610 of 683 people found the following review helpful
FUD - Fear, uncertainty, doubt.
According to Wikipedia, "the term originated to describe disinformation tactics in the computer hardware industry and has since been used more broadly. FUD is a manifestation of the appeal to fear."
Still Wikipedia, quoting Eric S. Raymond: "The idea, of course, was to persuade buyers to go with safe [...] gear rather than with competitors' equipment. This implicit coercion was traditionally accomplished by promising that Good Things would happen to people who stuck with [...], but Dark Shadows loomed over the future of competitors' equipment [...]".
HDMI is all-digital for both sound and picture. As such, it either works or it doesn't and, when it doesn't work, you will know immediately. There's really nothing in-between. If a claim is made that the Monster is 'more reliable' or that it 'lasts longer', I can't see how such claim can be backed - does the hundred-dollar cable last 20 times longer than than the five-dollar cable? And, if it does, do we REALLY care that a cable supporting a standard that may be obsolete in 5 years COULD last for 100 years?
By the way, I do not challenge the claim of high quality for this cable. It appears to be well built. However, it is quality not needed and, in my view, not worth paying for. The way most of us use cables is: we plug them at the back of our electronic boxes and, if they work on 'day one' they are likely to work in the exact same fashion on day 1000 because they are not going to be subjected to any physical or thermal stress and the materials used to build them are not easily degradable. While 'quality' was important for analog cables where good quality made all the difference in the world, the digital wires either transmit the digits or they don't. If they do, they all work the same, the $1 HDMI cable gives you the exact same 'performance' the $100, gold-plated cable does.
The claims that seem to suggest that these expensive wires allow more Gigabytes of data to pass through and the implied suggestion that you would get a less bright image or a less crisp sound if you used a two-dollar cable are NOT true. The HDMI is a published standard and there is a minimum data throughput that must be supported. If it is, then the device is HDMI compliant and you will get everything that HDMI promises to deliver. If some cable exceeds the specified throughput, it's nice but it's irrelevant because no electronic component that's HDMI compliant would attempt to push more bytes through the wire than the standard specifies. If they did, they'd violate the specs and would not sell very well. If your electronic component had an HDMI port that called for an HDMI cable that exceeded the HDMI published standards, then it would no longer be called an HDMI port but a proprietary, non-standard solution.
The following are the HDMI 1.3 specs and ALL certified HDMI 1.3 cables (including the five-dollar wires and the Monster) are going to support them. Whatever 'extra' the M Series offers is useless because no HDMI-connected hardware component is going to ask for more.
Maximum signal bandwidth (MHz) 340
Maximum TMDS bandwidth (Gbit/s) 10.2
Maximum video bandwidth (Gbit/s) 8.16
Maximum audio bandwidth (Mbit/s) 36.86
Maximum Color Depth (bit/px) 48
Maximum resolution over single link at 24-bit/px 2560×1600p75
Maximum resolution over single link at 30-bit/px 2560×1600p60
Maximum resolution over single link at 36-bit/px 1920x1200p75
Maximum resolution over single link at 48-bit/px 1920×1200p60
8 channel LPCM/192 kHz/24-bit audio capability
Blu-ray Disc video and audio at full resolution
Consumer Electronic Control (CEC)
Super Audio CD (DSD) support
Dolby TrueHD bitstream capable
DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream capable
Updated list of CEC commands (only on HDMI 1.3a,b,c)
My suggestion: search Amazon for "hdmi cable 1.3" and make an informed price/quality decision before you buy.
I noticed a typical FUD statement that has been posted on this page in the form of a video. The presenter suggests that all signals, including 'digital' get degraded when passing through a wire because of the 'laws of physics'. The key word in his presentation is that 'IF YOU HAVE A REALLY LONG CABLE' then you may get into trouble. This is true. You can't have a 100 ft. HDMI cable or a one mile-long cable. Eventually, unless your signal, digital or analog, is boosted in some way, it's going to die and you won't be able to decode it at the other end.
However, this is NOT the point. This HDMI cable is NOT 'really long'. In fact, it is REALLY SHORT and, no matter how much FUD is inserted into the discussion, on 6 ft. or 8 ft. cables, you are NOT going to get a 'better' picture just because you pay 100 times more for a wire.
Unless the vendor comes up with some unbiased tests showing that, on 6 ft. or on 8 ft. cables the less expensive brands loses 'bits' to the degree that the receiving device can't correct for the loss while the expensive brand does not, this is nothing but FUD.
200 of 248 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2009
I used to work for Best Buy, and our discount at the time was to get the items for cost. We could buy these cables for less than $7 each.... bit of a markup from the companies, huh? I also found that these cables do the exact same thing as the lower end cables, just with a brand name.
