where to buy cables?

shyamt

Standard Member
Hi,

I need to buy cables for a new home cinema I'm having done and was hoping for some advice.

We have been quoted around £100 by RS for all the cables required (to connect Panasonic 42PX80B, Samsung home cinema system, sky and wii), which does to be honest seem quite pricey for me, but I assume they will all be premium quality etc..

The RS guy (who is fitting the TV) has said that I'm welcome to provide my own cables, but if any faults occur then we would be responsible for paying for repair (which would be costly as cables are meant to be hid behind the wall!), so not sure if it is worth buying cables elsewhere?

If I was to buy cables elsewhere, how much do you think I would be looking at to buy cables that I can trust will work without faults, and hopefully are reasonable priced?

Can anyone suggest a single person/shop/site to buy all my cables from?

Thank you!
 

too_funky

Active Member
this is a good site,

Audiovisual Online - High Quality Audio Video Cables and Accessories

iv used it several times and they are reliable and have always had very fast de;ivery. They have nearly every type of cable and even make custom cables. They have a wide range of different quality cables so you can spend as much or as little as you want. Note if your buying digital cables, there is no difference in quality between so called 'high end' expensive cables and the cheap ones.
However if your buying analogue cables, then you get what you pay for, more expensive ones are better quality (generally).
 

MarkTaylor

Novice Member
... which does to be honest seem quite pricey for me, but I assume they will all be premium quality etc..
Assume nothing and ask for an exact list of what they will be providing including the make/model of each cable. Round figures like that worry me when it comes to cables :)

You are the customer and you are entitled to know exactly what you are getting for your money.

Once you know what you are getting post the list here then people can give you useful input.

If they won't tell you exactly what you are getting then start to be concerned ...
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello shyamat

The trick with 'installing' cables in a wall is to ensure its possible to retrieve/replace any installed cables without major surgery.

Even assuming you install the most robust cable assembly it is possible to damage a cable - HDMI being a great example of what happens if you tug the end of a cable too hard!!!

Ensure the Installer makes provision for pulling through a replacement cable should one ever be required.

Providing pre terminated Audio and Video cables is relatively straightforward - a list of kit (Inc. model numbers) plus required lengths is all you require.

Have you made provision for SKY 'aerial' cables, a telephone line and a Network cable to the kit rack and power to the Display?

Joe
 

shyamt

Standard Member
Hello shyamat

The trick with 'installing' cables in a wall is to ensure its possible to retrieve/replace any installed cables without major surgery.

Even assuming you install the most robust cable assembly it is possible to damage a cable - HDMI being a great example of what happens if you tug the end of a cable too hard!!!

Ensure the Installer makes provision for pulling through a replacement cable should one ever be required.

Providing pre terminated Audio and Video cables is relatively straightforward - a list of kit (Inc. model numbers) plus required lengths is all you require.

Have you made provision for SKY 'aerial' cables, a telephone line and a Network cable to the kit rack and power to the Display?

Joe
Thanks for your reply.

Sorry, I didn't really understand a lot of that! What do you mean when I should tell the installer to "make provision for pulling through a replacement cable".

Also didn't understand the bid about "pre terinated audio and video cables..." and not sure what provisiions need to be made for the Sky cables? A seperate sky installer is coming for that later this week?

Thanks for your time.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello shyamt

If the installer is putting the cables that run between the Source kit and the TV into your walls and he's worried about having to replace a cable in the future simply ask him to ensure his install makes provision for pulling a new cable through without the requirement to partially dismantle the wall.

You don't say which Samsung system or how installed your expecting things - for example are all of the loudspeakers going to be on-wall with the cables concealed in the walls.

If you are going for a 'clean look' install won't you want the SKY 'aerial' and telephone cables buried away too?

Hanging a Display on a wall mount and surface mounting cables is one way of doing things - but hardly what you would call an 'install'; have a look at the DIY sections of AVForums to see how much work/planning/cost is involved in a neat install.

Members' Home Cinema Gallery - AVForums.com

Home Cinema DIY - AVForums.com

Joe
 

shyamt

Standard Member
Hello shyamt

If the installer is putting the cables that run between the Source kit and the TV into your walls and he's worried about having to replace a cable in the future simply ask him to ensure his install makes provision for pulling a new cable through without the requirement to partially dismantle the wall.

