Are cheap HDmi cables okay

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I was reading a post on another forum which said that anyone who buys an expensive HDmi cable is a mug! Well I am one then as I spent over £50 on an Ixos cable!!!! Is it true that as long as an HDmi is 1.2 then it will be as good as the expensive ones Although I believe it is worth spending money on a really good Scart lead? I got the Profigold flat scart.
 
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Anonymous

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I think in general that is the case, although not ultra-cheap ones, and they should be HDMI 1.3 cables if your tv supports them.

I think they really make a difference when the cable length starts to get to the 2m mark and over.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks!

So does this mean I could have saved some money?

Ah well never mind it is a good cable and I get a great picture and sound on my upscaling DVD Player so that is the main thing.

She says trying to convince herself!lol
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Actually you are much better off buying a good quality HDMI cable, the picture quality is much better .. also i have read on other forums that peope have had issues with getting 1080p signals down low quality HDMI cables they just cant seem to cope with the extra information that is transmitted.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I really don't think that's the case, loads of forums say expensive HDMI cables aren't necessary, but as i said, steer clear of ridiculously cheap ones.

For example, the HDMI lead given with a Sky HD box is fine, but i doubt that would cost £50 retail..

Having said all that, it does give you some piece of mind knowing you've got a good lead attached.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The people at What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision make a big thing about buying expensive HDMI cable, and even claim to be able to tell the difference between expensive brands.

Are they B*********g, or are they right?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Well pretty much every posting i've ever read on other, more extensive forums, have said that anything under 2m and it really won't make a difference, unless you're using a £5 cable or something!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
i have heard that some cheaper cables struggle with 1080p signals
 
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Anonymous

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i use chord 1.5m hdmi and seriously they make a difference as do clearer audio power cables
 
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Anonymous

Guest
wasn't there a £35 hdmi cable that scored 5 star recently?? can anyone shed light on what it was?
 

FoxJA

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[quote user="aarw"]

wasn't there a £35 hdmi cable that scored 5 star recently?? can anyone shed light on what it was?

[/quote]

Cambridge Audio 2m got 5 stars, it was £30
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The whole HDMI cable quality debate is a load of rubbish, and What Hi-Fi sound and vision are showing either a massive lack of technical knowledge or siding with the companies that sell these jumbo cables at the expense of non technical people. There is not a shred, not one shred, of scientific evidence that shows that HDMI cable quality can improve or degrade picture or sound quality. With HDMI, if you get the picture and sound, then you will be seeing it exactly as you would on a £500 cable. You either see the picture or you don't, if you see it you get it as it should be.

The data is digital, 00110101 is 00110101 and nothing else will do. Ah, you say, surely interference could change this to 00110100 couldn't it? Well, yes. But here's the catch, there is something called a checksum sent along with the data stream which lets the receiving device (the TV) check the integrity of the data it has receivied. If it is changed, by even a single bit, then it is detected and gets rejected. This happens in all things digital.

Put it this way. If you upgraded the cable betweeen your ADSL router and the telephone, would web pages look any clearer? No, because the data is digital. If you download a picture as part of an email attachment on a slow or unreliable Internet connection (a mobile phone for example), does it look any different to how it would if you had downloaded it on a corporate connection that uses dark fibre optic? Of course not. You either get the attachment or you don't.

As for 1.3, this (as you all undoutedly know) brings a number of new features like deep colour that need a higher data rate. Some cables claim to be capable, others don't. But once again, if you have a 1.3 capable source and TV, and you are getting a picture, you are (subject to settings) getting the 1.3. You either get it or you don't.

The only, absolute only thing that an expensive HDMI cable may (may) be able to do is show a picture over a long or difficult run that a cheap cable couldn't, or provide a higher standard (10880p instead of 1080i for example) but once again, it's the difference between seeing a picture (or hearing sound) and not, it CANNOT affect the picture.

Come on What Hi-Fi, finger out of *ss and get with the facts, not some Emperor's New Clothes elitest twaddle. And don't keep saying "Well I can see the difference", you can't, it isn't there, it doesn't exist, you are either lying or delusional. And as for claiming that some HDMI cables affect the smoothness of movement, unbelievable.

I fell much better now, but the truth has to come out. Just to clarify, I am only talking about HDMI here and NOT analogue cables such as SCART, Speakers etc.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
LOL.. No holding back there, Davey
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Certainly agree with your argument. As you have pointed out, the only difference the cable could possibly have affect on your picture is probably the length of your cable, and I am not talking about picture quality, but the viewing experience of the picture. Now, I have no idea what the limit of cable before signal degradates, but better cable may help maintain a better signal over a distance, that's about it.

