The Age Old Question - Are All HDMI Cables The Same?

Looking back over a decade and a half there was all the talk that some HDMI cables were better than others, remember the gold tips better than silver tips, and GST Gerry was charging $100 for some HDMI cables while some at MSY were $8.

Just wondering if there is a difference in quality or is it "it either works or it doesn't"?

I understand some some do 4k/8k and the hz also matters or something like that? what about braided/non braided

About to mount a television so have to figure out all the cables and put them through the wall once and for all.


If you can recommend some quality HDMI cables (about 2m long) would be good.


  • It either works or it doesn't.

    I normally buy my HDMI cables from Amazon. I wall mounted my TV and ran 3x3M cables through the wall to the TV unit underneath using these guys:

    • +3

      That's actually not the case anymore.
      With the data requirements these days many HDMI cables will seem to work fine when running 4K 60Hz or 120Hz, but will experience issues like dropout randomly due to the cable not being to spec.

  • +6

    "put them through the wall once and for all."
    install a conduit, that way can feed new cables through in the future

  • +1

    Just make sure you use the latest standard cables, which is HDMI 2.1.

    • do I need [email protected] or is [email protected] enough?

      i am streaming 4k movies, watching 4k blurays and playing ps5

      • A proper HDMI 2.1 cable should do 8k @ 60Hz. If it’s 2-3m long and advertised at less, I would question if it’s v2.1.

        • +2

          Don't forget that HDMI 2.1 now includes anything that was formerly rated HDMI 2.0.

          I'd steer clear of anything not promoting 8K (for simplicities sake)

  • +1

    Like ethernet cables there are CAT 1 through 7 (may be more) and the same goes for HDMI cables with regards to being certified as 1.0 to 1.4 and 2.0 to 2.1/2.2. The difference between all of these is the speed the data can be transmitted at without errors occurring. If the speed is okay and the error rate is low enough you will not have any issues.

    Saying that if you go to a store and have a choice between two cables I would pick the cable that has the following, assuming that the cables are both less than say $15 for a 2m cable:
    a) The one with gold colored ends
    b) Thickest cable as I assume rightly or incorrectly that the wires are thicker in the thickest cable
    c) Braided cable as these seem to be easier to bend IMHO.

    • cant seem to post the link because they think its a spam or referral link, but on amazon this is the one im looking at

      (3M/10FT)-8K HDMI 2.1 Copper Cord, Proxima Direct Real HDR HDMI 8K Cable 48Gbps [email protected] [email protected] Support HDCP 3D HDMI UHD Cable for Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, HDTVs, PS4, PS5, Projector

      its $18.99 for 3metres

      • If it works then it's okay.

  • +1

    These people beg to differ (but note that velocity of propagation is only 86%, maybe you have to stump up a bit more for something approaching the speed of light) ->

    • A cable that meets spec should have zero errors, so paying 1000 plus for a cable that does the same job a cable 10x cheaper does … some people have gold toilets , so you do you

      • +1

        Wrong. All very high speed comms have errors due to a number of factors, but you will not se the errors due to error correction techniques that are built into high speed comms, unless the errors become high (depends on the command etc, but anything over 5% you will see a slow down and 10% will affect the comms).

        I agree with the price rip off.

        • unless the errors become high (depends on the command etc, but anything over 5% you will see a slow down and 10% will affect the comms).

          There's no 'slow down' for HDMI error correction though.
          It's not a duplex communication error correction protocol..the client can't ask for a resend of any frames, so there is no 'slow down'

    • +1

      WTF $15K for a 8m cable..its the strands made of dragon hair

    • Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish between hyperbole and outright bullshit

      A phrase such as : "data transfer speed (which must fall between 10.2 and 18GHz " makes it easy.

      This thing hums.

  • There's certainly a lot of cables out there that claim to meet certain specs but actually don't. If you want to be certain, buy a cable that's actually HDMI certified. They'll cost a few dollars more but still not $100+. The absolutely cheapest ones won't be certified but that doesn't mean they won't work. So either take a gamble or spend a few extra dollars for something with actual certification.

    IMO standards change and cables aren't really expensive. Buy something that meets your needs and worry about what you'll need 10 years from now in 10 years time.

