I hear this story all the time, someone just bought a new component for their home theater and they find out that it supports HDMI. So they rush out to buy a cable, without really looking into the matter, and end up spending way too much money. A lot of stores on the market are making a killing by selling people cables that are branded ‘Super Performance’ or ‘Ultra High Quality’ HDMI cables. These types of cables can run anywhere from $40 to $160 at the typical retail store. Be sure to do some research before you buy.
Review, after review, after review by industry professionals show that there is absolutely no difference in video signal quality between an HDMI cable that costs $10 or an HDMI cable that costs $160. The rare exception is an extreme case where extra shielding is necessary to protect from unusual wiring. Most people will never encounter a situation such as this and as such, are better served saving their money and buying a regular cable.
Also keep in mind that not all HDMI components are created equal. There are different specifications on the market, some support audio via the HDMI cable and some do not. You’re better off doing the research in advance and if it’s possible, ensure that all of your components are HDMI 1.3 or greater and support true audio processing. This will cut down on the clutter of wires as well as providing superior audio clarity.
If you’re not sure about what cables or components to buy or need help setting up your home theater, it may be best to consult with a professional who can help walk you through the mess and get you up and running. Who knows, with all of the money they save you on cables you might even be able to buy a couple of new Blu-Ray movies. 🙂