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Quality of component cables

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Old 08-27-2007, 10:23 AM   #1  
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Default Quality of component cables

I recently bought some GE component cables from Target for $10. The guy that installed my DVD, cablebox, etc. claims that the more expensive the cable the better the picture, sound etc. Is there any truth to this, or is he full of crap? Thanks.
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:40 AM   #2  
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With the quote "the more expensive the cable the better the PQ" For the most part, he is full of crap. Although price does matter to a certain degree, many people try to pawn off the Monster ripoff stuff as the only way to go and home much better the PQ will be. Especially with HDMI/DVI cables that is a crock. With analog cables like component, better quality/shielded cables does matter and especially with long runs of say 12 feet or more. Noise getting into the line can cause some signal degradation, but my guess is those GE cables will fit the bill. Those cheap, thin none insulated cables that come with equipment free (like your cable/dish box) are good examples of this of bad cables. .
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:48 AM   #3  
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Originally Posted by jb27 View Post
I recently bought some GE component cables from Target for $10. The guy that installed my DVD, cablebox, etc. claims that the more expensive the cable the better the picture, sound etc. Is there any truth to this, or is he full of crap? Thanks.
He's full of crap!

Was he trying to sell you cables, or was he just dumb?
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:08 AM   #4  
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With analog cables like component, better quality/shielded cables does matter and especially with long runs of say 12 feet or more.
Ditto; even 25/50' the only critical factor relative to length with analog cables is attenuation (or signal loss) which is insignificant at the bandwidths used.

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Noise getting into the line can cause some signal degradation . . .
Maybe if there was a nuclear blast within 30 miles of your house, there might be some noise getting into the line, but then you would have bigger problems, wouldn't you. Noise does not cause signal degradation per se, it adds noise; increases s/n ratio which causes a snowy picture.

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Those cheap, thin none insulated cables that come with equipment free (like your cable/dish box) are good examples of this of bad cables. .
ummmm - no such thing as a "none (sic) insulated" cable. Unless perhaps some mini-coax (primarily used for on-board wiring) which does not have outer insulation over the outer-conductor braiding.

In any event, the "cheap, thin . . . cables that come with equipment free" ARE insulated AND they are perfectly functional in every regard - just a good as monster for the most part.
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:42 AM   #5  
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Originally Posted by billinprinceto View Post
Maybe if there was a nuclear blast within 30 miles of your house, there might be some noise getting into the line, but then you would have bigger problems, wouldn't you. Noise does not cause signal degradation per se, it adds noise; increases s/n ratio which causes a snowy picture.


In any event, the "cheap, thin . . . cables that come with equipment free" ARE insulated AND they are perfectly functional in every regard - just a good as monster for the most part.

I mean high frequency noise (EMI/RFI electronic noise) . Are you for real, or are you computer generated?



If you like using those cheap single shielded cables that come in the box, by all means, enjoy. After I stripped one of them, I will pass. but usually they are like 3 or 6 ft cables that come free, so not as big a deal as going longer..
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Old 08-27-2007, 01:30 PM   #6  
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I mean high frequency noise (EMI/RFI electronic noise) . Are you for real, or are you computer generated?
I'll tell you what, a nuclear blast creats one whole hell of a lot of EMI/RFI energy . . . as well as a lot of alpha and gamma shit too. Nonetheless, coax (all coax) has extremely high noise immunity - that was one of the many reasons for the industry switch from 300 ohm twin-lead (very high noise susceptibility) to 75 ohm coax many years ago. Since coax is, by definition, (electronically) shielded (the outer conductor) it is not susceptible to noise interference except in the extreme.

