Best HDMI cables

Author
Discussion

sparks_190e

Original Poster:

10,692 posts

158 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
I've currently got a cheap HDMI cable routed from our Xbox One S (basically our only system we use for everything) to our 49 inch (non 4k) Toshiba TV. It's got a good picture but I've been wondering how I can improve it. I don't know much about HDMI's, will expensive ones do a better job than the one I got for a fiver from Asda?

Will be going 4k next year most likely.

Poppiecock

764 posts

3 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
sparks_190e said:
I've currently got a cheap HDMI cable routed from our Xbox One S (basically our only system we use for everything) to our 49 inch (non 4k) Toshiba TV. It's got a good picture but I've been wondering how I can improve it. I don't know much about HDMI's, will expensive ones do a better job than the one I got for a fiver from Asda?

Will be going 4k next year most likely.
It's a digital signal, so it either works or doesn't. Don't waste your money.

silentbrown

4,955 posts

61 months

Saturday 17th August
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sparks_190e said:
Will expensive ones do a better job than the one I got for a fiver from Asda?
No. It either works or it doesn't. Everything else is bs.

ChrisNic

406 posts

91 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
I have a load of Neet HDMI cables bought from Amazon, they do the job, don’t seem to fail or fall apart and are good value for money.

Strangely the only ones I’ve ever had problems with are Mark Grant which are generally well regarded.

Zirconia

32,321 posts

229 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
A working £6 certified or non certified cable will not be bettered by a £1000 cable as far as your eyes are concerned (there are those expensive ones out there).
HDMI is rather clever the way it transmits the signal but the end result is getting a 1 or 0 to be recognised correctly the other end, not change them.

There is a lot of con in selling expensive cables. One issue to think about with 4k is distance and once over a certain distance you want to be looking at fibre.

If your cable already works, it will be as good as it gets. However one of the earlier version of HDMI may not have the oomph to pass 4k. Try it first when you get 4k.

https://www.hdmi.org/consumer/finding_right_cable....
I have a mix of £3 and £6-8 all certified running 4k just fine. Absolutely nothing wrong with the picture.

All certified means is a sample has been sent to the recognised authority for testing and passed certain limits. They can still be faulty from new. Non certified can also work but make sure you have a faulty returns policy. If I buy now then it would be "Premium High Speed". Currently around £6 at the usual suspect.

sparks_190e

Original Poster:

10,692 posts

158 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
Well thanks all that's saved me some money!

troc

2,321 posts

120 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
They are talking rubbish. You want a proper hifi cable with directional oxygen crystallisation, orthogonal capacitance matched impedance nanotubes, platinum coated rhodium connectors and pure translucent PTFE outers.

Ideally connected through a proper de-jitter filter and naturally using only the purest of AC inverted and cleaned and purified mains.

matjk

768 posts

85 months

Saturday 17th August
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What Troc says is all true , the reason is a cheap HDMI will squash up the O to look more like and 0 and the 1’s become more like a / .
Slightly squashed 0s effect the colour and wonky 1s the sound . If you don’t spend at least £100 per cable you won’t be getting the picture and sound you deserve.
Also don’t get you electric from Eon , they use a Lower quality, Scottish energy for the win

Zirconia

32,321 posts

229 months

Sunday 18th August
quotequote all
Joking aside. The job of the cable is to get the signal there so the receiving kit can make sense of it. What that kit does with it is another matter, perhaps checking what settings are in the TV and see what extra processing is going on, colour balance etc. might return some improvement. A lot of people use out the box settings. For some reason mine did and they made the picture look awful.

RobXjcoupe

1,552 posts

36 months

Sunday 18th August
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I’ve found keep the picture digital via hdmi but use the analog outputs if you have them for sound. Sound seams to sound better from analog outputs for me

silentbrown

4,955 posts

61 months

Sunday 18th August
quotequote all
RobXjcoupe said:
I’ve found keep the picture digital via hdmi but use the analog outputs if you have them for sound. Sound seams to sound better from analog outputs for me
"For me" is the important bit there.

HDMI audio is uncompressed and digital, so quality won't be affected by snake-oil Monster HDMI cables.

If you connect with analog cables, the audio is being converted by a DAC in your PC, and then going to your TV as analog, with all the pitfalls that entails. ... and the very first the the TV does with that analog audio? Convert it back to digital, so all those nice audio processing circuits in the TV can work with it!

... and finally, it goes back to analog to drive the TV speakers. So the extra digital->analog->digital steps will almost certainly change the sound, but I wouldn't expect it to be better, just different.

Red 5

436 posts

125 months

Sunday 18th August
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Do display devises have error correction?
Is error correction all ‘best guess’

If your cable is producing a picture, but there is a lot of error correction occurring at the screen end, will that not have a detrimental effect on what one sees?

Do some cheaper cables have a wider manufacturing variance in quality?


Red 5

436 posts

125 months

Sunday 18th August
quotequote all
RobXjcoupe said:
I’ve found keep the picture digital via hdmi but use the analog outputs if you have them for sound. Sound seams to sound better from analog outputs for me
I can’t work out what you mean here.