Don't waste your money. During these hard economic times we all still enjoy getting some items that make us feel better, why not be able to get more of what we enjoy with less money spent.
77 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2011
Many here have attempted, through both negative reviews and comments, to present a convincing case that Monster Cable products are a complete ripoff, essentially identical to products which cost less than $10. Phrases such as "it's digital, it either works or it doesn't" or "all HDMI cables are the same" have a factual technical basis, but are unfortunately susceptible to the FUD-based tactics of both Monster Cable shills and individuals who are completely consumed by that ultra-defensive psychological state so commonly induced by the realization one has purchased a commodity item for an obscene multiple of its actual value. So, I submit the following information concerning both HDMI itself and Monster Cable as a corporation, information which cannot be dismissed, even by a middle-aged male with a massive new television, who is no doubt considering the price of this cable both in relation to the value of said television and under the influence of a nagging desire to "be on the safe side." In other words, the perfect mark, for whom Monster Cable has devised a devious but entirely predictable sales pitch.
HDMI is simply a standardized interface for the transmission of uncompressed digital data. The standard is promulgated, licensed, and maintained by the HDMI Forum, whose website (hdmi.org) is actually quite informative but rarely referenced in the review/comment wars here. HDMI is inexpensive and flexible, well-suited to connecting consumer multimedia devices, and was expressly designed for this purpose.
Any group who manufactures an HDMI-compliant device or cable pays a fee of several thousand dollars per year and a few cents per item (around $10,000 and $.04, respectively). These groups (manufacturers, mostly) are listed as "HDMI Adopters" on the website of the HDMI Forum.
HDMI cables are tested and certified as Category-1 or Category-2, which are marketed as "Standard Speed" or "High Speed." Both come in varieties with Ethernet capability (using a reserved pin). Advertising a cable by the standard it is tested under is prohibited, both to avoid confusion and prevent the marketing of cables as "superior" because they have been tested under a later standard. To circumvent this restriction, cables are advertised as using the "newest standard," although often it is simply ignored.
Testing occurs under adverse conditions (poor equipment, interference, etc.) and verifies not only raw throughput and clock rates but also actual use cases. For a High Speed cable (as of HDMI Spec 1.4) this includes audio with up to 8 channels (24-bit, 192kHz) and video at 4K by 2K (36-bit color depth) and 1080p (48-bit color depth) in addition to specific capabilities such as 3D and the audio return channel (all of this simultaneously). These tests are not qualitative in nature; the information (audio, video, etc.) is either reproduced perfectly or errors are introduced.
ALL HDMI CABLES OF A PARTICULAR RATING ARE FUNCTIONALLY IDENTICAL. To a surprising degree, this similarity extends to form as well. Read on to the end to find out why.
Now, it is important to remember that HDMI facilitates the transmission of an uncompressed data stream on the physical and data link layers (see: OSI Model). HDMI provides no mechanism to alter the information (technically, the "signal") carried in the data stream to compensate for the limitations of the physical medium (i.e. a non-compliant cable). The resolution will not be reduced. The color depth will not be reduced. 3D will not be disabled. The HDMI source device (e.g. Blu-ray player) has absolutely no means to determine if information loss is occurring during transmission, and in fact assumes it is not.
What this means is simple: from a qualitative perspective, errors introduced over a physical HDMI link manifest themselves as consistent and obvious phenomena. Common descriptions include "sparkles," "banding," and "clicking." The receiving device may not reproduce any signal at all. Such a situation is not analogous to video streaming or digital television reception. In those cases, the information is encoded at the source and subsequently decoded by your device (computer or television). Encoding/decoding schemes compensate for bit rate limitations by reducing the quantity of information while maintaining subjective quality as much as possible (e.g. MP3, MPEG). HDMI (operating on a lower "layer") is a modulation/demodulation scheme (technically, it specifies one) and thus by design lacks this capability.
PROVIDED NO ERRORS ARE MANIFEST, SUBTLE OR QUALITATIVE IMPROVEMENT DUE TO THE USE OF ANY PARTICULAR HDMI CABLE IS A TECHNICAL IMPOSSIBILITY.
Earlier, I mentioned the list of "HDMI Adopters," those who actually manufacture HDMI devices and cables (to be more precise, "terminate," or attach the connectors to, the cables). Monster Cable is not on this list. In reality they are a shell corporation, registered in the tax shelter of Bermuda (last I heard), contracting the manufacture and packaging of their products to Chinese companies. To be fair, every HDMI cable is manufactured in China (just check the HDMI Adopters list), which is why they are inexpensive. Monster cables are manufactured next door to commodity-priced cables, by the same factories, using cable stock made from the same primary materials. The cables are terminated by the same (labor-intensive) devices and tested using the same equipment. They are then sealed in Monster Cable plastic shells (highly inconvenient to open) and sold, mostly to retailers in the rich world, where the aforementioned middle-aged males, not wanting to appear incompetent by challenging a technically sophisticated (but nonsensical) sales pitch, purchase them, "just to be safe."
