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which hdmi cable?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by deanym, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. deanym

    deanym
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    Talking to my local dealer yesterday about HDMI cabling. I've just bought a 2910 and wish to use the hdmi link. The dealer said it'd be best to buy a 20ish quid cable for starters then upgrade to a 200 jobbie once convinced of the initial improvement. He advised against a 50-100 quid one as the difference over a cheapo would be limited and more useful performance would be gained from a more expensive one.

    I only require 1m length so would a 200 quid (wireworld unltraviolet for example) bring worthwhile gains over cheaper cabling (and component for that matter - my component picture is fabulous with the 2910)?

    If so, any recommendations where to buy from?
     
  2. Beastie Boy

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    I'm in the same position as you, waiting for my 2910 to arrive.

    I started this thread asking whether there would be any difference in PQ between different cables. It would be nice to hear from someone who has done a direct comparison.

    Personally, I still have my doubts that there will be any difference at all. However, the dearer cables would hopefully have better build quality, but how much physical abuse does a cable need to withstand?

    Cheers, Beastie.
     
  3. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello both

    The retail price of a cable is no indication of performance.

    WireWorld offer 1m HDMI cables at 200.00 (Starlight5), 130.00 (Ultraviolet) and 60.00 (Chroma) - some folk claim to see differences some not. I've even had folk keep these cables when they say they cant 'see' a difference but are convinced they better have them just in case :)

    BetterCables will do you a sub 60.00 cable at 1m that's made with the same cable and connectors that's good for 720p and 1080i up to 15m; maybe Deanym's dealer needs to think again!!!

    Try before you buy I say.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  4. deanym

    deanym
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    Joe,

    Thanks for the info, I don't think the dealer was advocating buying cables blind, his advice was more along the lines of sometimes a big investment has to be made for not so huge (albeit still worthwhile) improvements.

    Maybe he hasn't access to the bettercable and isn't aware of how good they are.

    Joe, as a retailer, what shortlist would you recommend that I audition? Are the bettercables identical to the wireworld units?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  5. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    deanym

    WireWorld and BetterCables do there own thing - as they say; different cable and different connectors. The $100 question is different results or not?

    I'd suggest Molex, BetterCables and then anything else you fancy really - we've supplied WireWorld Starlight5 to a few customers; some said they thought it worthwhile others were not so sure.

    You might also want to consider replacing the DVI portion of the XDE Media Box to Screen interconnect - again mixed feedback from customers but worth a look if your organising a loan of some cables.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  6. deanym

    deanym
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    Hi Joe,

    By any chance do you sell the dvi interconnect too?
     
  7. Filbert

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    deanym,

    Yet another situation where retailers such as myself are probably only going to recommend cables that we sell! How many retailers on here actually recommend that people on these formus buy cables that they don't actually sell??

    What your dealer said to you, to me makes sense, even though it's not exactly the way I'd put it! I guess what he's saying is compare your player's component output against the HDMI output using a cheap cable first, that way you will see (or not as the case may be) the difference that exists between HDMI and component.

    Then, once you have lived with this for a while, consider upgrading the cable. The analogy I guess, is similar to that of any system upgrade... upgrade one thing at a time, live with it, and then upgrade the next part.

    The differences you will notice (if any) tend to be more apparaent the longer the cable you use is, and the higher the definition of the image is, that you are sending down the HDMI cable.

    The prices quoted above by Joe are the RRP for the Wireworld cables (just in case this wasn't clear) and they are available for less ;) I personally would swear by the Wireworld cables, we have had excellent feedback from customers who have bought them, to the point where they have taken the time to call/e-mail us telling us how impressed they were with them. (By the way we also sell HDMI cables from Supra and QED)

    Of course, not all people see differences, subtle or otherwise, and I'm not denying the placebo effect of expensive cables being perceived as "bettter" then cheaper ones exists, however as with all these types of questions, it's horses for courses, and see if you can demo the cables concerned. (We will shortly be opening a store in North West London if that's any help to you!)
     
  8. deanym

    deanym
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    Which begs the question - should retailers be recommending anything on a users forum? ;)

    No seriously, the shortlist seems to be wireworld HDMI, bettercables HDMI, and maybe I'll demo some price comparitive component cables, then choose (or stay with what I've got) from there.