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If you like using those cheap single shielded cables that come in the box, by all means, enjoy. After I stripped one of them, I will pass. but usually they are like 3 or 6 ft cables that come free, so not as big a deal as going longer.
I see, so you "stripped one of them" care to tell us what your "trained eye" told you after stripping it? I mean, anything more than that it had a center conductor, a dialectric (probably foam), and any outer conductor (most likely braided). What does this mean?

mmmm . . . ok, so now they're "single shielded" rather than non-shieded - again, this doesn't make much difference especially, as you have pointed out, for short runs . . . say 6', 12' or even 25' which is what the OP was talking about anyway. I searched my cable inventory and found some 3' and 6' "cheap" cables - why do I like them: Molded push-on connectors (great feature); high flexibility (another great feature for equipment hook-up); and small (typically .15" OD compared with RG58 (.2" OD), RG59 (.235" OD), or RG6 (.285" OD). So what does all this mean? Well, let's look at a 12' hook-up length; the only concern I really have is signal loss . . . at 35mHz which is the required BW for HDTV.
The cheap cables have 0.5dB of loss
RG58 has 0.3dB of loss
RG59 has 0.2dB of loss
RG6 has 0.2dB of loss.

Or, in other words, the differences are TOTALLY insignificant.
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Old 08-27-2007, 02:20 PM   #7  
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I'll tell you what, a nuclear blast creats one whole hell of a lot of EMI/RFI energy . . . as well as a lot of alpha and gamma shit too.
Hey, No shit. Thanks for the refresher course once again. Man, what would I do without you? And to think, 7 years in the Navy down the tubes.

I would definitely agree with you that the change to 75 ohm has improved things greatly. But are you saying it is now a non factor in the home environment? Don't even consider that as possible issue? Only in the "EXTREME"?

And to also think, I almost tossed out my 720p set.

And my Onkyo 605. WOW, since YOU said "AV receivers don't do any video signal processing; what you put in is what you'll get out." I almost tossed that as well. What was I thinking??

I seen some bad impedance tolerance on some of those "included component/composite cables when hooking up a ohm meter.

Why oh why must you try and pick apart most every thing in your posts. Argue, bitch and moan with as many people as possible. Do you want me to link a bunch for you??? Or are you just going to say you were misquoted or misunderstood???
Do you have a wife???? If you do, SHE IS A SAINT.....

Anyway, to avoid another thread going off the tracks here:

jb27, the GE component cable you have is just fine..
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:21 PM   #8  
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Hey, No shit. Thanks for the refresher course once again. Man, what would I do without you? And to think, 7 years in the Navy down the tubes.
As a cook?

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I would definitely agree with you that the change to 75 ohm has improved things greatly. But are you saying it is now a non factor in the home environment? Don't even consider that as possible issue? Only in the "EXTREME"?
Yes, like a nuclear blast, living under or very near a 50kW transmitter, and similar; otherwise, no problem.

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And to also think, I almost tossed out my 720p set.
duh?

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And my Onkyo 605. WOW, since YOU said "AV receivers don't do any video signal processing; what you put in is what you'll get out." I almost tossed that as well. What was I thinking??:
Yea, I think I recall that mistatement, for which I immediately jumped back in and apologized. Though there was a "good" reason for my error, I did not waste other peoples time defending my error - just made a quick apology to put things back on track.

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I seen some bad impedance tolerance on some of those "included component/composite cables when hooking up a ohm meter.
(here we go again . . . you're just digging your own hole to crawl into Big)
So you measured the impedance of a coax cable with an ohm meter?
Want to tell us how you did it?
I'll save you the trouble - IT CAN'T BE DONE!
Put the meter on the inner and the outer conductors and you get infinite Ohms.
Put in on either end of the center conductor or the shielding and you will get 0 Ohms.
Anyway, Ohm meters measure "resistance", not impedance.
To actually measure the impedance you will need a signal source and a network analyser or similar. Then terminate the cable with a short and an open to calibrate; then apply a known termination value, measure the VSWR and calculate the impedance. You ought to try it sometime.

