While running cables through the wall for my new TV, the decision about which cables to buy came up again. Every time I hook up any new audio/video equipment, there is always this moment at the electronics store trying to decide if a $200 Monster Cable will really make a difference. First it was the optical fiber, then came the component video, and now the all-inclusive HDMI cable.
Thanks to my good friend Brandon, I subscribed to the online version of Consumer Reports (CR) more than a year ago, which provides all the information from the magazines in a searchable online format. As luck would have it, CR had an article titled “HDMI: the new jack on the box”, and in the article, they strongly recommended against purchasing “premium-grade” cables for hundreds of dollars. Good to know, I thought and headed to local bricks-and-mortar electronics store not wanting to wait for the cables to be shipped.
At ~$200/cable and needing 2-3 cables, the premium grade cables were going to add quite a bit to the project, so I asked the friendly sales rep at Best Buy what he suggested. As you might have guessed, this guy knew more A/V acronyms than I know computer acronyms, and that’s saying a lot. I mentioned the CR recommendation, and he bluntly said that CR was dead wrong. He explained a bunch of experiences with interference and how the TV actually becomes an antenna, attracting even more imperfections for that perfect high definition picture.
Knowing that rewiring all of this was not worth the effort, I caved and bought a fancy HDMI cable and went middle-of-the-road for the other cables. Everything looks great, but I wonder if I was taken or if I got lucky. Thoughts?