Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Top 10 HDTV Myths: Fact vs. Fiction, Hi-Def Style
popular mechanics ^ | June 2007

Posted on 05/16/2007 3:02:53 PM PDT by george76

High-definition television (HDTV) has evolved from an early-adopter indulgence to a mainstream technology in less than a decade. Enthusiasm for HD everything is driving the sales of flat-panel TVs and has inspired a next-gen DVD format war. It’s showing up in camcorders and on your local TV news.

Yet HDTV remains a widely misunderstood technology, muddled with misconceptions and half-truths born of marketing mumbo jumbo and senseless jargon. The advertised specifications read like bewildering math­ematical equations with “variables” such as 1080i, 720p, 4:3, 1080p and 16:9. To clear the air of confusion we’ve examined some of the most wrongheaded bits of received wisdom in the world of HD.

Myth #7 To get the best-quality HD, you need expensive cables.

Fact: Not true. If the cables running from your DVD player or cable box aren’t particularly long, you should be fine with inexpensive video cables. The extra shielding in expensive cables that prevents interference in analog equipment won’t improve the image of digital video through HDMI or DVI cables — the signal either comes through or it doesn’t. And the savings can be huge: 6-ft. HDMI cables range from $20 to $160.

(Excerpt) Read more at popularmechanics.com ...


TOPICS: TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: hdtv
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-52 next last

1 posted on 05/16/2007 3:02:55 PM PDT by george76
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Las Vegas Dave

2 posted on 05/16/2007 3:03:25 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: george76

This is rather less complicated than one of my setups...


3 posted on 05/16/2007 3:05:17 PM PDT by Paul Ross (Ronald Reagan-1987:"We are always willing to be trade partners but never trade patsies.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Paul Ross

I learned the hard way that it pays to label each cable — I use masking tape at each end to write the “to” and “from” info.


4 posted on 05/16/2007 3:16:06 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

The point about not buying expensive cables applies to all Home Theater...

I wonder how the folks at Monster Cable can sleep at night - a whole business built on a scam.


5 posted on 05/16/2007 3:19:52 PM PDT by Strategerist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: george76

That seems to be missing a phone jack to connect it to the Internet.


6 posted on 05/16/2007 3:20:31 PM PDT by willgolfforfood
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist

I always use www.monoprice.com

You can sometimes get stuff for under 10% of the Monster prices, and with digital hdmi there is *no* difference under 50 feet of wire.


7 posted on 05/16/2007 3:22:09 PM PDT by Tolsti
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: george76

The mind of a TV junkie.

8 posted on 05/16/2007 3:22:55 PM PDT by raybbr (You think it's bad now - wait till the anchor babies start to vote.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tolsti

The most vicious flamewars I ever saw on USEnet were between the “speaker cables matter” and “speaker cables don’t matter” folks.


9 posted on 05/16/2007 3:24:57 PM PDT by Strategerist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist

Analog cables can make a difference, except you get diminishing returns when it starts getting really expensive for sure.

Digital is a whole different matter. As long as it works, it’s fine.


10 posted on 05/16/2007 3:26:23 PM PDT by Tolsti
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist
“about not buying expensive cables”

I’m not an electronic engineer, but I was told and read long ago that cables for the OLD home stereo systems benefited from better cables only to a point of diminishing return on performance. I would think the same is true for today. Wire is wire and has not changed much has it?

11 posted on 05/16/2007 3:32:15 PM PDT by hophead
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist
I wonder how the folks at Monster Cable can sleep at night...

Monster cables are best known in the audiophile world. There are two rules:

If it sounds good, it must be expensive.
If it's expensive, it must sound good.

Repeat until broke.

12 posted on 05/16/2007 3:35:08 PM PDT by Fresh Wind (Vaclav Klaus: "A whip of political correctness strangles their voice")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: hophead
I’m not an electronic engineer, but I was told and read long ago that cables for the OLD home stereo systems benefited from better cables only to a point of diminishing return on performance. I would think the same is true for today. Wire is wire and has not changed much has it?

