Are expensive HDMI cables a rip off?

P

pampleton

Guest
Hi,

Today I discovered the price of HDMI cables at my local shops. The cheapest are £25, but the 'high quality' ones cost twice as much, even though they're just 1 metre long. Surely this is a rip-off?

I have checked the HDMI specs, and it appears that error correction is used in the protocol. From what I understand, this means that minor noise and interference will have no effect whatsoever on the image & sound quality. Only major interference will cause problems, and these will be very noticeable. I would expect an HDMI cable to either work perfectly well, or not work at all.

Has anyone had any trouble with cheap HDMI cables them?
 

Abbeygoo

Distinguished Member
Have a search through the forums. A cheapie freebie is just as good as some of the more expensive ones. You may wish to spend a bit more if you have a long run of cable but for anything upto 5m - cost is irrelevant and, sometimes, a rip off.
 

Badger0-0

Member
£25 for a 1 metre :eek:

You aren't looking in the right places.

A fiver is nearer the mark :smashin:
 

dave0523

Novice Member
ebay is your friend when it comes to HDMI cabling. That's where I've bought all mine from, all perform faultlessly - from 1m to 10m lengths.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello pampleton

There is no error correction between the Source and the Display in an HDMI connection.

Lots of folk will confirm that on short cable runs with Video signals up to 1080p you don't need to spend a fortune on short HDMI cables.

Rather than promote 'flea bay' who don't folk promote the Advertisers who 'Pay' for AV Forums - such as Mark Grant Cables, UKHDMI etc

Joe
 

H3rmaN

Standard Member
Go to Amazon! I got 3 meters for £15!!

Yes, "high quality" ones are a rip off! They all have to conform to a certain standard, and the signal is digital, not analogue which means there is either a good signal or there is no signal....nothing in between like analogue signals!

Even my ex-lecturer said that, and he's a professor on Video Engineering and Digital Media at the University of Reading!
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello H3rmanN

There are 'in-between' states - though more so at distances over 10m and especially with a 1080p signal.

If the Cable is attenuating the Video lines you can end up with a signal that's showing drop out (white speckles) or a completely disturbed signal.

If the Cable is attenuating the DDC line you can end up with No signal, a Green Screen (HDCP failure) or an intermittent signal.

Again - why not support the guys who PAY for AVForums; http://ukhdmi.com/, http://markgrantcables.co.uk/ lots of others.

Joe
 

H3rmaN

Standard Member
Hello H3rmanN

There are 'in-between' states - though more so at distances over 10m and especially with a 1080p signal.

If the Cable is attenuating the Video lines you can end up with a signal that's showing drop out (white speckles) or a completely disturbed signal.

If the Cable is attenuating the DDC line you can end up with No signal, a Green Screen (HDCP failure) or an intermittent signal.

Again - why not support the guys who PAY for AVForums; http://ukhdmi.com/, http://markgrantcables.co.uk/ lots of others.

Joe
At distances over 10m its got more to do with the resistance within the actual cable opposed to the quality of the cable itself.

More expensive cables will use gold which has a VERY, VERY low resistance, where as standard cables will use copper which also has a very low resistance, but not as low as gold.

If you got a £200 cable that is 2m long, and a £10 cable that is 2m long then you would find it VERY, VERY hard to spot any difference.

Actually, im willing to bet there will be no difference in quality. At least not one that can be seen by the naked eye.

Also the 3m cable I got for £15 is oxygen free and has gold connectors, but the internal wiring is probably normal copper (hence the price).

Also the cable is rated to support 720p, 1080i and 1080p.

Unless you need a cable that is over 10m there is no point spending silly money on a cable. Even if you do need 15m of cable you could probably get two 8m cables and a bridge/signal booster in the middle to keep a strong signal throughout for less than a really expensive 15m cable.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello H3rmaN

The 'Cable' used in HDMI cable assemblies is either Copper, Silver plated Copper or Fibre Optic.

The Pins and Earth shield of an HDMI Plug may be Gold Plated or spray painted with a coating that contains Gold particles.

There are NO cable assemblies that use Gold or Gold plated conductors.

As you increase cable length you generally have to increase the Wire gauge, Screening and Internal Integrity of the Cable used in a Cable assembly if you wish to meet the CAT2 High Speed Spec as laid down by HDMI.org.

