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Businesses It's funny.  Laugh. Television Idle

Customers Gleefully Mock Best Buy's $1,095.99 HDMI 369

First time accepted submitter Forthan Red writes "It may be a pricing bot run amok, or a ridiculously over-inflated sense of worth, but Best Buy has been offering an HDMI cable for a whopping $1,095.99 (currently sold out!). While Best Buy seems to be oblivious to the absurdity of this price for a digital cable, those posting customer reviews are not. Enjoy the mockery!" One of my favorites is: "saved a ton of money on a new TV on black Friday and decided to use the extra cash to get the best cable available. At a whopping 3.3 feet in length, this cable is no joke. When all my friends come over to watch football, they always say 'WOW what kind of HDMI cable do you have?' I proudly tell them about my audioquest diamond and its advanced features such as its Dark Gray/Black finish. It is a great conversation piece! Not to mention it fits into my dvd player and tv perfectly."
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Customers Gleefully Mock Best Buy's $1,095.99 HDMI

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  • Misplaced decimal? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 )

    Is this perhaps a $10.95 HDMI cable?

  • Were they able to deliver all the orders for this item in time for Christmas?
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @10:41AM (#38493862)

    They aren't the most overprice audiophile garbage cable company, believe it or not, but they are up there. The funniest to me have always been their power cables. They go all the way up to $7000 for a 6-foot IEC-C13 cable (normal computer cable). As though somehow the hundreds or thousands of miles of copper and aluminium cable (the long haul runs are aluminium, cheaper and stronger) are not the problem but the last 6 feet to your device is.

    Monster Cable just overcharges you for regular shit. AudioQuest and others like them invent whole new kinds of bullshit and push the prices in to the stratosphere.

    • by Nimey ( 114278 )

      Indulge me while I try to get into the headspace of the audiophool who'd buy such a cable.

      I'd assume that such a creature would have a dirty great line conditioner plugged into his mains (thus removing the "problem" from the high-voltage lines), and then he'd plug the $7k power cable into the conditioner, and then the device into his overpriced cable, and let his mental condition do the rest.

      • One of the things many audiophiles are up on is that "less is more". Basically that the less you have in your signal chain, the better the results. Now never mind power isn't in the signal chain, they apply the same logic there. You don't want all sorts of "bad" circuitry on your power and all that shit.

        You actually find some audiophile devices are worse sounding for it. As an example you'll find DACs that are finicky as hell with regards to input because they don't do a good job locking to the signal and t

        • Re:No, often not (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:20AM (#38494050) Homepage Journal

          Audiophiles have been in a quandary ever since the CD came out. In the analog world, the more you spent, the better the gear sounded*. Nobody needed "golden ears" to hear the difference between a $50 turntable, a $100 turntable, and a $500 turntable.

          Not so with digital audio. Maybe someone can tell the difference between a $.25 DAC and a $100 DAC, but I can't.

          You guys all know (at least I hope you do) that a $2 digital cable works just as well as a $2000 digital cable; noise only affects an analog signal. Costly RCA cables and speaker cables may be worth it if you have more dollars than sense, but you're better off spending that cash on expensive booze or better, giving it to charity.

          *With the exception of fools who bought into quadraphonics: a $700 stereo sounded far better than a $1000 quad setup, since you needed two of everything for quad.

          • Re:No, often not (Score:5, Informative)

            by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @12:43PM (#38494646)

            Maybe someone can tell the difference between a $.25 DAC and a $100 DAC, but I can't.

            You're generally speaking correct, but more correct if you're exclude the absolute bottom of the barrel. Cut off at $2.50 and you're good. $0.25 is like trying to use a 70s era lm741 as your preamp, with a lm386 as speaker driver.

            It still boggles the mind that in 2011 there are "home hobbiest" types using LM386 chips as an audio amp, they're nice and cheap like your 25 cents but they whoosh out white noise into headphones like a trip to a seashore. There's better lower noise stuff so you don't have to hear a constant "ssssh" in your headphones, but thats more like $2.50 not $100. Also the lm386 is a great oscillator as the power voltage sags, like when batteries are getting weak, when the bass response starts sounding whacky you know you should have selected a chip designed after 1980.

