Smart HDMI Cables Tell You If You're Getting An SD, HD Or 4K Signal

It's no secret that you don't have to spend a small fortune on the HDMI cables connecting your home theatre gear. But that doesn't stop Monster from charging hundreds of dollars for its cords, justifying the costs with features like glowing signal indicators.

The company's newest line of HDMI cables are certified by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) to deliver "maximum picture and audio quality". But since it's a digital signal, that doesn't actually mean much. What makes these HDMI cables worthy of note — and the 'smart' descriptor — is a simple LED indicator that lets you know if the cable is sending a standard def, HD or 4K video signal. It's supposed to guarantee you're getting the best signal quality, but it seems more useful in a complicated theatre setup where it could make identifying multiple HDMI cables easier.

In true Monster form, the new smart HDMI cables don't come cheap. They start at $US60 for the 1.5m ISF 750, which boasts 14.3Gbps transfer speeds. Then they go as high as $US350 for the 23m ISF 2000, rated at 21Gbps. But if you really want to guarantee you'll enjoy everything your home theatre has to offer, you might just want to stick with that $US15 grey market HDMI cable and put your money towards your Blu-ray collection instead. [Monster via Chip Chick]

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