Are all Component cables the same?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nyprospect, May 27, 2008.

  1. nyprospect macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2004
    Hey guys.I wanted to know if all component cables are the same.I have an hdtv and i was browsing the apple store (since there are no new minis yet)when i came across xtreme hd component cables.does anyone if i would see a difference between my component cables i got from time warner and the xtreme set.Thanks in adavnce.I know it may not be the right place to post this.Sorry
  2. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    There are definitely better quality component cables around but in order to notice the difference you're going to need 20/20 vision and a seat VERY close to your TV.
  3. kjr39 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2004

    But, just because they cost $100 doesn't mean they are worth it.

    Check out for cables.
  4. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Some will say yes.

    Some will say no.

    Others will give a who cares kind of response.

    The key is what works best for you. Reminds me of the old audiophile debates. While different, but kind of related, the most expensive patch cables from Receiver to Amp that I have seen cost around 12 grand for two cables. The cables themselves were about 12 inches long including the connectors. Personally, I could not fathom getting cables such as this for my needs. However, I did see a few folks buy them over the years. The same type of folks that purchase tube Amps. :)
  5. rogersmj macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    No, there are indeed higher quality component cables. That said, you shouldn't need to spend more than $15 or $20 (absolute max) to get good cables.

    Component cables are analog, which is why there can be a difference. Analog signals can degrade, and I have had both low and high quality component cables -- I can see a difference. Conversely, HDMI is all-digital...meaning the signal either gets there or it doesn't. Short of being outright defective, a cheap HDMI cable is going to give you the exact same signal as a $100 HDMI cable.
  6. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Good point about digital verses analog signals.
  7. steeler macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2008
    With analog cables, the difference in quality will be in the materials used and the shielding around the actual copper wires. As mentioned before, you should be able to get a good set of component cables for $20 or less.
  8. SamoanDude macrumors regular

    May 22, 2008
    United States Now
    Usually go to Newegg and browse, read the reviews about the quality of the cable and go from there
  9. Batt macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    The cables Time Warner gives you - for free, by the way - are fine. Don't spend any money on different cables.
  10. bit density macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2004
    My projector is 25 feet away

    From the rest of my video stack. And I use Composite cables, because not all of my components use HDMI.

    Expensive cables actually failed. Getting the cables to match up just wouldn't work.

    I found relatively inexpensive audio cables and they worked well. (The cheap brand from Best Buy, I can't remember the brand, and I think they have since changed).
  11. esaleris macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2005
    If you are only comfortable with brand names, Belkin's PureAV line of component cables run about $40 for a 4 foot cable.

    If you're okay with non-brand name but custom-made cables, bluejeanscable offers industrial-stock cable (the type they use at concerts and broadcast stations) for around $40 for a 4 footer.

    If you're impressed with thick, well-made cables at barrel-bargain prices, then look at, where you can find 4 foot components at around $10.

    Remember that component cables are high-fidelity analog cables. That means that there's the potential for quality loss anytime you use bad materials or lengthen the cable. Whether or not that's visible to you is really up to your eyes.
  12. viggen61 macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2002
    New Jersey
    I've been using the Xtreme MAc cables from the Apple Store, and can find no fault. I have one HDMI-HDMI, and one HDMI-DVI (to connect my MBP...)

    For $20, not bad for a name brand cable.

    OTOH, when I bought my LCD screen from a store, they suckered me into "Monster" component cables. I suppose that to the uninformed, they must be "great" cables - considering you're paying so much for them - but the cable itself is very stiff, the color on the ends almost invisible (esp in the dark recesses of one's A/V stack...), and I was deathly afraid I was going to tear the RCA jacks off of the PCB in my brand-new $1500 LCD screen because the RCA plugs were so tight...

    For a short run, unless you break out the really expensive test gear, or have real troubles with interference, I don't see the benefit of spending more than $20 for a cable, whether it's HDMI, DVI, Component or Composite...
  13. fanbrain macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2005
    So. UT
    Good cables are flexible and do not hold a shape when bent. That is the only criteria I use when buying cables.
  14. rpaloalto macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2005
    Palo Alto CA.
    You don't need those super insulated high priced cables unless you have a 7-ft. run. Or you have a lot of interference from some other electronic component.
    Most of these cables are so overpriced it's not even funny.

    I used to buy the super expensive stuff years ago. I have a box full of monster brand composite cables, you know the old rca type connecters. I actually use those now as component cables. they work perfect since they are the exact same thing. Their just colored differently.
  15. Minico88 macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2006
    Go to Walmart and buy the cheapest cables they have. That should work for what you are doing.:apple:
  16. Goldenbear macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Blue Jeans Cable

    For high quality without the audiophile/videophile BS, I recommend Blue Jeans Cable.

    As a bonus, the Canare plugs they use are the absolute best I've seen. Very easy to insert, making a solid connection, but without a vice grip that can damage your jacks (unlike the POS connectors Monster uses).

    In general, for analog signals, you do want a certain minimum level of shielding and construction quality, but once you've got that, there's not a whole lot of difference between the various exotic cables. However, keep in mind that some less expensive cables may not have adequate shielding or poorly soldered/crimped connectors, which can lead to signal interference or eventual loose connections. There are also plenty of inexpensive cables that work just fine for most people.

    I have noticed differences in video quality between a Monster and BJC S-video cable. In fact, the difference was so dramatic, my roommate (who doesn't give a rat's @ss about cables) noticed it right away. And no, the more expensive Monster cable wasn't the better cable.

    If you just want something that's "good enough", grab something inexpensive from Monoprice. That's where I get my HDMI cables... the $6 ones work great.
  17. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    For analog, pay what you feel is neccesary (I Prefer to spend around £10 a Foot)

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