Are all HDMI cables basically the same?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ozreth, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. ozreth macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2009
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Buy the cheapest... they are all the same

    You can find them for pennies on the 'net and only pay for shipping
  3. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    I get great results using HDMI cables from They run a few bucks a piece depending on length.
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    pretty much any cable will do you, it's a digital signal so basically either you have it or you don't . If you're going long distances, then you need to worry about getting a good quality shielded cable.

    also check out monoprice, pretty much the same cable for $3.28
  5. kmpoboy2 macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2010
    Try They have good quality cables at really low prices.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    Quick answer is Yes!

    There are some minor differences, but any HDMI cable will do 1080p and 5.1 sound. There are special models that do 1080p and 7.1 sound, and others that include ethernet. Monoprice, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Big Lots!, Amazon, or all have good deals at different times.

  7. Sam the Ram macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2011
    Up to 20 ft. buy the cheapest you can find.

    Beyond 20 ft. it starts to matter!
  8. ThaDoggg macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2010
    Peterborough, Canada
    They're all the same. Just go with monoprice as they have good prices and the cables are rly good quality.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    I would disagree with all these people and say that even over the shortest distance the quality of the HDMI cable is paramount. You should be looking at something like Monster Cable for your HDMI cables. You'll be getting crap quality if you're not paying at least $200 for your cabling.

    Nah, even I can't keep a straight face saying that. Get the cheap ones, they're all the same.
  10. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    Since I've never bought any expensive/brand ones, I don't know how well they work. What I have bought however is many many cheap ones. One or two didn't work at all, and another one seemed to work but I randomly lost picture and sound... The others have all worked perfectly so far and I expect them to keep doing so.

    All in all, I suspect that the build quality of the cheap cables are probably a tad lower than more expensive ones, and/or the testing procedure is less rigorous.

    Not that that really matters. Less than 10% of the cheap HDMI cables I've encountered have been defective and even if as many 50% had been defective it still would make perfect sense to buy cheap ones.

    Bottom line - don't get expensive ones (at least not for short distances).
  11. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    I alway say, "why buy a $5 HDMI cable from Monoprice when you can get one from Monster that works just as well for 20x the price."
  12. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    I buy the Amazon Basics cables and get free 2-day shipping with Prime.
  13. pjarvi macrumors 65816


    Jan 11, 2006
    Round Lake, IL
    Buy the cheapest, if it doesn't work or has issues, by the next thickest gauge that's cheapest.

    In other words, the cheapest are probably 28AWG, if those don't work try 24AWG or 22AWG. All available from Gauge really shouldn't matter until you start to get around 20'-30' lengths and beyond though.

    Or just buy the 24/22AWG cables from the get go somewhere cheap and still pay a fraction of what you would pay for some name brand.
  14. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
  15. RisingStar777 macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    A Quality HDMi cable does make a difference

    I have a 60hz Sammy HDTV 2008 model, and a Panny Blu-ray DMP BD 60. I have listened carefully to all the arguments about HDMI cables, both pros and con’s. I have tried to stay neutral and decide for myself what to make of all of this and here is what I have found. The first HDMI cable I purchased was a Philips 6’ Gold cable. Then I tried a 6’ RCA HDMI cable, now don’t get me wrong both were okay but I wanted something really great to connect my Panny and Sammy with. :)

    Well after this I bought a 6’ Atlona HDMI cable and then an Atlona 6’ HDMI with Ethernet cable which I thought was as good as it gets, (up to 1440p.) Somewhere in between the two Atlona’s, I also got ripped online with what I think is fake Monster 1000 M Series cable. Until about a week ago I was using my Atlona with Ethernet cable and was pretty happy but I just had to find out. :eek:

    I had seen the Monster M 1000 HDMI cable at best buy for a while and had always wanted to try it. Well, when I went back to buy it they were sold out. In their place were three 8’ 2011 Max 3D Hyper Speed 1000 cables, 21Gbps. The older ones I had seen were 17Gbps, so my curiosity was eating me up. Knowing that best buy gives me 30 days to check the cable out and get my money back, I just could not resist. I must admit shelling out $140 was tough but I have always wanted a high quality HDMI cable to go with my elderly equipment. :(

    I hooked it up and stated trying Blu-ray flicks and standard Dvd’s, and yes there was a difference. Blacker blacks, color saturation, details very crisp and clear. So after a week or so of using it, I’m keeping this Monster cable. Why? Because this is the same cable that they are selling on the Internet as the M 2000 HDMI cable for $200 - $250. I have looked for reviews on this cable and can not find it online, but the package says 2011 on it. So I guess they are bringing it out slowly in order to sell more of the older cables. :rolleyes:

    I am happy, because I don’t have to read endless reviews anymore, and when I upgrade to a future 3-D HDTV, I will already have the best cable to do the job. Things are changing quickly, and it wont be long before they come out with 3-D HDTV’s where you won’t need glasses anymore. A close friend I have at best buy said that they are coming out with a bunch of new stuff! :eek:

    So maybe at present I don’t have the newest HDTV, or the best Blu-ray player at present. But with the new cable all my equipment works like it is supposed to. Of course to each his own, but in my experience the best cables do make a difference. :D
  16. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Um, the only differences you can notice between poor HDMI cable (typically because they cannot run over long cable length) and better ones would be picture freeze, white random dots, no image, and flickering. It is impossible for one cable to show blacker blacks, better color saturation, or more details.
  17. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    I needed a pair of HDMI cables for connecting my HD DVR and AppleTV2, but now I have to run 15'. I ordered 2 15' HDMI cable from Monoprice for a little more than $5 each. They will work every bit as well as the $250 Monster cables. The difference is they come in easy to open clear plastic bags rather than fancy, glitzy packaging.
  18. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    This exactly. With digital, either the signal gets through, it becomes completely garbled, or it doesn't get through at all. If, with cheap cables you get sparkles, drop outs, frozen pictures, then move up a grade in cable (or try another cheap one, that one could be bad). But it is impossible for it to show blacker blacks.

    Black is transmitted as 0x0000 (16 bit for ease of understanding) and white as 0xFFFF. All the other colors are somewhere in between (again simplifying). If the player sends 0x0000 to the TV, it either receives 0x0000, nothing, or something like 0xA1F3 (garbage). The first, is black, how the TV represents it is up to the TV not the cable. The second (nothing) means the picture freezes for that position, and the last, garbage means a wrong color is displayed (sparkles or complete corruption of the display). Now, if the HDMI cables were parallel, you could get 0x0000 to come out as 0x0002 consistently (a few bits being bad) but it isn't, it is serial, thus bit corruption is going to be randomly placed in various bits turning black to red, or green, or blue, or something else.

    Even better is that HDMI data is transmitted as a differential pair. What this means is that each bit is represented not only as a 0 to +v it is also sent as 0 to -v thus every data line is two physical lines that are the opposite of each other. This allows recovery of bit jitter, and attenuation of the data signals without losing data. (it allows for much longer transmission then normal digital lines [although is still digital]).

    There is NOTHING that can cause blacks to be more black or whites to be whiter across an HDMI cable. Failing cables will corrupt randomly or fail to display anything. Paying a lot for expensive cables is absurd; there is absolutely NO reason to do it. There are tons of online technical reviews that prove this. Even for long runs, the best cables are quality cables that cost $20ish. Monster cables are a RIP OFF!
  19. mwhq macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2010
    There are big differences depending on the price you pay. The cost usually comes down to the metal used. metals that are made up of elements that are better i.e Silver and Gold, will give you far better performance than a cable that is made from copper connectors. That's science not opinion.

    When you start to look at the differences and serious performance results (and money) your not just looking at what the connectors are made from it's also the wires that run through the cable, how they are constructed etc. If these are made of pure Silver it doesn't take a lot of brain power to work out that it will cost you rediculous amounts of money.

    I would say a happy medium is ideal (for HDMI) to be looking at metals such as Gold & Silver, this will ensure that the current is not dropping from your I/O. Avoid cheap ones, a budget of £20-50 would be sufficient.
  20. iggypod macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2010
    Yes. Copper is copper. Tinned or otherwise.

    I also would recommend Amazon's Basic brand.
  21. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    For digital it's mostly a bunch of hooey. I am unable to see any difference whatsoever between a $5 HDMI cable from Monoprice and a $300 hand built Transparent cable that I borrowed for home audition.
  22. artic5693 macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2007
    You just joined. I smell troll... and misinformation like this in no way helps anyone except for Monster Cable. So if you want to support a company that purposefully lies to consumers, then, by all means, go ahead. I'll watch tv via my monoprice cable that cost a fraction of the price.
  23. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    All cables that meet the same specification level are just fine. You need newer cables to support some newer features. Bottom line: if the cable works, and supports the features you need, it is just as good as one costing 20X as much.
  24. innominato5090 macrumors 6502


    Sep 4, 2009
    the only reason you might consider buying an expensive cable is to reduce interferences that data passing thru the cable creates. this might be quite important if you have some analog stuff sitting VERY close to the cables.
  25. RubbishBBspeed macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2009
    Shielding is the big issue, commercial cables have to stick to regulated materials. Some military cabling contains higher than commercially allowed levels of cadmium to reduce the electrical resistivity thus reducing the electrical signature. Unless your trying to avoid detection from enemy radar then you won't need milspec cables. But distance is a problem. But if you want some future insight check out oclaro website.

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