  • +7
  • The Age old Ans. : nothing was created equal 😷

  • +3

    I only get super gold plated ultra expensive cables, as I want my 1s and 0s to have as good a life as they can on the journey to their death….

    • Why are you on OZ bargain if you buy these rip off cables?

      • +1

        Spoiler; He pays in used Eneloops.

        • Probably bought at RRP instead of the OZ bargain prices.

      • +3

        Was the sarcasm to subtle? :/

  • +3

    LTT - I Spent a THOUSAND Dollars on HDMI Cables.. for Science

    • Good video but already shared by Gronk

      • Cool. I don't click on links without titles and/or descriptions.

    • +1

      And made a lot more from all the people who clicked on the video

  • -1

    wasn't it the ancient Egyptians who first posed this question 4,000 years ago?

  • HDMI 2.0 and up and you'll be right

    As for the Monster Cable scam that gerry was running all those years ago… $200+ for a rebranded HDMI cable or "gold plated" RC/A cables.

    I though the funniest part was the example they used where one TV was hooked up with a HDMI cable and the other with an RC/A and they were advertising how much better the $300 MONSTER Hdmi cable was… Pure Sh1thousery that was.

  • Absolutely not, this question is like asking is all tap water the same.

    Old house tap water will be full of copper and other nasties.

    Tap water in Thailand will make you go to the toilet every 4 minutes.

    For short, less than 50cm connections, you might be fine, anything longer you are playing lotto.

  • +1

    I wasted ages diagnosing an issue where my Xbox series X wasn’t able to show HDR10 and I’d occasionally get sync issues through the AV receiver. Goes via 5M supposedly fairly decent HDMI cable inside the wall.

    Changed to a different cable supplier, similar cost and all was fine, although I wasted hours on troubleshooting to get to that point. There is a difference on longer runs. I guess short runs aren’t a big deal but anything 5M or longer and I’d suggest ensuring that it’s a known good cable brand or retailer.

    • I am having issues with my series x and my new LG c1. No issues previously with a Samsung telly but now I occasionally get a invalid format error. I need to run a 5 meter cable through the wall. What cable did you use?

      • I got mine from Space HiFi. It was their Saturn series of cables, $40. Just their own brand, but it’s a very good quality cable.

  • +1

    The really cheap HDMI cables in my experience will fail more quickly, I have purchased cheapies from eBay before and after a year am trying to diagnose "why I can not get signal" only to swap the cable and realise I have a faulty HDMI cable. I assume this is because cheap and minimal copper inside the cable breaks up more quickly than a better made cable.

    Otherwise an expensive cable has only the advantage of looking and feeling better because you know you spent a lot to purchase it, if the specs match (and the manufacturer is not lying) then the cable is exactly the same electrically.

  • You might like..
    Linus tech tips
    Display port

  • Hdmi is a high speed digital protocol. The higher resolutions need to operate at higher speeds, and at those speeds transmission errors due to bad cables are more likely. The spec define signal measurements to make sure the cable can handle the high speed signal, so it is important the cable is compliant to a spec version you want to use. Occasional errors might still happen, those would be handled by error correction codes.

    The recent hdmi versions have something called link training, that will test the cable when it connects to see how fast it is. It should try to change the signal strength to make sure there are no errors, and then if there are still errors it will reduce the resolution.

    Given those I would expect a cable that has been tested as compliant should work regardless of the price. However, I don’t know too much about strictness of HDMI compliance.

  • Well yes, but actually no. The general wisdom used to be "it either works or it doesn't", and to some degree that still holds true. However, with all the various HDMI versions many will now not even hit their rated specs and can cause issues with higher resolutions and/or frame rates.

    Check out LTT's video, they explain it better than I could:

    He actually just did the same with Display Port cables and found that pretty much every normal length cable passed without issues due to their design.

  • The Age Old Question - Are All HDMI Cables The Same?

    No, they come in different colours and sizes…

  • It's not about braiding, gold tips, etc…. it's about its ability to transfer information.
    Don't expect your Kmart $2 cables to do what your 4K TV is expecting of your $K HDR player to do.

Login or Join to leave a comment