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these HDMI cables are worth $140

musanmanmusanman Registered User regular
edited March 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
I recently purchased an HDTV that can run 1080p. I have nothing capable of getting up to that quality of signal, but I may purchase a bluray player (probably ps3) in the future.

While setting up my system I was looking at the prices of HDMI cables...in the $140 range for 6 foot cables?

I asked the sales clerk at best buy how they can possibly justify this retarded overpricing and he brought out a box of spliced wires. "see how this one is all paper and you can see all the colored wires in the monster cable"

ooookay that is some magic trick you got there...I just smiled and walked away.

If HDMI is a digital signal, it sends 0s and 1s. They either get there or they don't. The only possible thing I can imagine happening is somehow the cable loses some of the bits, which would result in a horrible black spot or mixed up image. How can the cable possibly change the quality.

This thread is for people to either discuss the differences between cables or their experiences with dumbass salespeople.

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musanman on
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    TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
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    Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2008
    The best thing about a digital setup is the plain fact that it's digital. Zero oxygen hypercompressed copper won't get 100101010110111010101 there any faster, better or more accurately than a coat hanger. Even a lot of analog equipment isn't up to snuff off the shelf to make much of a difference.

    The problem is that the average consumer is dumb. A lot of them believe that Best Buy, Circuit City et al. are the ultimate in technological knowledge because they 1) know more than they do and 2) are fucking everywhere.

    Satan. on
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    Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2008
    musanman wrote: »
    This thread is for people to either discuss the differences between cables or their experiences with dumbass salespeople.

    I'll give you a bit of both:

    The HDMI cable I have hooked between my PS3 and my TV is a $5 cable I got from monoprice.com. The picture looks fucking incredible.

    A few years back while still in college, I had a Circuit City biscuit tell me, with all sincerity, that Data CD-Rs couldn't have music written to them.

    Bionic Monkey on
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    FireflashFireflash Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Even worse is that some people will still choose to buy these rip-off cables after you explained how it's pointless to pay so much.

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    AdrienAdrien Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I needed a 4-6 pin firewire cable to hook up to my camera, so I headed over to Radio Shack.

    I wound up deciding that two days wait was worth $30 to me.

    I consider this a fundamental failure of capitalism.

    Adrien on
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    DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    o_O? That if you want something now it is often more expensive? That's, like, a feature, not a bug.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
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    SavantSavant Simply Barbaric Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Yeah, if that stuff is digital then you should just have to worry about bit loss or bit slip, or however those things synchronize. I don't know how an uncompromised standard wire would introduce those, as I've run tests on serial connections with humdrum cords sending over a gig without a single error. I would think problems would be more likely to arise at the endpoints than the wire.

    Savant on
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    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Fireflash wrote: »
    Even worse is that some people will still choose to buy these rip-off cables after you explained how it's pointless to pay so much.

    That's because Circuit City, Best Buy, Monster.com, PC Richard & Sons, et al. are on the winning side of a very basic psychological parlor trick that has been more or less bred into the American (if not Global) consumerist psyche: that more expensive equates to "better." This trick is particularly sinister in the case of HDMI cables because it is supported by evidence. In many, many other cases, more expensive actually does equal better, even within audio/video equipment. So it is reasonable to think that that would be the case here. It's actually not the norm in this case. Therefore it is easy to swindle people.

    It is reprehensible.

    Drez on
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    AdrienAdrien Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    o_O? That if you want something now it is often more expensive? That's, like, a feature, not a bug.

    The markup on cables is about the same as the cost of next day air for a cable. I wouldn't mind paying more in the store— maybe ten bucks on the $2.50 I got it for online. No problem. $35 is outrageous, just bald-faced profiteering that I refuse to support.

    Adrien on
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    DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    That's because Circuit City, Best Buy, Monster.com, PC Richard & Sons, et al. are on the winning side of a very basic psychological parlor trick that has been more or less bred into the American (if not Global) consumerist psyche: that more expensive equates to "better." This trick is particularly sinister in the case of HDMI cables because it is supported by evidence. In many, many other cases, more expensive actually does equal better, even within audio/video equipment. So it is reasonable to think that that would be the case here. It's actually not the norm in this case. Therefore it is easy to swindle people.

