Top positive review
26 people found this helpful
How low can you go?
on July 29, 2010
At least pricewise, I believe we hit the bottom when it comes to super-cheap HDMI wires - at the time I am writing this, the 2-pak sells for less many vendors would charge for shipping alone.
Briefly: right length for most uses, right price and free shipping at the time I am writing this. On the negative side, this is a generic cable and you may find it difficult to return it if it doesn't work but, given the price and given that you get 2 for less than other vendors would charge just to ship you a wire, it's worth it. After all, nobody ever went to look at the back of my equipment to see what brand-name wires connects the various components and the overwhelming odds are that if the cable performs on day one it will continue to perform while left there.
The 3-6 ft. are the optimum lengths to connect most electronics. I am actually using 3 ft. cables whenever the connected devices happen to be very close to each other because, when it comes to cables, shorter is almost always better :).
Just in case someone may feel guilty for not paying a lot more for a premium brand, it should be stated that at these lengths - 3-6 ft., you will get as good a service from a no-brand cable as you would from a super-expensive named brand. An HDMI 1.3x cable should be able to carry, error free, all the signal your electronic equipment may put out. In fact, you can buy one or 2 extra 'cheap' cables, just in case. At these prices they're easily affordable.
The FUD campaigns, trying to attract buyers toward the more expensive brands make a series of claims. I will address them, as they may apply to this specific cable.
- Signal attenuation is less over a more expensive cable. - TRUE, BUT that's irrelevant on a 3-6 ft. length. The HDMI consortium stated that even the cables that were not 'certified' as 'Category 2' or 'High-Speed' will meet the requirements at lengths of 6 ft. or less. At 3-6 ft., it would be a waste to consider an 'expensive' alternative. In addition, the newer devices have sufficient processing power and are sensitive enough to properly interpret even the more ambiguous 'digits' they receive.
- The expensive cables are better engineered and their contacts are less likely to break. - TRUE, BUT how many times is one going to plug/unplug an HDMI cable in and out of an HDMI socket over the cable's lifetime? 5 times? 10 times? The 'better engineered' claim has no practical importance. If your cable works on 'day one' the odds are that it will be left in the back of your box for many months or years before it is unplugged and plugged back in or somewhere else. If this cable is purchased for home use, the 'better engineered' claim should not be of a major concern.
- The more expensive cables are 'future proof'. - NOT TRUE. Claims are made that, if you buy the more expensive wires you won't have to buy new ones when 'new standards' emerge because the more expensive wire will support them. This is untrue on 2 different levels. First, your cheap cable was purchased to work with some very specific devices which need HDMI 1.3 and will never support the 'new standard'. The new standards will be supported by new electronic devices but, for as long as you keep the existing ones, you will still need this cable to connect them. Second, the emerging HDMI 1.4 specs call for new features such as an Ethernet channel and an audio return channel, both of which can't be supported by the existing HDMI 1.3 cables so, no matter how large a bandwidth the existing expensive cables may support, it won't matter because you still won't able to use them if you are to take FULL advantage of an HDMI 1.4 device so... there goes your $5 invesment or... your $200, depending on your having purchased a 'cheap' or a 'top of the line' HDMI cable.
Here are the HDMI 1.3 specs supported by both this cable and its more expensive alternatives.
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 personal experience: I've never paid 'a lot' for an HDMI cable because it makes no sense to pay more. I took home one of the 'expensive' ones once because the salesman promised to take it back if I wasn't amazed by the difference. It made zero difference and I returned it.