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The Almighty Buck Technology

Retailer Calls Rivals' Bluff On "HDMI Scam" 664

nk497 writes "Retailer Kogan is offering customers of rival stores free HDMI cables to highlight the 'scam' of selling the cables for £100, saying its own £4 cable works just as well. 'An HDMI cable is an HDMI cable,' Kogan said. 'It's a digital cable. You either get a picture or you don't. Don't get conned into buying a 'fancy' HDMI cable because it will make no difference!' Rival retailers Currys and John Lewis said they preferred to offer customers a 'variety' of cables. 'Each of our HDMI cables offers excellent quality and value for money, and by providing our customers with a range of different cables which offer different specifications, we are able to help them find one to suit their specific needs, with features such as different cable lengths, ultra slim and high speed,' said a spokesman for John Lewis, which sells cables for £20 to £99."
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Retailer Calls Rivals' Bluff On "HDMI Scam"

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:01AM (#36659740)

    You mean the oxygen-free wiring and gold-plated connectors don't make for an "extra dynamic picture" and "much better sound resolution"?

    • by VAElynx ( 2001046 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:06AM (#36659784)
      See, it's all to do with the fact that while the zeros of a digital signal are smooth and pass through well, the ones can get caught and cause a data block, if the cable is of poor quality, or bent.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:09AM (#36659812)

        I'd have thought it was the other way around - ultra slim cables will let a 1 pass through, but a 0 will get blocked.

        Unless those 1's are sideways. Why doesn't the manual for my new HDMI cable specify this?

    • by JamesP ( 688957 )

      No, but it stands for better slarvardation, higher image snognation and improved kaplast!

    • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:14AM (#36659894) Homepage

      Just make sure you don't connect your golden cable backwards - the bass always sounds thin and reedy when the electrons are forced to flow 'uphill'.

    • by plover ( 150551 ) *

      And "truer reds". The salesman wouldn't shut up about how much better Monster cables were at improving reds.

      I bought my cables at Radio Shack, but I regret not having walked away from that idiot salescreature on the spot.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I just asked the salesman if he was actually ignorant enough to believe that, or if the best buy job was really worth ridding himself of all personal integrity.

        • Heh, I had a similar experience at Radio Shack, complaining about the "gold cable scam," since all their cables were gold.

          The sales guy tried to say that gold was the best, and I should trust him on this. I tried to explain that both copper and silver have better conductivity than gold (by a significant percent, greater than gold beats aluminum), and he more or less told me to shut up, because he was educated in these matters.

          • by Ellis D. Tripp ( 755736 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:52AM (#36660324) Homepage

            Agreed on the bulk conductivity, but the advantage of gold plating on contacts is the fact that gold doesn't tarnish or corrode, reducing conductivity over time.

            Gold plated connector contacts are widely used on industrial/military gear, particularly in low-level signal applications.

          • by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:29AM (#36660820)

            Gold wiring wouldn't be useful, but gold plating on the connectors is useful because gold doesn't oxidize (under normal conditions), unlike copper and silver.

            Still, you're only talking milligrams of gold, about 100mg for a pair of HDMI connectors, or about $5 worth.

            • gold plating on the connectors is useful because gold doesn't oxidize (under normal conditions), unlike copper and silver.
              But does having gold connectors cause an increased rate of corrosion of the connection between the copper and the gold? In my experience, putting two different elements of metal next to each other causes them to corrode badly. Even worse when there is an electric current running through them. Admittedly in the case of HDMI, the electrical effect is surely pretty darn small.
              • by Zenin ( 266666 )

                That's why "gold plating" is rarely just gold over the base metal. Gold over copper has reactions and wear issues, but gold over nickel over copper is fine.

                Electronics will typically use nickel plating between the copper and gold. Brass musical instruments that are gold plated usually use silver plating between the brass base metal and the gold plating.

                For most any combination of base metal and plating there's a map of what bonds well with which. This is also why you'll see the gold plate quickly flake o

      • Actually, there is still a difference, durability.

        And, as far as my experience goes, Radio Shack's cables are pretty damn well near the bottom of that list.

        • Actually, there is still a difference, durability.

          Err, how often do you move those cables around behind your TV set, anyway?

