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Went to Bestbuy. Bought an awesome tv... then the bestbuy rep tells you that the best of the best is the "Monster Cable" HDMI to connect the TV to my peripherals.

I'm not a cable genius... but it seemed to me that buying an uber $$$ HDMI cable wasn't worth it. Did I make a good decision?

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    Basically a dupe of: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/2849/… – Sklivvz May 5 '11 at 22:20
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    Best Buy reps get paid on commission. Monster Cable margins are 80%+ at the retail end, and the rep gets a good percentage of this. You probably made the right decision - spend $5 on a cheap cable. If it doesn't work, you lose $5, if it does (very likely), you save $95. As the cable is carrying a digital data stream, problems should be immediately noticeable (e.g. picture freezing/breaking up, pixels going funky etc.) – Thomas O May 5 '11 at 22:48
  • @sklivvz thanks. That conversation helps too! – Agile Scout May 6 '11 at 2:25
  • @thomas O - The rep told me (in a previous visit) they do NOT get paid on commission... right or wrong? – Agile Scout May 6 '11 at 2:26
  • Anecdotally - I bought a cheap HDMI wall plate from Parts Express. It was coupled with 31' (25 + 6) of HDMI cable to my projector. It worked for a while, then after not working at all with a PS3 I plugged into it, it stopped working for everything else too. I switched in an also cheap, but much better build quality, wall plate from monoprice.com, that worked immediately. So, the connections themselves can at least make a difference. – Nicole May 6 '11 at 4:27
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Popular Mechanics did a shootout where none of their staff could pick the difference between any of the cables used.

Choice, a respected Australian consumer reviews organisation, did an HDMI cable comparison, slamming the expensive ones as rip-offs:

Is dearer better?

No. Our testing found no statistically significant variations in score either for picture or sound. Although the results were slightly in favour of the more expensive brand for longer lengths, the differences were not enough to conclude any brand delivers a significantly better result.

Unless you need a shielded cable (you're running it in your wall cavity near AC power, or for runs of 50+ feet) the generic cable will perform identically to an expensive one (emphasis mine):

For longer cables over 10 metres, differences in performance may possibly be an issue if there is significant interference between the video source and display, but we did not find any difference until lengths were combined to form lengths more than 33 metres.

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