Basically unless there's an enormously long cable or wire run or some sort of absurd unusual interference situation, there's no actual difference in sound from anything from Home Depot Wire up through the most expensive "premium" cables.

However, if someone has a stereo system, spends $100 on some premium speaker cables, and takes them home and installs them, they're ALWAYS going to THINK their system sounds better.

But when you take people have have them listen blind to the identical system with different $$$ cables, they can't tell the difference or don't pick the expensive ones as better than cheap ones any more often than vice-versa.

Basically, what happened is you had weenie anal audiophiles spending $10,000 on a setup, and then having the nagging feeling that the $10 they spent on speaker wire was somehow compromising the system - some clever people figured out how to exploit this psychological anxiety and thus the whole "premium cable" industry was born - with massive advertising in magazines, reviewers in audiophile magazines "reviewing" cables like they were brands of wine, etc.

The basic reality is that for any given sum of money spent on your system, any money you might spend on premium cables is far better spent on better speakers. For example, for a $1,000 setup where you're spending $400 on speakers and $100 on premium cables, you're far better off spending $490 on speakers and $10 on plain old home depot wire.

Speaking of speakers, the REAL fun used to start on the audiophile USENet groups when people asked about Bose.

13 posted on 05/16/2007 3:44:50 PM PDT by Strategerist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: hophead

The other thing about the premium cables is the profit margins on them are HUGE, and salespeople also are very big on pressuring people into buying them as well, sort of like the pressure to buy extended warranties.


14 posted on 05/16/2007 3:47:09 PM PDT by Strategerist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Tolsti
That’s right. Either the ones and zeroes get through, or they don’t. There is no ‘better ones’ or ‘better zeroes’, there’s only ones and zeroes.
15 posted on 05/16/2007 3:48:40 PM PDT by DigitalVideoDude (It's amazing what you can accomplish when you don't care who gets the credit. -Ronald Reagan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist

Very comforatbly, I’m sure. The sucker industry has its perqs.


16 posted on 05/16/2007 3:50:05 PM PDT by sig226 (Where did my tag line go?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Fresh Wind
Monster cables are best known in the audiophile world. There are two rules:

If it sounds good, it must be expensive.
If it's expensive, it must sound good.

It reminds me of the story about then iodine first came on the market for consumers.(The early 19th century, or so) It was clear, didn't sting, and didn't sell.

The long and the short of it, the makers kept the same Rx only dyed it red, put a touch or two of alcohol to make it sting, and the stuff has sold ever since.

17 posted on 05/16/2007 3:53:24 PM PDT by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist

Monster Cable is crap. The ends are barely soldered onto the cables, among other things. And the management is arrogant and lawsuit-happy.


18 posted on 05/16/2007 3:59:25 PM PDT by Theo (Global warming "scientists." Pro-evolution "scientists." They're both wrong.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: george76

Where did you get a picture of the back of my TV?


19 posted on 05/16/2007 3:59:41 PM PDT by azsportsterman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist

I bought an HDMI cable hoping it would improve my sets standard definition performance but it did nothing in comparison to the component video cables that I had at the start. I returned it because it cost a ridiculous amount for a cable.


20 posted on 05/16/2007 4:01:41 PM PDT by xp38
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: george76
From Myth #1: "You can receive them with the tuner in your HDTV set or an external DTV set-top receiver, but you need an external HD antenna."

This leads to robertpaulsen's Myth #11: You can receive them with the tuner in your HDTV set or an external DTV set-top receiver, but you need an external HD antenna.

You do not need external HD antenna. Your existing analog antenna is just fine.

21 posted on 05/16/2007 4:04:15 PM PDT by robertpaulsen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: george76

There is nothing I love better then telling clerks to take their monster cables and shove them where the sun don’t shine VBG

But Sir they are gold plated, Yeah right you can still shove them other cables work just as well you idiot. Really jerks them off especially those working on commissions.