          Even with a missus who love re-arranging furniture once a month or so, the HDMI cabling on mine never gets unplugged, kinked, or twisted. Plus, I'd have to buy at least three or four cheap cables before I'd match the price of the (typical) high-end/cost ones. Given the rarity of breakage/degradation, I think I can live with that.

          I mean, seriously - we're talking about a TV set here, not the connective wiring on an F-16 missile rack.


          • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @11:24AM (#36661546)

            Err, how often do you move those cables around behind your TV set, anyway?

            its not always what you think.

            one 'guy' that moves things around is heat. heating and a/c and humidity in the house. cables expand and contract and fit (and don't fit!) the connectors and this slow bounce, if you will, causes things to lose connectivity, even if just 1 wire in a bundle. seen it plenty of times. multi conductor cables are a NIGHTMARE (which is why I hate the hdmi designers. what a bunch of losers! 2 opto cables would have done it better but NOOOO they had to have multiple metal-to-metal's and lots of wire and twists and interference. idiots!!! please, if you currently have an hdmi designer in your employ, fire him now. fire him. now.)

            hdmi cables are not even locking cables. (same with older sata cables; dont' get me started on THAT nightmare we call a cable ...). hdmi cables fall out of alignment since the connector is VERY cheap and so are the cable males. cheap and cheap are not a good way to ensure success.

            look at older db9, db25 style connectors. those things were strong enough to lift a house! ;) THOSE were connectors made by visionary men. keyed, robust, cheap to make and they never fell out on their own. compare to hdmi and you'll see the night/day diff in how cables used to be designed vs how they are designed today.

            sometimes you have to re-flex the cables or pre-strain them before you install them. the flex of the cable is not enough compared to the stiffness of the so-called strain relief they use. again, as an analogy, look at an ide cable and how well it stays in (even if you hang the drive UP by it!) vs a sata cable. compare the molex power cables of yesterday to the sata power cables of today. all steps backwards!

            I really hate the backwards move in cable design and quality. its like they are TRYING to make things bad on purpose, refusing to use what worked well in the past - out of spite?

            • by EdIII ( 1114411 )

              compare the molex power cables of yesterday to the sata power cables of today

              I was a body builder for nearly 3 years and could bear hug 600 pounds and carry it downstairs. Almost burst a blood vessel trying to remove a molex power cable from a hard drive it had been connected to for years. It was ridiculous and I almost considered hooking it up to a car and my tree in the front yard :)

              That was NASA level type connectors there. Designed to keep connected when the Klingons were having a bad day with you and red shirts were bouncing around the walls.

              I totally agree with you. Those D

        • by DrXym ( 126579 )
          Most people plug their HDMI cable into the back of the TV and leave it there forever. I doubt it would make a damned bit of difference in most cases even if you had to unplug from time to time. I've used cables purchased from LIDL and Euroland (2m for 2 euros!) and they work exactly as intended.
      • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:39AM (#36660972)

        And "truer reds". The salesman wouldn't shut up about how much better Monster cables were at improving reds.

        Possibly a relic of the RCA / S-Video days, where a good S-video cable (I had a monster cable which worked well) really would keep the red from bleeding noticably onto neighboring pixels. I dont remember whether there was a significant difference between standard S-video and monster's, other than that I liked the build quality of the cables better (less likely to get shredded due to thick sheathing).

        Its very possible that the salesperson thought that that same issue persisted to this day even in HDMI-- ignorance, not malice.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I will only buy high speed HDMI cables from now on. I bought a regular one, but eventually got sick of the 10 minute delay when watching a movie, and my PS3 was just unplayable. Thank god the salesman set me straight. Also I really recommend Monster cables because they produce whiter whites, blacker blacks and the coloriest colors while preventing bits from static cling and creating the softest fuzzies.

    • IF the best buy guys don't sell up sells and ripoff cables they get there hours cut and geek squad is filled with sales men and not techs. Staples is just as bad.

      And don't even think of hhgregg has they are 100% commission and if you buy some thing on sale the sales guy can lose money from his pay so they can be very pushy.