Where do you send the picture from / to in your example?
Where to do take analog audio from / to please?

Zirconia

32,321 posts

229 months

Sunday 18th August
quotequote all
My disk player has analogue out in 7.1 config.

Red 5

436 posts

125 months

Sunday 18th August
quotequote all
Zirconia said:
My disk player has analogue out in 7.1 config.
Not useful these days.

OldSkoolRS

3,718 posts

124 months

Sunday 18th August
quotequote all
Red 5 said:
Zirconia said:
My disk player has analogue out in 7.1 config.
Not useful these days.
It is if you don't want or need Atmos/DTS:X and are happy to connect your player's HDMI direct to the display (or via a video processor as I do). That way you don't need to replace a good AVR/processor & power amp just because of some change in HDMI standards.

FWIW in my current set up I don't pass video through my AVR at all, except for set up purposes as I think video overlay can impact on the picture quality, especially when watching on a projector screen.


Red 5

436 posts

125 months

Sunday 18th August
quotequote all
OldSkoolRS said:
Red 5 said:
Zirconia said:
My disk player has analogue out in 7.1 config.
Not useful these days.
It is if you don't want or need Atmos/DTS:X and are happy to connect your player's HDMI direct to the display (or via a video processor as I do). That way you don't need to replace a good AVR/processor & power amp just because of some change in HDMI standards.
As long as the player has as suitable speaker set up, bass management, room EQ, as the input on the old AVR is a bypass really designed for multi-channel music formats.

If you have separate power amps, you really are better off adding a new AVR with pre-out connections.
Then you can keep up to date with enhancements and have a properly set-up system.

The OPPO? player is great, but can’t do the job of even a modest AVR in this regard.


I do u derstand the train of though, but I’ve never found a scenario where it’s the best course of action in reality.

Edited by Red 5 on Sunday 18th August 11:30

Red 5

436 posts

125 months

Sunday 18th August
quotequote all
OldSkoolRS said:
Red 5 said:
Zirconia said:
My disk player has analogue out in 7.1 config.
Not useful these days.
It is if you don't want or need Atmos/DTS:X and are happy to connect your player's HDMI direct to the display (or via a video processor as I do). That way you don't need to replace a good AVR/processor & power amp just because of some change in HDMI standards.
As long as the player has as suitable speaker set up, bass management, room EQ, as the input on the old AVR is a bypass really designed for multi-channel music formats.

If you have separate power amps, you really are better off adding a new AVR with pre-out connections.
Then you can keep up to date with enhancements and have a properly set-up system.

The OPPO? player is great, but can’t do the job of even a modest AVR in this regard.


I do uderstand the train of though, but I’ve never found a scenario where it’s the best course of action in reality.

Edited by Red 5 on Sunday 18th August 11:31

The Mad Monk

5,353 posts

62 months

Sunday 18th August
quotequote all
As cheap as possible. Let that be your watchword.

https://www.cablesuk.co.uk/HDMI-Cables-c10/

Zirconia

32,321 posts

229 months

Sunday 18th August
quotequote all
Red 5 said:
Do display devises have error correction?
Is error correction all ‘best guess’

If your cable is producing a picture, but there is a lot of error correction occurring at the screen end, will that not have a detrimental effect on what one sees?

Do some cheaper cables have a wider manufacturing variance in quality?
HDMI uses something called TMDS, that should sort out what the link does (not really dealt with HDMI and its technology TMDS past a very basic understanding), if it does not get that out the end due to whatever reason, the TV does not know what to do with it and will throw wobblies, it can manifest from simple blocking to no picture. It is not just the 1's and 0's it is the structure of the signal and how it is encoded and decoded. Higher rates have a bigger fail result.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transition-minimized...

Cheap cables is perhaps a misnomer. It implies poor quality perhaps? On a production run, unit price is down and someone can sell a good cable at a low price not extracting the urine. It will be manufactured to a standard and have reasonable quality components and more than adequate to do the job electrically and mechanically, that is it handles bends etc. without damage internally. Once that acceptable signal level is reached, any extra spend is just wasted.

"Cheap" ones may have poor connections at the cable connector join, poor quality copper, perhaps not twisted well, twisted enough or a cable that breaks or does not handle the twisting correctly. But they can also work well. Tricky.

The upshot though is once the HDMI out on the disk player (or any source) and the HDMI in on the TV are happy, it could be a £6 or £1000 cable, the TV will not know the difference and as long as the link is above a certain level, the HDMI on the TV will output the correct signal to the TV all day long. You can measure it with the right kit but that kit is expensive.

The Mad Monk said:
As cheap as possible. Let that be your watchword.

https://www.cablesuk.co.uk/HDMI-Cables-c10/
Only ever if they have a no quibbles return policy if it does not work for the intended purpose, even for correctly certified cables.



Edited by Zirconia on Sunday 18th August 12:00