    It is reprehensible.
    It doesn't hurt that when people do research regarding a shiny new HDTV setup very few spare a thought for cables. Up till now it's basically been irrelevant so they don't think of it.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
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    DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Adrien wrote: »
    o_O? That if you want something now it is often more expensive? That's, like, a feature, not a bug.

    The markup on cables is about the same as the cost of next day air for a cable. I wouldn't mind paying more in the store— maybe ten bucks on the $2.50 I got it for online. No problem. $35 is outrageous, just bald-faced profiteering that I refuse to support.
    I think I read that the other way round with your original comment, it was a little unclear.

    Regardless Radio Shack's only reason to exist is because you want something now or you're ignorant. Either way you're going to get ripped off.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
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    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I bought a HDMI-to-DVI cable for 20 bucks the other day because I didn't want to wait two to three for it to arrive from Monoprice. So I lost 5-10 dollars I guess. Oh well. I am impatient.

    Drez on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    5-1 dollars more is reasonable for the conveience

    nexuscrawler on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I honestly find it hilarious becasue at work I'll squeeze an uncompressed HD signal through a single BNC cable worth about 15 dollars.

    For very long runs expensive cabling is actually worthwhile. Funny thing is monster really isn't pro quality they just charge like it is.

    nexuscrawler on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    How else am I supposed to protect against power goblins?

    Couscous on
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    Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2008
    I honestly find it hilarious becasue at work I'll squeeze an uncompressed HD signal through a single BNC cable worth about 15 dollars.

    For very long runs expensive cabling is actually worthwhile. Funny thing is monster really isn't pro quality they just charge like it is.
    Mmmm. BNC 4 lyfe.

    Satan. on
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    emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    It's probably just the dizzying pace technology is advancing that mucks people up but people tend to believe in products when they shouldn't. The company that makes the Airborne pills, the ones that stop colds from happening, was sued since their product does jack against the common cold. People read the ads and were suckered. I bought a Faraday flashlight after watching the ads. Wow! A flashlight that never needs batteries or a new bulb? Then I brought the thing home and the light was disappointingly weak. I'll admit it - I expected it to work just because it was advertised as a 'convenient and new breakthrough'.

    Like drez already mentioned, people might not be eager to buy Monster cables if they were $20 instead of $140.

    emnmnme on
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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2008
    Is there a reason this thread wasn't made in one of the tech forums?

    Elki on
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    GimGim a tall glass of water Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Monster Cable:cables::Grey Goose:vodka

    Gim on
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    Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2008
    Elki wrote: »
    Is there a reason this thread wasn't made in one of the tech forums?
    I was wondering initially but it seems to have turned into a semi-decent D&D thread.

    Satan. on
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    emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Satan. wrote: »
    Elki wrote: »
    Is there a reason this thread wasn't made in one of the tech forums?
    I was wondering initially but it seems to have turned into a semi-decent D&D thread.

    You could change the Monster cables to designer jeans, I guess. This is a thread about perceived value, right?

    emnmnme on
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    Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2008
    emnmnme wrote: »
    Satan. wrote: »
    Elki wrote: »
    Is there a reason this thread wasn't made in one of the tech forums?
    I was wondering initially but it seems to have turned into a semi-decent D&D thread.

    You could change the Monster cables to designer jeans, I guess. This is a thread about perceived value, right?
    That's what I'm starting to get out of it.

    Satan. on
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    emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Satan. wrote: »
    emnmnme wrote: »
    Satan. wrote: »
    Elki wrote: »
    Is there a reason this thread wasn't made in one of the tech forums?
    I was wondering initially but it seems to have turned into a semi-decent D&D thread.

    You could change the Monster cables to designer jeans, I guess. This is a thread about perceived value, right?
    That's what I'm starting to get out of it.

