Unlike a few years ago, I would imagine that anyone with a HDMI TV, home theater, DVD, Bluray, Cable or Satellite system is now fully acquainted with what a HDMI cable v1.3 can do for their viewing experience. I would also hope that people are also fully aware of the top HDMI cable price they should be paying. Just in case there are some unaware of what’s what, here’s a run down of a few of the main points.
For all us technophobes, if in the past, you have had dealings with any of the equipment mentioned above, you are going to be aware of the nightmare it has been to connect all these “bits” together. We have seen, in recent years, cables for S-Video, component video cable and the composite video cable, multi cable cables if you like, resulting hours of head scratching and a right birds nest of cables behind your equipment. Using a HDMI 1.3 cable removes all of this. It has a 19 pin connector, this means it has 19 individual wires but these are all wrapped up tidily in a single sheath, removing the need for multiple cables and allowing for a neat installation, even to the point of building the wires behind walls and ceilings. How much tidier does that sound.
Now lets get onto the technical stuff, just in case you are interested. HDMI cables carry, as we have just discovered, through a single cable high definition video and audio signals to equipment capable of receiving and using those digital signals to give the viewer a previously unimaginable picture quality from their standard home entertainment equipment. The ability of the cable to transmit 10.2 gbps of bandwidth makes it unique, valuable and remarkable as, at the time of writing, 10.2 gbps is roughly twice the amount of bandwidth currently required for transmitting multi-channel video and audio. Perhaps that tells you just how long the HDMI standard has to run.
So how does it differ from the cables we are used to, and why should we use them for our high definition home entertainment equipment?
Firstly, as I mentioned above, the foreseeable future is covered with the HDMI 1.3 standard, even though v1.4 is available to buy in stores at present, making it a far better choice than the last generation of audio, video cables. That’s a good reason but the main reason is it’s purity of signal. Where as an analog converts the digital signal to an analog signal, which I hope by now we are all aware are not as clear as digital signals, and then transmits that signal to your HD TV. Your cutting edge, hi tech, high definition television then converts that signal back to it’s original digital format. This causes a number of problems with the quality of the delivered signal. For one, the quality of analog signals break down the further they travel, and HDMI Cable in Australia further more, the constant converting, from digital to analog and then back to digital, also has an adverse effect on that quality of signal.
With a HDMI cable you get none of this, it receives the digital signal and delivers it, in it’s original format, to your digital equipment which then uses it to transmit digital pictures and sound. This leaves you viewing the crispest, clearest images and listening to the sharpest sound currently available.
Now it comes down to how much you should be looking to pay for this small piece of essential technology.
There’s no doubt that you will see a wide range of prices for HDMI cables, from those Amazon basics through to the Monster (priced) range of high end versions. That’s $4 or $5 right through to $100 plus, that’s some big price range but does a higher price guarantee a better quality cable? Will your digital signal arrive faster, result in better clarity audio or even deliver clearer pictures? For that price difference you would expect the answer to be a resounding YES but the correct answer is NO. You will never get away from the quality aspect of the product, as some producers will always stick to their principles, as far as using higher quality materials. But here’s the point, that may improve the longevity of the product but it will not make the slightest bit of difference to performance.
As the majority of experts are agreeing with that fact, you can opt for a less expensive, but equally as good, HDMI 1.3 cable and save yourself a considerable chunk of change on your new HDMI cable price, and take advantage of the brilliant picture and sound quality the HDMI 1.3 standard delivers.