You don't say which Samsung system or how installed your expecting things - for example are all of the loudspeakers going to be on-wall with the cables concealed in the walls.

If you are going for a 'clean look' install won't you want the SKY 'aerial' and telephone cables buried away too?

Hanging a Display on a wall mount and surface mounting cables is one way of doing things - but hardly what you would call an 'install'; have a look at the DIY sections of AVForums to see how much work/planning/cost is involved in a neat install.

Members' Home Cinema Gallery - AVForums.com

Home Cinema DIY - AVForums.com

Joe
Hi Joe,

Thanks for your quick reply.

Okay I see what you mean. I will mention that to the installer. How would you advise choosing what cables I need though, as I've seen a HDMI cable on Amazon for something like £3.50 and the reviews are fantastic, whereas I think the RS guy wants me to pay £60 for one. There is a huge range, and I just don't know what I should go for. If there was a place that could help me with getting all the correct cables, assuring me they will last long, I will happily buy them from there (if the price is considerably lower than the RS one, otherwise I may as well get theirs!)!

It is the Samsung HT-TZ315 - they are tall boys and will be standing on the floor. I think what we're doing about cables going on the bottom of the wall, and will be covered by tiles (as the floor is tiled too).

Yes we will want the Sky cables buried away too, but not sure if I have to address that with the Sky installation person or not?

Thanks for your help.
 

too_funky

Active Member
hdmi cables transfer digital data, as such a more expensive cable will not affect the the quality of the data being transferred. As long as the data is transferred you will recieve the same quality picture with a cheap cable as with buying an expensive one.

Expensive hdmi cables are a con and cheap cables work just aswell. This is not my oppinion, this is fact, any percieved improvement in quality with an expensive cable is purely psychological.

Don't get ripped off!

**Note** this is only true of digital cables. Cables that transmit imformation in analogue suffer from signal degradation over the length of the cable and are effected by interference. So therefore you will gain benefit from buying higher quality analogue cables made from very pure copper, with gold contacts and shielding around the length of the cable etc.
 
Last edited:

MarkTaylor

Novice Member
How would you advise choosing what cables I need though, as I've seen a HDMI cable on Amazon for something like £3.50 and the reviews are fantastic, whereas I think the RS guy wants me to pay £60 for one.
I suggest you read the links here then decide.
 

shyamt

Standard Member
I've already read it, and accept that there shouldn't be any video quality difference between the cheap ones and the expensive ones, but what I want to know is whether it is okay to use cheaper ones behind my walls, not sure if it makes a difference..

thanks
 

Mark Grant

Active Member
A couple of links to read:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/hdmi-cables-switches/659017-hdmi-woes-can-you-help.html

http://www.avforums.com/forums/ps3/838599-ps3-flickering-1080p-cheap-hdmi-cable-perhaps.html

£100 for all the cables does not look too bad, although without an exact list it is hard to say.

If you dont know exactly what you need to buy yourself then maybe best to let the installer/ shop provide them. Then if something does not work then its not your problem.

The sky installer will do as little as possible, so plan ahead for that.

Mark.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
A link to the User Manual for the HT-TZ315 would be helpful.

What distance between the TV and the HT-TZ315 and is it a fixed wall mount (i.e. not a swing out type bracket).

Speaker cable under tiles sounds like fun!!!

As Mark (Grant) says don't expect any help from SKY when it comes to tidying up the install - the SKY installer may be up for a homer if you get a good one; otherwise its up to you or your 'installer' to sort out the SKY cables.

Joe
 

shyamt

Standard Member
A link to the User Manual for the HT-TZ315 would be helpful.

What distance between the TV and the HT-TZ315 and is it a fixed wall mount (i.e. not a swing out type bracket).

Speaker cable under tiles sounds like fun!!!

As Mark (Grant) says don't expect any help from SKY when it comes to tidying up the install - the SKY installer may be up for a homer if you get a good one; otherwise its up to you or your 'installer' to sort out the SKY cables.