22 posted on 05/16/2007 4:08:34 PM PDT by Shots (Loose lips sink ships)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist
Basically unless there's an enormously long cable or wire run or some sort of absurd unusual interference situation, there's no actual difference in sound from anything from Home Depot Wire up through the most expensive "premium" cables.

This is absolutely true. For short runs you can use the cheapest available wire for speakers and you will be just fine.

For longer runs you have to be a little careful. The reason is that the resistive losses in long cable runs are frequency dependent and so this will effect the frequency response you get from your high end speakers. So as the runs get longer you have to go to bigger wire. Do a Google search for guidance.

For digital signals like HDMI you need to go to heavier duty and therefore more expensive cables as the runs get longer. You can find guidelines for this on the net also.

But as far as I'm concerned 80% of the bucks spent on Monster Cables is for "Pride of Ownership" and "Bragging Rights" and not performance. Monster Cable is the most over-hyped brand in the audio world.

23 posted on 05/16/2007 4:12:30 PM PDT by InterceptPoint
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Shots
If you think monster cables are a ripoff google for 'Black Mamba Power'.

That's a $700 power cord.

One born every minute.

24 posted on 05/16/2007 4:14:55 PM PDT by Dinsdale
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Tolsti
I agree totally, we always use www.monoprice.com as well. They are THE source to go to for outstanding cables of ANY KIND at a reasonable price. I had never heard of them until some folks from the AVS forum told me about them. I can not begin to tell you how much money I saved on a supurb 35' HDMI cable for our new SONY VPL-VW50 1080p projector. We have a 100inch Stewart Firehawk SST screen and the picture over that cable being fed from our OPPO 981 HD upconverting DVD player to the PJ is awesome.

DON't Buy anything from Monstor Cable... save your money and go to www.monoprice.com you won't regret it!

25 posted on 05/16/2007 4:21:56 PM PDT by Jmouse007
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Dinsdale

$700?

http://www.musicdirect.com/products/detail.asp?sku=AAQEV8

How’s $11k more sound?


26 posted on 05/16/2007 4:35:45 PM PDT by Tolsti
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist
I wonder how the folks at Monster Cable can sleep at night - a whole business built on a scam.

Years ago I gave up on an audiophile magazine called "Stereophile" after they published a long review of speaker cables. These guys were so suggestive they have to be good hypnosis subjects. You would not believe all the nuances on sound they attributed to these cables.

Don't get me started on the cable designs themselves, snake oil and voodoo did not begin to describe them.

27 posted on 05/16/2007 4:39:26 PM PDT by doorgunner69
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Dinsdale

Them are some expensive cords, but they’re fiber optic cables I think...


28 posted on 05/16/2007 4:44:07 PM PDT by GRRRRR ( What's Next? - Lead, Crash or Get Out of The WAY!~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: GRRRRR; Tolsti
Black Mamba is a power cord.

You know the thing that goes into the outlet and carries 120V AC?

When I first heard of them they were about 4K. I could get an online power conditioning UPS for less.

29 posted on 05/16/2007 4:48:04 PM PDT by Dinsdale
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: george76
My favorite and pet peeve is Myth #3, that can't get HD onto home burnt DVD+/-Rs.

This whole &O*W$*@!! HD player scam has almost nothing to do with the technology, but rather it's a sufficiently-bullet-proof toll both to be used by the Hollywood types to extract more money from movie lovers.

One doesn't need HD-DVD or Blu-Ray Discs (BD)to get exquisite HD. As Peter Putnam said, whole movies in the same quality as BD/HD-DVD will fit onto home burnt DVDs. Two thirds of such movies would probably require a commercially-pressed DVD9, but the point is, it could all be made to work within existing technology, but no, that's not good enough for the Hollywood types. They know their DVD encryption scheme was broken, and since they can afford new, bulletproof toys, they'll use our desire for first-run movies to make us buy such devices, so their wallets will continue to get fatter.