    Oh good - that means we can bitch about the prices of bottled water and concert tickets here. :P

    emnmnme on
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    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    There's a difference between perceived value and fictitious value. Monster cables only have a perceived value above other cables because Monster and retailers actively lie about the benefit of Monster cables, particularly with regard to digital cables. It's not the same thing as, say, Grey Goose which has a different taste from Smirnoff or Absolut, or designer jeans which usually have a different aesthetic look and/or style from a ten-dollar pair. I fail to see any way to argue in defense of Monster cables above others but I can envision a defense of other values that are spruced up largely by advertisement or hype that spring to mind.

    Is that just a failing of my imagination, or are Monster cables a different matter? To me there is a blatant disrespect for the consumer here. I mean, I don't think this is analogous to Grey Goose versus other vodka. This is like telling consumers that Grey Goose will get you drunk faster than other vodkas or something. It's a total fucking sham.

    Now, if Monster sold their cables on the basis of "they look cool" that's one thing. But once they start advertising that their cables protect the user's digital signal from things that have no means of interrupting it then you go from creating a sensationalized value to creating a value on false pretenses. Two different things. "Buy our jeans, they're cooler than The Gap's!" is not the same thing as "buy our jeans, The Gap's won't cover your legs as well as ours!" when the latter isn't even remotely true.

    Drez on
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    musanmanmusanman Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Satan. wrote: »
    emnmnme wrote: »
    Satan. wrote: »
    Elki wrote: »
    Is there a reason this thread wasn't made in one of the tech forums?
    I was wondering initially but it seems to have turned into a semi-decent D&D thread.

    You could change the Monster cables to designer jeans, I guess. This is a thread about perceived value, right?
    That's what I'm starting to get out of it.

    I figured it was something worth discussing. I wasn't necessarily looking for technical help, or even responses. I think most of the audience in D&D is smart enough to understand when they're being conned...I'd just like to hear their experiences.

    musanman on
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    chasmchasm Ill-tempered Texan Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    The markup on most cables is obscene. I send most of my customers to monoprice unless they absolutely have to have it now.

    chasm on
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    GimGim a tall glass of water Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I made the analogy because they are both priced higher than they need to be, therefore they have a greater perceived value. The only big difference you pointed out is that Monster is a good deal more vocal about hyping themselves, but I don't think that nullifies the analogy.

    Gim on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    There's a difference between perceived value and fictitious value. Monster cables only have a perceived value above other cables because Monster and retailers actively lie about the benefit of Monster cables, particularly with regard to digital cables. It's not the same thing as, say, Grey Goose which has a different taste from Smirnoff or Absolut, or designer jeans which usually have a different aesthetic look and/or style from a ten-dollar pair. I fail to see any way to argue in defense of Monster cables above others but I can envision a defense of other values that are spruced up largely by advertisement or hype that spring to mind.


    Isnt all vodka supposed to be flavorless? I mean, after a certain quality of filtering threshold its all the same. So isnt vodka differences fake too? Or at least as bad as the difference between designer jeans that look the same but are different brands, one of which is "Cooler".

    JebusUD on
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    thanimationsthanimations Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    Is that just a failing of my imagination, or are Monster cables a different matter? To me there is a blatant disrespect for the consumer here. I mean, I don't think this is analogous to Grey Goose versus other vodka. This is like telling consumers that Grey Goose will get you drunk faster than other vodkas or something. It's a total fucking sham.

    I've never used Monster or any designer cables for home theater, but I have used nicer cables for amplifying instruments and there is a difference between a shitty cable and a good one. Is it enough to warrant the extra price? Probably not for most people. Though I suppose it's different for analog signals in comparison to HDMI.

    thanimations on
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    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Gim wrote: »
    I made the analogy because they are both priced higher than they need to be, therefore they have a greater perceived value. The only big difference you pointed out is that Monster is a good deal more vocal about hyping themselves, but I don't think that nullifies the analogy.

    No, the big difference I pointed out is that there is zero difference between a 5 dollar brandless cable and a 140 dollar Monster cable while there are differences between a bottle of Smirnoff or Absolute and Grey Goose. Thus the analogy falls short.

    Unless you can give me one relevant difference between a Monster HDMI cable and a 5-dollar brandless HDMI cable. "Relevant" meaning one that is advertised and one that people usually choose a Monster cable for. There are relevant differences between Grey Goose and other vodkas and there are relevant differences between designer jeans and other jeans. There are no relevant differences between Monster HDMI cables and other cables.

