Which HDMI Cable is BEST for Apple TV 4?

iRobby

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 22, 2011
994
5
Fort Myers, FL USA
Just bought the 64GB Apple TV 4th Generation. Can anyone help me choose the best HDMI cable to purchase that will work the best with the Apple TV.

I looked the Apple HDMI Cable. Are there any others that are better quality? Are there more than one type that have better features or benefits?
 

andyp350

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2011
807
459
Any will be fine. Some of the cheap ones might not be built so well and may break after a year or so, but the image quality is the same with all of them.
 
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ctyrider

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2012
996
538
Just bought the 64GB Apple TV 4th Generation. Can anyone help me choose the best HDMI cable to purchase that will work the best with the Apple TV.

I looked the Apple HDMI Cable. Are there any others that are better quality? Are there more than one type that have better features or benefits?
You must have Monster gold-plated HDMI cable. As everyone knows, gold improves the quality of the bits as they travel the wire.

 

kingtj

macrumors 68030
Oct 23, 2003
2,597
741
Brunswick, MD
I'd like to hear it too, but only for amusement. I've been doing this stuff long enough that I've formed my own opinion based on the reality of actually connecting up many, many HDMI devices with a variety of cables over the years.

The fact that the signal is digital is correct. That means the only thing that can happen with an inferior quality cable is you can start losing 1's and 0's in the stream of bits. Built in error correction in the protocol will handle the occasional missed bit and keep the video and audio flowing without perceptible interruption. Too much data loss will result in the screen going black or scrambling up/freezing up along with audio.

So what DOES happen is that HDMI cable quality starts mattering as you go with longer runs of cabling. Longer wires have more resistance and can cause data errors/loss, compounded by any losses created by poor quality connection between the wires and the connectors on each end.

Spending more for a particular HDMI cable doesn't guarantee it's better quality either. Some are and some aren't. As a real general rule, I've found almost any HDMI cable works fine in a 6 foot length or less. When I go to a 12 foot cable, I start having issues with intermittent signal loss if I use a poorly made cable.


Let's pretend it IS the right place. I'd really love to hear someone's reasoning on the subject.
We can also talk about the secret truth behind Santa, unicorns and the Tooth Fairy.
 
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phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,336
750
Adding more peanuts to the gallery -

Are there difference between high end cable and typical cable - yes. Will a typical set of home devices suffer from lower end standard cables, NO.

What you might be a bit more likely to find out is that some cables are more flexible than others. Amazon's basic cable is an okay cable yet their braided version is thick and very stiff and to be avoided. So flexibility is one factor and the other factor is the ends of the cables and if they are well made. Nothing worse than faulty ends or ones that fall apart. Beyond that, don't worry too much.

Typical - suppliers of decent HDMI cables
Amazon (you can find their own basic version, and a lot of other makers who have "reviews" attached)
Best Buy house brand
Monoprice
Radio Shack "gold series" (the ends are finished nicely and typical flexibility)
etc.

If you are worried about quality of signal, don't. A typical HDMI cable that meets the standards is all you really need. The "uber high end" cables are for enthusiasts who either have high end equipment that can show a measured difference or someone who wants boasting rights. I few weeks ago, I saw a rather amusing article where someone hooked up speakers with rolled up foil as speaker wire. He did a blind test on some good equipment and the listeners couldn't tell the difference. Again, it comes down to getting a decent well made HDMI cable that you can work with and the ends don't crap out or break.
 

CarlJ

macrumors 601
Feb 23, 2004
4,518
7,429
San Diego, CA, USA
With analog signal cables, one can argue the merits of high-end cables (I'm not saying that there are merits, simply that there is room for discussion), but with digital cables, bits get there or they don't - there are no premium 1's and 0's for high-end systems, so, your super-high-end TV won't display better with high-end cables, as long as all the bits are arriving. And if they're not, the picture damage will be dramatic, not, "oh yeah, I think it looks a little better/worse".

For typical behind-the-TV connections, any decent quality cable should work. I recommend MonoPrice (long the nerd's secret weapon - it helps one's confidence to see several hundred positive reviews before buying a $5 cable, and I don't think they're gaming their own review system), or AmazonBasics. It's not that the others won't work, just that going with a sure thing means statistically fewer headaches.

HDMI _does_ have a problem with long runs (it's actually a pretty poorly designed standard); if you're doing something over, say, 25 feet, and want to guarantee that it works the first time so you won't have to rip out and replace a bad cable, I'd recommend looking at Blue Jeans Cable, because they've actually done the R&D and engineering work and their cables aren't just coming out of the same factory in China as everyone else's cables. Their improvements to the cable don't involve shiny marketing, holy water, or piles of MadeUpTerms™. They have a collection of articles on HDMI that are pretty interesting, and which are the reason I've got MonoPrice cables behind the TV, but a 30ft BlueJeans cable for the one that snakes around the room to end under the couch (for occasionally plugging in laptops).
 
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