The Chinese EVDs are backward-compatible with standard DVDs, yet are set to deliver HD also. If that standard were licensed to deliver HD content (but it won't, except perhaps by the also-rans), people could see the cost of HD everywhere plummet. By contrast, if BD or HD-DVD are allowed to become predominant, prices to the consumer will stay high, with people being herded like cattle to buy whole new, expensive sets of these new-fangled disks and players.

Those new players are the mechanism Hollywood will use to redefine ownership of intellectual property, which they've already done to a large extent, through the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which has turned Susie Homemaker and Ferris CollegeStudent into criminals. You no longer own your DVDs. Though it's entirely technicaly feasible for you to protect your DVD purchases and your media library's potential obsolescence, deterioration, and accidental surface damage, you've been made a criminal if you try to make an archival copy of something you thought you owned. To enforce these extensions against the Fair Use Doctrine, Hollywood, using taxpayer money has enlisted Big Brother Gubmint to go to bat for them and be their very own cops.

Meanwhile, you're not being told that every customer-desirable quality that BD and HD-DVD can deliver could also be delivered on media and players costing far less, at nearly the same price as current DVD players.

If consumers want to buy again their favorite movies in a new format, great! More power to 'em. For the rest of us, DVDs are still a very robust medium that can deliver the best quality technology has to offer.

The BD / HD-DVD War? A pox on both their greedy houses! Fleeting empowerment of consumers by offering them a "Count Chocula versus Frankenberry" choice distracts from the fact that either way, the same manufacturer gets your money and you get the expensive sugar.

HF

30 posted on 05/16/2007 5:01:52 PM PDT by holden
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dinsdale

Oh I see, they’re special cables for the inside, not just plugging into the wall, they looked like optics...interesting article on them at that link..

Big Deal...My ears were ruined by too much ELO in college...the iPod even sounds good these days...


31 posted on 05/16/2007 5:22:19 PM PDT by GRRRRR ( What's Next? - Lead, Crash or Get Out of The WAY!~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: advertising guy; AJMaXx; american colleen; auboy; BallparkBoys; bert; batchewana; BlessedBeGod; ...
HDTV ping list pings......
Thanks George76...
32 posted on 05/16/2007 6:08:58 PM PDT by Las Vegas Dave (HDTV ping list, please FReepmail me if you would like your name added.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Las Vegas Dave
Interested in HDTV?
Please Freepmail (works best) me if you would like your name added to the HDTV ping list.

The pinged subjects will be those of HDTV technology, satellite/cable tv, HD, OTA (over the air with various roof top and indoor antennas) HD reception. Broadcast specials and any and all subjects relating to HD.

Lasvegasdave

Yipes! I didn't mention cables...!

33 posted on 05/16/2007 6:16:25 PM PDT by Las Vegas Dave (HDTV ping list, please FReepmail me if you would like your name added.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Las Vegas Dave

Thanks for the ping


34 posted on 05/16/2007 6:51:25 PM PDT by razorback-bert (Posted by Time's Man of the Year)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist
However, if someone has a stereo system, spends $100 on some premium speaker cables, and takes them home and installs them, they're ALWAYS going to THINK their system sounds better.

They actually do and until you come over to my house and make a comparison listening to prove your point, I stand on my statement. /sarc

35 posted on 05/16/2007 6:54:30 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Contrary to all the movies, zombies do not eat brains. They are strict vegetarians.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist
The most vicious flamewars I ever saw on USEnet were between the “speaker cables matter” and “speaker cables don’t matter” folks.

USEnet?

Hitler!

/Godwin done, thread over

;-)

36 posted on 05/16/2007 7:00:16 PM PDT by Michael Barnes (If Rudy is the GOP's guy, I'm voting for Hillary. Hey, why do anything half ass?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist

>>The point about not buying expensive cables applies to all Home Theater...

>>I wonder how the folks at Monster Cable can sleep at night - a whole business built on a scam.

Worth saying again.

