HDMI cables, $10 vs $35 vs $150

Steven Mal

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I'm looking for an HDMI cable to connect my laptop to my 4k smart TV. What, besides the length, brand, and color, are the differences between each HDMI cable? Is one brand better than another? Why would I spend $150 on an HDMI cable when I can spend $35, or $10? What's the difference between a $10 cable and a $35 or $150 HDMI cable? Thanks.
 

Wolfshadw

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If all you're looking for is a 6ft cable, I wouldn't spend more than $10-$15 for it. Don't think you need a 4K capable cable as I doubt your laptop actually outputs 4K through the HDMI output (check with your manufacturer) and unless you're running it through walls, you're not going to need anything rated for that.

-Wolf sends
 
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Deleted member 14196

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The only difference in the cables is marketing and price. Expensive cables are no more useful or better than the cheap ones. They are sold to people who don’t know any better
 
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delaro

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From an engineering standpoint.

Cheap cable

  • Molded ends using very soft metals and anchors that bend from cable sag
  • Next to no EMI shielding
  • Poor quality wire and thin thickness

Intermediate cables

  • Molded ends using harder plastics but still have shallow anchors.
  • Thin plastic 2-3 piece connectors that are made from thin low-end plastic.
  • Better EMI shielding
  • Better quality wiring that uses less aluminum


Excellent cables

  • Molded with deep anchors and harder metals.
  • 2-3 piece build using thick plastic with deep anchors.
  • Multiple EMI shielding
  • 100% cooper wiring
The difference between the three

  • How long they last.
  • How they will take an accidental tug.
  • How they handle being crammed into tight places without interruption.
  • How long they can be.
  • Supported data speeds
  • RESISTANCE
Does $$ matter? Yes and No because you're dealing with a marketing ploy like SATA cables. There are high-end low prices cables and expensive intermediate versions floating around out there. 🤷‍♂️
 
^ nice explanation there, for function just about any cable will work. There are some devices (XBOX One as an example) that are picky with what cables they work with but a properly designed device can use any cable. The better brands would have better quality control and build so chances or a bad cable are less or having it break on you is less. I would keep over the cheapest stuff (going by online prices not in store prices) but no need for anything fancy if you are not going for long runs. For a 20-25' cable you really want to go with a better quality one for the shielding.
 

Steven Mal

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Thanks for your replies. I'm definitely going to avoid the super cheap stuff. As with most (or all?) technology, I believe you get what you pay for, but only up to a certain price point. Of course there are exceptions though. This thread is inspired by my brother, who is convinced by HDMI cables on Best Buy such as this one with over 1,000 reviews

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/audioq...ble-blue-black-stripe/6291636.p?skuId=6291636

I've never heard of HDMI cables costing that much so I'm confused by what to get. My brother, and the reviewers think the picture quality is superior to "regular" HDMI cables.

Check these monstrosities

$450
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/audioq...-hdmi-cable-dark-gray/6180411.p?skuId=6180411

$1,000
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/audioq...hdmi-cable-blue-black/6428870.p?skuId=6428870

What the heck is going on here?
 

Wolfshadw

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Snake oil.
There's sucker born every minute.

If you build it and spew enough bull about it, people will buy it. These are the same people that purchase Packages of Dehyrated DiHydrogenated Oxide (Just add water).

-Wolf sends
 
A cable is a cable.
Not quite. HDMI 2.1 does seem to be picky but equally you don't need to spend >£15. I tried running my 3080 on 4k 120Hz LG C9 with a cable I had laying around and it would not let me select anything over 60Hz and a custom resolution would black screen. I then bought a cheap £8 cable that claimed 48gbps. This would allow me to select 4k 120Hz but would randomly flicker to a black screen and once in a while would display nothing upon a cold boot. Next I spent more time reading reviews and found a cable for £15 that seemed to get good reviews from people who had actually tried to run 4k 120Hz. This cable is perfect and works as expected. Until I tried 4k 120Hz I had never had any problems with the cheapest cables and would have agreed with your comment.
 
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delaro

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cable.jpg


1.4 HDMI = 4K/30fps
2.0 HDMI= 1080p/120fps, 4K/60fps
2.1 HDMI= 4K 120fps and up to 10K/120fps and a must have for eARC Dolby Atmos

You can't increase bandwidth without increasing the quality of the cable. :unsure:

Notice I pointed out physical quality differences in the above posts so tie your cables up and keep the sag force off the connectors, that is the main issue with cable failure.

These are intermediate quality HDMI 2.1 cables

Cable Matters 3-Pack 48Gbps Ultra HD 8K HDMI Cable with 8K 120Hz Video $22 for pack of 3

Intermediate HDMI 2 cables

AmazonBasics 2 pack $14


Intermediate HDMI 1.4 cables
Generic basic $8 for 3

Avoid crap from Emerson
 
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Deleted member 14196

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Yeah I agree. Stay away from the really crap ones that are built with cheap materials as stated above but don’t go overboard on price either
 
Dec 16, 2020
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I used to be a sucker for the more expensive HDMI cables thinking I would get a better quality picture.

One day i tested a cheap cable with my more expensive one and there was zero difference.

I advise you just go with the cheaper option and save yourself some money.
 
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LolaGT

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Still a thing all these years later? I remember the monster cable fanboys from 10 years ago trying to justify the outrageous price of them back then.
You won't notice any difference in display quality between the 10 dollar version and any of them that cost more than 10 dollars. You won't go wrong with the Amazon basics, they are not spindly trash and the price is great.
 
Look at the spec you want (1.4,2.0,2.1 etc) then I generally go for the middle grade ones around £20-30 for 6ft. Generally because they last longer and the cheap ones do break fairly easy and don’t survive tight bends as well.
 

Steven Mal

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Thanks everyone. I'll probably go with a 10ft, 1.4 HDMI cable. Are there any others brands to recommend or avoid, besides Emerson?
 

delaro

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Thanks everyone. I'll probably go with a 10ft, 1.4 HDMI cable. Are there any others brands to recommend or avoid, besides Emerson?

I've had no issues with any of these...yet. :unsure:

Monoprice
Amazon Basic
Belkin
Anker
Cable Matters
Monster
Tripp Lite
Dynex
Philips
Samsung
Hitachi
Zeskit
UGreen
PowerBear
BJC "Blue Jeans Cable"
Rhinocables
BlueRigger
iVanky