    Filbert, I think you summed up what my dealer was trying to say, although more eloquently phrased.

    If I was to send you a deposit of some sort could you post three or four cables to trial? And I'd purchase the one I liked.

    Joe, Are you prepared to do the same?
     
  9. Filbert

    Filbert
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    Sure, I'm sure we can sort something out!
     
  10. deanym

    deanym
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    Filbert,

    Thats great,

    Send me a PM and we'll get something sorted.
     
  11. Joe Fernand

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    Hello both

    I don't get what the 'bricks and mortar' dealers saying - cripple the HDMI connection with a poor cable so that when I show you an expensive cable it looks better; nuts! Simply use a well engineered cable in the first place.

    Filbert - I too sell WireWorld (Starlight5) though mostly in the longer runs where the standard Molex cables don't go (they top out at 5m).

    On short runs I stick with what I said before - not everyone we give these cables too in short runs feels they justify the price tag; some folk do and purchase them.

    Any 'upgrade' cable we supply is on SOR and no sense in me advocating a home trial and then not offering that service - we keep demo stock of Molex, BetterCables and WireWorld (Starlight5) for those that want to 'try before they buy'.

    I'd suggest you try matched pairs of HDMI to HDMI between the DVD player and the Media Box and DVI to DVI between the Media Box and the Screen.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  12. deanym

    deanym
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    Joe,

    I understand what your saying in essence, why use a poor cable to prove a good connection?

    Maybe some of us (me included) are under the impression that hdmi is superior to all connections so a "bad" hdmi connection is better than an "average-good" component set-up. Its all system dependent. Can you shed light on this?

    In that case could you arrange a demo wireworld Ultraviolet and Starlight for me and let me see for myself. And if I find there is a worthwhile (perhaps thats the key phrase in my circumstance) performance gain, then I will purchase.

    PM with details if this is a goer?
     
  13. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    apart from pioneer XDE plasmas most PDP look better with component feeds than HDMI/DVi (Yes Dvi can offer more colours) with the pio media box you are limited by its ability to prcess the signal.....and it doesnt go a wonderful job with component, unfortunately
     
  14. deanym

    deanym
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    HD,

    Thanks for that. Component is nothing short of brilliant on mine. Just trying to eke out the last bit of performance.
     
  15. Beastie Boy

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    I'm still struggling to grasp how any improvement with a digital signal can be 'subtle'. We seem to be thinking in terms of analogue signals which become attenuated along the length, and these signal alterations manifest themselves in a slightly altered image.

    With digital, either the signal arrives in a readable form (ie sufficient voltage difference between 1s and 0s) or it doesn't. If 2 cables, regardless of price are able to transmit the signal as sent (which isn't difficult) then they will both produce exactly the same picture. Subtle differences are not introduced.

    As for bandwith of HD signals, the HDMI spec calls for 5Gbps throughput. Any cable that complies will have no trouble with HD signals along with HD audio.

    Sorry for my scepticism, but I do think there is a lot of cashing in by manufacturers who are providing products at over inflated prices, and convincing us poor consumersthat there will be tremendous benefit. And who can blame them?

    Cheers, Beastie.
     
  16. deanym

    deanym
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    Beastie,

    That sounds like the old CD transport issue, its all 0's and 1's so shouldn't make a difference. It does - big style!

    I personally beleive better quality bits give better performace inw hatever domanin, digital or analogue, but the holy grail is the best performance for the least money! Anyone can throw thousands at a system and get it to sound good, doing it on a budget is the fun part!

    Thats why i need a bit guidance of whats out there, so i can maximise my investment rather than just paying a fortune when something much cheaper can outperform it - in theory!!! ;)
     
  17. Beastie Boy

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    The fact that audio CDs sound different on different setups is down to the players ability to extract the data off the disc correctly, apply error correction and then convert this data into an analogue signal. More expensive players do this better than cheap ones.

    All we are concerned with is carrying the data that has already been produced by the player, and presenting it to the display for processing. No calculations or signal processing is required. Reliably transmitting a digital signal is not difficult for a conductor, provided it is screened from severe interference. As long as the data is readable at the receiving end then the cable has done it's job, regardless of how much it may be degraded along it's path.