MONSTER CABLE PRODUCTS INC. IS A MARKETING FIRM, NOT A MANUFACTURER.
40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2009
My concise point: You can purchase an HDMI cable from Amazon which is also category 2 certified for about $10 (including shipping which has the noticeable image quality as this one).
49 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2010
HDMI is a digital signal, this isn't the analog age and these expensive cables are not needed. As long as the cable supports the HDMI standard you need 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 then it will work. Save yourself the money and get the 10 dollar cable. IT WILL be the same quality. Digital either makes it or it doesn't, there is no distortion like analog signals. Don't be a sucker and pay the monster tax.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2010
I have never been able to see a significant difference between this and other HDMI cables except when it comes to price. I have never spent more than $6 or so on an HDMI cable and have never had a bad product. They have all done the job they claim they will do for more than twenty times less cost than a Monster cable.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2012
Will minimal research you will see Monster's whole strategy is bogus marketing and ridiculously high profit margins. I read a study where they actually tested the signal using measuring equipment. Guess what? The "cheap" $2 cables performed exactly the same as the overpriced 100+ dollar ones. Imagine that! Defending parties are trying to deal with the grief of being duped, hence the defense to try to justify their purchase in their own minds.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2012
As an UCLA Engineering Alumni, I was taught that digital signals either reach the destination or don't. There's nothing in between and there's no such thing as a "better signal". However, after my fellow audiophile buddies kept pushing me to have "faith" in cables, I gave it a try. After spending almost $300 on this HDMI cord, I was transformed and nominated for the next Nobel Peace Award.
The cable was too fast it beamed me to a parallel universe altogether. There, I used the sound of words flowing through these magical, Chinese-made copper to convince Ahmadinejad to give up its nuclear program and make peace with Israel. Middle East became the most peaceful place on Earth. Kim Jong Un was ready to democratize its state and welcomed the South in warm arms. Cuba declared itself the 51st states of United States of America. After listening to the music flowing through those cables, criminals burst into tears and became model citizens. As I dip those cables into water, it turned the water into dark energy and a cup of which was able to power the entire earth for a year with no pollution. The Inconvenient Truth turned into The Convenient Magic and I was personally thanked by former Vice President Al Gore.
However, I don't recall any improvement in either the audio or visual experience with those cables.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2012
Are people really dum enough to pay this for this cable that costs less than 10 bucks to make? Evidently some people think if they pay more money they will get better quality. NOT true.
HDMI 1.4 cables can be had for a decent price (I often catch a special and get them less than 2 for 10 bucks).
This is an outrageous insulting offer and the so called hype about this cable is completely wrong.
As has been already belabored here, a cable is either going to work or it isn't for HDMI. There's nothing "Ultimate" about this cable.
PLEASE DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. If you have that kind of money to burn I'll be happy to take your money, give you TEN good HDMI 1.4 cables and pocket the rest! DON'T BE A FOOL AND BELIEVE THE HYPE.
35 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2011
Monster isn't the only one milking the uneducated. Audioquest had a 5M cable for $2,594.75 here on Amazon. Even the cables at Walmart are over priced at $20.
The other posters pretty much said it all, but I'll add my two cents.
First off, contrary to what some people believe, digital is not perfect. I've used many digital cables (non HDMI) in my audio chain and each one has a different sound. The only explanation is bit loss. HDMI is a different animal since it has error checking.
My experience is that no matter the brand or the cost, all the HDMI cables "I own" pass the signal the same. I can't tell one from the other. I even have a 60 foot cable that is as good as my 3 foot cable. I paid $40 for the 60 foot cable.
Although there is much contention on the subject, I have spent years cable matching the analog and digital cables in my audio system. Each and every cable I used changed the sound. HDMI brings a new standard that is very welcomed, consistent quality irregardless of which brand used and at a low price. To show you how crazy it gets, I saw one set of speaker cables (8 foot) that sold for $42,000, yes! $42,000... And yes, they sounded good. They didn't sound as good as a luxury car for the same price.
IMO... If you're buying (non HDMI) cables for analog or digital, then yes it makes a difference (depends on your audio system), but when it comes to HDMI, price and construction quality are the only two issues. BTW, I noticed a 3.3 foot cable on Amazon for 27 cents with $1.99 shipping. How cool is that?
As for Monster...
I cringe every time I walk into a store and see all monster products on the shelves. I'm not saying that monster products are bad, just that they are WAY over priced. Monster isn't the only one that does this. As soon as I see the shelves of monster products, I figure that the shop doesn't care about it's customers or it's too lazy to find and stock alternatives.