            Also your $.25 DAC is gonna be like half a really dirt cheap dual DAC and you're going to be lucky to get 40 dB cross channel separation and noise performance is going to be audibly foul, which I suppose is better than most normal humans can hear, although its pretty pitiful as a spec. Again, $2.50 instead of $.25 and you're back into territory where you probably don't have the gear to measure it, much less hear it.

            Another classic "cheapie" characteristic is 3rd ord IMD products. You can hear those in heavy bass and I'm no audiophool type. Again, the $2.50 DAC and a $2.50 amp chip designed this century would eliminate the heard and measurable effect.

            The market seems to be "$0.25 junk at walmart" or the audiophool class. Not much in between. Although I must say my ipod nano final audio amp is pretty decent with low noise, but some would say i-device = audiophool, well ... whatever.

            The standard /. car analogy is modern cars are more reliable than old cars, if you exclude the absolute bottom of the barrel like a yugo or a trabant or whatever China Motors is starting to ship.

            • by Idbar ( 1034346 )
              You can improve any component with your design. Many amplifiers have noise die to swings that can be filtered or reduced using feedback. Others with problems in the low frequencies can be fixed with an array of capacitors that can provide de "boost", when your maximums are exceed. As someone that enjoy playing with amplifiers, a proper design that accounts for many of the flaws of the components is normally what you look for... You may do it your self for cheap, if you go around solving the problems, but yo
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I have to believe this is either market segmentation done right, or money laundering done wrong. Or perhaps the other way around.

    • by slazzy ( 864185 )
      Seems like companies overcharging this much for cables are doing the world a favor. This money needs to be extracted from these people before it could be spent where it might do real harm.
  • by Type44Q ( 1233630 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @10:42AM (#38493868)
    ...or does it reach out with a rough, calloused hand?
  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @10:46AM (#38493894)

    you can get a monster cable or for $250 we give you a Geek Squad Black Tie Protection and it comes with a free $50 monster cable.

  • by retroworks ( 652802 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @10:48AM (#38493904) Homepage Journal
    I bought 20 of them. It will probably beat my mutual retirement fund, if the recent past is any indicator.
  • Regarding analog cables, I've found that the OEM "there ya go" cables included with LCDs and set-top-boxes have usually bested the more robust looking cables that I've bought separately.
  • HDMI cable deserves to be ripped off.
  • by Lord Grey ( 463613 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @10:57AM (#38493952)

    Ah, the electronic version of the infamous Mountain Three Wolf Moon t-shirt []. Not the price, but the reviews.

    It's nice to see people working together like that.

  • It pales in comparison to the reviews for this product:

    Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable []

  • Not a typo??? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by seven of five ( 578993 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:17AM (#38494030)
    The 5-meter cable is $2700 at Amazon []. WTF????????
  • by rickb928 ( 945187 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:29AM (#38494098) Homepage Journal

    I mock the $39.99 HDMI cables. The $3.99 set from Fry's works absolutely fine. Cox cable compresses the strwam so badly anyways that the DVR records massive artifacts and decode errors regularly.

    This is an old, old debate - digital cables. Maybe if you have terrible cable that so distorts the waveform you are getting more like sine wave than square wave (and there is no reason to assume that HDMI signalling is actually square wave, though it can be, no harm done) you are still able to rely on accurate clocking and decoding the data. The most likely errors would be caused by issues that come and go at close multiples of the clock. So what sort of cable issue would you expect to have that occurs at GHz rates? I thought so. Not bending it, and actually not external interference. Shielding aside, I would expect HDMI to use differential signalling, and I admit I've never bothered to look at the spec. It just makes sense. This renders external interference much less (no, not 0) of a problem.

    HDMI is expensive for two reasons - licensing and marketing. Just count me out of wanting a 6 foot $30 HDMI cable.

    And having said that, I have a lot of Monster cable. Speaker cables, where for my setup having heavy gauge cables is good, stereo signal cables where actual gold and not just flash has served me well for almost 15 years, flat coax for under the carpet, and the thinnest coax I can find in RG59, easy to fish and easy to retrieve. I don't much care for the oxygen-free copper thing, but when one of my signal cables starts failing I'll cut it open and see. I've seen the inside of some mic cables where the copper is noticably corroded, and the Belden guys claimed it was due to poor quality copper and contamination in manufacturing, which takes a decade or more to advance to the point of a problem.

