manufacturer's bidding below cost to get the sale, then have to find a way to get the product out the door to make a profit. Something has to give!

If the cable works for you, go for it.

If you can get one of the top of the industry cables, at bankrupcy pricing - I'd rather go there - a $129 cable for $24 - why not?

Overseas clone cables - now that's a ?.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SbWillie /forum/post/20804323


I purchased 2`cheap' HDMI cables from a local wholesaler and have had no issues with them. Someone bought my mother-in-law a HD tv so I went with the `consensus ultra-cheap HDMI cable that many avsforum peeps use' and they are terrible (Monoprice). Cheap does NOT mean terrible..it all depends on who made it,etc.

Hmm, that's too bad. All the Monoprice cables I've used, HDMI or otherwise, have worked flawlessly. I guess there are bound to be some duds.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalvatronType_R /forum/post/20802791


...


Anyway, you know what the great thing about cheap cables are? If one fails, I can buy another and another and another and still save a ton instead of buying ripoff overmarketed crap from FUD-mongers such as Monster, Tributaries, et. al.

Or exchange it and save even more
.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vraxoin /forum/post/20804904


...All the Monoprice cables I've used, HDMI or otherwise, have worked flawlessly...

Very same thing here!

BTW, couple days ago, I grabbed some flat cables with ethernet, etc, as I have some that are not high-speed certified (but have been working flawlessly ever since) and it was a no brain again, so kudos again to MP and their ridiculously cheap and reliable cables though
 

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I too used to think that HDMI cable brands didn't matter until yesterday. I went to Fry's and bought their cheapest cable and do you know what happened? Well, upon plugging in the cable my television started sparking and now doesn't work at all. I'll never stray from Monster again.
 

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worthless, you do not name the companies, so later they can advertise with you, the regular guy has no equipment to test cables? What would help is if some independent lab tested this stuff and reported the results.
 

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i have a wierd feelin the cable that failed was a monoprice cable cuz i orderd some hdmi cables from them when they still had hdmi 1.3 cables an the cables i got didnt last long an if you bent them bam the cable was no good anymore it lost sgnal an wierd stuff happend on screen had to buy new cables
 

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I, too, wished the article would have named names. Still, any further information regarding the voodoo that is HDMI cables is welcome.


As for bad Monoprice cables, all my HDMI cables are from Monoprice and I have no problems with any of them. Most are 3 foot cables, but I also have a 35 foot cable from my receiver to my projector. It has been twisted and bent several times and still works with no issues at all.
 

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I'm a long-time MP user and have had no problems and they're great looking cables. Was stung once by MONSTER and will not buy from anyone but MP and Blue Jeans.
 

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I have probably bought 30 or so HDMI cables from Monoprice in legths ranging from 3 to 30 feet. I have only got one bad 9 ft cable. I probably could have called and got it replaced for free, but I didn't bother because I already had spares and the cables are so cheap it isn't worth the time I would have had to spend on the phone.


Now if it had been a bad 50ft cable or something like that where they do cost a bit more I probably would have called. From what I have heard Monoprice is very good about returns/refunds on defective merchandise.
 

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i agree.. i had got a RMA for something from monoprice and I never sent the item back and they sent me a personal email asking me if I was still having issues, if I wanted an exchange etc... and there was nothing wrong with product either! I have ordered a couple times from monoprice and had only good experience.
 
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