Great site that debunks a lot of the myths about speaker wire, that folks like Monster have put out there:

http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm

Great site for cables of all sorts:

http://monoprice.com/home/index.asp


37 posted on 05/16/2007 8:17:36 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: george76

Folks on this thread who deride the hype surrounding high-end cables are partially correct. The wire portion really doesn’t matter for digital, and hardly for analog. But connectors are vitally important for both. A cheesy cheap cable with cheesy cheap connectors might work for six months or two years, but then fretting corrosion, spring-contact fatigue and stuff like that can make for noisy and intermittent connections that can be the very devil to diagnose and can actually damage your expensive equipment.

Gold plated connectors are worth the money in the long run. Certainly, some cable manufacturers are guilty of over-hype, but to totally dismiss the possibility of there being any difference between cables is uninformed, reactionary and short-sighted.


38 posted on 05/16/2007 8:31:34 PM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast ([Thompson 2008!])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Dinsdale

If you think “black mamba” is bad, Google “mpingo discs”.


39 posted on 05/17/2007 2:41:00 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (Vaclav Klaus: "A whip of political correctness strangles their voice")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Tolsti
How’s $11k more sound?

...and it is only an 8' pair of speaker cables! Wonder what a 10 or 12' foot pair would run? That is as silly as those rare wood-species blocks for lifting the speaker cable off the floor.

40 posted on 05/17/2007 4:26:59 AM PDT by 6SJ7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: raybbr
The mind of a TV junkie.

Or as Ken Nordine referred to him in Word Jazz: vidiot.
41 posted on 05/17/2007 4:33:29 AM PDT by aruanan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: george76

I got my cables here for roughly 10 cents on the dollar of Monster prices.

http://www.cablewholesale.com/catalog/hdmianddvicable.htm


42 posted on 05/17/2007 6:09:22 AM PDT by TC Rider (The United States Constitution ? 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: george76

I got my cables here for roughly 10 cents on the dollar of Monster prices.

http://www.cablewholesale.com/catalog/hdmianddvicable.htm


43 posted on 05/17/2007 6:09:26 AM PDT by TC Rider (The United States Constitution ? 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: george76

I got my cables here for roughly 10 cents on the dollar of Monster prices.

http://www.cablewholesale.com/catalog/hdmianddvicable.htm


44 posted on 05/17/2007 6:09:28 AM PDT by TC Rider (The United States Constitution ? 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rattrap

ping


45 posted on 05/17/2007 6:24:10 AM PDT by agent_delta ( My life is my message.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aruanan

Wow, a Ken Nordine reference. That brings back memories of listening to WBEZ late at night (Sundays?) in Chicago. He ingrained Vidiot into my venacular.


46 posted on 05/17/2007 6:29:24 AM PDT by NewsJunqui
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Shots
There is nothing I love better then telling clerks to take their monster cables and shove them where the sun don’t shine

And then you wonder why "customers suck" websites keep popping up.
47 posted on 05/17/2007 6:55:58 AM PDT by Terpfen (It's your fault, not Pelosi's.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: NewsJunqui
Wow, a Ken Nordine reference. That brings back memories of listening to WBEZ late at night (Sundays?) in Chicago. He ingrained Vidiot into my venacular.

Some of the Word Jazz programs were SOOOOO excellent. I liked the one with the guy at the bar in a space station orbiting the earth. Also good was the one where he was earnestly telling someone to be careful, you've only got ONE life, and the someone, pitch-shifted, was telling him how he got exercise and ate right. Okay, well, you had to be there. And there was one about the Flibbertyjib.
48 posted on 05/17/2007 8:06:55 AM PDT by aruanan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: TC Rider

Thank you, thank you, thank you! :-)


49 posted on 05/17/2007 10:43:40 AM PDT by marvlus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: marvlus

You are very welcome. When I first went there and got cables, I became very angry that the stores had tried to rip me off with the Monsters.

I have had zero problems with these, and have recommended them to quite a few family and friends.


50 posted on 05/17/2007 11:07:11 AM PDT by TC Rider (The United States Constitution ? 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-52 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson