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Thursday, December 15, 2011

HDMI Cable (6.5 feet/2 meters) (Electronics) tagged "bestsellers" 5 times

210 of 220 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars Good cable, great price, August 26, 2007 This review is from: HDMI Cable (6.5 feet/2 meters) (Electronics) FINAL (?) UPDATE:

The writeup for this cable now says that it meets HDMI 1.3 specs (i.e. category 2) so much of the following is no longer pertinent. I won't delete anything because it might be entertaining or perhaps even useful for general information. Note that it still has that GOOFY LEGAL DISCLAIMER which doesn't seem to have any meaningful legal content.

SUMMARY: (after many changes to the product description and my attempts to keep this review up to date)

Basically, this is an HDMI 1.0 - 1.2 cable. Look elsewhere for HDMI 1.3. You could try Eforcity's own HDMI Cable 6FT: 1.3a Category 2(Full 1080P Capable)(Compatible with Xbox 360 & PS3). See NOTE ON TERMINOLOGY at the bottom for a discussion of HDMI 1.2/1.3 and cable categories 1 and 2.

If Amazon would let me I'd take away a couple of stars as HDMI1.3/category2 cables are now pretty common and reasonably priced. For example, the above referenced cable was at one point only $1 or $2 more expensive than this cable. I see they have now upped the price. I'm sure there are others and that prices will generally drop. For example Premium Gold Series 6ft / 2m Hdmi 1.3 Certified Cable for Ps3, Blu-ray.

It appears this part number is no longer available at the Eforcity web page, nor a couple of other places I looked.

Amazon has a GOOFY LEGAL DISCLAIMER above and I am not sure what that is all about.

I wouldn't be surprised if this cable was just as good as the 1.3-certified cables and that the manufacturer/importers just didn't find it cost effective to re-certify at the newer standard. But it costs little for you to get a cable that is so certified so you might as well get something with a better pedigree.

FOR NOW I WON'T REWRITE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING, but keep the above in mind.
=========================================================================

ORIGINAL REVIEW:

These same cables can be found all over the internet under various brand names at prices ranging from nearly free (plus shipping) to at least $25. List prices are quoted anywhere from $25 to $70. Simply google for either POTHHDMIH2M1 or 410000100189. You will even find that you can buy them from Amazon for a variety of prices under different brand names.

They are reviewed as being great cables pretty much everywhere, although most reviews are simply quoting Amazon. In my opinion the cables look well built and quite sturdy. They work just fine with my Samsung Blu-ray BD-P1200 paired with my Samsung 1080p 46-inch LCD. Also work great with my DirecTV HD.

Seems to be no reason not to buy these cables! The question is from whom and for how much.

So how to choose?

I like dealing with Amazon and I like dealing with Eforcity. Eforcity shipping has always been prompt and, once, when I decided to return something that I simply changed my mind about Eforcity took the return without any hassle. I did find that for these cables it was cheaper to buy via Amazon than directly from Eforcity!

Another point:

I hear a lot of talk about "HDMI is digital so either it works or it doesn't -- therefore buy any HDMI cable you can find". I'm no expert but I don't buy that. There are other considerations, for example durability of the cable.

But I am thinking of electronic considerations. How about bandwidth (aka bitrate) -- how much data can be transferred at what rate? The newer high-definition sound and video formats demand fairly high bandwidth. How about the differences between HDMI versions 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 1.3? Some of the new versions specify higher data transfer rates. Can every HDMI cable handle the higher rates? I don't think so, especially since the newer HDMI specs are *very* new. To what version was a particular HDMI cable designed? How about error rates? Note that there are sophisticated tests used to verify that HDMI cables meet various specs.

Just because a cable works to your satisfaction with the DVDs (or Blu-rays or HD-DVDs or HDTV) available to you today doesn't mean they will work well with media available to you in the future. Few (if any?) current Blu-ray disks use the full capability of the Blu-ray format, for example color depth (24-bit, 48(?)-bit).

All hard questions to answer.

I give this product 5 stars based on my experience, on apparent high-quality construction, on the source (Eforcity) and on almost universal approval everywhere I look. I do wish that the info Amazon gives for HDMI cables would answer some of the above questions. We might have a more objective way to evaluate these things!

UPDATE1:

Since I wrote this review I have seen advertisements for 1.3-certified HDMI cables (the ones reviewed here do not make that claim). I have also found some companies selling HDMI cables that go into great detail on the differences between their high-end cables and their more moderately priced cables (examples: search for "blue jeans cable", "monoprice cables", "lenexpo cables" -- there are others).

I think one can learn a lot reading the (admittedly self-serving) write-ups on those web pages. You can then make a somewhat more informed decision on just what it is you are buying.

UPDATE2:

I see now that Amazon gives the bitrate spec for this cable as 5 gigabit/second. This is about one half of the HDMI 1.3 spec. Here is a chart:

Spec => ...... These Cables ... HDMI 1.3

Bandwidth
MHz............ 165 ............ 340

Equivalent
Bit Rate....... 4.95 ........... 10.2
Gigabit/sec

So these cables are good for most HDMI applications but may fall behind where any of the following are true

-- Your image is greater than 1920x1080p
-- Your refresh rate is greater than 60hz
-- You use the newer uncompressed, lossless audio

Now a 6ft/2m cable is likely to do better than its spec and it is likely this cable will perform OK in the above circumstances but there is no guarantee.

NOTE ON TERMINOLOGY:

CATEGORY: The HDMI spec defines two "categories" of cable: category 1 and category 2. The categories determine the speed at which defined amounts of data can be passed. It's a capacity thing called "bandwidth" and is measured in "MegaHertz" (MHz). HDMI versions (e.g. 1.2, 1.3) incorporate these different categories. HDMI 1.2 specifies category 1 (lower bandwidth) and HDMI 1.3 specifies category 2 (higher bandwidth).

BANDWIDTH: Category 1 requires a bandwidth of 75MHz. Category 2 requires a bandwidth of 340MHz. We can see from the above table that these cables support a bandwidth greater than that of category 1. This is good because category 1 is only good enough for 1080i. 1080p requires the bandwidth advertised for this cable. Some HDMI applications require category 2, which this cable does not support. Higher bandwidths may be required for future HDMI applications/features.

HIGH SPEED: HDMI reserves the term "high speed" for category 2. Note that the sales info for these cables is careful to avoid that term, but it confuses matters at the same time by using the similar but imprecise terms "high resolution" and "warp speed". More appropriate designations would be "adequate resolution/speed for the majority of today's HDMI applications".

OFFICIAL INFO:

See the official HDMI web page for more details. Google for "HDMI org" and read the FAQ.

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars Great hdmi cable, eforcity brand, February 26, 2007 This review is from: HDMI Cable (6.5 feet/2 meters) (Electronics) I just got digital cable with hd and the hdmi cable that I got from Radio Shak was over forty. That cable was great but then when I saw the design of the Eforcity 2M HDMI cable it look exactly the same. What a great deal from this seller. The cable does not come with packaging so I guess thats how they keep the cost down, I suspect its the same manufactuer as all the store branded versions(ie, Staple, OficMax, etc..) When it comes down to it you can beat the price. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? 

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