Monday, November 29, 2010

Save Money This Holiday Season Do Not Buy Expensive HDMI Cables

It often amazes me that people spend hours and hours waiting in line during the holidays only to walk into their local retailers and plop down 100's of dollars on expensive cables when they don't need to.

Just this past weekend I watched in horror as a couple got duped into spending nearly a hundred dollars on a couple of HDMI cables for that nice new HDTV they bought. I'm certain they spent hours scouring the web and wait just for the holiday sales to get the best deal possible only to blow some of the money they just saved on cables that they could have gotten for a fraction of the cost.

Consumers need to educate themselves. For the most part the sales staff of electronics stores (BestBuy, Staples ect) are trained to push sales and push expensive cables as add-ons. And why not they offer more overhead for stores that sell them for $20 on up. But what those sales people won't tell you is that there is actually little to no difference between a $100 cable and a $5 cable.

HDMI uses a digital signal unlike an older analog signal it takes a lot of interference to actual degrade that signal. Meaning those expensive HDMI cables you see offered at your local retailer for $40 or more are not worth it as there is no digital signal difference between a cheap or expensive HDMI cable and the amount of shielding on even the most inexpensive cable is going to be more than sufficient.

I always feel bad when I see people walking out of BestBuy with a bag full of over prices cables. When I can I mention that they should check Fry's, which often has HDMI cables for under $10 or I tell them to check online sites such as or even Amazon and their AmazonBasics Cables.

People really should be proactive and educate no only themselves but their family and friends, and help them learn that its ok to save some money and use cheaper cables. You should never pay more than $10 for a standard six-foot HDMI cable. And despite what salesmen and manufacturers might tell you, there's no meaningful difference between the $10 cable and the $50 cable. Unless you see something obvious, such as dropouts or a flashing screen, the digital information transmitted by both cables is exactly the same--no cable can make the picture any better or any worse.

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