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.