Do expensive HDMI cables make a difference?

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Thank you.
 

Loopthrough

Well-known Member
I agree they don't but also very very cheap nameless ones like on eBay I have found fail the HDCP check and won't display a picture on some devices.

I would say always buy a name brand but never spend more than £10 depending on the length
 

Exemplar

Banned
I always buy branded, but cheap branded.
 

southeastjedi

Active Member
Overheard a Cuurrys salesperson BS an older couple yesterday with this quote "Because 4K is so advanced, you need a gold plated HDMI cable". He then proceeded to try and sell them a cable for £80. I felt morally obliged to call his BS and intervene
 

ODB_69

Distinguished Member
And that's a practice curry's promised would stop when they were featured on watchdog some months back.


Is their an article somewhere on how CAT cable works? Always confused me how that plugs into an HDMI port
 

Kailash

Well-known Member
good read, it is ridiculous the way some of these are marketed and the price of them.
hope more people get wise to the false sales pitch
 

Loopthrough

Well-known Member
Overheard a Cuurrys salesperson BS an older couple yesterday with this quote "Because 4K is so advanced, you need a gold plated HDMI cable". He then proceeded to try and sell them a cable for £80. I felt morally obliged to call his BS and intervene
Gold plated has always been BS because by that logic then everything would have to be good plated for it to work, like the sockets on each device and the board joints inside the equipment.

One good rule is never buy a cable too long. I think you should always have a cable just long enough to minimise losses.
 

Dubliner1

Well-known Member
Agree with Loopthrough above...I bought various super cheap HDMI cables and had numerous drop outs, sparklies, even no picture at all...all ended up in the bin. All were no name Chinese brands.
For 1080p, medium length runs up to 3m I have found the well made but inexpensive 'Neet' brand excellent.
 

hifix

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Just had a basic cable (10m) fail on me. It's the only HDMI in my system I bought cheap as it was only for caryying 1080p video to my TV, which is mainly used for the odd bit of TV viewing, but the occasional Bluray. I'll be replacing it with a quality one this time round.
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
And that's a practice curry's promised would stop when they were featured on watchdog some months back.


Is their an article somewhere on how CAT cable works? Always confused me how that plugs into an HDMI port
http://www.maildogmanager.com/pics/AdminDPL/library/HDMIoverCAT_DL.pdf

The link is to an older pdf explaining how category cable is used for HDMI.
This article is good for the likes of the neet units you can find for around 40 pounds on Amazon.
A short HDMI cable is needed at both ends , two runs of category cable are used for the main run.
Note, the cable is being used in a non standard way to carry a TMDS signal and cannot be part of your home network!

Its a little out of date in that now there are HDbaseT distribution units that can send HDMI over a single category cable losslessly, but those are around the 1000 pound mark and would be of limited interest to the average home user.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Just had a basic cable (10m) fail on me. It's the only HDMI in my system I bought cheap as it was only for caryying 1080p video to my TV, which is mainly used for the odd bit of TV viewing, but the occasional Bluray. I'll be replacing it with a quality one this time round.
As I say in the article, build quality is important over cable runs greater than 5m.
 

MeanDorris

Well-known Member
Great to have that out in the open Steve, in no uncertain terms.

Brave analogy with the £100 USB cable though, you'll have the HiFi-ers on here who are spending that or more... :)
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
Steve, great article, and should help stop a lot of the scams going on with regard to these cables, couple of things though .... There is no interpolation over HDMI, its not allowed by the spec, and good vs bad interpolation is often used by the unscrupulous to justify an expensive cable.

Also, 8 meters is usually the cutoff for what is considered a short vs long cable!
There is a lot of data for this.
Almost all cables up to 8 meters will pass the category 2 or " high speed " test, whereas the next most commonly preferred length, 10 meters, wont!
 

ODB_69

Distinguished Member
Should I be worried that I have a 15m cable then running through my ceiling to my projector? I did get some CAT6 put through at same time in case of failure but this isn't wired up currently
 

LicensedTaximan

Well-known Member
I bought some time ago inexpensive but well made HDMI leads from one of those companies (I can't mention their names for obvious reasons, although some of them have advertised on these hallowed forums which is a form of guarantee of quality anyway) who make their own cabling or "buy in" from reliable sources, and tend to be "online" only companies. These companies tend to subscribe to a "code of conduct" with regards not only to the quality of their cables but usually with a no quibble refund or replacement if one is not happy. They also tend to give full explanations regarding the various HDMI specifications and why there is no need (apart from ARC, and I maybe wrong here) to purchase specific HDMI digital cabling. This from a cost wise by the way includes optical cables as well. I bought some at under £4 for one and a half metres and they work perfectly well on my CD recorder and one of my DVD recorders thank you very much indeed, my CD player is via a coaxial lead.