    • Not entirely false (Score:4, Informative)

      by PraiseBob ( 1923958 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:13AM (#36660608)
      The gold plated connectors do make a difference, but only after many years. Gold is the least reactive of all metals, and resistant to corrosion. So, in 20, 30, 40 years from now, that cable will still make a solid connection. But of course the $5 cable can come with gold plated connectors too, and the big box stores overcharge by 1000% either way. I recommend for cables.
  • by Vasheron ( 1750022 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:03AM (#36659754) essentially what Kogan is saying...and they're right!
    • by plover ( 150551 ) * on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:26AM (#36660030) Homepage Journal

      The monster has no clothes!


    • NO it depends... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by johnjones ( 14274 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:27AM (#36660034) Homepage Journal

      its a bit like saying you can plug in a CAT 5 cable and get gigabit...
      the answer is it depends...
      the longer the cable the more the signal degrades and just because its digital does not mean it will produce the same results..

      have a read of this

      I guess the Kogan cables are not very long... dont get me wrong I think they are right most HDMI cables are a scam... but someone needs to actually test them before commenting...

      but honestly who is going to listen... they are after fast bit of press... slashdot used to be about technical things..


      John Jones

      • by DrSkwid ( 118965 )

        That's why one should use Cat5E becuase it is specced to 1gbps

      • Re:NO it depends... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by reashlin ( 1370169 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:45AM (#36660226)
        NO NO NO

        Network speeds will degrade with poor quality cables. This is because data will become corrupt and be re-sent. Speeds "appear" to decrease because the ratio of data:noise will decrease.

        With HDMI there is no "re-sending" of data. So when the corrupt data comes through, no picture comes through.

        You _will_ _not_ get a lower quality picture from a cheap HDMI picture. You will get no picture at all.
        • Re:NO it depends... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:05AM (#36660512) Journal
          There is a thin slice between "perfect" and "nothing", commonly referred to as "sparkle" or "snow". Substantial amounts of pixel data are being tossed on the floor; but not quite enough for the system to just give up and declare the link dead.

          Unlike analog interference, though, if you are in sparkle territory, you can pretty conclusively declare the system "broken".
      • by PIBM ( 588930 )

        I dislike Audioholics as they are not very scientific in a lot of tests.. Just take a look at that graph, with the axis labelled Cables > 3m while they are referencing Cables 3m ... Anyway.. =)

      • by gilesjuk ( 604902 ) <> on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:01AM (#36660436)

        Thing is, they claim better colour reproduction, sharper images and so on. When in reality a HDMI cable can only degrade when it is producing errors in the signal. But such a cable is *faulty* not just average in quality.

        It would be like saying a higher quality USB cable results in better print outs when connected to your printer.

        What about the internal wiring of the TV? surely it is pointless using a £100 interconnect when the internal wiring of the TV is using fairly cheap wire?

      • by AwaxSlashdot ( 600672 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:03AM (#36660476) Homepage Journal

        Whatever the length of your cable, either it works and display a perfect picture and earns its HDMI certification or it does not work properly and its NOT a valid HDMI product. And you get a refund for this deceptive product.

        I don't care that with a longer cable, it requires higher quality cable parts. I want a Normal Speed HDMI cable or a HighSpeed HDMI cable.

        I buy a certified product, not raw components to solder myself.

      • Re:NO it depends... (Score:4, Informative)

        by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @02:38PM (#36664014)

        its a bit like saying you can plug in a CAT 5 cable and get gigabit...

        No. Its saying that one CAT5 cable is as good as any other CAT5 cable for any application that requires a CAT5 cable. If you're running 100BaseT in a normal environment with regulation-length cable runs then any honestly-labelled CAT5 cable will do. Buying CAT6 won't make your 100BaseT run any faster or make your photo collection look warmer. Nor will buying a super-deluxe CAT5 cable hand-woven by virgins from copper that Steve Jobs has pissed on - which is what these high-street stores are trying to pull.

        There are various grades of HDMI cable for different task. If you're running a 1920x1440 monitor or a 3D telly then you should get the high-speed flavor rather than bog-standard but you can still get those for a fiver from reputable online suppliers. The problem is not stores telling people that they need a $10 high-speed HDMI cable rather than a $5 normal speed one, they're telling people that a $100 super-deluxe high-speed cable will give them a better picture and sound than the $10 high-speed HDMI cable. Which is BS.

