Quality HDMI cables

spiderwheels

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October 28, 2009
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I have always used the cheapest HDMI cables (around £2 for 3 metres) with no issues on all my equipment - XBox, blu-ray, PC - adhering to the principle that expensive cables are a rip off.

Except I have a possible HDMI issue with my HTPC and would like to rule out the cable as the cause. Swapping among my cheap cables doesn't help.

Can you recommend a quality cable brand that will rule it out as the problem without paying hyped up prices?

Thanks
SW
 

Scythe42

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    Digital = no need to care about the cable at all. They are all the same.

    Only exception: If you go very long you need to use a better shielded premium cable (problem of the HDMI specs). Or use a HDMI -> Ethernet balun and use 5 USD HDMI cables about a foot long.

    I use the cheapest cables available. Just look for a decent plug that really fits in tight and doen't wiggle.

    No problems. I came about very few cables that just sucked and never gave a signal with certain devices. But that is not a cable problem but a problem of the device itself that has HDMI not properly implemented (some Settop box from providers are known to have issues). Pin19 and HDMI hot-swapping stuff bad devices cannot handle (firmware bugs in the device itself).
     
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    spiderwheels

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    Given that you've kindly acknowledged the quality of the cable can make a difference I hope someone can suggest a good brand.
     

    Scythe42

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    In my case I use Cmple and Steren, as they are the cheapest ones and come in various colors so I know what cable is which (3 foot cable costs about 3.95 USD)

    Only for a very long HDMI cable (> 5m) I use an horrible expensive Home Digital Reference since I upgrade to HD many years ago. Wouldn't but it again. Rip off.

    A HDMI > Ethernet > HDMI balun the better choice when going > 5m as this solution is cheaper and you can go up tp 100m. A balun set runs at about 60-80 USD for up to 30m distance. You still use the cheap short HDMI cable and do the long way with two Cat5e cables that come cheap (15m about five bucks). You can all use wall mount plates if you prefer this.

    I personally use this balun: http://www.smarthome.com/97673/Vanco-280713-HDMI-Cat5-Balun-Extender-Kit-with-IR-30-Meter/p.aspx. Also allows IR to be send over the HDMI-CEC channel to the HTPC. There is cheaper stuff than Vanco (about just one third of the price) but I never tested them. I am more or less sold on Vanco for such stuff as I never had any problems with their products and they never died on me. But they come at a premium price.
     
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    spiderwheels

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    So for those of you who think there's nothing wrong with cheap cables:

    I borrowed a short cable (less likely to suffer errors) to test and the problem went away. I bought a slightly more expensive 3m cable (slightly thicker than the old one) and it is also fine.

    It was just both the cheap cables that were crap.
     

    legnod

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    Hi,

    on short cable length theres no big difference between a high quality and a low quality cable i think. but if you need longer cables >5m then you shouldn`t buy the cheapest. I tried different cables between 5m and 10m and i had some "pixel errors" (flickering red/green/blue pixels) on some cheap cables with 10m.
     
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    Spragleknas

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    HDMI - either it works or it doesn't....

    Reminds me of a forum discussion regarding audio quality on optical vs coax SPDIF, where a users (sarcastically) wrote something like : "I prefer optical, It makes the 0's rounder and the 1's a bit longer...."
    :D
     
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    Scythe42

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    There are a couple of HDMI cables that don't work properly at all with most devices as not all pins are connected or cables broken. I came across this a lot with some manufactures. Bad Quality Control.

    As already pointed out Cmple and Steren work great for me. And they are as cheap as ethernet cables.
     
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    kiwijunglist

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    All HDMI cables less than 5m are equal in terms of video quality, don't need to buy expensive cables. The problem with your cheap cable was that it was faulty, it was not because it was cheap.
     

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