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LCD TV Cables, the good, bad & ugly.......

beachsands

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I am about to purchase a 52" LCD television and would like to get the low down on the cables for this expensive gadget.

I just can't get over the prices for some of them. I was looking at a 6' HDMI cable at Best Buy, it was $49.95! Someone was telling me that the cheap cables work as good as the expensive ones. Is That true? I read a couple of places on line that the better cables are superior. How many cables does the average installation need? (The six footers won't be long enough for my application). I would hate to have to purchase 4 or 5 of these things.

I still like the simplicity of the old screw on cable and\or rca plug in types.

I come from the old days when a good picture was if the screen wasn't so snowy that you could make out the outlines of the people. If it wasn't clear enough, back outside with the pipe wrench to turn the antennae a few degrees! I mean how good does a picture have to be to enjoy it? If I can see it clearly......well you know I mean.

So buying this thing is a stretch for me, let alone the seemingly high prices for the extra things to get it up and running.

......and of course we can't live without a Blu-Ray, can we???


what can ya do......lol


Joel:eek:
 

djs

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You can do just fine with the cheaper cables, though if you're sold on "monster" or some other premium brand, look at eBay or Amazon before buying them from Best Buy.
 

TUGBrian

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hdmi is digital....meaning the tv is either going to get it or it isnt...the cable itself wont make a difference.

a 49.95 pricetag on an hdmi cable is ridiculous...unless the cable is 50' long =)

bestcablesforless.com is where I have ordered from in the past...although you can probably find cheap 6' cables all over.

I personally have 3 or 4 of them from biglots of all places...they work fine.

HDMI is superior to coax...so it is most certainly worth the money...however you should be able to order 10' hdmi cables for far cheaper than 50 bucks each.
 

geoand

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You might want to check out avs forums. You will find everything you wanted, needed, and didn't need to know.

You can get excellent cables very cheaply online, including hdmi cables. Hdmi is a cable that transports both sound and picture thru one cable. It is digital.

I have 52 inch lcd that is connected to the receiver via hdmi cable. The receiver controls the sound and video. Comcast dvr is connected to receiver. Sound and picture from comcast is sent to receiver then to TV. The HD DVD player is connected to receiver. Soound and picture is sent to receiver (Onkyo) then to TV. All these connections are via hdmi cable.

You will receive the best picture and best sound if you use hdmi cables. My receiver has at least 3 hdmi ins and 1 hdmi out.

The receiver also is connected to 5 speakers plus 1 subwoofer via speaker wire for the surround sound. I have turned off the speakers on the TV to take advantage of the better speakers.
 
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Wonka

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Frankly, I think HD cable's are sold as part of the "pitch". I just installed an LCD in my MIL's apartment and tried both cables. The difference wasn't noticeable. But, I'm also sure there is a difference with the right equipment.
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
Buy The Cheap Cables.

Click here to find out why.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

Icarus

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Buy all your cables from www.monoprice.com

Don't even think about paying $50 for a 6' HDMI cable.

Here's a 10' certified HDMI cable for around $6 that will be just fine.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10240&cs_id=1024008&p_id=3957&seq=1&format=2

How long do you need it to go? If you go really long, you might want better cables, but anything under 15' can be pretty much any quality. monoprice has them all. BTW, you want a single cable. Don't think about daisy chaining them. You need one cable per source device, assuming you are wiring it from the source device directly to the tv. If you are going through a receiver you need one for the receiver to the tv, and then one per source device into the receiver. hdmi carries both audio and video, so that's all you need.

Even for analog sources, spending money for premium price cables is generally not worth it. You can get good cables and decent speaker wire at a reasonable price. If you're an audiophile with super-expensive equipment, then you aren't going to skimp on cables, but that doesn't apply to most of us here. A good place for high end cables is www.bettercables.com, but again, you don't need anything like that. (There's lots of other places for them also, and monster is not one of them.) If you have something like a $2,000 optical player with high end separate pre-pros and amp, then you might want the high end analog interconnect cables. Other than that, stick with the basic good stuff from monoprice.com. Those that have that type of equipment know what they want anyway. The rest of us don't need it.

BTW, the margins on Monster cable products (and similar) at places like CC and Best Buy are huge. That's why they try to sell them. Ignore them. Buy your own cables. Same thing with the extended warranties. If you really want one, you can buy one somewhere else at a reasonable price.

-David
 
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Icarus

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Frankly, I think HD cable's are sold as part of the "pitch". I just installed an LCD in my MIL's apartment and tried both cables. The difference wasn't noticeable. But, I'm also sure there is a difference with the right equipment.

Not for HDMI there isn't. If you are going really long, maybe.

