Whenever setting up a home audio & video system you will be spending a significant amount of money on the different components. When you include the different speakers, players and other items it can easily get into the thousands of dollars. Then you look to the cabling options and see that it could add hundreds of more dollars to the total price.
Some people believe that it is ok to cut the prices by opting for a lower cost ‘off brand’ cable to connect the different components together. Others, however, think that this is a big mistake and can cause the high quality components you purchased to perform as if they were cheap knock-off’s. There are quite a few things to consider before you start investing in the cabling in order to make sure you’re not wasting money, but you’re still getting the best possible results.
The first thing to understand is that just about all auto and video systems today are going to transmit using digital signals. This means that each packet of data is going to be sent across the wire to the component. In most cases, the packet will either arrive in full or else not at all. If the cable is working the data will be transmitted fine whether it is a $10 cable or a $250 one. This is simply how the technology works.
One of the biggest places where higher priced cables can make a big difference is on the connectors themselves. The part of the cable that plugs into the different components are not created equally between brands. Higher priced cables typically have a more precise connector that will fit into your components more snugly.
If a connector is loose it can easily fall out, which is obviously annoying. What can also happen, however, is that the connectors will cause the packets of data to be lost in transmission. If enough of them are lost you will lose your picture or it will become severely degraded.
Another area where the type of cable you choose really matters is in how durable it is. Cheap cables almost always have low quality covering that will crack and even break over time. This can significantly reduce how long it will last so you’ll have to replace it much more quickly. In addition, the cables are more likely to break when pulling them through holes or around corners.
Choosing Your Cabling
The bottom line is that while it may not make sense to spend hundreds of extra dollars for a cable, it also doesn’t make sense to opt for poorly made versions that will give you constant trouble. For the average audio/video setup, you will want to take the time to find a good mid-priced cable that has a good reputation for high quality at a fair price. Once you’ve found the right cable for the job, it will help ensure your equipment is running perfectly for years to come.