Branded HDMI cables vs unbranded


Well-Known Member
Dec 4, 2008
Chennai, India
Hi all,
This is my post in this forum. I am currently in US for 4 weeks on a Business trip. I am planning to buy the Pana 42 Plasma when i am back. So was searching for a good HDMI cable.

I had gone to Best Buy for thanks giving sale hoping to buy a Monster HDMI cable at low price. Unfortunately, none of them were on sale. So thought I would check with the customer service and I caught hold of a Geek Squad (their tech squad) guy. It so happened he is a ISF certified calibration guy and does HD calibration for customers as a professional service (ya this is popular in the US). So was telling him about my predicament with the Monster vs unbranded one and he gave good amount of gyan. I thought I will share with folks here so we can make an informed decision. The crux of what he said.

1. When it comes to Digital output, the signal either passes or doesnt pass. There is no concept of weak or strong signal unlike the analog ones. So in digital (read HDMI) the quality of the cable doesnt really make a difference (provided they dont have lose contact or something or a snap in the middle)

2. Branded cable is no way superior to unbranded but good quality cable until and unless the cable length is more than 52 feet in length. This is were the usage of nitrogen gas-injected dielectric. high-velocity, silver-coated center conductors, quad-layer shielding and 24K gold contacts make a 10% difference.

3. As long as buy a good manufacturers cable (read lifetime warranty) you can be rest assured that the signal will be all the same.

4. Ensure the cable confirms to HDMI 1.3a standards, and are well sheidled (minimum 3 layers), come with gold plated ferrite cones . Again these are not ensure any interference and also for long lasting purpose.

So the summary, save some money from Monster etc and buy a regular MX or known brand HDMI cable for your plasma. I went ahead and bought a US local branded lifetime warranty HDMI cable which was certified for HDMI 1.3 a with 28AWG - Ferrite Cores (Gold Plated Connectors) @ 11$ for Myself.

Summary of the HDMI cable spec:

Connector Type: HDMI male to HDMI male
Connector Finish: Gold
Length: 6ft
Gauge: 28AWG
# of conductors: 19
Conductor Plating: Tin
Shielding level: Triple
Shielding type: EMI
Ferrite Cores: Yes 7/8" thick and 1 1/2 " long. One on each side of the cable.
HDMI connector head measures 3/4" thick by 1 3/4' long.
Net Jacket: No
Built-in Equalizer: No
Supported Resolutions: 480i to 1080p
Bandwidth: up to 340 Mhz (this helps to ensure speeds upto 10.2 Gbps)
HDMI Certified: Yes
HDMI Spec: 1.3a (Deep colour, lip sync,)
Category 2 Certified: Yes
HDCP Compliant: Yes
CEC Compliant: Yes
ROHS Compliant: Yes
1.3 Device Compatible: Yes
Supports DVD Audio: Yes
Supports SACD: Yes
Supports TrueHD & DTS-HD: Yes (totally uses blue-rays ability)

UL Specs:
UL File #: E119932
UL Style #: 20276
CL2 (In-Wall): No
VW-1: Yes
Voltage Rating: 30V
Temperature Rating: 80 C

Your views and experience pls...
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