Product researchers find little difference between a $10 and a $140 HDMI cable.
The rules of supply and demand don’t apply to cables. A Best Buy in downtown Boston charges $140 for name-brand HDMI cables, which connect high-definition video to big-screen TVs. The Radio Shack a few blocks away wants $50 for its generic version. Online, Amazon will sell you HDMI cables for $5.
Ostensibly, the products are identical. So why the huge disparity in price? Is there a difference between the three products?
CNET’s editors regularly use inexpensive options for both professional tests and in their own home theaters. There’s no distinguishable drop in picture quality, they say. Any cable that caused unwanted dropouts or flashes was simply defective, something that can occur with all electronics – and no brand had consistent problems.
Consumer Reports, How Stuff Works, Popular Mechanics, and trials by the Monitor agree. “Our tests indicate, you can expect flawless performance from any 4-meter cable, regardless of price,” writes PC World.