    So tell me, are you similarly outraged by 3D HD?

  • by Quantum_Infinity ( 2038086 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:35AM (#38494140)
    If Amazon can sell a book for $23 million [], what's wrong with Best Buy selling a $1000 HDMI cable?
  • We're talking about people who think you need the fastest computer available to play ripped CD audio out of your computer, because slower computers create "jitter" in the audio output, degrading the signal quality.

    That's right, your lowly mid-range computer, capable of pushing gigabits of data per second across it's internal bus, isn't capable of reliably feeding your audio buffer with a of megabit of audio data per second. 'Cause, you know, your computer is busy doing so much other stuff, like updating the

  • by gstrickler ( 920733 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:48AM (#38494214)

    After all, anyone who buys one clearly has more money than sense, and therefore, should be separated from their money. It has been foretold "a fool and his money are soon parted", who are we to interfere with such a prophecy?

  • My media center computers have an HDMI output as well as DVI and DE15 (VGA). My TV has HDMI and VGA inputs. I have to say, the DE15 looks a lot better than the HDMI. So I use the VGA port exclusively now, it may be over two decades old but it still has the sharpest image quality.

    Can anyone explain to me why VGA looks better than HDMI? I've tried this with several computers and a few different TVs. It would seem to me HDMI is inferior, why are they pushing an inferior standard?

    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @01:11PM (#38494890)

      There is no way when things are set up properly that HDMI looks worse. The reason is that it is all digital. LCDs are, of course, digital devices. So is the computer. When you go to VGA the signal gets converted to analogue, and then the LCD has to convert it back to digital to make it usable. There is room for error there.

      If I was to guess I'd say there are three potential problems you have:

      1) Overscan. This is a throwback to the tube days and it is stupid that it is still implemented, but there you go. You want no overscan on your TV or graphics card, they both can be set to do it. You want 1:1 pixel mapping on both sides.

      2) Colour levels. Again going back to the old NTSC tube days and their conversion to digital the levels for TVs aren't 0-255, they are 16-235. You can look up the technical reasons if you like, too long to type it all out. You don't want that for a computer source though. So you need to tell the TV to accept the full range input, and the computer to generate it.

      3) Chroma subsampling. TVs have a lot of internal processing these days and it is usually not done at full rez, to save on effort. DVD, Blu-ray, and ATSC are 4:2:0 which means for each 4x4, 16 pixel block there are 16 luma samples but only 4 chroma samples. So TVs often process in 4:2:2 (8 chroma samples) which still does plenty well. You don't want that for a computer, it's output is 4:4:4 (no chroma subsampling) and computers rely on accurate control of it. So you need to disable all your TV's processing, often called "game mode" and also if your TV has a specific HDMI port marked for computer or DVI, use that.

      Properly done, nothing looks better than digital when using a digital monitor. There is a perfect 1:1 transfer of information from the card to the monitor. Any analogue phase can only degrade things, not make it better. However HDMI and TVs were designed for the video world which on account of the legacy of NTSC has some seriously stupid and fucked up standards. Thus if you set shit wrong, it'll look bad.

      So if you are wondering why VGA might look better it is because those things I mention are already set right. The computer doesn't do overscan on VGA (it is a computer connector, overscan is not done there), the TV knows colour levels are full range, and processing is disabled. On your HDMI inputs, you need to set it up.

  • Thieves have been breaking in in stealing the cable replacing it with the cheap ones from grocery outlet. Owners can't tell the difference in video quality at all until its too late and then the cable is long gone. Also they don't have serial numbers on them so please can't recover them. It's such a travesty. Prudent buyer should insure it each and every 1 of these cables. My gump said that's all I gotta say about that.
  • by Digital Vomit ( 891734 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @02:59PM (#38495878) Homepage Journal
    Wow. This is even dumber than the gold plated fiber optic cables [] I've seen for sale.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.