Joe
Of course. User manual is here

The distance from the TV (when closest to wall) and HT-TZ315 will be roughly 1.5m (will measure if necessary). I haven't chosen a bracket yet, but it will definitely be a swing out type.

The tiles are already fixed, so we're going to have the cable run around the sides, and then cover them up with tiles, like being covered with a skirting board.

Thanks for all your help.
 

MarkTaylor

Novice Member
If the cables are going to be inaccessible/difficult to replace then yes, I would tend to spend more on them but only to buy better build quality.

Just to extract one comment from the 'flickering PS3' thread that Mark Grant linked above :

Well, I borrowed my brother's Ixos HDMI cable (worth £50), and my 1080p flickering problems have disappeared.

I had emailed the ebay seller regarding the cable which I bought off him last week (£2.99), and he promptly sent a replacement which I received this morning.

Good news is that the replacement cable works absolutely fine - no more flickering when the PS3 is set to 1080p. :thumbsup:

So the original cable must have either been a faulty or [email protected]
A good working £2.99 cable did the job just like the £50 cable, but it took two attempts to get a good cable and who knows if the one he now has will stand up to much abuse before it fails.

You don't need to spend £50 for a short HDMI cable with good build quality, but I'd certainly spend more than £2.99 on one :)
 

shyamt

Standard Member
If the cables are going to be inaccessible/difficult to replace then yes, I would tend to spend more on them but only to buy better build quality.

Just to extract one comment from the 'flickering PS3' thread that Mark Grant linked above :



A good working £2.99 cable did the job just like the £50 cable, but it took two attempts to get a good cable and who knows if the one he now has will stand up to much abuse before it fails.

You don't need to spend £50 for a short HDMI cable with good build quality, but I'd certainly spend more than £2.99 on one :)
Fair enough, but the thing is, how do I know the one I'm buying is of a better build than cheaper ones. Because, I'm sure there will be some people selling the exact same HDMI cables that are being sold at £2.99 but at £15.99 , knowing some people will just buy the slightly more expensive ones, assuming they have a better build.
 

shyamt

Standard Member
Hi again,

Okay, the RS guy has got back to me on cables and hasn't mentioned any optical lead? I thought this was necessary to get the 5.1 sound from Sky? He has just told me that I need a scart cable for the Sky?

He has quoted for a phono (is this the same as RCA?) cable to use for TV audio from home cinema system, but am I right in saying this would not result in 5.1 sound, but just 2 channel sound?

Thanks!
 

MarkTaylor

Novice Member
Correct on both counts.
 

shyamt

Standard Member
Okay, here is the breakdown of cables:

CAMBRIDGE AUDIO ATLANTIC (2M)PHONO cable x 2 = £29.90 (£14.95)
IXOS XHT288 (2m) HDMI lead x 1 = £44.95
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO SCART (2M)x 1 = £9.99
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO OPTICAL (2.25M) x 1 = £29.95
TOTAL = £114.79

That should cover all cables apart from the video cable for the Wii, for I will use the official one.

Please could you give your thoughts on all of the above? It seems quite pricey to me, but then maybe you think its worth it? The RS guy is more than happy to use cables I supply myself, but has wanred me that if any cable problems occur, we will be responsible for the cost of repair work, which would be expensive, as these will be hid in a wall (so quite a big job to remove a single cable), whereas if he supplied them, then he would take all responsibility.

Thanks!
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
How long are RS guaranteeing the Installation for - and is it in writing?

Joe
 

ben.bayliss

Novice Member
The SCART isn't too bad, but they're talking the michael with the digital (HDMI/Optical) cables. Absolutely no excuse for paying that much for either of those. UKHDMI's cables are reasonably priced and a safe bet in terms of build-quality.

And as for those analog phono cables(!) :eek:
 

MarkTaylor

Novice Member
How long are RS guaranteeing the Installation for - and is it in writing?
Repeated for emphasis.

It is all very well them holding this as a threat over your head if you don't take their cables, but what exactly does this guarantee actually cover?

Have they given you the written details and if not why not?

Some odd prices in that list, the SCART cable I'd spend more on, the HDMI less and the optical cable a lot less.
 

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