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teach me about HDMI cables

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
what do i need for the apple tv?
are all hdmi cables the same, monster, vs bestbuy vs generic vs visio etc

amazon has some for 2-6$ a piece for 6ft
walmart has some from 32-54-75$

what's the difference, is there a difference

i mean, $32 vs $4, OK i have to wait 5 days for shipping but does it really matter

male-male male-female
are they like usb cables in that the connectors are unique for the computer and for the peripheral

what should i be looking for
thanks for your help
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post #2 of 20
Expensive HDMI cables is one of the biggest scams going. It's like paying top dollar for a USB cable to connect your keyboard because you want to make sure the letters come through with high fidelity.
Baring a complete lack of quality control, so that the cable end falls off or the conductor doesn't actually run the length of the cable, the actual performance difference between a $75 cable and a $3 is nil. Odds are the $75 cable will have more plastic on the cable end, probably with some pretty molding to make it look badass.

Having said all that, most folks in the know get their HDMI cables at Monoprice.com., which has a proven track record of good stuff at rock bottom prices. For instance, here's a 6' HDMI cable for $3, and you can't go wrong.
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post #3 of 20
They're all the same, buy the cheapest one.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Having said all that, most folks in the know get their HDMI cables at Monoprice.com., which has a proven track record of good stuff at rock bottom prices. For instance, here's a 6' HDMI cable for $3, and you can't go wrong.

Actually, that link takes you to an HDMI-DVI cable. That specific cable won't work with your Apple TV properly. The simple reason is because your TV probably doesn't support DVI, which is a competitive digital video input system. There are other reasons, like DVI doesn't transmit audio (although the AppleTV's optical audio connection fixes that if you've got a 5.1 surround system, but that can get complex if you haven't done the research -- and that would require another cable, too).

That said, Monoprice.com is a good site for buying HDMI cables. Here's a Monoprice HDMI cable designed to connect an AppleTV to HDTV sets. That link is for a "male to male" cable. The "male" plugs are the ones used in all HDTVs, BluRay players, HD cable and satellite set-top boxes, the Apple TV, and other set-top electronics. For anything that will remain in a house, a male to male cable is fine.

Portable electronics, like video-capable digital SLR cameras, have "female" HDMI jacks. These jacks are smaller than the "male" jacks, and therefore allow more room for other types of jacks to fit on compact devices. In such a case, a "male to female" HDMI cable would be required.
post #5 of 20
Duh, mislinked. Yeah, of course, HDMI to HDMI it is.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
great thanks
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post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemikeb View Post


Portable electronics, like video-capable digital SLR cameras, have "female" HDMI jacks. These jacks are smaller than the "male" jacks, and therefore allow more room for other types of jacks to fit on compact devices. In such a case, a "male to female" HDMI cable would be required.

Hmmm, just reread this bit. Devices all have female ports (or jacks), the interconnecting cables are all male to male plugs. The difference with some smaller devices isn't gender but size; camcorders and some DSLRs have mini, or Type C HDMI ports. So to get from a camera to a TV you'd like need a mini (type C) male HDMI to full sized (type A) male HDMI cable.

The only time you'd want a F to M HDMI cable is to use as an extender for an existing cable (although there are limits as to far how you can take that) or if you have a M HDMI to some other format adapter that you want to use with an existing M to M HDMI cable.

There's also a micro HDMI spec, It's used in some of the newer phones.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #8 of 20
I'm not going to argue for paying through the nose for generic cables, but I have owned some off-price cables of various kinds that ended up not being worth the savings. They had poor integrity -- presumably in the connectors, though it's hard to tell why they fail, they just do. Caveat emptor?
Please don't be insane.
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post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I'm not going to argue for paying through the nose for generic cables, but I have owned some off-price cables of various kinds that ended up not being worth the savings. They had poor integrity -- presumably in the connectors, though it's hard to tell why they fail, they just do. Caveat emptor?

Yep. Buy from Monoprice.com next time instead of guywithcablesinhistrunk.com.

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post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Yep. Buy from Monoprice.com next time instead of guywithcablesinhistrunk.com.

Uh, thanks. I've purchased cables from reputable places and had them fail a year later.
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post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Uh, thanks. I've purchased cables from reputable places and had them fail a year later.

And I've purchased cables from reputable places and never had them fail. No group of anything has 100% integrity. Either take what you get and get a refund/replacement or never buy anything ever.

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post #12 of 20
Nice.
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post #13 of 20
i have a kawasaki 5 disc dvd surround sound system and it has audio in jacks (red and white) and my tv has audio out jacks. so i was told to buy rca (red and white) audio cable to plug one into the other and i would get surround sound while watching tv. i did so and i dont get any audio throught the surround sound speakers. im lost and confussed b/c ive been trying to do this for some time now. i have the surround sound set on a function of av in (matrix, there are other options like dolby pro, music, movie, or bypass) not sure what that should be set on. the tv also has digital audio oput options (raw , pcm or off) not sure what that should be set on also. any help would be appreciated ! thank you






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post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I'm not going to argue for paying through the nose for generic cables, but I have owned some off-price cables of various kinds that ended up not being worth the savings. They had poor integrity -- presumably in the connectors, though it's hard to tell why they fail, they just do. Caveat emptor?

