Your living room of media room is the place where your family congregates to enjoy television or a movie, a place where you can allow the horrors and stresses of the day melt away as you become immersed in your favorite show. You’ve spent hundreds–or maybe even thousands–creating the perfect home theater system. What about cable prices? In order to hook it all together, though, you need to buy the most expensive, thickest cables you can find, right?
Wrong. Well, maybe.
You first need to realize that “cheap” does not equal “low quality.” It sometimes does, but in regards to digital cables, the cable will either work or it will not. The picture will not be any better or worse for cables over a short distance. You can spend over a hundred dollars for an HDMI cable at your local electronic store when, in fact, a six dollar cable would have worked just fine. When considering buying cables for your system you should take a couple of factors into consideration:
How far away is the device? The further away you get from the television or projector, the more likely you’ll need to spend more money on the cabling. You’re probably safe up until twelve feet. After that, you will want to spend more on a thicker, better insulated cable. But how often is your TV that far away from your receiver or cable box?
What is the surrounding environment? If your entertainment center is filled with cables and components, you will want to try and organize the cables in such a way they do not overlap each other often. Cable ties can help keep similar cables together and lower the possibility of interference. If it’s unavoidable, you may need thicker, more expensive cables. You should also work on keeping your cables as short as possible. If you have a twelve foot cable for a device, for example, see if you can go down to a six foot cable.
The argument is not whether expensive cables are a waste of money. The argument is whether or not they are needed all of the time. You could save hundreds of dollars in cabling costs and use that money to buy better components. Great resources for inexpensive cables are Amazon.com and Monoprice.com. Check cable prices. We recommend trying the less-expensive cables first. You can always return them if they don’t suit your needs. Spend the extra money you saved on a better subwoofer or speakers–areas where cost really does equal quality.
Read more on home theater cables here.