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The Gadget Show - HDMI Cable Comparison

fozzieAV

Active Member
Anyone see The Gadget Show last week?

They had two identical DVD player & HD display set-ups, side by side, except one had a £20 HDMI cable and the other a £120 cable.
After a comparison of the image quality of the two set-ups, the differences were........

(I think you can all guess, except maybe those of you that have bought expensive cables!)

......nothing. :thumbsup:

Yes, it was a subjective review by three TV presenters, but it's good enough for me.
 

Mr_Flash

Well-known Member
yes i saw it as the result was what i expected.

As far as i knew all HDMI cables are built to a specific standard. so all you are paying for is extra bits that arn't required
 

richie05

Active Member
yes i saw it as the result was what i expected.

As far as i knew all HDMI cables are built to a specific standard. so all you are paying for is extra bits that arn't required

You will see little or no difference on a short run, 1 to 1.2 meters but you would notice degradation in the signal over longer runs with a cheap cable.

I must agree though, there are some amount of people being conned into buying "premium" cables for mega bucks..

Richie
 

Bachstrad

Well-known Member
You will see little or no difference on a short run, 1 to 1.2 meters but you would notice degradation in the signal over longer runs with a cheap cable.

I must agree though, there are some amount of people being conned into buying "premium" cables for mega bucks..

Richie

That's not necessarily true. If a cable is made to the HDMI standard it should work, if it doesn't it's faulty. Many people have reported in these Forums that they used 'cheap' 5 metre cables without any issues of degradation at all. Price isn't always a guarantee of quality. People who have been sucked into spending lots of money on HDMI cables, together with those with vested interests in selling them, are usually the most vociferous in defending them.

ATB

Max
 

JohnWH

Active Member
You will see little or no difference on a short run, 1 to 1.2 meters but you would notice degradation in the signal over longer runs with a cheap cable.

I must agree though, there are some amount of people being conned into buying "premium" cables for mega bucks..

Richie

To be clear you won't notice any degradtion in picture quality until the signal drops below a certain threshold at which point you get very obvious problems, so even on longer runs if you have a cable that is working there's no point buying a new one.

John.
 

RobM

Distinguished Member
I don't buy into the argument that more expensive cables work better over longer runs, for the same reason I don't believe there is a quality difference between any HDMI cables.

Digital is Digital, it doesn't degrade. It's either there, it's not there, or you have massive chunks of data missing. If you have the latter, it's not because you bought a cheap cable, it's because your cable (or TV, or source) is faulty.

Digital doesn't degrade :)
 

Mike_CA

Active Member
PC World ran scientific tests 3 years ago on HDMI and component cables and the following were some of their results.

Once you get a good HDMI connection, our tests indicate, you can expect flawless performance from any 4-meter cable, regardless of price. "That is what I would expect from the HDMI cables," says Maxim's Nelson. "It is not too difficult to make them work perfectly at 4 meters."

In our tests, we had the most trouble when trying to attach Monster's $300 M1000HDMI cable to the Epson's HDMI port. Easily the thickest, stiffest, heaviest model we reviewed, the Monster cable pulled away from the projector's HDMI port, often causing the screen to go blank.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,121777-page,1/article.html
 

Bachstrad

Well-known Member
this was another DUH moment brought to you by the gadget show

I'm not sure it was a DUH moment, at least they told the truth and debunked the myths about HDMI cables.

ATB

Max
 

RobM

Distinguished Member
this was another DUH moment brought to you by the gadget show

Not really, as some so called 'experts' in magazines, online or TV would have you believe that the more you pay, the better quality the picture will be. I forget which magazine, but one recently published a comparison stating that a particular brand of cable gave far better results than all the rest and was well worth the extra money... funnily enough, that cable was made by one of their biggest advertising customers ;) They were even contacted about the false claims they had made and stood by their review!

So it's refreshing to see somebody actually stand up and say it makes F-All difference :)
 

Slates71

Active Member
Each to their own but I compared the genric HDMI cable that came with my Sky HD to a QED one that I paid £28 for. The quality of the QED was noticeably better. A clearer, sharper picture and the colours were more vibrant.
So basically no matter what people think I've benefitted from buying a £28 HDMI cable. :smashin:
 

Martin J.

Active Member
Each to their own but I compared the genric HDMI cable that came with my Sky HD to a QED one that I paid £28 for. The quality of the QED was noticeably better. A clearer, sharper picture and the colours were more vibrant.
You do realise it's not technically possible for a HDMI cable to make colours more vibrant or the picture sharper? Or are you pulling our chains. ;)

In case people get the wrong idea, I've got two QED HDMI cables and they make not one jot of difference when compared to the generic one supplied with the Sky box.
 

phelly

Novice Member
Okay, length and quality of cables will make a difference in general. If it didn't then there would be no need for LAN Cabling standards. Ever heard of Cat 5e anyone? Cable Pairs and connectors have to be twisted pairs. This 'twisting' approach has been around for years, but still matters for digital signals. They may be 1's & 0's, but some can be lost or distorted.

Will this make a difference for a short HDMI cable? In theory no and I have not performed any comparrisons myself as yet.

However, I have performed much testing with 1 metre Digital Coax cables. As long as the cheapest cable is of reasonable built quality, then there should be no difference at all. But my ears disagree! It can be sometimes difficult to tell which cable sounds better, but they all clearly sound different. Go figure...
 

