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Recent Home Theater Cable Articles

Crimping & Soldering - Keys to Connection Performance and Longevity

Crimping & Soldering - Keys to Connection Performance and Longevity

Audio and Video Cables are not just dependent on the wire or cable used, or the connectors used. The quality of the connection between the wire or cable and connector is just as important, if not more so. The biggest problem with the audio/video cable market is that marketing departments choose fads and fallacies, non-applicable specifications and pseudo science over real world objective measurements and tried and true methods of creating wire and cable assemblies that will last for many years with high quality results. Today we're going to look at those unsung heroes of our A/V world, the ones that hold it all together - the crimp and the solder joints.

Audio and Video Cables are not just dependent on the wire or cable used, or the connectors used. The quality of the connection between the wire or cable and connector is just as important, if not

Thomas Steves — March 09, 2009 22:42 in Audio Video Cables

What Do HDMI Spec Versions (1.2, 1.3, 1.3a, etc) Mean For Cable Choice?

What Do HDMI Spec Versions (1.2, 1.3, 1.3a, etc) Mean For Cable Choice?

Many people are worried, when buying HDMI cable, about the spec version of the cable in question. Is it the latest spec version? Will it support all the features of the devices it's hooked to? Most of the fears and doubts associated with this question are unfounded, but there are some interesting issues with regard to HDMI spec version, and we'll sort those out in this article.

Many people are worried, when buying HDMI cable, about the spec version of the cable in question. Is it the latest spec version? Will it support all the features of the devices it's hooked to? Most

Kurt Denke — March 05, 2009 11:01 in Audio Video Cables

Do I Need 120 Hertz HDMI Cables?

Do I Need 120 Hertz HDMI Cables?

One of the most common sorts of questions from our customers these days is some variant on this: "Do I really need a 120Hz HDMI Cable?" In consumer electronics stores across the country, consumers are being told that their new 120 Hertz displays will not work properly, or will not work optimally, without a cable designed for 120 Hertz. We'll address this question two different ways, beginning with the short answer and following with the long answer/explanation.

One of the most common sorts of questions from our customers these days is some variant on this: "Do I really need a 120Hz HDMI Cable?" In consumer electronics stores across the country, consumers

Kurt Denke — December 31, 2008 09:39 in Audio Video Cables

Myth vs Reality – Putting Cat5E-Based A/V Structured Wiring In Its Place

Myth vs Reality – Putting Cat5E-Based A/V Structured Wiring In Its Place

Sending audio, video and control signals over twisted pair cables have become common practice in the contemporary marketplace. There is a good reason for this. Twisted pair cables are cheap, ubiquitous and comfortably familiar to anyone with any level of installation exposure to data networking and telephony. UTP-based A/V installations are appealing for their perceived low cost and performance advantages. Widely accepted as a panacea that banished the need for task-specific cables to the equipment closet of history, those who universally advocate the use of balun-based infrastructure would do well to remember the words of Plutarch; “To find a fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.”

Sending audio, video and control signals over twisted pair cables have become common practice in the contemporary marketplace. There is a good reason for this. Twisted pair cables are cheap,

— October 06, 2008 12:45 in Audio Video Cables

Wireless HDMI Takes Flight

Wireless HDMI Takes Flight

Wireless HDMI seems to be coming to a living room near you. While everyone pretty much agrees that HDMI is the most bitter-sweet invention to hit the consumer AV electronics industry in some time, there's no denying that most are trying to make end runs around the format. In some cases that is through the use of cable conversion, while others are looking to send HDMI through the ether.

Wireless HDMI seems to be coming to a living room near you. While everyone pretty much agrees that HDMI is the most bitter-sweet invention to hit the consumer AV electronics industry in some time,

— September 05, 2008 01:00 in Audio Video Cables

Long HDMI Cable Bench Tests - Monster Cable Shootout

Long HDMI Cable Bench Tests - Monster Cable Shootout

I decided to write this article the first time I saw another writer say "HDMI is digital - it either works or it doesn't." Then I saw that statement get repeated over and over. The problem is that HDMI isn't like a digital coax audio cable - it can degrade partially and produce sparkles and snow. We'll illustrate some of this below. It took nearly 6 months to research and prepare for this experiment. I intended to acquire as many HDMI cables as possible and focus on empirical testing of mostly longer lengths to show the differences that abound when you exceed 5 meters. The exercise, I believed, would save many consumers from losing lots of money and time - on a number of levels.

I decided to write this article the first time I saw another writer say "HDMI is digital - it either works or it doesn't." Then I saw that statement get repeated over and over. The problem is that

— July 08, 2008 10:50 in Audio Video Cables

Pear Cable Redux: How to Combat Scam with Science

Pear Cable Redux: How to Combat Scam with Science

A Case Study in Applying an Audioholics A/V Education to Identify Marketing Drivel. In this follow-up to our initial article, we will look at Pear Cable as a case study in evaluating exaggerated marketing claims about the audio performance improvements attributed to cables. We will use known science, established engineering principles, and the educated opinions of well known audio engineering practitioners to look for contradictory statements, mistakes and misuse of engineering knowledge, and exaggeration of the audible significance to certain aspects of audio performance.