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Why oh why must you try and pick apart most every thing in your posts. Argue, bitch and moan with as many people as possible. Do you want me to link a bunch for you??? Or are you just going to say you were misquoted or misunderstood???
Do you have a wife???? If you do, SHE IS A SAINT.....
In those (few) posts where I have "criticized", it has been out of respect for the OP who is typically seeking correct and easy to understand advise. When the information which they are given is either wrong, misleading, off-base, or needlessly overblow with techno-jargon, I see nothing wrong with jumping in and offering a correction, simplification, or clarification.
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:05 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billinprinceto View Post
In those (few) posts where I have "criticized", it has been out of respect for the OP who is typically seeking correct and easy to understand advise. When the information which they are given is either wrong, misleading, off-base, or needlessly overblow with techno-jargon, I see nothing wrong with jumping in and offering a correction, simplification, or clarification.
It can be done in a far less combative tone though than the way you do it. Just about every critical reply you make seems like you have a chip on your sholder or something. Maybe cooling your jets is in order.

Last edited by rbinck; 08-27-2007 at 07:14 PM.. Reason: spelin'
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:57 PM   #10  
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It can be done in a far less combative tone though than the way you do it. Just about every critical reply you make seems like you have a chip on your sholder or something. Maybe cooling your jets is in order.
I don't know Rick, hard to say:

Looking at this thread:

Big posted #2 making unsupported allusions to noise, "cheap cables" and "thin none (sic) insulated cables" which I felt were quite incorrect and could be both misleading and costly to the OP.

Bill posted #4 saying ". . . Noise does not cause signal degradation per se . . ." with a brief explaination. AND ""cheap, thin . . . cables that come with equipment free" ARE insulated AND they are perfectly functional in every regard" combative? Possible help to the OP?

Big posted #5 "Are you for real, or are you computer generated?" followed by "If you like using those cheap single shielded cables that come in the box . . ." combative? any help to the OP?

Bill posted #6 a brief comment on noise with no personal attack AND a further technical discussion (hopefully convincing to the OP) and a conclusion based on technical facts (again with no personal attack). combative? any help to the OP?

Big posted #7 "Hey, No shit. Thanks for the refresher course . . ." AND a meaningless harangue with no further technical expainations or help to the OP AND "I seen some bad impedance tolerance on some of those "included component/composite cables when hooking up a ohm meter." (A False, Untrue and Misleading statement for sure) AND "Do you have a wife???? If you do, SHE IS A SAINT....." combative? any help to the OP?

Bill posted #8 "As a cook?" OK, I lost my cool and really slamed him there, sorry. AND an explaination regarding Big's Ohm meter comment in the hope that the OP would not be mislead by grossly misleading information.

I'm not even going to ask you to cut me any slack here; only going to ask that you take a fair and critical look at what you are criticizing: Big could have admitted at "first light" that he was wrong and he could have easily bowed out of the post - but no, he persisted to mislead, misinform and eventually outright lie to cover his butt, all to the possible detriment of the OP.

Sorry Rick, the OP comes first. Want to ban me, fine. If I can't help, why even be here.
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Old 08-28-2007, 07:58 AM   #11  
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The focus of my post was not on the content of your replys, but the tone of your replies. You seem very combative in your posts like you are fighting for respect that you don't seem to perceive is being given you. These posts do not happen in a vaccum and other replies of yours influence how people respond to your coarse manner. I'm just saying it would be good to be a bit less combative in your posts.

As far as banning, I don't do bannings, Cass does. So if he reads posts that strike him the wrong way he would be the one to do any banning. I don't think it is at that point myself, so just take this as a suggestion as to how to conduct yourself. There is no need to reply.
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:33 AM   #12  
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#1 Wow that got heated very quickly.
#2 just keep your component cables. There isn't much difference between those and more expensive ones. Most of the time it's just sales people trying to push what they've been told to push.
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:41 AM   #13  
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Originally Posted by jb27 View Post
I recently bought some GE component cables from Target for $10. The guy that installed my DVD, cablebox, etc. claims that the more expensive the cable the better the picture, sound etc. Is there any truth to this, or is he full of crap? Thanks.
I admit I don't have much experience with video. I have spent 30 years in the audio domain and found cable to have an effect on sound. This also includes digital connections. Recently I replaced my digital coax cable with the D-75 from DH Labs and the results were outstanding. I was very impressed. Keep in mind that I am a huge critic of audio systems.

