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Old Audiophile
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Joined: Jun 15 2017 - 7:34pm
Can a Worms!

I know this is opening up a can of worms but sometimes I just can't help myself!

I've been doing a fair amount of reading lately about HDMI, Optical and Digital Coaxial cables. My sources involved, predominantly, electrical engineers to see what a more scientific approach to this might be, as opposed to the more subjective feedback one can usually expect from a bevy of videophiles, audiophiles and cable manufacturers that cater to said crowd. Without boring you all to tears with all the integral details, there seems to be a very clear consensus amongst the science heads, some of whom are audiophiles and videophiles themselves. That clear consensus is that, as long as you are comparing cables of reasonably good manufacturing quality, in controlled circumstances for the applications involved and lengths one would expect audiophiles and videophiles to use in conventional home entertainment systems, the following axioms hold true.

HDMI cables all do the same thing and it makes, effectively, no sense to spend hundreds, much less thousands, of dollars on an HDMI cable when a $10.00 cable will perform virtually the same. A few science heads, however, did offer a small proviso to this axiom, stipulating that it was theoretically possible for some people with the proverbial golden ears to hear or, rather, feel infinitesimally small, negligible measurements in audio transmission from one cable over another. Even so, none of them thought it made any cost-effective sense whatsoever to pay much more than a few extra bucks over a standard HDMI cable for that small of a perceived enhancement.

With regard to Optical or Fiber Optic cables, there was/is the same strong consensus amongst the science heads, including the same small proviso about measurable audio signal transmission differences. Here, my sense, based upon those whom I've read, seemed to insinuate it was/is comparatively more likely for some golden ears to discern such measured audio transmission differences than it would be in HDMI cables but, again, they said such differences would be ever so slight and very likely beyond most people's ability to hear or feel. Regardless, they seemed more willing to accept the rational for spending a few extra bucks above and beyond a basic Optical.

With regard to Digital Coaxial cables, there was, again, clear and strong consensus amongst the science heads. However, unlike that for HDMI and Optical cables, there was quicker willingness to accept the rational for spending more bucks on theoretically "better" cables here but not that much more. Here, too, all things considered (i.e. controlled conditions), the consensus seemed to be that spending hundreds & thousands on cables like this would be foolish. The argument, here, seemed tantamount to the proverbial and perpetual debate over speaker cables.

Have at it, peanut gallery!

geoffkait
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I had very good results with

I had very good results with Audioquest Carbon HDMI cables for my modest LG HDTV and LG BLU-RAY PLAYER. Audioquest Carbon cables have silver content in the connectors and are - now get this - like most of AudioQuest’s cables and power cords, controlled for directionality. If results are any indication this is the only way to fly. I trust nobody will get an aneurism from my use of the word directionality.

Your friendly aerospace engineer

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Not too chicken to change

Old Audiophile
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FUNNY!

Aerospace engineer! That's funny! Tell me another one! Let me know when you've invented leashes for positively charged subatomic particles. Gotta admit it! You're a real hoot! Keep the laughs coming!

geoffkait
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Better a hoot than a coot. Ha

Better a hoot than a coot. Ha ha

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