A Case Study in Applying an Audioholics A/V Education to Identify Marketing Drivel. In this follow-up to our initial article, we will look at Pear Cable as a case study in evaluating exaggerated

— May 10, 2008 23:20 in Audio Video Cables

HDMI 1.3 and Cables Part 1: It's All in the Bitrate

HDMI 1.3 and Cables Part 1: It's All in the Bitrate

With the advent of HDMI v1.3 and 1.3a, consumers are starting to really get confused about cables and what they need to worry about when selecting a product that's going to be compatible with the new specifications. We interviewed Steven Barlow from DVIGear to get a handle on why this is a more complex issue for some, and a non-issue for others. He allowed us to assimilate much of what we discussed into this article you are reading now.

With the advent of HDMI v1.3 and 1.3a, consumers are starting to really get confused about cables and what they need to worry about when selecting a product that's going to be compatible with the new

— August 22, 2007 09:57 in Audio Video Cables

What's the Matter with HDMI?

What's the Matter with HDMI?

HDMI, as we've pointed out elsewhere, is a format which was designed primarily to serve the interests of the content-provider industries, not to serve the interests of the consumer. The result is a mess, and in particular, the signal is quite hard to route and switch, cable assemblies are unnecessarily complicated, and distance runs are chancy. Why is this, and what did the designers of the standard do wrong? And what can we do about it? Check out this informative article from our friends at Bluejeans Cable.

HDMI, as we've pointed out elsewhere, is a format which was designed primarily to serve the interests of the content-provider industries, not to serve the interests of the consumer. The result is a

Kurt Demke — May 16, 2007 21:10 in Audio Video Cables

Bi-wiring Part 2: The Cable Conundrum

Bi-wiring Part 2: The Cable Conundrum

One of the arguments presented in the web forum thread I’ve already examined on a previous article is that there is a difference between a bi-wired speaker system and conventional wiring due to a difference in their cable power dissipation behaviours. So let’s examine the systems described in the thread and see what difference there may be between them in practice.

One of the arguments presented in the web forum thread I’ve already examined on a previous article is that there is a difference between a bi-wired speaker system and conventional wiring due to a

Jim Lesurf — March 28, 2007 20:00 in Audio Video Cables

Bi-Wiring A Loudspeaker: Does it Make a Difference?

Bi-Wiring A Loudspeaker: Does it Make a Difference?

Bi-wiring a loudspeaker involves running two pairs of cables tied together on the amp side but separated on the loudspeaker side to the low and high crossover sections. It's a controversial topic. Some people are quite certain it makes an audible difference. Some others are convinced that it can’t actually make any difference at all. The purpose of this analysis is to try and decide whether it is at least theoretically feasible that bi-wiring can make any difference. This is a tech article meant for propeller heads and not a general overview.

Bi-wiring a loudspeaker involves running two pairs of cables tied together on the amp side but separated on the loudspeaker side to the low and high crossover sections. But, does it make a difference?

Jim Lesurf — March 19, 2007 19:00 in Audio Video Cables

Thinking in Isolation – A Primer on Ground Loops

Thinking in Isolation – A Primer on Ground Loops

There is a humming sound coming from the speakers. A faint dark bar rolls from the bottom of the image to the top, changing colors and distorting the picture as it goes. What’s this? How is this possible? All this equipment is new and your home is only a few years old. Welcome to the nefarious neighborhood of the ground loop! This article details how to resolve a ground loop to help you achieve noise free connection of your equipment.

There is a humming sound coming from the speakers. A faint dark bar rolls from the bottom of the image to the top, changing colors and distorting the picture as it goes. What’s this? How is this

— January 18, 2007 22:25 in Audio Video Cables

Un-Sound Advice About Cables

Un-Sound Advice About Cables

Over the holiday break, I decided to peruse my local A/V retail shop for a new Plasma for my master bedroom system. While I was walking the floor, I couldn’t help but listen in on a salesman espousing cable nonsense to a customer in attempt to land a sale. This article editorializes this experience. Slick marketing or snake oil? Continue reading.

This is an editorialized experience of when I visited a hifi shop over the holiday break and got sold a story on what makes exotic cables better. Slick marketing or snake oil?

— January 03, 2007 10:55 in Audio Video Cables

Selecting the Right HDMI Solution for Your Custom Installation

Selecting the Right HDMI Solution for Your Custom Installation

Digital is everywhere in today's home theater environment. But, despite this proliferation of digital technologies and content, most digital devices still rely on analogue interfaces. The use of analog in this digital environment is the weak link in the chain affecting the ultimate quality of the content.

Digital is everywhere in today's home theater environment. But, despite this proliferation of digital technologies and content, most digital devices still rely on analogue interfaces. The use of

— September 05, 2006 20:00 in Audio Video Cables