Before I proceed, I want you to keep in mind that there is the "wire is wire" crowd that believes that it doesn't matter what wire you use as long as the gauge is sufficient and the connectors are of solid construction. Many years ago I was a member of that group, but after trying different wires found that there was a difference, sometimes huge. Now digital seems a no brainer since it's all one's and zero's. Not so! In fact, the right digital cable has an even greater impact on the sound than most analog cables. This has been my experience...

The most important thing to keep in mind is that it's not about price. A friend bought some lamp cord and made some speaker cables that are outstanding. He used different lengths in each run and spliced them together. It makes no sense, but he has a winner.

After trying many brands ( some very expensive ) I found the wires I like most with DH Labs. Great stuff, and not that expensive.

Video...

I'm new to video and so I bought a HDMI cable from Walmart to connect my DVD player to my Samsung HD TV with very good results. I see nothing wrong with the picture. In fact it looks nearly HD.

My cable box does not have HDMI and all I had on hand was a pair of cheap cables that came with my DVD player. It had two audio and one video connectors. I used it to connect the cable box up to the component inputs of the TV with good results. The picture is more than acceptable. Would better cable make it better? I don't know, but I don't feel the need, at this time, to find out.

If you decide to try different wires, I would recommend that you avoid Monster cable. It has been my experiance and that of a number of people writing reviews that it is not that good and way over priced. Not meaning to insult anyones taste, but it is the Bose of the wire industry. Great advertising, but not nearly as good a product as claimed.

I have read some reviews of upscale component video cables and they said that the cables under scutiny made the colors more vibrant. Since I haven't tried it I don't personally know.

My recommendation is that if you don't see anything wrong with your picture then what you have is working fine and there is no need to change it.

As for what the "guy" said, it is probably true, but it depends on the quality of your equipment and how critical you are on the results. Some people demand that they squeeze the last bit of performance out of their gear. I am that way with audio, but not with video. What is it worth to you? That is the big question!

One last thing...

Since HDMI is fairly new, I have tried to find reports that claim that one cable is better than another and as of yet, the only thing I found was that for the longer cables, some work better than others, but for the shorter ones it makes no difference.

Last edited by icub4ucme; 09-30-2007 at 08:52 AM..
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Old 09-30-2007, 09:40 AM   #14  
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I've been told that for runs less than 10 feet, the cheap cables are just as good as the expensive ones.

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Old 09-30-2007, 10:04 AM   #15  
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Before I proceed, I want you to keep in mind that there is the "wire is wire" crowd that believes that it doesn't matter what wire you use as long as the gauge is sufficient and the connectors are of solid construction. Many years ago I was a member of that group, but after trying different wires found that there was a difference, sometimes huge.
. . . . . . .
A friend bought some lamp cord and made some speaker cables that are outstanding. He used different lengths in each run and spliced them together. It makes no sense, but he has a winner.
mmm, these two statements indeed seem to be contradictory;
perhaps "sometimes" for "some people" wire is wire; and
perhaps "sometimes" for "all people" wire is wire; and
perhaps "all of the time" for "some people" wire is wire; but, I guess, that
"all of the time" for "all of the people" wire may not be wire . . .. .

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My cable box does not have HDMI and all I had on hand was a pair of cheap cables that came with my DVD player. It had two audio and one video connectors. I used it to connect the cable box up to the component inputs of the TV with good results. The picture is more than acceptable. Would better cable make it better? I don't know, but I don't feel the need, at this time, to find out.
If I understand correctly what you just said, it is that you took some of those "cheap, disgusting, flimsy, composite cables and had the audacity to use them to make a component connection between your cable box and your TV!!! Sacrilege!!!!!

Some moron is going to jump in this for sure!!!
(probaly gonna make a big deal that you can't use red/white/yellow cables to make a red/green/blue connection)

Of course it worked, there is no reason that it should not. Proves once again that in "most" cases "wire is wire".

Good post
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