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Importance of good quality video cables? What cables do you use?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by tjobbins, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. tjobbins

    tjobbins
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    Hi guys,

    I'm waiting for my HS50 to arrive, and am currently buying all the accessories..

    Coming from an audiophile background, I'm used to being told that I need to spend 10% of my overall budget on good cables. To be honest, I never did spend that much, but I did at least invest something - speaker wire at £5/m, 1m stereo RCA connectors at £25/each, etc..

    I suppose this rule applies to projected video too - but I wondered what everyone's thoughts were on this; and have you spent a lot on a high quality video cable?

    I'll be driving my PJ from a HTPC over VGA - a quick search and I see I can get a 2m Van Damme VGA cable for a mere £55. Is anyone using something like this? If so, have you perceived a noticeable difference in picture quality versus a normal VGA cable?

    Thanks


    Tom
     
  2. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I used a 25ft VGA cable for my 1st HTPC/PJ set-up, and there was no ghosting etc. The cables were guarenteed for 200ft. It cost £30 IIRC

    DVI is fine up to 7.5m, but after that you may have to spend a bit more than usual. Cable runs are more important to consider, so a longer run may need a bigger cable, but generaly I doubt you'd see a difference.

    I did experiment with component cables once, and found no improvement over using a £4 cable or a £35 cable or a home made cable, so just make sure it's a half decent 75ohm cable and you should be fine. Spending a lot of money doesn't mean you will get a better picture, only a smaller bank balance.

    Audio is another matter, but recently in the over $20,000 forum over on avs, Poindexter took some audiophiles up on a challenge to see if they could hear the difference between a $6 pice of mains flex and a £1995 pair of speaker cables (5m run I think it was).

    The overall results were less than 50% correct, which is about the same as tossing a coin. The test was:

    Play a piece of music with cable A, then the same piece of music with cable B. Then play the same piece of music with either A or B and the listener had to decide which cable he thought it was.

    In one case, one of the audiophiles said the differences between the two cables was night and day, only he chose the $6 cable as the best sounding. He was rather miffed to say the least.

    Mains cables didn't make any difference to my projector image, and Alan Roserm, MD of Sim2 UK had similar findings. Audio may be a different matter in that respect but I've no experience with that, so I can't comment. :)

    There's a guy somewhere who will pay you a million dollars if you can successfully identify different cables, and to this day no-one has taken him up on it. Make of that what you will. :)

    There is a lot of snake oil out there, so beware. :)

    Gary.
     
  3. KraGorn

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    Van Damme are fine cables, £55 is expensive for a VGA 2m cable for ordinary use.

    I'm no expert in this area, my experience is with DVI over longer distances but I presume the same principles apply, in which case over 2m I'd be surprised if you detected any difference it PQ as long as you don't have the cable in a high electrical noise area.

    The longer the run then the more important cable quality is.

    That said I err on the side of caution, my 10m DVI cost £160 and some people tell me it's an utter waste of money. Maybe it is but I'm happy, I think if I wanted cable like you're needing I'd go the Van Damme route. :)
     
  4. MikeRJ

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    I've bought a 15meter component cable from http://www.tvcables.co.uk and much to my surprise I can't see any artifacts or degradation compared to using a 1meter cable.
     
  5. PJTX100

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    I purchased the same cable - amazed at the value for a very substantial 3 way cable which does the job brilliantly...PJ
     
  6. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    With a pj on a big screen, all the picture imperfections are shown. However, I've not observed much difference between cables. I usually use a Belkin s-video cable to connect my pj, and it's fine.
     
  7. PJTX100

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    :rotfl: Priceless - well, not actually, $1889-less

    I'm prepared to believe that the law of diminishing returns gets to about 98% at about 10quid for a cable eg 1m phono, the next 2% is very expensive to attain...PJ
     
  8. tjobbins

    tjobbins
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    Thanks for your comments everyone - I'm going to start out with a £12 5m VGA cable from TV Cables.

    Thanks particularly to Gary - I've *always* wanted to hear 'phile myths debunked like this :) To be honest I never really believed in it - I've spent a bit above the basics, but couldn't stomach spending more than £30 on a single cable. This was particularly reinforced a few years ago when I dabbled in pro audio (recording my mates' bands, etc). I asked a question about cables on some Pro AV forums, and was told "We use 10 metre cables that cost £30 - anything above bell wire is fine". I figured that if the guys MAKING the music were using cables that cost that little, how could music reproduction be in any way improved?

    Also, $2000 for a 1 or 2m cable.. even if you have a $50,000 amplifier, the wire inside it isn't going to cost $2000 a meter; yet people think that a cable that costs this much can add something to the music. It's ridiculous.

    (rant over :) )
     
  9. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I tend to agree. :)

    One of the points mentioned in the avs thread was about good quality gear, and at what point did you need to have to spend enough to be able to hear the difference in cables. I think the conclusion was that the vast majority of us will never be able to buy the gear to alow us to hear a difference so the point was moot.

    Placibo is a very strong player in cables etc, and I'e tricked myself in the past, so I know it's possible.:)

    There was an article in the NYTimes (on-line) where a guy ran a test similar to the above mentioned test, only his trick was to not swap any cables over at all! He was amazed at how many people could hear a difference. He wasn't very popular when he told them what he did.

    Gary.
     
  10. KraGorn

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    To be honest, I think it's probably easier to see imperfections in a projected digital image 7' wide than hear subtle differences in audio. :)
     
  11. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    The eye is much more critical than the ear, but much more capable of being deceived.
     

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