I usually go a bit more upscale if it's a cable that I expect to be plugging in out more than a few times. "Upscale" in this case means a few extra dollars for slightly more robust plastic on the cable ends.

In the case of the average HDMI use case, it's hard to envision how you'd get failure after a while if it works to begin with. I mean, the thing's just sitting there, plugged into stuff, with no stresses whatsoever. YMMV, but I've never had a Monoprice cable fail, and if it did I would toss it without a second thought, since it was unlikely to have cost me more than a few bucks.

Still, all of this is moot in the face of $75 for 3' Best Buy HDMI cables, which is quite simply ludicrous larceny designed to exploit consumer ignorance/Best Buy hard sell. Monster, in particular, is so aggressive and so shameless that they should be driven from the realm with sticks.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I usually go a bit more upscale if it's a cable that I expect to be plugging in out more than a few times. "Upscale" in this case means a few extra dollars for slightly more robust plastic on the cable ends.

In the case of the average HDMI use case, it's hard to envision how you'd get failure after a while if it works to begin with. I mean, the thing's just sitting there, plugged into stuff, with no stresses whatsoever. YMMV, but I've never had a Monoprice cable fail, and if it did I would toss it without a second thought, since it was unlikely to have cost me more than a few bucks.

Still, all of this is moot in the face of $75 for 3' Best Buy HDMI cables, which is quite simply ludicrous larceny designed to exploit consumer ignorance/Best Buy hard sell. Monster, in particular, is so aggressive and so shameless that they should be driven from the realm with sticks.

You have to give Monster some credit. They've managed to position themselves as "us vs. all the cheap stuff." Since so much of the cheap stuff is cheap for a very good reason, the marketing logic plays. Anyone who's ever been the victim of a cable failure is in their target market.

Probably HDMI is safe if left undisturbed behind the TV but cables can get stressed over time just from being installed in a bent configuration. That said, I think most of my problems have been with CAT-5 cables. Those have a way of getting stepped on, and of course the connectors are flimsy.

I'll give Monoprice a try next time.
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post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
well on your suggestion i went to monoprice bought a $2.50 6ft cable and works great on my ATV and returned the $32 cable and put the $30 BACK in my pocket
the neat thing about monoprice they have them in many colors so if i have multiple connections i will color code them now
thanks for all the insight
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post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Uh, thanks. I've purchased cables from reputable places and had them fail a year later.

I understand your reticence, but I've been using Monoprice HDMI cables for a few years now with no construction issues, holding up to occasional mishaps, not just sitting there. I have a 50ft HDMI cable to a projector, it works fine and is at least as well built as any more expensive cable I've seen or used. As for other brands of inexpensive HDMI cable, I don't know. I wouldn't buy one at a dollar store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

You have to give Monster some credit. They've managed to position themselves as "us vs. all the cheap stuff." Since so much of the cheap stuff is cheap for a very good reason, the marketing logic plays. Anyone who's ever been the victim of a cable failure is in their target market.

I really don't know how that works, because there are plenty of products in several price brackets between the cheap stuff and Monster. Monster seemed to sell on having pixie dust fidelity, not so much durability that I've ever seen. I can't remember the last cable that I owned that failed due to poor construction, even the stuff thrown in with AV gear. There was one optical cable that failed due to clear abuse (animal chewing or furniture landing on it, I forget), I don't think any brand of consumer cable could have survived that.

Quote:
That said, I think most of my problems have been with CAT-5 cables. Those have a way of getting stepped on, and of course the connectors are flimsy.

I've just been assembling my own network cables with parts from Lowe's for the most part, but for networking, if you prefer a pre-made one, my Belkins put up with a decade and a half of abuse and still keep running.
post #18 of 20
if you are running hdmi cables for short lengths (3-12 ft or so) you can get by with most any cable that fits your price range. There is a difference in the quality of the cables at higher prices though.
For my application I used standard off the shelf cables (28 gauge) for the Box to Box cables in my recessed in wall equipment cabinet. Then from the cabinet to TV I used a 35 ft 22gauge heavy cable from mycablemart.com. The cables are plenum rated and very heavy gauge for long distances. I didn't want to go low end quality since I ran them in the wall and through the attic to make the connection at the TV that is 30 feet away. I just dont want to do it again so I used the big/good stuff.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

what do i need for the apple tv?
are all hdmi cables the same, monster, vs bestbuy vs generic vs visio etc

amazon has some for 2-6$ a piece for 6ft
walmart has some from 32-54-75$

what's the difference, is there a difference

i mean, $32 vs $4, OK i have to wait 5 days for shipping but does it really matter

male-male male-female
are they like usb cables in that the connectors are unique for the computer and for the peripheral

what should i be looking for
thanks for your help

yeah, there was a pc mag article i was reading that said all the cables are basically the same. You might get better picture from the more expensive quality cables, but the difference is so slight you won't notice.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by larkpeters View Post

You might get better picture from the more expensive quality cables ...

for cable lengths less than 15 metres, all HDMI cables are equally capable for carrying video and audio signals without issue. since signals are digital in HDMI, you either receive the signal or not. "better picture" is subjective and would only pertain to analogue signals like those carried across composite or component cables.
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