I bought five metres of flat HDMI cable for £15 which goes from my Panny 3D enabled BD player to my Panny VT30. The 2D and 3D content is displayed as perfectly well as an HDMI cable I bought some years earlier for my first BD player a 2D only "LG" player before I "saw the light" regarding the more expensive and "named" digital cable products. Whilst ultra cheap HDMI's can be "suspect" due to the quality of the actual manufacturing process £8 /£10 for a one to two metre lenth should suffice regardless of the termination being gold plated or not, or whether the covering sheath is a plastic or a woven fabric type. It's all a big con and too many people are still falling for it imo.

By the way Steve a well explained and non technical article for those who are somewhat confused by all the HDMI cobblers. :lesson: :smashin:
 
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Steve Withers

Reviewer
Should I be worried that I have a 15m cable then running through my ceiling to my projector? I did get some CAT6 put through at same time in case of failure but this isn't wired up currently
If you're not getting sparklies, image breakup or drop outs I wouldn't be worried.
 

ODB_69

Distinguished Member
If you're not getting sparklies, image breakup or drop outs I wouldn't be worried.
Nope none of that currently. It only went in last week but so far very happy. Just continually concerned it will fail hence the CAT6
 

mike7

Well-known Member
Nice Article Steve.
Don't you just love this?



....all cables are individually hand tested to ensure they meet xxxx’ s exacting electrical specifications.
And the result of this precise manufacture? Stunning images and crystal-clear sound. We've seen clear improvements in image quality, with less noise and finer colour detail; sound was also more detailed and has better three-dimensional resolution. .....will give you even better performance with even more lifelike images, movement and engrossing soundtracks.

All this can be yours at £172 for a 0.75m HDMI cable!
 

yoskiwoski

Active Member
I have a vt50 with an Apple TV and a sky box, I find I often get drop outs or sometimes the screen is just black and sparkly

I have a Amazon basics cable and the cable that came with the sky box, I also tested a 10m white hdmi cable that I've also tried to use as an alternative.

I can't work out if it's the cables or not, I never have this problem on my smaller tv using the same cables.
 
Gold plated has always been BS because by that logic then everything would have to be good plated for it to work, like the sockets on each device and the board joints inside the equipment.
For the ultimate in gold-plated idiocy, how about gold-plated OPTICAL cables ! :rotfl:

What's that about, then ?
 
Amazon Basics everywhere for me, after I stood on my Audioquest Pearl.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Finally we can quote AVF on the issue :)

I've seen people swear that different optical cable give better performance/deeper basses/better spacing of the instruments etc. The problem is once they have 'bought in' they will never admit it's all bobbins :p
 
"Its a little out of date in that now there are HDbaseT distribution units that can send HDMI over a single category cable losslessly, but those are around the 1000 pound mark and would be of limited interest to the average home user."
HDBaset Extenders are available for less than £200 and we now only use HDBaset rather than dual Cat5/6 as just more reliable, feature rich and forgiving of PatchPanels, outlets and other joins
 

johnjay

Well-known Member
A certain publication who doesn't really rate BK subs or Oppo BDPs vs. the competition...may not agree with the common sense on display here.

These reviewers have special type eyes & ears that pick up transients, brightness & pic/sound clarity in one HDMI vs. another HDMI cable.:laugh:

But I do agree that any signal trouble I have had has been from the bottom of the barrel priced cables.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
And that's a practice curry's promised would stop when they were featured on watchdog some months back.


Is their an article somewhere on how CAT cable works? Always confused me how that plugs into an HDMI port
The HDMI signal is converted to cat5/6/7 via an extender at the source end and then converted back to HDMI via a receiver at the destination. The HDMI cable is plugged into the receiver at source, the signal is conveyed by the cat5/6/7 cabling and then converted bnd then conveyed from the receiver at the destination by HDMI.

You may find this of interest:
HDMI :: Installers :: Running Long Cable Lengths


There's also this official guide to the classification of the types of cables:
HDMI :: Manufacturer :: HDMI 1.4 :: Finding the Right Cable
 
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vism

Well-known Member
Very convincing and well written article Steve, cheers.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
A certain publication who doesn't really rate BK subs or Oppo BDPs vs. the competition...may not agree with the common sense on display here.

These reviewers have special type eyes & ears that pick up transients, brightness & pic/sound clarity in one HDMI vs. another HDMI cable.:laugh:

But I do agree that any signal trouble I have had has been from the bottom of the barrel priced cables.

The same publication that rates USB cables on their musical abilities?
 

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