The most likely effect of long cheap cable is probably picture judder/freeze as you might sometime see with Freeview in a poor signal area. Let's put it simply, your picture and sound is built from a batch of these digital signal before it is processed by you TV, if you have a weak signal which consistantly require a re-transmit due to bad checksum, your TV viewing will not be smoothly displayed.

I think I have explained that right
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. Please feel free to correct/flame me
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Anonymous

Guest
Mou? Flame you? Never!
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I think you are bang on, really really long (cheap) rubbish cable would probably look a lot like a bad freeview signal, but I'm only speculating. I'm not even sure if you would get a picture at all as there might well be a "It's not working out, give up and display no signal" piece of code in the firmware. Plus you've got all the overhead that the HDCP handshake puts on things (several seconds in my experience) so you might find that they keep handshaking etc, who knows! I seriously doubt you'd ever see this on a 1.5 metre cable though!

Let's all make a promise to never spend more than a tenner (including VAT and P&P) on an HDMI lead under two meters
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Anonymous

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This thread is in danger of becoming a little irrelevant to the question first asked.... My advice would be: keep your cable! Don't worry! If you're truly interested in scientific approach, buy a cheap one ....and see if you can see the difference. If not, keep the cheap one, sell the expensive one on ebay. If the IXOS wins, give the cheap one away. I know there are some strong opinions on cables on this forum, so the best you can do it test it out for yourself! I'm more interested in 2 channel hifi than home cinema, but I do have some experience in the digital arena; personally, I do see a difference between cables and/or different digital sources.This page could give an explanation on this subject matter: http://www.jitter.de/english/engc_navfr.html Even the cheapest cd player was fault free concerning the digital content (0101000010011 etc etc); it didn't sound so good, however.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="davey wavey"]

The data is digital, 00110101 is 00110101 and nothing else will do. Ah, you say, surely interference could change this to 00110100 couldn't it? Well, yes. But here's the catch, there is something called a checksum sent along with the data stream which lets the receiving device (the TV) check the integrity of the data it has receivied. If it is changed, by even a single bit, then it is detected and gets rejected. This happens in all things digital.

Put it this way. If you upgraded the cable betweeen your ADSL router and the telephone, would web pages look any clearer? No, because the data is digital. If you download a picture as part of an email attachment on a slow or unreliable Internet connection (a mobile phone for example), does it look any different to how it would if you had downloaded it on a corporate connection that uses dark fibre optic? Of course not. You either get the attachment or you don't.

[/quote]

But webpages are not real time sensitve data where as video and sound are. If you start rejecting data in a time sensitive application there's no point in re-transmitting because the moment is lost. So therefore you will loose data. Your argument would hold up if you transmitted the video and sound from your DVD player to your plasma before wathcing it, stored it in a big buffer THEN watched the film later.

jules.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The web example was given to demonstrate the isolation of the digital data against the quality of the carrier medium, i.e your web pages don't look a bit blurry because they went through a cheap ISP.

I completely agree with your point on retransmission in AV terms (although I believe HDMI transmitter/receiver chipsets do buffer, and probably hold enough for a retransmission rewquest or two), BUT, if you loose data (and you can't request a retransmission) then you loose the picture. i.e we are back to the "You either see it or you don't", there is no way the corrupt data would be displayed "a bit wrong", it gets dropped, you loose the picture etc etc. HDMI does indeed carry a checksum. As you say "So therefore you will loose data.", lost data would look like no picture, not a bad picture!

Are you saying that, without doubt, you can see an improvement/degradation in picture and/or sound based purely on the HDMI cable? How is this at all scientifically possible? It simply isn't feasible.

Lastly, let's not forget we are (in most cases) talking about a 2 meter or below cable, and the number of errors introduced would be tiny to non-existent on all cables.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hi Solomon1

When you say you hear a difference in regards to cables, are you talking about digital cables? For example, if you used the optical out on your CD player to connect toy our amp, and kept everything else identical, would you be able to hear the difference between two different optical cables? I think that is impossible.

As for the CD player, this is an entirely different point. there is digital to analogue conversion and all sorts of things that can affect the sound quality, thats an entirley different matter to the digital cable debate and not one I disagree with you on.

Lastly, if I understand the concept of jitter correctly, its the difference between clock rates on the two machines that causes this problem (I may be wrong, I often am
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) . As all electrical signal traverse cables at the speed of light (I think!) I can't see the cable having any affect on jitter, unless it was really, really long, light ispretty fast.

