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Best HDMI Cable to Buy: Avoid the Gimmicks

Updated on August 3, 2012

Four Rules to Buy the Best HDMI Cable

If you have ever bought a DVD player, game console, or Blu-Ray player you have likely needed to buy a HDMI cable. As many people do, you simply go down to your local electronic store and pick one up. My problem with this, is that HDMI cables can range from $1 to $150 and no one really seems to know why.

Have you ever wondered what these $150 cables offer that the more affordable cables don't offer? When I look at all the options at the electronic store I can imagine people getting confused with all the crazy buzz words and fancy packaging. I'm going to do my best and try to simplify this, by giving you just a few simple rules to follow.

Rule #1: Ignore the Price; Cheap is Good

The first thing you should do when you are looking to buy a HDMI cable is to ignore the cables that cost more than $10. An HDMI cable is a digital connection which means it sends bits of information between your high-def devices. This basically means an HDMI cable sends a series of ones and zeros which are then displayed on your HD device. With that being said your cable either works or it doesn't, their really isn't any way of making the ones and zeros in your cable better or worst than the ones and zeros in another HDMI cable.

The confusion surrounding HDMI cables stems from what we know about other types of cables. Other cables have a wider range of quality that is often times obvious to the eye. The quality is dependent upon how well the cable is able to shield its signal quality. Well constructed cables deliver higher quality pictures than poorly constructed cables. However, this just isn't the case when it comes to HDMI cables.

Rule #2: Gold Platted HDMI is a Gimmick

One the most popular things you'll see when shopping for a HDMI cable is gold platted cables. The fact is gold platted cables will not provide a better picture. The one advantage to gold plated cables is that they will last longer. However, I wouldn't invest in it since most cables will last years if not decades. Technology will likely advance past HDMI by the time your HDMI cable wears out.

Rule #3: Length Impacts Price

Ideally, you should buy the shortest HDMI cable that you need, so you can avoid messy, tangled wires behind your TV. In most cases a 6 foot cable will do the job. As a cable gets longer you will find the price will increase. This is obviouse since longer cords involve more material which makes them more expensive to manufacture.

Another myth is that longer cords provide a lower quality picture. Don't worry about the length impacting the picture quality. HDMI cables do not function like S-Video, coaxial cables, and component video cables. The data in a HDMI cable does not diminish or lose quality while traveling in the wire.

Rule #4: Ignore the Buzzwords

Ignore phrases like "Deep Color" that promise better performance and a higher quality image. These terms are essentially marketing gimmicks. When looking at HDMI cables you should look past all the buzz words and look for a brand that clearly tells you which version the HDMI cable is. Currently the most up-to-date cable version is 1.4. All you need to do is pick the cheapest 1.4 HDMI cable that you can find and you'll be set.

Now You Know the Truth!

Now you should be able to buy a HDMI cable with confidence. Just remember:

  • Ignore the price
  • Buy the right length
  • Gold platted cables are gimmicks
  • Look for a brand that clearly marks its cables as version 1.4.

If you do this you should be able to save a lot of money and rest easy the next time you sit back to watch your television.

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    • Savva Pelou profile image

      Savva Pelou 5 years ago from London

      I totally agree, my cable gets plugged in and not touched for years, why do i need it to be plated in something so expensive as gold! A great hub

    • profile image

      El Ray 5 years ago

      Thanks for the tips on HDMI cable. Voted up + useful!