What is the difference between a $10 HDMI cable and one that costs $100?

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I know that a $100 on could be super long, but that’s not what I’m asking. Why is one 3ft cable $10 and another brand for the same length is $30?

In: Technology

There are different hdmi versions, as far as I know its 1, 1.4, 2, and 2.1.

They could also be gold plated which will make them resistant against oxidization.

The newer ones generally have a better refresh rate and are capable of 4k.

Many of them are overpriced though, the most expensive isn’t necessarily the best.

Branding, mostly. And for the really expensive ones, there might even be gold contacts in the cable.

It’s very much a means of taking money from stupid customers; no-one’s realistically going to tell a $10 cable from a $30 cable from the screen. The only relevant difference between the two, last I checked, is the brand stamped on the cable.

Marketing. It’s a digital signal, there’s no way to get a ‘better quality’ signal in the analog sense, it’s either making it across just fine or there will be errors that are very noticeable if something is going wrong. There’s little to nothing to be gained by more expensive cable or contact materials. Some expensive cables might be more durable than cheaper cables which is a concern I guess but really it’s just marketing.

Just watched a market place review on cheap and expensive cables. The gold or platinum coating is just a gimmick and does not improve anything.

They found that there was no discernable difference between cheap and expensive cables. There was a note on longevity and functionality, will it be moved regularly, swapped between ports regularly or does it have to bend into certain places. However this was not tested, but discussed as a consideration.

I do know know about different generations of HDMI and their cables. From my experience, if there is a generational difference, it will be clearly labeled on a specs in the small print on the back, rather than a big advert on the front.

On paper ?

a higher quality cable has better soldering, thicker wires which can support more bandwidth, a mash or metal film coating over the cable bundle to filter out external interference.

in reality ?
as long as its certified for the HDMI revision you want to use it for and your device is less then 5 meters from the TV, you´re wasting money getting anything else then the 10 buck cable as long as its certified for the HDMI version you need.

For longer distances you might need shielded cables.

Theoretically, the expensive one might be sturdier.

Realistically, they’re exactly the same. The thing is, people generally believe that a more expensive thing is better, in some way, than a cheaper thing. Many companies are perfectly happy to make their products more expensive to take advantage of this. Since many salespeople work on commission, they’re happy to push the more expensive cables to customers.

The only difference in an HDMI cable is what version of HDMI it supports. As the spec has evolved, new cables are needed to be able to transmit all the information.

An HDMI 2.1 TV with an HDMI 1.0 cable will not be able to use all the HDMI 2.1 features from whatever is connected to it.

Beyond that, it’s all bullshit. HDMI is a digital signal, and you either get 100% of the signal or you get significant data loss. You can’t get a sharper image or any of the other marketing bullshit they try and pass off on those expensive cables.