With so many choices out there today, HDMI cables can be confusing. Why is a cable $40 at Best Buy, but $6 online? Will the cheap cable work? Could using a bad cable ruin my equipment? What are ferrites and do I need them? All of these questions are legitimate and can be answered easily.
Cheap vs. Expensive HDMI Cables
What is the difference? In most cases, not much. The more expensive cables might look nicer with molded ends and brand names, but the internals are probably very similar. HDMI cables carry a digital signal, this means it is either going to be 100% or 0%. Buying a cheap cable won’t mean you are only getting a picture 50% as good as an expensive cable. It will still be the same picture and the same quality. Some of the more expensive cables will have nice jackets on the cable, which can be useful in some situations. Cheap cables will have no effect on the components of your system. So don’t worry about your $700 receiver blowing up because of using cheap HDMI cables. Bottom line, cheap HDMI cables are just as good as the expensive ones.
I am not talking about the furry little animals that smell bad, I am talking about the cylindrical knobs towards the ends of your cables. You can see one on the second cable in the picture. These are called ferrites and are there to limit RFI (Radio Frequency Interference). Once again, HDMI cables carry a digital signal. This signal is not prone to RFI, and thus renders most ferrites useless. Some of the new LCD and Plasma TVs recommend using ferrites on all connections, but once again this is not necessary. Ferrites won’t do any harm though, so if you have a cable with ferrites, it is no problem. Sometimes it can make pulling cables through entertainment centers more difficult. Bottom line, you don’t need them on HDMI cables.
Hopefully I have answered your questions about buying HDMI cables. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section, and I will try to answer them. Good Luck.
P.S. For great HDMI Cables at amazing prices check out these HDMI Cables