HDMI Cables and quality

  Peter Lanky 15:32 22 Oct 2008

Higher quality (i.e. more expensive) HDMI cables gives a significant improvement in picture and audio quality on a TV. Is this a fact or a myth?

There seems to be 2 schools of thought. One that agrees with the above and one that says because the signal is digital, the quality of the cable is irrelevant.

Obviously, one group is wrong, but which one? If more expensive cables are better, how does one judge them based on the limited information given online, and even more limited knowledge of shop salesmen.

  oresome 17:31 22 Oct 2008

If the difference is significant, you will have no difficulty in deciding, as you'll be able to see and hear the difference.

I suspect you won't be able to differentiate.

But if you have cheap electrical connectors that are manufactured to sloppy tolerances and oxidise after a while, you can expect problems soon enough.

  al7478 15:03 23 Oct 2008

in a hifi forum this would go on forever lol!

  GRIDD 23:46 23 Oct 2008

Currys had several TV's in a row once. Labelled, if memory serves me right:

Belkin Pure AV HDMI £59.99 - picture was awesome.

A £19.99 Logik Gold HDMI lead - picture was average.

Some generic HDMI £9.99 - picture was less than satisfactory.

Then Scart and it was poor.

I really didn't believe what they were showing and here's why:

I own a Belkin pure AV 2m HDMI cable £59.99 - the one demo'd, 2 generic 2 metre ones bought for a £4 each in Zavvi, a 3 metre playstation 3 official HDMI cable costing £17.99 and one supplied by Virgin.

I could not tell the difference between any of them, except the Sony ps3 one which is 3 metre and produced a worse picture than the other 2 metre cables.

My V+ is using the cable provided by Virgin and my PS3 and Upscaling DVD player are using the cables bought for £4 each in Zavvi.

The Belkin cables as really thick insulation and doesn't bend easy, the connectors are quite heavy too. Once I had it in my TV I kept thinking it might damage the HDMI port and removed it.

  john bunyan 16:04 26 Oct 2008

I have just bought a Pioneer DVR-560HX DVD Recorder and Pioneer KRL-32V TV. With a bog standard HDMI cable, when the recorder started a timer recording from stand by and the TV was on, some TV channels - including the one being watched - were suddenly lost - the TV needed a channel reinstall. This seems to have been cured by the use of a Vivanco 1.3 certified HDMI cable. Early days but it does seem to have cured an annoying problem. Also, not sure if 1080p is ok on a cheaper cable?

  oresome 16:47 26 Oct 2008

I was in Currys Digital yesterday and they had a couple of TVs on show, one connected by a cheap cable and the other by an expensive one.

The expensive cable was displaying a much better picture to prove the retailers point.

Unfortunately, the TVs were not the same model or even manufacturer and it all seemed a pointless exercise. Adjusting the controls of the inferior TV picture would have improved things no end.

The quality of a digital signal is measured by the error count. When the errors get to a point where the decoder fails, the picture will freeze or break up as will the sound. Don't expect a loss of contrast and colour intensity as demonstrated on the Currys set up.

  Peter Lanky 17:52 26 Oct 2008

Somebody in Curry's told me I would need to spend about £40 on a decent cable, so I took that with a pinch of salt.

  john bunyan 19:26 26 Oct 2008

Beta. No , ticket price £59 (2 metres). Got it free from shop as I bought the recorder and tv there! Mystery as to why the loss of tv channels on recorder start up has gone away, though. What is 1.3 for then? Both Recorder and TV are 1080p. Recorder manual specifies "High speed HDMI cable" - I assumed there are different sorts.

  john bunyan 09:03 27 Oct 2008

Beta. You are not rude - I got it for nothing , which is a bargain. Also the sudden programme disruption on TV when the timer starts has stopped. The manual for the DVD R specifically says " HDMI Control may not operate properly if you do not use a High Speed HDMI cable" (Page 23) - are there different "speeds" in HDMI? I still do not know why this cable has seemed to cure a problem - even Pioneer, who I phoned, suggested the use of a better cable. This was the motivation rather than picture quality and it cost me zero. Believe me as a pensioner and an ex professional commodity buyer I dont often get ripped off!

  Covergirl 12:50 27 Oct 2008

click here - specialist TV Forum so some of them should know their stuff.
I don't know if there's any responses on HDMI 1.3 . . .

I once read that because it's a digital signal consisting of 0s and 1s, it either works or it doesn't.

As always, start off with the cheapest and if they don't work, take 'em back, get a refund then go to the next one up.

Interesting facts and version support on HDMI Wiki click here

Cable prices in Comet, PC World and Currys are astonishing - you'd think they would be able to buy in bulk then pass the savings onto us customers. Personally, I wouldn't believe anything they say - after all, they're just after max profit and max commission.

  john bunyan 17:55 27 Oct 2008

Covergirl. Thanks for info. All I know is that the original HDMI cable seemed to cause the TV to lose channels when the DVD R came on, and the new one does not. Luckily I got my expensive cable free from the shop ( suspect they did a deal with Pioneer, anthough I paid only a fraction over the Internet price for a delivered set up system.)

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