        ...and the victims of this are usually people wanting 6' cables to connect their BluRay to their TV, not slashdotters wanting to run 60' cables past their homemade van-der-graff generator, in front of their Pringles-can long distance WiFi link, under the Farnsworth fuser and down to their experimental video wall.

    • by rvw ( 755107 ) essentially what Kogan is saying...and they're right!

      I remember a Dutch tv-program that tests different consumer products (Tros Radar []). They did a blind test with a bunch of HDMI-cables, from €3 to €140, with a panel of professional video-editors. They chose two cables as the best, the cheapest and the most expensive. Their conclusion was that the most expensive was probably better for the professional who had to change the cables a lot. The connector was of better quality. Then for cables longer than 5 meters, a more expensive cable could be bette

  • by master_kaos ( 1027308 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:09AM (#36659820)
    Sure a cheap $2 HDMI cable is just as good as a more expensive one for a short run (50') they sure as hell do matter. I used to think the same thing, and I needed to do 3x60' runs. So I bought some cheap hdmi cables and ran them, no signal. Tried other 2.. same issue. Returned them, bought better quality ones (no monster cables, but better quality ones), and they ran perfect.
    • This doesn't change the fact that most customers are going from the Xbox/DVR/Roku to the screen, which is usually a 3 foot run. So why do these people need a $50, or even $20 HDMI cable. Does anyone even know where I can go out and buy and HDMI cable today for less than $10? It seems that getting it shipped from China is cheaper than driving down to Best Buy.
      • I buy my HDMI cables from Big Lots. $6-$10 for a six foot cable.
      • I bought a 10m or 30ft cable for about 20$ from the store near me. There were cheaper ones too but I thought they could be badly made or something. In retrospect, I probably should've bought the cheap ones...
    • "Returned them"

      Sure you returned them : they were deceptive products ! To bear the HDMI logo, a cable needs to be certified.
      No signal : those were not HDMI certified cables and you should get a refund.

      So, taking a dirt cheap cable is a no risk situation : either it works or you get a refund.

      • To bear the HDMI logo, a cable needs to be certified.

        Actually, to bear the HDMI logo, a cable maker needs to have a .png of the HDMI logo. Just like to make a Coach Purse, you need to have a copy of the Coach logo (cheap HDMI cables and imitation Coach purses come from the same place...). To legally bear the HDMI logo, you need to be certified. But makers in the $2-$4 market often break the rules. Not saying that the cable won't work, but buyer beware. Don't trust the logo if it doesn't look like the HDMI association could figure out where to mail a ceas

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:19AM (#36659956)

      Why in gods name are you running >50 foot HDMI runs.

    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:20AM (#36659970) Journal

      That's exactly what he's saying. You either get a signal, or you don't. It's not like an analogue system, where there's a wide spectrum between perfect and nonfunctional. Either the error rate is below the correction threshold, in which case a better cable won't make a difference, or it's above and you can easily tell because there's no picture.

      For some uses, such as long runs, you really do need a better cable. For most, you don't.

      • To the best of my knowledge, there is no parity in HDMI (nor digital audio coax/optical intefaces), and in fact, you can get degraded quality, which can show up as artifacts, skips, or drops in audio/video. Additionally if the clocks on the sending and receiving side are not matched properly, there can be jitter which may or may not be noticeable small corrections in time.
    • Sure a cheap $2 HDMI cable is just as good as a more expensive one for a short run (50') they sure as hell do matter.

      Having some trouble parsing this sentence... But I'm going to assume that you're saying that over a short run, a $2 cable is just fine. Though I don't think I'd call 50 feet a "short run"...

      I used to think the same thing, and I needed to do 3x60' runs. So I bought some cheap hdmi cables and ran them, no signal. Tried other 2.. same issue. Returned them, bought better quality ones (no monster cables, but better quality ones), and they ran perfect.

      Most people aren't going to be going more than about 10 feet from their DVD/bluray/roku/satellite/whatever to the TV.

      There is certainly going to be a difference in build-quality between a cable that costs $2 and one that costs, say, $20. And I don't generally use the ultra-cheap cables because they tend to fall apart

    • by plover ( 150551 ) *

      And that's why I'd mock anyone who buys ANYTHING by Denon. If they're going to lie this bad about their cables, who knows what other lies they told about their amplifiers, tuners, or other gear?

