Saturday, May 21, 2011

Don't Buy Expensive HDMI cables for Your TV

...or, Let Me Save Y'all Some Money

OK, there's lots of hyperbole out there about cables for computers, for TVs and whatnot.

But as a digital engineer, let me tell you a little secret that Best Buy, Target, or even Walmart won't tell you.

It's a fact, if you buy a TV at Best Buy or similar place, they'll try hard to sell you on buying a high dollar, high quality HDMI cable.

If you have bought or are about to buy a new television set, you will actually need to purchase a HDMI cable iffen you want to see high-definition programs and movies on your new TV.

H-D-M-I means high definition multimedia interface.

Here's the secret: Just buy a cheap HDMI cable that has the correct length for your needs. A cheap HDMI cable works EVERY BIT as good as a $100 Monster brand HDMI cable.

Why? How?

Glad you asked.

Here's a couple of simple truths about electronic signals traveling on a cable:
1. Digital signals, or pulses on an electric cable such as an HDMI one are either on, or off, there's no almost in digital. So, if the cable, no matter how cheap, actually carries the digital signal from the cable box to your TV, it will be presenting to your TV a signal every bit as good as a $100 Monster brand cable. One digital cable either works AS GOOD AS the next digital cable, or it isn't working at all. Period.
2. This wasn't necessarily true with analog cables. A better-built, nicely shielded from interference analog cable could possibly give your TV a clearer signal than a cheap cable, resulting in a better, less fuzzy picture on the screen.

The rationale they will throw at you at Best Buy is that you don't want to buy a cheap cable to go with your new $700 TV. But in the digital world, in which all new TV's firmly sit, if the cable works at all, it will give your TV as good a signal, and therefore screen picture, as any other cable, regardless of price.

When you buy that next TV, and you will need an HDMI cable to actually see programs in high definition, just buy that $14.99 cable and don't worry your pretty little head about it.

If your new HDMI cable happens to be faulty and not work, just exchange it for a working one just like you would with a new shirt you brought home and then found it was torn somewhere. (We do live in an imperfect world where you sometimes buy something that doesn't work, from the git-go.)

Now, go forth and buy a cheap HDMI cable of the correct length. Use the money you saved to buy a Blu-Ray DVD or three.


imac said...

Word to the wise, many thanks John.

Carina said...

I wonder how much my husband spent on our HDMI cable...I'll have to ask him now.

Norma said...

Thanks for the information.

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carol said...

Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get these tips from you.
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jamesbrook said...

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Jacob Parker said...

You have advised really nice way to save money on HDMI cables.

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Jacob Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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