The Rip - the last word on HDMI cable prices

1 April 2010

If you’ve already splashed out on the huge flat-screen tv, a state-of-art Blu-Ray player, and a satellite dish with a monthly subscription that brings with it hundreds of channels, then it probably seems like it’s a small price to pay for HDMI cables. But, this is exactly the mentality that gets people to pay for this habitually over-priced bit of technological excess. The truth is that there is absolutely no difference between the cheapest and most expensive HDMI cables, at least over shorter runs.

Brilliant. Click on the image below to see the whole infographic in all its glory.

Bitterwallet - gold plated goodness from Mint Life
[MintLife]

TOPICS:   Technology

27 comments

  • avbod
    Great. More not exactly accurate information arguing one specific point of view. And on a badly constructed 'infographic' (is it not just a picture?). All I see is a rant against Best Buy and Monster - Are mint.com a septic bitterwallet? The best part of the whole article is the highlighting of the difference in profit between selling cables and accessories and selling hardware. And do bitterwallet readers still think Best Buy's arrival in the UK is the radical shapeup you were all expecting?
  • Tim
    I pity those who get told/ think a HDMI cable is premium, when infact it is just a cable that carries a digital signal with no loss..
  • oliverreed
    Some lass I worked with bought a £50 HDMI cable, I laughed so hard I nearly shat myself. Ducks for cover - from the DSG group! Anyone who thinks these cables are a justified expense I have a lovely line in premium USB cables they may also be interested in......
  • Mike
    Right - let's set the record straight - digital signals are not just 'there or not'! For crying out loud, what a bunch of retards... Can the average joe see the difference? Probably not... IS THERE A DIFFERENCE? YES THERE BLOODY WELL IS! The signal can be slowed down if the cable isn't pure - yes, it'll get there but the processor in the tv will have more work to do synchronising everything...timing is everything people - and that's just one of the differences...colour depth and accuracy all play their part... IF YOU WANT THE BEST, PAY FOR IT... IF YOU WANT TO BUY A £1000 LED TV CAPABLE OF AMAZING PICTURES, AN AMAZING PS3 CAPABLE OF 68BILLION DIFFERENT COLOURS AND THEN YOU CONNECT THEM UP WITH A PIECE OF SHIT £5 CABLE THEN YOU'RE AN IDIOT! IF YOU'RE TIGHT AND SPEND £300 ON A TV AND PLUG IT INTO A CRAPPY LITTLE XBOX, THEN THE FIVER CAPABLE WILL PROBABLY BE JUST FINE.
  • avbod
    Oh Mike, you started so well.... The problem is, it IS mainly average Joes who by £1k LED tv's now. And they wont see any difference between a £10 cable and a £100 cable. You only need to look at the numbers of people buying an HD source to go with their new telly to see that image quality often isnt the b all and end all of things. For an upscaling dvd, a cheap hdmi is probably fine and tbh, unless you actually scrutinise the picture when you're watching a BD, you PROBABLY wont see any difference. In this case, don't go for the cheapest (because of build quality issues) but a cheapish well manufactured cable is probably the best compromise. That's not to say there isnt a differnce, but if it's not obvious then isnt the money wasted? Likewise, buying a Porsche is probably not worth it if you only live and drive in London. Yes, there are differences, but will you actually be able to experience the difference?
  • Al
    Arguments with 'audiophiles' are utterly pointless since they mostly ignore science and resort to name calling. It always reminds me of the childrens tale about the emperor's new clothes ... Anyway, for a 2m or less HDMI cable, it is pointless buying anything but a well built cheap one (there is no 'subtle colour accuracy' difference). Above 2m or at higher resolutions (above 1080p) then buying a more expensive one can be beneficial.
  • Jack
