High Priced HDMI Cable vs Generic
A few weeks ago we received an email from a good friend of the show, Jack, telling us about an article he read about HDMI cables. He pointed us to a comment to the article where a reader said that with better HDMI cables changing channels resulted in the tuner locking onto it about a ½ second faster than with cheap cables. (Note: in the accompanying video we credit Michael with sending us the email and actually seeing a difference in lock speeds. Michael helped us with the setting up the test cases).
We used a generic HDMI cable, in our case made by Monoprice ($6), connected directly to the TV. This eliminated any delay that going through a receiver might add. For our expensive high quality cable we used an AudioQuest Cinnamon 1m HDMI cable purchased for $70. We set the satellite receiver to output native resolution and we reran the tests with the satellite receiver set to output 1080i. We changed channels between 720p and 1080i, 720p and 720p, 1080i and 1080i, and finally 1080i and 720p. We took three measurements and averaged the times. The results were not surprising, at least to us.
The Monoprice cable took 4.10 seconds to change and lock onto a picture. Funny how before we did the tests it didn’t seem to take that long. But now all we can see is that it takes forever to change channels. The AudioQuest Cinnamon cable took 3.9 seconds. So slightly faster but essentially the same. Definitely not worth $64 for a .2 second savings in channel changing times.
Even if the more expensive cables miraculously cut that time in half we would have a hard time spending more than $10 for an HDMI cable. As a result of this exercise we still can’t find a reason that we would have to!
Posted by The HT Guys, February 15, 2013 12:26 AM
About The HT GuysThe HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.
Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.
ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.
Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.