      It's a Boolean state: as long as they maintain this lie, they're nothing but liars.

    • All that info and they don't even mention if it is CAT5 or CAT5E.

    • Only $499 for a CAT5 network cable? What a bunch of amateurs...there's people charging more than that for replacement volume knobs.

  • According to Google, UK£ 4 = $6.42800 which is still at least double what an HDMI cable goes for on Monoprice (depending on length that they are selling)

    • Most of the time the real exchange rate is $1 = £1 to actually buy stuff. Yes, we basically pay twice as much for everything as you do. Yes it sucks.

    • by afidel ( 530433 )
      I was thinking the same thing, heck when I order from monoprice I usually throw in a couple extra 6' HDMI cables to give away to friends and family since it costs me so little (my monoprice orders usually have more in shipping due to weight than the cost of the extra couple cables).
  • by canajin56 ( 660655 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:11AM (#36659858)
    After Future Shop in Canada got bought up, they've dumped their non-monster cables and stuff. "Oh, you want an HDMI to go with that TV? That'll be $80. Do you want a fucking $400 god damn power bar? It cleans the power gremlins out of your filthy filthy wall socket. Without the filter the gremlins will take a hammer to the inside of your TV, and eat all your bags of chips. It also somehow makes the sound one hundred times crisper because resonance waves from your dirty power account for a huge portion of the signal noise from home amplifiers and receivers. It also has a display to show the current voltage, so you know just how dirty your power was before we made it sparkling fresh!"
    • Power conditioning power strips are worth while for the protection against over and under voltages as it seems they do extend the life of electronics. For a while there I was going through a DVD player every 6-8 months and I wasn't buying the cheep crap ones (you know the $5 ones) but was purchasing decent ones. About 2 years ago I bought a power conditioning power strip at the hardware store for $24 haven't any issues with electronics since. The computers are connected to a UPS so I never noticed issues th

      • by plover ( 150551 ) *

        Surge suppression is important for certain electronic devices, and in certain areas. A relative had a workshop out in a Minnesota prairie where summer lightning storms are common, and they blew phone line suppressors at least monthly. (They were the internal fuse type devices that had to be physically replaced, so he had the phone guy leave him a dozen so he could get through the year without a service call.) They used surge suppressors on all their computer equipment.

        My electric company sells and instal

    • by Pionar ( 620916 )

      Dirty power can affect audio output quality, especially in cheaper amplifiers that don't have their own power filters.

      You wouldn't plug your computer straight into the wall, so why would you plug your very expensive home theater equipment directly into the wall? They are far more sensitive to power fluctuations than your PC.

      You ever seen a flatscreen with a line drop? Not a pretty sight, and often caused by power surges. Plasmas used to have this problem we used to call "the sparkles" when a power surge

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I would plug by computer straight into the wall if I didn't have it on a 6 way power strip plugged into a 3 way switched strip. Unless you have a really shitty PSU it won't make any difference, except perhaps to have some surge protection.

        Computers use switch mode PSUs, and all the critical voltages are generated and filtered on the mobo anyway. Switch mode PSUs should not be letting any of this crap through if they are even half competently designed. Most quality audio gear uses linear power supplies which

    • by Inda ( 580031 )
      In the UK, Tesco still offer the cheapest HDMI cables amongst the brick and morter stores. Often at 20% of the price Currys and John Lewis. Their choice of lengths is perfect too; 0.5m is enough for three of my devices.
  • My client insisted we buy cables from Cisco, too. We ended up paying 80 US dollars for one 2-meters long (like, 6,5 feet) straight un-shielded cable. That was the biggest 'client induced retardation' I've experienced, although your price of 100 quids for HDMI cable surely beats Cisco prices.
  • Thats nothing. How about £9,936 for a 2.5 meter HDMI cable! - [] - Now that is pushing the envelope to the maximum. Sadly there will always be idiots with too much money in their pockets who buy this stuff. Everyone should do Digital Electronics 101.