CLH

Well-known Member
Each to their own but I compared the genric HDMI cable that came with my Sky HD to a QED one that I paid £28 for. The quality of the QED was noticeably better. A clearer, sharper picture and the colours were more vibrant.
So basically no matter what people think I've benefitted from buying a £28 HDMI cable. :smashin:

But, for this theory to work, your less expensive cable has to lose ONLY the 1's and 0's associated with colour and sharpness. And not the ones that supply the rest of the image.

It's just not possible.
 

Mike_CA

Active Member
However, I have performed much testing with 1 metre Digital Coax cables. As long as the cheapest cable is of reasonable built quality, then there should be no difference at all. But my ears disagree! It can be sometimes difficult to tell which cable sounds better, but they all clearly sound different. Go figure...
Digital Coax cables are in reality analog since they always carrry a carrier (even though the data in the carrier is digital) so they can have similar problems as any analog cable requiring a balanced cable. However, unlike analog cable, digital cable usually either works correctly or doesn't work at all.

Okay, length and quality of cables will make a difference in general. If it didn't then there would be no need for LAN Cabling standards. Ever heard of Cat 5e anyone? Cable Pairs and connectors have to be twisted pairs. This 'twisting' approach has been around for years, but still matters for digital signals. They may be 1's & 0's, but some can be lost or distorted.
Like LAN cabling, HDMI cables also use twisted pairs that are shielded. If a hdmi cable was positioned next to something producing high electrical noise, it is possible that one cable would be less sensitive to data corruption as compared to another. However, more than just color variations would occur since the electrical noise would probably also affect the HDCP handshaking, clock, and sync signals causing the picture to be unwatchable.
 
I have a 5 meter HDMI cable i got from Ebuyer for £4.85, even with next Saturday delivery it was only £12, works perfectly. It was either that or get one from PC world for about £80... (i needed one quickly!).
 

Slates71

Active Member
You do realise it's not technically possible for a HDMI cable to make colours more vibrant or the picture sharper? Or are you pulling our chains. ;)

In case people get the wrong idea, I've got two QED HDMI cables and they make not one jot of difference when compared to the generic one supplied with the Sky box.

All I'm telling you is my picture quality looks better with the QED over the cheap Sky cable, I've tested this out several times and had other people agree with me. Now if I had purchased a £100 cable then maybe the difference isn't worth £100 but it was certainly worth me spending £28.
I think its wrong for people to tell others that a £2 cable is no different to a £20 one. If they prefer it and think its better who are you to judge?
 

CLH

Well-known Member
All I'm telling you is my picture quality looks better with the QED over the cheap Sky cable, I've tested this out several times and had other people agree with me. Now if I had purchased a £100 cable then maybe the difference isn't worth £100 but it was certainly worth me spending £28.
I think its wrong for people to tell others that a £2 cable is no different to a £20 one. If they prefer it and think its better who are you to judge?

It's not about judgement, it's about reality.

Let's put it this way. Let's assume that your HDMI cable passes 1 million 1's and 1 million 0's per second. (It's way more but let's take that assumption).

For a HDMI cable to perform "worse" than another 1's and 0's must be lost.

So, for poorer colour and definition let's say you lose 100,000 1's and 100,000 0's. A 10% loss.

For that 100,000 1's and 0's NOT to have lost stuff like the handshake, sync, audio, sections of the picture etc is such a monumentally low probability as to make playing the lottery look like a turkey shoot.

It just cannot happen.
 

Nokmondoo

Active Member
All I'm telling you is my picture quality looks better with the QED over the cheap Sky cable, I've tested this out several times and had other people agree with me. Now if I had purchased a £100 cable then maybe the difference isn't worth £100 but it was certainly worth me spending £28.
I think its wrong for people to tell others that a £2 cable is no different to a £20 one. If they prefer it and think its better who are you to judge?

I'm telling you that you are in cuckoo land :suicide:
 

Iamhappyfeet

Standard Member
so does that mean all the advantages monster cable say there HDMI cables produce is lies such as x.v. colour, 12 bit rather 8 bit colour etc.
 

Bachstrad

Well-known Member
I just read this post in the Cables Forum. Utterly brilliant! :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

ATB

Max
 

choddo2006

Distinguished Member
so does that mean all the advantages monster cable say there HDMI cables produce is lies such as x.v. colour, 12 bit rather 8 bit colour etc.

Pretty much. Any cable can carry that stuff. Better construction will make it more reliable over longer distances (6m is roughly where cheap cables start to drop out)

I'd be interested to know if Slates71 has done a double blind test with his mates looking or if he told them which cable was the QED

If they prefer it and think its better who are you to judge?
There's no harm applying logic to the debate in an attempt to educate other people before they spend money they don't need to.
 

Mike_CA

Active Member
so does that mean all the advantages monster cable say there HDMI cables produce is lies such as x.v. colour, 12 bit rather 8 bit colour etc.
The number of bits in a colorspace is not dependent on the cable. All component and hdmi cables use three lines to transfer the colorspace to the TV. In the case of HD, the colorspace is always 24 bits (8 bits of luma and 16 bits of chroma) whether using 1080i or 720p.

The information transferred via component can possibly be slightly inaccurate due to the characteristics of an analog transfer. HDMI maintains an accurate transfer since the data is transferred digitally.
 

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