    Haha Mike oh Mike, good intentions, but more bullshit. avbod, good response! HDMI cables are all the same over short length, when you go longer, there will be marginal difference on a better cable if you are transmitting 1080p or higher. However this marginal difference is so very small, I don't think the human eye can tell the difference. Its like when TV companies quote 100hz refresh rate etc, when our eyes aren't good enough to benefit from it! Mike, a £5 HDMI cable (actually £1 if you go to poundland) will be as good as any other cable to 99% of people. In the future who knows, there may be better standards and more data which will need a better cable. There needs to be more info out there, if I was looking for a 'better' cable, I would have no idea what to look for, as a £50 cable could just be a £5 cable tarted up, and a £25 cable may be really good and reasonably priced, but I wouldn't know it, and might think it was an expensive cheap cable. Urgghhh I'm sticking with my £1 cable at the moment anyway, my HDTV is only 720p so it makes NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL. And my 1080p monitor is 21" so there is no point in getting a better cable for that either with a screen so small.
  • Jack
    * oops, my comment was a bit inaccurate, there are some small differences at longer lengths and 1080p plus that are visible, but only if you look hard enough, and really compare or use scientific tests. Not £100 difference IMO.
  • mein c.
    Mike's post was the best April Fool's I saw all day
  • JGN
    Mike's one of the gimps that spent £69.99 on an HDMI cable from PC World last weekend.
  • steve
    lol at mike both an xbox and pss3 output at 1080p and IMHO the xbox has the edge on 3rd party games, ive got both connected with pondland cablesto two different tv's and i am glad for poundland
  • Rich
    XBOX outputs at 1080i, PS3 is superior in every way.
  • wonky h.
    I bum mike
  • Mike
    But the expensive ones have belkin printed on them and everything!!!!! You're all mad! Pay the difference
  • oliverreed
    @Rich are you Mike's Postman or Postbox?
  • Rich
    I only wrote one reply on this. I bought my hdmi cable from the internet (the best place to buy cables) for £10 I wouldn't pay £1 for the cable because I know it will fall apart within weeks.
  • Rich
    Also 'olivereed' you seem like the type of person who smells people's seat after they get up. What a freak.
  • mein c.
    Rich it's April 2nd, you're the fool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • John W.
    You are still missing the point. Digital signals are either there or not. There is no signal degradation, over long or short cables. There is no signal delay. There is no interference. The cable is just passing a signal from A to B. Trust me, a £1 cable gives EXACTLY the same result as a $250 Monster cable. Its not even a case of "the differences are hardly noticeable". THERE ARE NO DIFFERENCES TO NOTICE. The picture quality does not differ between a cheap cable and a monster cable. FULL STOP. I know what I am talking about, having been in the industry for many years. Its all just money-making bullshit.
  • Al
    @John Wilkinson - There is signal attenuation over long distances. Over a few metres you won't notice it, but at longer distances you can start having problems (when talking about 20m cables for projectors etc). It doesn't mean you need to use 'oxygen free copper' and 'silver plated connectors' or whatever other marketing cr*p there is, it just means you need to slightly thicker cable (or HDMI repeaters). While digital signals minimise the effect of interference and attenuation, all cables will suffer whatever kind of signal you are sending down them.
  • me
    Way to go John!
  • wonky h.
    I wish I could bum John
  • John W.
    @wonky You can. Anytime. Maybe. (or maybe not)
  • MayConatinNuts
    Regardless of whether a £500 cable *could* give you a better picture or not, cutting open the plugs on any HDMI cable will show you that they all use the same cheap solder to connect the plugs and the cables... Any minisule improvement the unicorn-pube lined golden wire provides is going to be lost by the cheap bits you can't see.
  • oliverreed
    @Rich PS3 Vs Xbox arguments, like your other comment, are childish at best. The 360 outputs at 1080p according to wikipedia (here if you can't find it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360 - I'm guessing you need the help?) Happy Easter, hope you don't choke on any eggs.....
  • Everett L.
    Thanks for the nice write-up. A couple of issues I should point out about well being , Content is good. I would hope to be again tracking.
  • free l.
    That was a useful post,You discover something new every day.

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