The Great Cable Rip-Off, For Visual Learners

Expensive cables are a big rip-off. No surprise there - we wrote about it at length in our "The Truth About Monster Cable" trilogy in 2007. (1, 2 and 3.) But if you're a visual learner, Mint.com offers this infographic.

Mint's main gig is offering a beautiful online service for managing personal finances. But they also dabble in sassy visual aids for money-related topics, like this one, that goes beyond the usual rabble-rousing to give some insight into what retailers get out of the great HDMI cable scam. [Mint via]


Comments

    For the aussie readers. cablechick.com.au is great for HDMI cables. No, I'm not affiliated with them in any way and I'm just a customer. But their cables are cheap but great quality and they have q wide range of cable types. I just bought an HDMI to DVI cable for $28 and it arrived the next day express post.

    This has been a public service announcement.

    I have solved many network problems over the years, due to cheap cables falling apart.

    It is not just that they work on day one that matters!

      Agreed. I bought 3x HDMI cables for about $15 each 18 months ago. Without the amp or tv moving over a 12 month period I noticed intermittent signal crashing... then less intermittent crashing as the cable connections seemed to just mysteriously disintergrate!

      Two eBay purchases later I managed to buy 2x Monster cables (the latest 'versions' - a 1m & a 2m) for $65 including postage.

      Believe me or not, but as soon as I plugged them in the colours on my HD Bravia tv seemed a lot more vibrant. For the extra $20 or so and a bit of shopping around - regardless of the theoretical performance gains, I have a much better built and longer lasting set of cables.

        Nope mate... Digital 1s and 0s, it may have appeared more vibrant but it wasn't. Best way to prove it or disprove it would be to hook up a cheap cable and a monster cable making photos of exactly the same screen shot (keeping the light conditions and camera settings the same) and comparing them on your computer.

        Having said that I do agree with Shane, somewhere between $10-$40 is the most you'd need to pay to get a HDMI cable that will last you as long as your TV.

        OK - I don't believe you. Explain to me how the vibrancy of the colours on your screen were affected by the exact same stream of 1s and 0s moving into your TV?

        "OK, here comes the signal....1100101010110111....hey, wait a minute. These 1s and 0s are from a MONSTER CABLE! Quick, adjust the screen's colour saturation settings to provide a richer viewing experience for out rich and gullible owner!"

    There's no argument over quality of build, but spending and extra $200 on a cable becomes a little ridiculous.

    Never buy the most expensive, never buy the cheapest. Look for the middle ground.

    i bought a $15 HDMI cable from Coles, and it works brilliantly on a 32" samsung. Give em a go, you don't anything to lose. except 15 bucks

    I have purchased cheap HDMI cables in the past and every one has suffered from signal loss or just given up completely. Then I found Monster Cable on-line (not retail) and have had happy viewing/listening ever since. It might be my mind playing ticks on me but I also believe the picture quality is noticably better. Don't waste your money on cheap cables as they will cost more in the long run. Don't buy from a retail outlet either unless you like throwing your money away (Monster M2000 cable $50 on-line v's $160 at Harvey Norman)

    HDMI cables are one big scam. Go on Amazon.com and you can find them for as low as $2. I even did a test to see if there is a difference between expensive ones at best buy and the cheap ones i bought and there was no difference. The cables either work perfectly or they don't work at all. I saw no difference with the same device on the same TV. The only difference is that monster brand will probably last longer but who cares. Are these even going to be relevant in 15 years? probably not. Even if the cheap cables do break down in a few years, they cost as much as a cheeseburger so its not a huge loss.

    I bought one HDMI cable for $15 and two more at a later date for $4 each. They all work exactly the same. Anyone who spends more than $20 on a HDMI cable is an idiot.

    Bought HDMI cable for $18 from local computer store. It's been almost 3 years on my PS3 + Bravia 40" HD, worked like a charm.

    Harvey Norman Aspley blew a $1000 projector sale today when the salesguy tried to pressure my friend into buying a $500 five metre Monster Cable HDMI. I said I had a spare new $30, but shorter, one at home that my friend could have, and which would work just as well. The salesguy aggressively told me I was wrong - and we walked straight out. I've had no trouble with any of the HDMI cables I've bought, and most have been from CableChick.

    I agree, monster rippoff. I work with sound & broadcast engineers on events that use thousands of meters of cable for high end video & sound applications, every cable has to perform or bad things happen. Cable and connector quality is critically important, including the signal specification & maximum run lenghts. However using an expensive Monster Cable (for a minor non critical patch) would be an expensive last option and if nothing else was available and we did not have time to make the cable, and why? let us take a humble domestic RCA lead as an egsample, the connector cost less than $4 to buy, high quality cable $1.50 metre. For a manufacturer buying bulk I suspect a of hell of a lot less.
    If you have spent hundreds of dollars on cable for your home entertainment system then I'm sorry, you've been had!

    I agree, monster rippoff. I work with sound & broadcast engineers on events that use thousands of meters of cable for high end video & sound applications, every cable has to perform or bad things happen. Cable and connector quality is critically important, including the signal specification & maximum run lenghts. However using an expensive Monster Cable (for a minor non critical patch) would be an expensive last option and if nothing else was available and we did not have time to make the cable, and why? let us take a humble domestic RCA lead as an exsample, the connector cost less than $4 to buy, high quality cable $1.50 metre. For a manufacturer buying bulk I suspect a of hell of a lot less.
    If you have spent hundreds of dollars on cable for your home entertainment system then I'm sorry, you've been had!

    This scam is now being perpetrated by Harvey Norman.
    see details at: http://qgl.ausforums.com/index.php/439207/?agn=thread&id=3163251

    I recently viewed some TVs at Harvey Norman, the sales guy told me that they sell all their SOny TVs below cost price (seemed odd) so I would not find them cheaper anywhere else in town.
    Soon after he told me I needed to buy a $300 monster cable to watch video from my WDTV. I figure the money they loose on the TV is made up for buy the cable sale. He was very aggressive and said that people lie about not needing an expensive cable.
    During one of the BluRay demos I asked for, the picture became garbled and he said that is evidence that cheap HDMI cables are no good as they use cheap ones in the showroom (seemed odd). THen I noticed the demo disc was labelled as a DVD, I asked about it and he said they burn a short segment of Bluray movie onto a dvd for demos (seemed odd).

    Anyway, too many things seemed odd so I went to JB Hi Fi and got the TV for $300 less and used an old HDMI cable from home :)

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