blaineg wrote:Why all HDMI cables are the same, according to CNET.
A slightly overstated headline to get attention, but here's 3 great articles that do a good job of explaining it in mostly plain English.
It's mind-boggling how Cnet manages to cram so much mostly-correct information into a set of articles and yet come to a blatantly incorrect conclusion that directly contradicts some of the information presented in the articles themselves (and even use it as the headline). The author is so invested in proving that he is "right," he doesn't even bother to read what he actually wrote:
The picture will be perfect up to the point where there's not enough signal to create the image. At that point, you'll have nothing. No picture at all. In the occasional situation where you get sparkles (as mentioned above), this is proof of that the system works (but the cable doesn't).
Hey author, you just said you get all or nothing, period, and in the next sentence directly contradicted yourself. That's exactly what happens when you try to write a technically correct "proof" of an incorrect conclusion.
Anyway, carry right on ignoring differences in materials, build quality, shielding, connector tolerances, corrosion resistance, etc, and try to make up for some over-zealous salespeople's lies by simply repeating an opposing lie instead of acknowledging that the truth actually isn't at either extreme.
If you don't care about the extra hassle, then sure, you can buy the cheapest "high speed" cable available. If it doesn't work at all, or doesn't work at higher data rates due to poor quality control, or if it fails the third time you unplug it because it's flimsy, then buy another cheap one, rinse and repeat. That works fine for many people, but don't go telling me it's exactly the same as a higher quality cable. It's not. It never has been, and never will be; no matter how many times you say it.
In any case, what you really want is a cable with the HDMI logo that indicates "High-Speed," from a reputable company (and that does include places like Monoprice). If you actually pick one with better build quality, then you won't have to worry so much about damaging it by plugging/unplugging it a lot or if it gets moved frequently, etc. Anyone with a brain can see that it's still possible for a sturdier cable to be "better" than a flimsy one, even if they produce the same picture quality under most circumstances. If you are in special circumstances (using cables for a touring show, running long lengths, operating under extreme conditions or in the presence of significant EMI/RFI, and so forth) then better built cables could easily be worth more to you.
At the original suggested retail prices, Monster would be greatly overpriced, but at the Woot! prices, not bad at all if they are actually as well built as they claim to be.