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July 18, 2009

Bargain cables online from Optimized Cable Company

Optimized-3ft-hdmi-cable I have weighed in before on "the great retail digital cable pricing scam" in which the usual local retailers charge way too much for digital cables, but the trick is to find a source of cables at a decent price. You may be lucky enough to live in an area like Silicon Valley where there are retailers that appeal to the technically knowledgeable, but for the rest of us the best bet is the Internet. One source I have discovered is the Optimized Cable Company which offers a wide selection of digital (and other) cables at great prices.

Case in point: I wanted a 3 foot HDMI cable for my modest home theater system and got their 3 Ft. Ultra-High Speed HDMI Cable – 28 Gauge – Gold Plated 1.3b which retails for $9.99. The specs are all that you could ask for including:

Most Current HDMI Version: 1.3b1
Connector Finish: Gold
Shielding level: 3x Triple
Shielding type: EMI (Electromagnetic Interference)
Certified HDMI: Yes
Backwards Compatible with HDMI Version 1.2: Yes
Supports Blu Ray & HD DVD 1080p: Yes
Supports 480p, 720p 1080i, 1080p, 1440p: Yes
Supports Lossless DTS 8 Channel Audio: Yes
Supports TrueHD & DTS-HD: Yes

I installed it and it worked perfectly which is all you really need to know about a cable. You can pay a lot more at a local big box store or online for an HDMI cable, but you aren’t going to get a better one.

Posted at 7:39 pm. Filed under Bargains, Cables

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February 20, 2007

The great retail digital cable pricing scam

One of the oddities of retail electronics sales that always gets my goat is the widely varying prices on cables. While you can make an argument for paying modestly more for better quality analog cables, there’s no reason to do so for digital cables, but don’t expect the retailers to tell you so or even offer a choice. Anyway, Ben Kuchera at Ars Technica had the exact same frustration trying to find an HDMI cable for his Sony PlayStation 3 and did some comparison shopping. Excerpt:

The price differences between cables that are essentially the same can be incredible. $100 one place, $30 someplace else, and $20 online. The fact is many places like Best Buy only carry a few brands and jack the price up. It’s worth spending the afternoon shopping around for your cables. Best Buy had expensive HDMI cables but cheap Wii component cables. Meijer didn’t have Wii component at all but they had a $20 HDMI cable. Don’t get fooled into thinking that just because you’re paying more you’ll see a better picture, or it isn’t worth your time to check around.

If you’re still skeptical, keep your receipts. Buy the $100 HDMI cable at the Sony Store and then a $20 Monoprice cable, and try them both. See if you can see $80 worth of difference. If you don’t, take one back. The price difference will buy you a new game, and it’s worth proving to yourself that the lower-priced cables are just as good.

Much more by following the link and be sure to read the comments which are both hilarious and eye-opening.

Posted at 11:20 am. Filed under Bargains, Cables

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