Cheers, Dave
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Crikey, been so busy today and missed the excitment
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I'm not here to start a debate and certainly don't want to deviate from the subject of this thread. I still have to agree with Davey as how you could possibly see better picture consider the whole information is passed by binary data.

As Solomon said, just buy a cheap HDMI cable (try Play.com, only £10
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and it's HDMI v1.3 compliant). If you see a difference in picture or hear the sound quality, I would say it's psychological.
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If we were comparing the different versions of HDMI (say v1.2 vs v1.3), v1.3 now has Deep Colour feature, which may carry 'additional' data to enhances the picture/colour quality and has higher bandwidth to carry this information, so a cheap cable 'may' not be HDMI V1.3 compliant, but an expensive would be, and there you might see the difference. My understanding is that the disc and your TV set would have to have the Deep Colour feature to start with.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="davey wavey"]
Hi Solomon1

When you say you hear a difference in regards to cables, are you talking about digital cables? For example, if you used the optical out on your CD player to connect toy our amp, and kept everything else identical, would you be able to hear the difference between two different optical cables? I think that is impossible.

[/quote] I see and hear the difference. Maybe it's because many cables aren't so well made or tested; it could be that they lack the bandwidth required for the job. Since i don't have the test equipment to confirm this, my only option is to test it using my own ears and eyes!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Impossible, unfeasable, and frankly rediculous.

I am not here to start any kind of flame war, world war or anything, but its a laser, flashing on and off, that gets reflect up some (lots of) mirrors, into a receiver, together with a checksum. It does not and cannot change on the way, it is valid or invalid, and gets dropped or ignored if it is invalid. For exactly the same reason that a copy of a copy of a copy of a piece of digital data is as perfect as the first.

Are you willing to undergo a serious test of this claim? In as near as scientific conditions as possible? Same CD player, Same Amp just different optical connection?

Once again, I'm not talking about analogue cables (I have no gripe with the perceived quality change there) but digital. It's like upgrading the USB lead on your printer because you think the pictures will come out better. It just cannot happen.

Please don't take this as disrespectful or any kind of attack on you. But provide me with one shred of scientific evidense to the contrary. If HDMI/Optical digital cables can affect the picture quality then there must be a phenomina, and it must be identifiable, or how would the cable manufacturers know how to make things better.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
So is the free hdmi cable with the xbox elite any good?? is it a 1.2 or 1.3??
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Impossible, unfeasable, and frankly rediculous. Next you'll be telling us all tea tastes the same.LOL! my example of clear difference came playing R:Fom on my ps3, changed from Tech+LInk HDMI to QED, what were meant to be pitch dark areas in the game were just dull and you were clearly visible but when i changed to qed i had to turn light on gun to see in this area.For me it did make a difference
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hi Marvsins

Tea is analogue, HDMI isn't. That's the problem: years of being used to analogue cable behaviour makes us treat digital cables the same when its an entirely different beast.

I've given my reasons, i've given my study (limited) behind this, and i've given examples. What have you got to back up your claim? What's the phonomina that does this? Wheres the white paper that says "yep, you can change a murky low detail background fed by an HDMI source by improving cables"

Let's examine your statement for a second: You claim that the background was universally improved in your playstation game. Based on the fact that each pixel is addressed individually, and has nothing to do with the pixels around it from a datastream point of view, you are now saying the cable uniformly changed the all the background pixels, and "modified" the bitstream so that all the pixels were a little bit brighter/more detailed? But it didn't change anything else? Hmm, how did a slab of copper do this? how did it know when it was sending background pixels and foreground pixels?

Also, based on the fact that a game is dynamically rendered on the fly, how can you compare? You would HAVE to use a truly reproducable media such a blu-ray movie to even be in with a chance of objective measure.

A classic example of old SCART style thinking applied in entirely the wrong place.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Davey

I have long shared your scepticism, for the same reasons. However, I do wonder if the "time sensitive" argument could have some validity. I agree that digital data will either be there or not be there, but a moving picture, or sound, is made up of a succession of static images or sounds. If the quality of the cable is such that a very small number of these static "images" are lost is it possible that these small losses would be perceivable as either a slightly inferior picture or sound? If so this might apply even with a small cable length, albeit to a lesser extent than with a longer cable. I'm just speculating and would love to be proved wrong, because I also do not want to spend lots of money on expensive cables if it is not necessary.
 

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