    JebusUD wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    There's a difference between perceived value and fictitious value. Monster cables only have a perceived value above other cables because Monster and retailers actively lie about the benefit of Monster cables, particularly with regard to digital cables. It's not the same thing as, say, Grey Goose which has a different taste from Smirnoff or Absolut, or designer jeans which usually have a different aesthetic look and/or style from a ten-dollar pair. I fail to see any way to argue in defense of Monster cables above others but I can envision a defense of other values that are spruced up largely by advertisement or hype that spring to mind.

    Isnt all vodka supposed to be flavorless? I mean, after a certain quality of filtering threshold its all the same. So isnt vodka differences fake too? Or at least as bad as the difference between designer jeans that look the same but are different brands, one of which is "Cooler".

    Flavorless? No. Unless my definition of "flavor" is wrong. And I'm not saying that the difference in vodkas or clothing are substantial or even good, I'm saying that the differences are not fictitious. There is a social stigma related to the amount you spend on clothes. No single element of the textile industry created that stigma...but it now exists. Same goes with vodka. The same doesn't exist for Monster HDMI cables. There is no gain, not even a pretentious one, for the consumer. Monster HDMI cables are marketed as "working better," that's it. That's their entire ad campaign. And it's false. Clothers advertise that their clothes make you "look better" or that you'll "fit in with a better crowd" or something along those lines which may be stupid but it's arguably not false. And there is, in fact, a difference in taste from vodka to vodka.

    Drez on
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    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    Is that just a failing of my imagination, or are Monster cables a different matter? To me there is a blatant disrespect for the consumer here. I mean, I don't think this is analogous to Grey Goose versus other vodka. This is like telling consumers that Grey Goose will get you drunk faster than other vodkas or something. It's a total fucking sham.

    I've never used Monster or any designer cables for home theater, but I have used nicer cables for amplifying instruments and there is a difference between a shitty cable and a good one. Is it enough to warrant the extra price? Probably not for most people. Though I suppose it's different for analog signals in comparison to HDMI.

    I don't know anything about amplifying instruments or what kind of cables you are using. I am specifically talking about Monster HDMI cables. I forgot to specify the "HDMI" in the above post you quoted, though. Digital signals are different.

    Drez on
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    GimGim a tall glass of water Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Ah, HDMI cables. I was referring to Monster Cable in general. Yes, digital is digital for the most part.

    Gim on
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    musanmanmusanman Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    Gim wrote: »
    I made the analogy because they are both priced higher than they need to be, therefore they have a greater perceived value. The only big difference you pointed out is that Monster is a good deal more vocal about hyping themselves, but I don't think that nullifies the analogy.

    No, the big difference I pointed out is that there is zero difference between a 5 dollar brandless cable and a 140 dollar Monster cable while there are differences between a bottle of Smirnoff or Absolute and Grey Goose. Thus the analogy falls short.

    Unless you can give me one relevant difference between a Monster HDMI cable and a 5-dollar brandless HDMI cable. "Relevant" meaning one that is advertised and one that people usually choose a Monster cable for. There are relevant differences between Grey Goose and other vodkas and there are relevant differences between designer jeans and other jeans. There are no relevant differences between Monster HDMI cables and other cables.

    JebusUD wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    There's a difference between perceived value and fictitious value. Monster cables only have a perceived value above other cables because Monster and retailers actively lie about the benefit of Monster cables, particularly with regard to digital cables. It's not the same thing as, say, Grey Goose which has a different taste from Smirnoff or Absolut, or designer jeans which usually have a different aesthetic look and/or style from a ten-dollar pair. I fail to see any way to argue in defense of Monster cables above others but I can envision a defense of other values that are spruced up largely by advertisement or hype that spring to mind.

    Isnt all vodka supposed to be flavorless? I mean, after a certain quality of filtering threshold its all the same. So isnt vodka differences fake too? Or at least as bad as the difference between designer jeans that look the same but are different brands, one of which is "Cooler".