    Cheers, Beastie.
     
  18. deanym

    deanym
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    I would expect there are similar processes at each of of the cable for video purposes in the same manner as those for audio on CD.

    In fact a video signal would require even more processing due to the vast amounts of information being transmitted.

    Anyway who cares (I don't ha ha!!), I just want the best picture for my meagre funds!

    You're not too far away, maybe if Joe or Filbert can supply demo cables, we'll get together for a test, and see if we can decided whether its of any benefit? We'd have two systems to demo (one each) so it would be a worthwhile effort and report back the findings to the forum?
     
  19. Beastie Boy

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    Agreed, but none of these processes are anything to do with the cable.

    Unforunately, I'm unable to test anything yet as I'm still waiting for my PJ to arrive :(

    Cheers, Beastie.
     
  20. Howardlee

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    VIDEO HDMI/DVI cables need not be any more expensive than their computer cable equivalent. High performance DVI cables (HDMI uses exactly the same data signal for the video element) can be had for £15. There will be no difference between a cheap HDMI and an expensive one unless the cable corrupts the signal. Can't say I've ever seen a cheap 3m DVI cable do that, so a cheap HDMI shouldn't either.

    These cable companies are cashing in on the fact that a lot of people are still thinking in the analogue domain, and not in the digital one. A digital cable will either work or it won't. The output form all makes of HDMI cables will be identical.

    Digital signals do not require expensive cables.
     
  21. Beastie Boy

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    The manufacturers obviously realise this and see a profitable product line diminishing with increased use of digital signals. No wonder they are keen to keep this fact quiet.

    Cheers, Beastie.
     
  22. Joe Fernand

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    Hello all

    Howard - not so! Some cables do degrade the signal; though as I've said previously often its when your running over longer distances and with HD signals. You only have to view a couple of test patterns to see where the cable is causing problems in the video signal.

    I also feel too many folk have this issues the wrong way round - there's no such thing as a cable that can 'improve' your video signal; though there are plenty that can degrade you video signal.

    deanym - how about:
    Molex - 1m HDMI>HDMI + 3m DVI>DVI
    BetterCables - 1m HDMI>HDMI + 3m DVI>DVI
    WireWorld (Starlight5) - 1m HDMI>HDMI + 3m DVI>DVI

    That should give you a decent range of results if the theory about the higher cost/specification cables holds true!

    PM me if you want to test that lot.

    Joe
     
  23. Beastie Boy

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    I think we all agree that any cable will degrade the signal to varying degrees.

    With digital, this only becomes a problem if the data can no longer be accurately read at the receiving end. Provided the 1s and 0s are still interpreted as such, then the PQ will be identical for any 2 cables.

    Cheers, Beastie.
     
  24. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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  25. Howardlee

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    Sure, if you wanna run long distances 20 Feet + there may be digital drop outs. These would very visible on screen making the picture sparkle. At shorter distances the quality of the cable is not nearly as much of an issue.

    DVI cables have been used to connect computers to monitors for a number of years. Cable quality has never been an issue, and have never been expensive.
     
  26. deanym

    deanym
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    Howardlee,

    Thanks for your comments, however they are not helping my question of the thread.

    This debate could continue on and on. Start a new thread if this issue is important to you.
     
  27. Beastie Boy

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    Sorry if it doesn't help. The points raised were only to try and prevent anyone spending more than required on a cable.

    For info, I have just ordered a Profigold 5m cable for £54. If my length requirement was shorter, I would have opted for a more budget cable. Unfortunately, I can't test yet, I will post back when I do.

    I hope your happy with your purchase, whatever you decide :)

    Cheers, Beastie.
     
  28. deanym

    deanym
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    Good luck,

    didn't mean to be hello nasty.
     
  29. Les E

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    Anyone got an opinion on a 10 metre HDMI cable? Looking for the best for that kinda distance!! :cool:
     
  30. deanym

    deanym
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    Les,

    Earlier in the thread, Joe mentioned a list of cables that were good over this distance - drop him a mail and I'm sure he'll be able to help. Flimber was useful too.

    regards,
     

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