Aussie retailer accuses UK shops of HDMI 'scam'
Four quid job just as good as a £100 one
Want a free HDMI cable? Buy a telly from either John Lewis or Currys and you'll get one - not from those retailers but from upstart Aussie e-tailer Kogan.
The online store claimed "some retailers have decided that it’s appropriate to trick unsuspecting UK shoppers into thinking a £100 HDMI cable is better than a £4 one", so it's giving away its cables, gratis.
Kogan singled out John Lewis and Currys, telling those retailers' customers that they can have free cables so they don't fall victim to what it alleged is an "overpriced cable con".
Perhaps, it should have chosen its words more carefully. Only last week, Virgin Media had its knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for claiming other ISPs were "conning" the public over broadband speeds.
You're not allowed to denigrate rivals, the ASA said, especially not without explicit proof.
Kogan said: "When you buy a TV from John Lewis, Currys, or countless other high street stores, you will be offered hideously expensive accessories such as HDMI cables.
"These cables are sold with absolutely ridiculous markups, many multiples of the actual cost of the items.
"It's a digital cable. You either get a picture or you don't. Don't get conned into buying a 'fancy' HDMI cable, because it will make no difference!"
In principle yes, but we'd note that if the cable is particularly crap, it could degrade the signal to the the point that error correction can't recover it. If that were not the case, digital phone calls would be either non-existent or perfect, and digital TV signals likewise.
Still, we've yet to come across an HDMI cable that bad, and it's hard to recommend a £100 HDMI cable over one that costs a tenner.
From 1 July, puntrers can claim a freebiew Kogan cable by simply emailing proof of their purchase to Kogan. As usual, Ts&Cs apply.
We're awaiting responses from John Lewis and Currys. ®
I've found that my megaexpensive Monster cable produces a much more defined picture and if I was to try to describe it I'd say it was warm and fuller. I'm now putting my fingers in my ears and I'm going to say lalalala and make sure I can't hear you because one step worse than wasting my money on a placebo cable would be admitting I'm dumb enough to get scammed. I'm now going to advocate the cable everywhere I can.
In principle yes ...
... but we'd note that if the cable is particularly crap, it could degrade the signal to the the point that error correction can't recover it.
Well, in that case, TAKE THE CABLE BACK and get it replaced, it is FAULTY.
I've been arguing this for months and months... there is exactly *no* reason why a three hundred quid cable will work any better over a three quid one, if the three quid one meets the specs.
As Kogan says - it works, or it doesn't.
I blame the audiophools, who seem to have infected the population as a whole. I don't blame the manufacturers who are well aware of the old saw about a phool and his money...
no, there are cables that meet the spec, and cables that don't...
With a digital standard such as HDMI, a cable will either meet the specification, and pass through the data with a suitably low error rate that it can do the required level (e.g. 1080p), or not - once it meets the spec, it can't get any better.
Show me a proper double-blind study of sufficient size to prove otherwise and I'll happily eat my £5 HDMI cable...
It DOES make a difference. A big difference! Allow me to explain:
Cheap cables use thinner wires to transfer the data. These thinner wires produce a tighter radius curve when they get bent through dangling behind your telly.
Data is made up of 1s and 0s. The 0s can move freely due to their curved nature, but the angled edges of the 1s get stuck in the tighter radius of the thinner wires.
Therefore, you get a buildup of data and subsequently a congestion of 1s in your wires.
This is why processors have burst caches. The tracks on the motherboards are too sharply angled and the cache builds up to bursting point and a "burst cache" relieves the pressure.
Same with cables. So unless you want cables to explode and litter your room with EM interferring 1s, I suggest you buy expensive, thicker diameter cables.
Mines the one with the PC world application in the pocket :-)
(yes, it's a joke)