    Flavorless? No. Unless my definition of "flavor" is wrong. And I'm not saying that the difference in vodkas or clothing are substantial or even good, I'm saying that the differences are not fictitious. There is a social stigma related to the amount you spend on clothes. No single element of the textile industry created that stigma...but it now exists. Same goes with vodka. The same doesn't exist for Monster HDMI cables. There is no gain, not even a pretentious one, for the consumer. Monster HDMI cables are marketed as "working better," that's it. That's their entire ad campaign. And it's false. Clothers advertise that their clothes make you "look better" or that you'll "fit in with a better crowd" or something along those lines which may be stupid but it's arguably not false. And there is, in fact, a difference in taste from vodka to vodka.

    Vodka is designed to be tasteless and odorless in theory. The higher quality vodka is the one that has been filtered again and again until there are no impurities...but I would agree the analogy falls short let's try to keep it focused on the cables.

    musanman on
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    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Yeah, sorry, I'm specifically talking digital here but I have forgotten to put that in many of my posts.

    Other types of monster cable have perceived value, I would say, but digital cables (DVI-D or HDMI) have wholly-fictitious values.

    Drez on
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    EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited March 2008
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Isnt all vodka supposed to be flavorless? I mean, after a certain quality of filtering threshold its all the same. So isnt vodka differences fake too?

    Didn't Mythbusters do something on this?

    Echo on
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    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2008
    Am I confusing cables, or isn't the main advantage of HDMI cables the fact that they can carry all the stuff rather than the three wires and the rest of the tangle?

    Scalfin on
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    thanimationsthanimations Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    That's cool, I just figured I'd address the other cables since the discussion is moving a bit into "product value."

    But yeah, HDMI markup is bullshit.

    thanimations on
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    musanmanmusanman Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Echo wrote: »
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Isnt all vodka supposed to be flavorless? I mean, after a certain quality of filtering threshold its all the same. So isnt vodka differences fake too?

    Didn't Mythbusters do something on this?

    I think they used it as mouthwash. Since it's odorless but high in alcohol it kills all the the bad shit in your mouth and doesn't smell like you've been drinking. They might have mixed it with cinnamon or something.

    musanman on
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    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2008
    musanman wrote: »
    Echo wrote: »
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Isnt all vodka supposed to be flavorless? I mean, after a certain quality of filtering threshold its all the same. So isnt vodka differences fake too?

    Didn't Mythbusters do something on this?

    I think they used it as mouthwash. Since it's odorless but high in alcohol it kills all the the bad shit in your mouth and doesn't smell like you've been drinking. They might have mixed it with cinnamon or something.

    They tested whether you could increase your vodka's quality w/ a coffee filter.

    Scalfin on
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    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
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    CorlisCorlis Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    musanman wrote: »
    Satan. wrote: »
    emnmnme wrote: »
    Satan. wrote: »
    Elki wrote: »
    Is there a reason this thread wasn't made in one of the tech forums?
    I was wondering initially but it seems to have turned into a semi-decent D&D thread.

    You could change the Monster cables to designer jeans, I guess. This is a thread about perceived value, right?
    That's what I'm starting to get out of it.

    I figured it was something worth discussing. I wasn't necessarily looking for technical help, or even responses. I think most of the audience in D&D is smart enough to understand when they're being conned...I'd just like to hear their experiences.
    Of course, it's not really just about being smart or anything, but also about having technical knowledge in the relevant area. For example, someone might know enough about audio cables to realize Monster cables suck, but not know enough about cars to realize that Expensive Car Part XYZ isn't worth it. Likewise, someone who does know enough about cars to realize that Expensive Car Part XYZ isn't worth it, might not know enough about construction to know that he really doesn't need Expensive Dry Wall Brand ABC. Companies are aware that most people with specialist knowledge of their area know how effective their product actually is, but they don't mind so long as the bulk of the population remain oblivious to the fact that they're being gouged. The trick, from the customers' point of view, is to find a good review site where you can get people with specialist knowledge to tell you what to get.

    On a completely different note: When I went to Rome on a school trip a few years ago, I saw a store that actually went by the name "Expensive". I guess that shows that some purchases are simply made as a way of saying "I can afford to waste money!" :|

    Corlis on
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