I am in the market for an HDMI Cablefor my digital TV so I can get the best quality out of the technology, and I was shocked at the cost of the cables. There has been a debate whether high performance cables improves the quality of digital equipment the way it does for anolog equipment. I feel that many people don’t know the difference between analog and digital technology and people are being taken advantage of with clever marketing because of their ignorance when it comes to digital technology. Analog technology uses waves to transfer information, while digital uses 1’s and 0’s. Electronic equipment need to interpret or translate analog signals based on the strength and clarity of the wave. In the square wave pictured, the areas at the top and bottom of the wave can be interpreted by electronic equipment as 1 and 0 respectively. If the signal is weak or has noise, the signal will not be interpreted correctly and the equipment will distort the output. That is why you hear hissing or static on audio tape. For analog the better the cables the less noise and stronger signal you will get which will improve the quality of the video and audio. However, digital is different. It is either on or off, there is no in between. Any conductor will allow a digital signal to be transmitted. It either gets there or it won’t. You would not see static or low quality with true digital audio and video. If the connection or cable is poor quality you would see flickering, pixelization, or hear hiccups in audio. The point here is not to be fooled by the marketing that would like you to buy $100+ gold plated cables. These performance cables are however, important and will improve quality for analog audio and video but is not needed for digital equipment. If your signal are truly digital, like from a PS3 or Blu-Ray player, a “cheap” HDMI cable will do just fine. However do not confuse the quality of the cable with the performance of the cable. If the cable is made poorly or you don’t have a proper connection you will see significant quality deterioration in audio and video.
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