-David
 

maddaug

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I just bought all our cables at monoprice.com.
No problems at all. I have the dvr, blu-ray all plugged into the receiver and then the cable out from the receiver to the tv.
All from monoprice. The price was so great I ordered an extra cable just in case of another hook-up in the future. Fast shipping too.
I also picked up a couple extra usb cables while shopping around for our ipods.
I can assure you the store prices for any of these cables are way marked up.
 

Elan

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I recently purchased a pair (2) of 6' HDMI cables at www.meritline.com for $8.49. That price included shipping. In a digital environment there's no reason to spend a ridiculous amount for "high end" cabling.
 

nightnurse613

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I remember reading a discussion like this before. I bought 3 or 4 hdmi cables from monoprice, like David suggested (I think I got four for $20). They were a pretty blue color. I ordered extras which came in handy when we got a PS3 this Christmas. :D
 

capjak

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Cables from Best Buy etc are a total rip off.

Buy on line and check the specifications between the cables and reccomended installation.

HDMI cable 4 foot should be around $12.
 

nazclk

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Cables

Monoprice is the ticket. bought 4 for about $17 including shipping. My SIL
who works in the computer business said if the cable is not longer than 50' you have nothing to worry about.
 

JeffW

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Another vote for monoprice. It's almost scary to actually think of someone paying $100+ for an HDMI cable (no matter how good it claims to be) at one of the electronics stores.
 

Carta

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Monoprice.....fantastic!!!!!!!! I bought several items w/ great results
 
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pwrshift

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What does 'Category 2' mean with HDMI cables ... are there different categories to know about?

Brian
 

TUGBrian

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I believe it has to do with the bandwidth available within the cable (ie how much it can carry)...

however IMO all HDMI cables can support anything a home theatre can throw at it, and they are no different visually and or at the connectors...so for all intents and purposes HDMI is HDMI.

that said, who knows what may happen in the future, so if the price is the same...id get the more recent one.
 

mas

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What does 'Category 2' mean with HDMI cables ... are there different categories to know about?

Brian

TUGBrian is essentially correct. From Wikipedia:

Cable length

The HDMI specification does not define a maximum cable length, but because of signal attenuation there is an upper limit to how long HDMI cables can be made.[54] The length of the HDMI cable made depends on the construction quality and materials that were used.[54] The signal attenuation and intersymbol interference which is caused by long cables can be compensated by using adaptive equalization.

HDMI 1.3 has defined two categories of cables: Category 1 certified cables which have been tested at 74.5 MHz (1080i/720p) and Category 2 certified cables which have been tested at 340 MHz (1600p) to reduce the confusion about which cables support which video formats.[55] A Category 1 HDMI cable will be marketed as a "Standard HDMI cable" and a Category 2 HDMI cable will be marketed as a "High Speed HDMI cable".[1] This labeling guideline for HDMI cables went into effect on October 17, 2008.[56][57] Category 1 and 2 cables can either meet the required parameter specifications for inter-pair skew, far-end crosstalk, attenuation, and differential impedance or they can meet the required non-equalized/equalized eye diagram requirements.[55] A cheaply made cable of about 5 meters (16 ft) can be manufactured to Category 1 specifications using 28 AWG conductors.[54] With better quality construction and materials (24 AWG conductors) an HDMI cable can reach lengths of up to 15 meters (49 ft).[54] The HDMI website has stated that many HDMI cables under 5 meters of length that were made before the HDMI 1.3 specification can work as a Category 2 cable but cautions that only Category 2 tested cables are guaranteed to work.[58] Long cable lengths can cause instability of HDCP and blinking on the screen due to the weakened DDC signal which HDCP requires. HDCP DDC signals must be multiplexed with TMDS video signals to be compliant with HDCP requirements for HDMI extenders based on a single Category 5/Category 6 cable.[59][60] Several companies offer amplifiers, equalizers, and repeaters that can string several standard HDMI cables together. Active HDMI cables use electronics within the cable to boost the signal and allow for HDMI cables of up to 30 meters (98 ft).[61] HDMI extenders that are based on dual Category 5/Category 6 cable can extend HDMI to 50 meters (164 ft) while HDMI extenders based on optical fiber can extend HDMI to 100+ meters (328 ft).[54][61]
 

Kal

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No matter which HDMI cable you purchase, make sure you use a pipe wrench to tighten it. You might also need to keep twisting the cable until the picture is just perfect.

Also, check out the back of the TV and see if you can plug in your phonograph. Then just sit back and enjoy!!
 

Transit

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I wanted to bump this thread for anyone buying new av equipment.The stores are still getting silly prices for cables.There are some good links here for very reasonable sites. I passed on the $50.00 HDMI at Bestbuy and picked up a few of the $5.00 ones at www.monoprice.com. . Thanks to those who posted .
 
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