    • And through in a good electromagnetics course to learn about transmission lines and possibly basic EMI. However, the first time the see Maxwell's equations might blow their minds.
  • with features such as different cable lengths, ultra slim and high speed,

    There's two HDMI cable specs, supporting 720p/1080i or 1080p. What you mean is "high resolution", but since people don't know what a resolution is because all you do is sell them shiny gold plated voodoo cables you can call it "high speed" and bilk them some more. The price difference is $2 on Monoprice. Incidentally, this doubles the value of the cable. But you wouldn't know that since your cables start at twenty pounds and go up to the stratosphere from there.

  • Thanks to some questionable design decisions(eg. simultaneously dumbing the standard down because it is "just consumer"(compare to what SDI and its descendants have been doing over simple BNC or fiber connections for ages now) and tacking on every feature that makes it to "fad of the month" status for at least one hype cycle. HDMI cables are, arguably, more complex than would be idea. Worse, they've been tacked on in a very unsystematic way: You've got a very high speed unidirectional bus, and a slower bidi
  • Un-twist and gently hammer both ends in place. Great picture quality at a fraction of the price. Best of all it's made from recycled components.

    • You might want to invest a little bit more to get reliable connections on the end and an impedence somewhere in the ball park.

      They are to be 4 twisted pairs, each pair shielded.

      Every manufacturer's HDMI cable is built to meet a nominal 100 ohm characteristic impedance, The best one can do is to hold impedance within a range, centered on 100 ohms; the official HDMI spec calls for 100 ohms plus or minus 15%, which for a coax would be horribly sloppy. The tighter that tolerance can be kept, the better the perf

  • by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:26AM (#36660020)

    When I went to buy a new TV, Best Buy tried to sell me a HDMI cable. I actually needed one so I said sure how much? $35. I got in to an argument with the sales rep about how it would do nothing for my picture quality. I told him I'd give him $10 for it, and I knew that was about 700% profit for him so it works out for both of us.

    So he told me he couldn't do that and I asked for a manager, maybe he could. Manager says he can't do that and this is an amazing HDMI cable and will make the picture better than any cheap cable I could buy. I told him I'm an electrical engineer and I know he's lying straight to my face to make a couple extra bucks. At that point I was pretty fed up so I said you can keep your $1000 TV. I guess the real mistake was thinking I'd get an honest sell at Best Buy

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Okay thing is that they where probably not lying to you. Lying is when you know what you are saying is not the truth. They have been told by people that it is the truth and where just repeating what they have heard. They where ignorant. It is the same kind of mentality I get from people when it comes to things like anti virus. They believe if it is free that it can not be good. The people at Best Buy where told these cables are better, the box says they are better, and they cost more. It is only logical tha

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No the real mistake was thinking you could haggle with service-level employees at a multinational company. That's the dumbest thing I've heard in a while.

      • Best Buy can and does haggle on high dollar items. But I am sure they would be happier if you didn't. Kind of like these "no haggle" car dealers we have around here. Of course, you could go to Ford and pay sticker price, and they would be happy to let you do so. But the no haggle dealers would rather you not think of it that way.
  • There are so few things affect the quantify the quality of a cable. Not the least is the current, frequency, and voltage of the signal. Too high a current? You need more metal. Too high a voltage? You need better insulators. Too high a frequency? Then you need noise immunity and impedance matching with coax or twisted pair. Yes, I know this is an over simplification, but a little bit of research will show how nonsensical the high quality cable claims are.

    This is my favourite audiophool scam:
    "Simply put thes

  • My main background is in Radio. This is the same thing that was repeated for High End Audio, then for USB for printers. I used to sweep test cables for phased antenna arrays.

    I was able to sweep many audio patch cables. Most would work fine for short runs of video. Very few had high dielectric loss at video frequencies. Most were about 70 ohms impedance. The rest were between 60 and 85 ohms. Most old VCR stereo audio and video cable used the exact same wire for audio and video. It was all about 75 ohms

  • by AwaxSlashdot ( 600672 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:28AM (#36660048) Homepage Journal

    Directly from : [] []

    Since 1.4, there are only 5 differentes cables and correctly labelling them is REQUIRED by HDMI (there is a grace period until the end of 2011).

    It's simple : 2 speeds (Normal or HighSpeed) and a feature (with or without Ethernet).
    Basically, Normal supports up to 1080i and HighSpeed supports above.

    The last category is about automative cabling so we can forget about it.

