Are Expensive Cables Worth the Money?
In our line of work, we are presented with many options when it comes to buying Audio/Video cables for connecting
Flat Panel TVs. We also present our customers with many options on what cables to purchase. RF Antenna, HDMI, Optical, Scart-Component and Coaxial audio cables - at least one variety of these cables is used in every installation we do.
While we firmly believe that using a different type of cable will yield better results in some set-ups, we differ in opinion to some of the big retailers that spending hundreds of dollars on high-end cables will deliver you better results. There is no argument from us that when using a Blu Ray player for instance, a HDMI cable will be a significant improvement on the Yellow,White,Red composite cables provided in the box.But is a $200 HDMI cable better than a $40-$80 HDMI cable?
Surely there is a difference between products which cost $200 to ones that cost $60?
Some retailers stock HDMI cables from brands such as Monster, Belkin, Sony and Neotech - cables which can be hundreds of dollars each. For anyone who understands the flat panel retail market today - they will understand that there is almost no margin to be made on selling the TVs alone. The market is ultra competitive, the prices have dwindled and the average cost of a TV today is almost half of what it was less than two years ago. So the retailers need to generate their profits elsewhere - and what better add on can there be than expensive, profit loaded cables? If you have shopped for a television at certain retailers in Sydney, or you have employed the services of some installation companies in operation today, then it's certain that you have come across a salesperson using this line, or at least a spiel to this effect: "You're spending $3,000 on your television, it would be silly to use cheap cables! Why would you not want to get the best performance out of your new expensive LED using the best cables? If you bought a Ferrari would you put retread tyres on it?"
Some salespeople play on emotions to make you feel like you're settling for a distinctly inferior product if you don't buy the top of the line, $200-plus priced cables that they have on offer. So the question remains - is there any difference at all? An article published in the Sydney Morning Herald in 2009 reports that a recent test by Choice magazine has proven that spending hundreds of dollars on high-end AV cables, compared to some much cheaper alternatives, is a waste of money.