problems that you can find if you buy one too cheap

problems that you can find if you buy one too cheap

When it comes to talking about the quality of HDMI cables, we can basically find three trends among users, vendors and experts. First of all there are those who think that “all models are the same” And once they meet certain basic technical specifications such as transmission speed, it is not worth spending a lot of money.

There are also those who think that a good cable with an excellent conductor in the connector such as silver or gold, a quality coating and good outer protection with braided hair from the mane of an albino unicorn will give you better picture and sound quality on your televisions.


And the third trend is that of those of us who believe that the middle point between these two ways of thinking is the one that is closest to the truth: not all HDMI cables are the same, if you skimp a lot when buying one you can find unpleasant surprises but you don’t need to spend a small fortune either.


Interfering with digital ones and zeros

Those who claim that it is not worth spending money on a quality HDMI cable usually make the following argument: being a cable for digital data, zeros and ones, “either the signal arrives or it does not arrive”, not like it happens with the analog cables where the interferences change the quality of the signal. AND if you get “good” This signal does not matter to the rest of the characteristics of the cable since you will not notice differences.

They are partly right, but the key is in that “good”. A cheap cable in general will be worse screened than one of higher quality and this can cause interference that sneaks through it deteriorating the digital signal that carry and produce problems in image and sound.

cable

In short cables of less than 2 meters you may not notice it much but in longer cables different strange effects may appear such as colored dots in parts of the image, micro-cuts in the videos, lags in the sound, or even occasional black screens.

You may not notice them at home because there is no interference around you that sneaks into the cable, but in other locations they can be very present, especially in models of more than 3 and 5 meters placed next to other electrical cables or that pass near electrical appliances with motors such as fans, old heating systems, etc.

Mechanical problems

Another of the big differences between cheap and expensive cables is usually in their external construction, generally more robust in the higher priced ones, with best quality plastics and protective materials. Does this influence?

Well, it depends on how you use the cable and how you have it behind the TV. If you take it out of the box, install it, and don’t move it again in years, it probably won’t have much of an influence or notice. But if you are one of those take it off and put it on from time to time to install different appliances, then mechanical problems may arise.

cable

It is not strange that in poor quality cables the protective head is eventually damaged by removing it and putting it on with a certain frequency. Even the coating of said head can suffer expansion with the heat accumulated behind the furniture and its daily use causing it to lose adherence with respect to the internal conductor and one day when you pull it you can keep it in your hand (it happened to me with a cable of mid-range that I had connected to the PC).

Problems with cheap cables can also arise when making twists and turns to fit our devices. Being less thick than the more expensive models they are usually easier to “fold”, but in the long run they can be damaged inside if we are not careful.

Types of HDMI cables: which ones are there and how they differ

Tolerances in the measurements and stability of the connector

Another problem that I have encountered in several cheap cables has been related to the manufacturing tolerances connectors. Manufacturers have to comply with a series of connector measures so that you can plug it into the different equipment in a that it enters well, just, making contact and without applying much force but without being loose.

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cables

Sometimes the cheapest ones can cause problems with these measures, presenting difficulties for their installation. For example you may it costs a lot to introduce them in the slot of the TV having to do a lot of force or quite the opposite, that it enters very easy staying with some slack and thus giving problems of total or partial disconnections to the lower vibration in the furniture.

It can also happen that the alloy used to make the connector expand or shrink at room temperature, just a little bit, a few tenths of a millimeter, but just enough to produce these gaps that cause occasional glitches in picture, sound, or even black screens from time to time.

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They do not have to be “adamantium”

So do I have to spend a small fortune on my HDMI cable to make it work right? Well, it is not necessary. In general with place ourselves in the middle point of the offer we will have a more than satisfactory use.

From my experience, I would run away from cables that cost less than 6 euros, even in short lengths like 1.5 meters, since in the long run they can give problems depending on how you use them.

