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A Bit About HDMI Cables For Your Gaming Needs

Author:
John McLaggan
Category:
Features
Tags:
Games accessories

A Bit About HDMI Cables For Your Gaming Needs

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) has become a popular standard for connecting high definition devices. The cable conveniently carries both video and audio, and TVs frequently now have multiple hdmi ports. HDMI switches are also fairly cheap (such as Play’s three port switcher for £11 ).   HDMI cables themselves are inexpensive with 7dayshop offering them at £3 or less (if ordering more than one) and many other stores also offering low prices.A Bit About HDMI Cables For Your Gaming Needs

Both Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony PS3 can use any of these standard cables, unlike the proprietary cables needed for their other video connections.  For any normal cable lengths, the quality is the same, as the signal is digital and not degraded by interference. The cables are a popular mark up item in shops where they can cost substantially more for no real benefit.

HDMI on the PS3 is simple, as all the models support hdmi and external audio can be hooked up using the PS3’s onboard optical out.

However, on the Xbox360, it’s a bit more complicated. Launch Xbox 360s did not have an hdmi port and were phased in for the full range starting with the launch of the Elite.  The simplest way to check is to look at the back right of the 360. If the 360 has an hdmi port it will be to the left of the network and USB ports, below the A/V connection.  If the TV is used for audio as well as the video, then all that’s needed is an hdmi cable . However, if the 360 is to be hooked up to a separate audio system, Microsoft have chosen to make this a little more tricky.

A Bit About HDMI Cables For Your Gaming NeedsElite owners get an audio breakout box which plugs into the A/V socket allowing for either phono or optical digital audio out.  Microsoft sell an overpriced hdmi pack with an hdmi cable and audio breakout box. However the optical out on the 360 component cable can be used by levering off the casing on the cable – this allows the cable to fit into the A/V connector at the same time as the hdmi cable while allowing the optical out to function.

Add a comment3 comments
Stuart  Aug. 28, 2009 at 15:10

"For any normal cable lengths, the quality is the same, as the signal is digital and not degraded by interference. The cables are a popular mark up item in shops where they can cost substantially more for no real benefit."

Sorry but this is not true! I know this as I sell HDMI leads for a living & have tried and tested loads of them. I use much better quailty HDMI leads on my 360 / PS3 / Sky+HD & Blu-ray player as a good one will make a VAST improvement! The ones that are supplied are about as useful as a wet piece of string lol. If you don't beleive me (And I know there will be a few of you) why don't you buy one try it & see for yourslef. If you don't see a difference then take it back & get a refund. I dare you ; )

John McLaggan  Aug. 28, 2009 at 15:31

See the picture of the five different hdmi cables at the top of the article? They're all mine and vary in cost from under three pounds to around 20 (bar the MS one, it came free) - there's no difference in quality between any of them as they're all normal cable lengths around 2m. For much longer cables the construction can become an issue but for many people are likely to be using around 2m cable lengths.

As someone selling these cables then clearly it's better for you to spread the myth that more expensive hdmi cables make a difference over standard cable lengths but it's simply not true and there is numerous information on the internet to back this up:

http://reviews.cnet.com/hdmi-cable/

"Absolutely not--those cables are a rip-off. You should never pay more than $10 for a standard six-foot HDMI cable. And despite what salesmen and manufacturers might tell you, there's no meaningful difference between the $10 cable and the $50 cable"

"The editors at CNET are so confident that cheap HDMI cables offer identical performance, we've been using inexpensive Monoprice HDMI cables in the CNET Home Theater Lab for more than a year with no issues"

Fry's approach to the problem is fairly innovative, for the cheap hdmi cable use a composite cable:

http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/23/monster-hdmi-difference-scam-still-kickin-in-frys-electronic/

Gunn  Sep. 1, 2009 at 15:35

I'd like to know what the VAST improvement is exactly? I bought an expensive cable (£25) and a cheap cable (£3) (one for my Virgin box). I've tried swapping them and I really can't see the difference. I will say the expensive cable looks nicer but who sees it lol

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