Having spent way too many hours fault finding systems for folk I'd have to disagree that ensuring you have a well designed/constructed HDMI cable for long runs wont make a difference.

Active Repeaters are a great option - though not ideal if you have to bury one half way along your wall

No need to spend anything like 200 GBP on a CAT2 High Speed cable - even where you require a 15m run; see http://www.tmfsolutions.co.uk/bettercables_hdmi.htm

Joe
 

MarkTaylor

Novice Member
Anyone tried these from Scan? Seem good price.
Just an observation, but any HDMI cable that can be bend around such small curves isn't using a decent grade of cable, not a huge deal on a short length like that but personally I'd go for something from one of the advertisers on this site rather than Scan.
 

Blu Ray

Active Member
Just an observation, but any HDMI cable that can be bend around such small curves isn't using a decent grade of cable, not a huge deal on a short length like that but personally I'd go for something from one of the advertisers on this site rather than Scan.
I thought Scan were one of the advertisers on this site? They do these as well.
 

MarkTaylor

Novice Member
I thought Scan were one of the advertisers on this site? They do these as well.
Sorry, I should have qualified my statement, I was referring to the active advertisers, those who actually put time into helping people as well as just buying banner space.

I dare say which ever you buy from Scan stands a good chance of working just fine but they are not an AV company and I doubt they have anything like the direct contact with the consumers that others around here have.

Personally I'd suggest using UKHDMI, Mark Grant, or Joe Fernand from TMF as they are all regulars on here and cover the range of sensible price points between them depending on what you need.
 

Blu Ray

Active Member
Hmm, well I bought the Labgear ones, and they're total pants (no they're not, see below post). Didn't transmit sound from the BD player, and no sound OR picture from the HD player. I only went to Scan cos they're round the corner and I needed the cables today. Guess I'm gonna have to mail order after all.....
 
Last edited:

MarkTaylor

Novice Member
You might want to start another thread and explain exactly what you were connecting to what as it is unusual to get a situation where video works but audio doesn't that can be blamed on the cable due to the way HDMI works.

Just worth being sure it is a cable problem before you rush off spending more money.
 
As with the PS3 Blu Ray player you need to select the Audio output from the menu screen Bitstream optical or HDMI if I have the PS3 set to bitstream I get no audio through HDMI only picture, does your player have a similar setting?
 

Blu Ray

Active Member
Well, I got the HD player working with some other decent HDMI cables that I was using for Sky HD and it worked fine with them. I'll take a look at the BD30 settings tomorrow when I'm awake.
 

Blu Ray

Active Member
Well, I feel such a noob now, as everything is working fine :clap:
You were right about the settings on the BD player, I hadn't got audio out to HDMI. No idear why the HD player wasn't working before, but it's all good now.
 

chrisfh

Novice Member
I would have agreed with most yesterday that expensive cables are a rip off... but...

I have a bit of a complex routing which see's for example, a Sky box go to an amp then to a distribution unit which feeds 3 screens, 2 off 15m cables and 1 of a 7.5m cable.
Now I've only just put the amp and the last TV in circuit and with some cheap cables the picture was horendous! The 15m cables are better quality and give no issues but the new cheap short one really didn't work! Not so much your regular analogue style interfearance, but massive bright spots on the screen, the picture even kept on dropping out! On shorter more direct high quality cables, I had no such problem.

Anyway, the company are replacing with high quality alternatives which should arrive today, so I'll be able to do side by side screenshots even. Hopefully the new ones will work and give me a solid picture!

So alas, I would agree that on short runs, with simple connections and minimal other devices to interfere, you shouldn't have any problems with cheap cables. Digital indeed should be less prone to interferance... But on longer ones, where there are lots of connections, I can guarantee the cable quality makes a difference!
 

The latest video from AVForums

LG SN11RG Dolby Atmos Soundbar, plus, XBOOM Go PN7 & PL7 Wireless Speaker Reviews

Latest News

Lypertek renames TEVI wireless earphones to PurePlay Z3
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
What's new on Disney+ UK for December 2020
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Bang & Olufsen adds 48-inch OLED to Beovision TV range
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 18th November 2020
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Cambridge Audio announces Edge M power amplifier
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom