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Hello,

I have an new Plasma on order and I am trying to get my cables in line. The big box retailers all say you need to buy the $100 HDMI cable to get the best results.

Can you give me an opinion if I really need to spend that much? I have been recommended Dayton as a good quality HDMI cable and Sonic Wave for Optical Toslink. Are these cables good? They are certainly much much cheaper than others. Please let me know if I am going in the right/wrong direction and any other recommendations are appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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No, you do not need to spend that much. Monoprice, Blue Jeans Cable, Ram, and lots of others have much less expensive cables.
 

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BlueJeansCable.com has the longest certified HDMI cables there are, and their price on HDMI is very reasonable.

Monoprice, also aready mentioned is a bit less expensive still; and also has quality problem-free cables.

Expensive cables are a sham, and pushed by vendors because the profit margins are high.
 

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A third vote for Monoprice.com. I've gotten several cables from them and they have always been first quality at ridiculously low prices.
 

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The over priced cables are just that OVERPRICED! There is no audible difference in quality in the lower priced cables. Its a digital signal as long as its not broken it will get to the other end of the cable.
 

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If you're like me and don't want to order but prefer to run down to your local store; I've always been pleased with inexpensive Phillips cables, should be able to pick up a 6' cable for less than $25.
 

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The over priced cables are just that OVERPRICED! There is no audible difference in quality in the lower priced cables. Its a digital signal as long as its not broken it will get to the other end of the cable.
True up to a point. With HDMI in particular, lengths are a limitation, and cables can make a difference beyond a certain point. For short cables it won't matter much. And price has little correlation to what will work or not in longer cables.
 

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True. It's easy in the zeal to rail against cable snake-oil to overlook that there certainly are some differences that can affect us.

Degredation of signal over distance, especially in an HDMI cable (which is a poor design for transmission), means that some cables will perform better than others.

Induced signal, particularly on long-distance interconnects can be a problem in undershielded cables.

Too small a gauge can be a problem on speaker wire: especially at high amperage and/or over long distance.

And personally, I'll pay a little more for an interconnect that's highly flexable and has good "grip" on the terminals.
 

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I agree with Monoprice, they have good products. Even better prices.

I mean what makes the expensive cables better than cheaper ones?
 

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Expensive cables may or may not be better. Cost relationships have more to do with the market than the product. While it may be somewhat more expensive to produce a better cable for a situation where a lower quality cable will not work, the market is so perverse that the relationship is not clear, at best.

The parameters that make one cable better than another in HDMI are usually the shielding, the conductor sizes and geometry, and the quality of the dielectrics and sleeve. These are hard to get good information on for most vendors. They would prefer to hype whatever they think will sell their product than provide real information that may not justify their pricing. Best practice is usually to use cables from a reputable and reasonably priced vendor and if they do not work try something else after consulting with that vendor and others. Rarely is there an issue with cables from the vendors discussed above.
 
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