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HDMI Cable Review

HDMI Cable Review

This article on HDMI cables will tell you all that you need to know about these wires. We strongly recommend that you buy a cable that costs no more than $15, even if the brand is simply a generic one...
Rahul Thadani
You may be aware that you can buy a good HDMI cable from a store for a seemingly large amount of money, but this often leaves one wondering if this high price is really worth it. After all, paying $100 for a wire does not sit too well with someone who wishes to use the wire to connect a $299 video gaming console to a High-Definition Television (HDTV).
High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cables are used for connecting certain devices to HDTV sets and getting high quality images and video output on the TV screen. These cables use the latest technology for this purpose, and they contain up to 19 different kinds of wires inside them. The speed of data transfer that they offer is also very high (10.2 Gbps, though there are cables that offer higher speeds), and this is what lends the HDMI cable its air of superiority.
The need to move to HDMI is necessary because it is the standard interface for high-definition today. It is a single cable capable of transferring high quality video (1080p) as well as audio over the same cable. This not only reduces clutter, but ensures that you are getting the full use of that expensive HDTV you have. The only other comparable interface option is DVI, and that is still not as good as HDMI, not to mention the fact that you would be hard-pressed to find a HDTV with DVI connectors. HDMI has various benefits over other connectivity options, and with the price now not a factor anymore, it is advisable for anyone with HDTVs to use HDMI cables to get the best audio and video clarity possible.
Some of the best reviews suggest that you buy branded cables, while other reviews suggest the opposite. Thus, people are confused if they should buy expensive cables, or opt for the cheaper ones. Then again, there is confusion about which version to buy - 1.2, 1.3, or 1.4. All this makes it difficult for an average person, when all he wants to do is buy an HDMI cable to connect his gaming set or DVR to his HDTV. One option he has is to buy a branded one from a consumer electronics store, and the most well-known brand for this purpose is Monster. Unfortunately, these cables are very expensive and cost as much as $200.
Reviews of HDMI Cables
When you are looking for a good HDMI cable, you need to forget about the brand. The only thing that you should consider is your budget, and the nature of the device that you wish to connect to your TV set. If it happens to be a video game console like the Xbox 360, or the PS3, then you can consider increasing your budget (but still not to the excess of $200!!). For other purposes, there are many locally made HDMI cables that perform admirably as well. There are two things that you must keep in mind at all times though. Firstly, the cable should be a Category II cable and not a Category I cable, and secondly, the cable should support at least HDMI 1.3, if not HDMI 1.4.
With that being said, you should know that you do not need any highly detailed and in-depth reviews to find the best HDMI cable for yourself. When you visit an electronics store, you should not fall for what the salesperson there tells you. In spite of what he says, there is no difference in the output of a wire that costs $15, and a wire that costs $100. The quality of the output will be determined by the quality of your device, and the quality of your TV set. Most HDMI cables are 6 feet long, but if you are looking for a longer variant (say 20 feet) then you must be prepared to shell out some more money.
The more expensive HDMI cables have a few features that the cheaper ones might not have, but you will have to judge if you really need those features, and if they are worth the exorbitant price. For example, brands like Monster have cables that feature 17.8 Gbps bandwidth (as opposed to the 10.2 Gbps available on all other cables) but cost in excess of $100 for a 6 feet cable. Another feature that you will repeatedly hear is 'nitrogen gas injected'. Though manufacturers claim that nitrogen gas injected cables offer the best insulation and maximum signal strength, for everyday use the price of these cables are not justifiable, yet. These additional features might also help you with longevity of the cable, though at the high price, it would still make sense to buy a newer cheaper cable as the older one wears out.
Also remember that the cable you buy should be in sync with the devices you are connecting, and it makes no sense to buy a cable that is half the price of any one of the devices, when a simple $10 cable can give you the same result. Here are some recommended cheap HDMI cables that you can make use of, for a variety of purposes.
  • Mountorama
  • Monoprice
  • Nyko
  • Best Deal
  • QED Performance
  • Wireworld Chroma 6
  • Technika
  • Vivanco Prowire
  • Monkey clarity
  • Amazon Basics
The best source to get these cables is the Internet. You will find many different models on various online shopping websites, and you can pick one that suits your budget there. Amazon and Ebay are the two most popular choices to buy good cables from. If you are buying the cables from an electronics store, then you should definitely stay away from brands like Monster, Accell, Belkin and SimplayHD since these are all unnecessarily expensive. The quality can be matched by pretty much any generic brand that you pick up.
Many people argue that HDMI 1.3 and 1.4 cables are fairly redundant because they offer nothing new over the earlier version, 1.2. Most reviews that you go through will tell you that 1.3 and 1.4 offer some great new features, and then they will use this as an excuse to charge you more. What you get with these is Deep-Color technology, something which even Blu-Ray players have not yet mastered hence making it useless, and lip syncing features. However, you should go with 1.4 because it simply means you are future-proofing your cable. The increased bandwidth is an added advantage as well.
Consulting any detailed review is not going to offer you much information. It is sufficient enough for you to know that you must get the cheapest one possible, because expensive cables offer you nothing extraordinary.