    At last, it is FORBIDDEN to make reference to a HDMI version number for cables ("upgrade your 1.3 cables to 1.4" : those are the same - except for Ethernet but your pre-1.4 devices did not support it).
    And for products, if you want to use a version number, the manufacturer have to specifically list the feature added in this version supported by its product.

  • Just do what I do and run VGA cable from the computer to the TV. then you don't have to worry about the HDMI cable scams.
  • While there might be a "scam" it is only half a scam.

    The protocols used in HDMI data transfer have mechanisms that handles loss of data or minor errors in the stream. So yes - a cheap cable will seem to work even if there is semi-severe interference and signal degradation. The damage sound and image will be auto-corrected in the receiving end, and the user will be none the wiser. Same goes for common network protocols uses in LAN and WLAN. If a packet is lost underway, or its integrity check reveals data
    • You know what, you're absolutely right. With a higher quality cable, the ones are just so much more oney, and the zeroes are so much more zeroey. The difference really is quite amazing.

      Some people say that as long as the peak of the signal wave is above the receiving equipment's sensitivity rating you're good, but I want that sine wave peak to be WAY above the required sensitivity level. I want it to be so god damn far above that I can see the ones hitting the back of the TV!

  • A fool and his money are soon parted... I'm all for idiots buying $100 cables. It helps sort the wheat from the chaff. If someone tells me such and such speakers are great and then mentions their $100 cables, I know not to take their advice on the speakers. etc...

    The problem is, the box stores use the $100 cables as an excuse to sell the $2 cables for $30+... So now, when I have a cable go bad, there's no place in town to get a replacement at a reasonable price and I have to wait 3 days for it to arrive fro
  • Eurogamer's Digital Foundry blog did some extensive testing with HDMI cables which shows that it really doesn't matter what type of cables you buy: []
  • by MoldySpore ( 1280634 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:47AM (#36660264)

    I literally just had an argument with a Best Buy employee over this the other day. Me and a friend went to the mall because I needed some emergency thermal paste for a PC build I was doing (I was visiting friends 5 hours from my house and had forgot some). I went to Best Buy because they had some for $10 (probably the cheapest thing in the store). After buying the paste, we hung around in the store while my friend's brother went and got a haircut. My friend and I went to the cable section and he asked me about HDMI cables for his HDTV. He showed me the cable he bought (Insignia for ~$40) and asked if it was good. I said it was fine, but that he over paid even for that. I then proceeded to pick up a Monster cable that was only 4 feet long and cost $129 and explain to him that this cable and that cable were the same. A Best Buy employee then came over and started a conversation with me.

    Best Buy Employee: "Can I help you with anything?"
    Me: "No, I'm all set."
    BBE: "I see you have a Monster HDMI cable there. What kind of TV do you have?"
    Me: "Oh I am just explaining to my friend that there is no reason to spend over $100 on a 4' cable when a $5 online will do the same thing"
    BBE: "Well that isn't true. That cable will give you superior sound and video quality. It also has Ethernet over HDMI capability and compatibility for 3D"
    Me: "Well I'm sure it does all of that, but any cable will do that for you as long as it is rated for HDMI 1.4 spec."
    BBE: "It will but that cable will give you better picture quality because it has gold connectors and better shielding"
    Me: "No, it really won't. Unless you have your TV inside a power transfer station with unshielded electrical cables, you will not really need to worry about interference. And picture quality will not be better regardless of what cable you are using."
    BBE: "You are giving your friend bad advice. This cable is better and will give you better -"
    Me: *interrupting him* "If I hooked up the same exact TVs to the same exact source with my cable and this cable, not only would they be the same quality, but my cable would be 15' longer and be able to connect across the room where as this is only capable of connecting to a device close by, and my cable will have cost around $5-20 and this one costs $129. I'd bet you any amount of $ that the difference in picture and sound quality would be indistinguishable."
    BBE: "I'd take that bet, but only if I saw the cable you were going to use first"

    We then went to the computer in the department and I went to Newegg and showed him this cable []. He said "Right but that is a nice shielded cable like this one". And I said "Yea, but look at the length and the price." He then basically dismissed what I was saying and said that the Monster cable was still superior.

    I wonder if they train people to be this ignorant? Or could places that sell cables for this price just attract people who buy into the BS?

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.