Last week, I received an e-mail from a friend asking about a home theater quote. I looked over the component list and was impressed with the quality components and the reasonable prices — until I saw the following line item:
- HDMI Cable – 5 meters – $129
I pointed to him to an equivalent $8 HDMI cable from MonoPrice.com – and that was for the “premium” version. Since HDMI is a digital specification and the specifications for the electronics that produce the signal are quite high, the cable resistance and shielding have very little impact. However, I’ve never been able to quantify this.
I just ran across a very interesting article by Raj Nair confirming what I had long believed: premium HDMI cables are a complete waste of money. Here is an excerpt:
Studies conducted most recently at ComLSI show that Cat-5e cabling can be just as good from a signal transmission and reception perspective over very significant lengths (25m+) as any advanced cable architecture. A prior paper goes farther, disclosing SXGA video transmission over 300 meters of Cat 5 cabling.
Thinking of “upgrading” to premium cables to “improve picture quality?” Don’t bother. Check out the entire article at DigitalTVDesignLine.