Nor would I spend 100 euros on an HDMI cable unless to ensure usage lengths of 10 meters or more in an interference environment. But it doesn’t seem crazy to me spend about 15-30 euros to ensure a minimum quality of construction and avoid future inconveniences.

Recommended Models

Philips SWV4432S / 10

amazon philips cable

A simple but interesting model is this Philips SWV4432S / 10, with a length of 1.5 meter, with Ethernet, flexible PVC jacket and copper shield. It supports resolutions of up to 4k at 60 Hz and with ARC. Its price is around 9-10 euros, depending on the day.

HDMI cable PHILIPS SWV4432S / 10, 1.5m, with Ethernet

HDMI cable PHILIPS SWV4432S / 10, 1.5m, with Ethernet

Anhuicco HDMI 8K

HDMI

Another interesting cable is this one from the Anhuicco brand, a 2 meter HDMI model apparently well built and reputable on Amazon. Supports signals up to 8K at 60 Hz or 4K at 120 Hz thanks to its certification for transmission speeds of up to 48 Gbps. It has a price of around 12 euros.

HDMI Cable 8K 2M Ultra High Speed ​​48Gbps Cable 2.1 HDMI 4K 120Hz 8K 60Hz 7680P Dol-by Vision HDCP 2.2 and 2.3 HDR 10 eARC Dynamic HDR Compatible with 8K UHD Xbox PS5 RTX 3090 Projector PC Monitor

HDMI Cable 8K 2M Ultra High Speed ​​48Gbps Cable 2.1 HDMI 4K 120Hz 8K 60Hz 7680P Dol-by Vision HDCP 2.2 and 2.3 HDR 10 eARC Dynamic HDR Compatible with 8K UHD Xbox PS5 RTX 3090 Projector PC Monitor

Etseinri HDMI 8K

HDMI

Another interesting one is the Etseinri HDMI 8K, a model with a length of 2 meters compatible with speeds of up to 48Gbps and resolutions 8K at 60 Hz or 4K at 120 Hz. It is prepared for new generation consoles and has a price of about 18 euros.

HDMI Cable 8K 2.1 2M, Etseinri Cable HDMI to HDMI 2.1 Ultra HD 48Gbps, high speed, 8K @ 60, 4K @ 120 eARC RTX 3090 HDR10 HDCP 2.2 and 2.3 Dol-by Vision for Fire / S-ony / LG / S-amsung , PS5 / 4, Xbox Series X

HDMI Cable 8K 2.1 2M, Etseinri Cable HDMI to HDMI 2.1 Ultra HD 48Gbps, high speed, 8K @ 60, 4K @ 120 eARC RTX 3090 HDR10 HDCP 2.2 and 2.3 Dol-by Vision for Fire / S-ony / LG / S-amsung , PS5 / 4, Xbox Series X

Sniokco HDMI 8K

HDMI

This model of Sniokco of two meters is certified to reach speeds of up to 48 Gbps and resolutions 8K at 60 Hz or 4K at 120 Hz. It has a 24-karat gold-plated connector, head protection and nylon coating for better durability. Its price is about 15 euros.

8K HDMI 2.1 Cable, Sniokco Certified 48Gbps 2M Ultra High Speed ​​Braided HDMI Cable, Supports Dynamic HDR, eARC, Dolby Atmos, 8K60Hz, 4K120Hz, Supports HDTV Monitor and More

8K HDMI 2.1 Cable, Sniokco Certified 48Gbps 2M Ultra High Speed ​​Braided HDMI Cable, Supports Dynamic HDR, eARC, Dolby Atmos, 8K60Hz, 4K120Hz, Supports HDTV Monitor and More

Hama 00200504

Hama 71ihjbej5js Sl1500

The Hama 00200504 it’s a two meter HDMI cable with speeds of up to 48 Gbit / s, resolutions of 8K at 60 Hz or 4K at 120 Hz, with shielded braided internal structure to reduce interference and maintain stability when bending it, having connectors of gold-plated aluminum. Its price is around 30 euros.

Hama 00200504

Photo | Patrick Campanale