1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Monster HDMI Cable worth $150?

Discussion in 'Blu-Ray Hardware' started by scredsfan, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Jan 4, 2010 #1 of 22
    scredsfan

    scredsfan AllStar

    58
    0
    Feb 10, 2006
    :confused:
    I'm somewhat of a novice when it comes to high-end video, so I'm coming to you guys for help. I've got two short questions with a long explanation...

    Here are the two short questions:
    1.) How do I know what refresh rate an HDMI cable is rated?
    2.) How much difference does it make?

    Here's the long explation to my questions:

    Last year we bought a new Samsung 52'' LCD TV that touted the difference its 240 mHz refresh rate would make in an HD picture. I connected it to an up-convert Sony DVD recorder using both a cheap HDMI cable and a Rocketfish (Best Buy) HDMI cable that claimed to transmit a 120 mHz refresh rate signal. With either cable, the picture was great, but I never got over a 60 mHz signal. I was told at the time that 60 mHz was the best a standard DVD upconvert could do.

    Then, for Christmas, I received a Sony Blu-Ray DVD player (model BDP-S360), which I connected to our 240 mHz refresh rate-capable TV with the Rocket Fish 120 mHz capable cable. Needless to say, the picture was astounding, but when I checked the refresh rate, it was only 30 mHz on a Blu-Ray DVD, but 60 when playing a standard DVD. I thought about going to Best Buy to get a Monster brand cable capable of 240 mHz, but most of the reviews say to save my money and get my cables from from someone like Blue Jeans Cable. What's a novice videophile to do?
     
  2. Jan 4, 2010 #2 of 22
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    37,060
    287
    Jun 18, 2006
    OK... here's my take.

    First of all the cable is not your problem. Digital data is digital data and as long as it's not a very long run or a very noisy environment, the average $6 cable will work as well as a $150 cable. Yes really. I can tell you that I've used both and seen no difference.

    As far as refresh rates, you will never get a DVD player to output more than 60Hz. That's because the extra refresh is used to eliminate motion artifacts on the TV side, and because of funny math, which I'll explain in a minute.

    Easy answer if you want to stop reading now, keep the cable, and make sure your Sony is set to output 24p on Blu-Rays. That will give you the difference you seek.

    I'll post more in the next post, giving you time to read that.
     
  3. Jan 4, 2010 #3 of 22
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    37,060
    287
    Jun 18, 2006
    The math part:

    (disclaimer:) I'm bending some explanations a little bit to simplify them. Please don't crucify me.)

    Films, real theatricals, are shot at 24 frames per second. A frame per second, in this case, should be considered equivalent to a Hz, and while that's not really true, it's true enough for now.

    SD TV shows are shot at 60 half-frames per second. The digital equivalent of SD is 480 vertical lines, meaning that lines 1,3,5,7,9... are shot first then 2,4,6,8,10... are shot next.

    A "progressive scan" DVD player will combine these and output a full frame every 1/60th of a second, sometimes using funny math to figure out what comes between frames.

    An HDTV over-the-air picture is 30 frames per second or 60 half-frames per second, depending on the broadcaster's choice. A 1080p television (again, the p stands for progressive) will combine the half frames for you.

    Now, if you take a 24-frames-per-second source and output it on a 60-frames-per-second TV, you'll get some shaking, some other stuff that you are probably used to because you've seen films on TV all your life. You won't get that "looking through a window" picture you see at best buy. In order to do that, you need to have the TV show 24 frames per second, not 30 or 60.

    So you need a TV that can output 24, 30, or 60 frames per second. Do the math and you'll realize that if the TV outputs 120 frames per second (and we'll call that 120Hz) then it can output the 24-frame source 5 times, the 30-frame source 4 times or the 60-frame source twice.

    So why 240? Partially a marketing gimmick to get you to spend more money, but some folks say that you can reduce flickering and blurring that way.

    At any rate, DVDs will always output at 30 or 60 frames per second. That's how they were mastered. Blu-Ray discs generally look better at 24 frames per second, as that's how they were mastered.
     
  4. Jan 4, 2010 #4 of 22
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    21,899
    207
    Apr 23, 2002
    The...
    To the OP's original question, "(Is) Monster HDMI Cable worth $150?", the simple answer is "No".
     
  5. Jan 4, 2010 #5 of 22
    scredsfan

    scredsfan AllStar

    58
    0
    Feb 10, 2006
    Thanks both of you guys for the replies - they are extremely helpful! Stuart - is the setting for the Sony Blu-Ray to output 24p in one of the setup menus? Again, thank both of you for your posts - it's great to get knowledgeable, unbiased opinion.
     
  6. Jan 4, 2010 #6 of 22
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    37,060
    287
    Jun 18, 2006
    Yes, I would have to be looking at the thing (I have the BDP-S350) but if you go into the setup menus, probably under Video, there's a setting something like 24p Output. That should do it.
     
  7. Jan 4, 2010 #7 of 22
    kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte Active Member

    3,957
    1
    Dec 19, 2006
    Outside...
    Just curious-would you get a better quality with something actually shown/recorded/mastered with 240 fps? Or would it still look like a soap opera?
     
  8. Jan 4, 2010 #8 of 22
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    37,060
    287
    Jun 18, 2006
    IIRC you really need only 18fps to combine distinct frames into movement. I am quite sure that your average person couldn't tell the difference between 60fps and 240fps, other than the higher refresh rate being better at preventing long-term fatigue. Something shot at a super-high rate would have a slightly otherworldly feeling to it because it would lack the normal motion blur you expect. If you watch sports events that have a lot of replays, you'll see this sometimes when they're using the high-speed camera to show you regular footage. It was far more common in the early '00s to see that; my suspicion is that false blur is added now.
     
  9. Jan 4, 2010 #9 of 22
    BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    8,969
    1
    Nov 13, 2007
    First, there is no commonly-available equipment capable of doing this; "slow motion" cameras run that fast for short amounts of time, but that's the exception. There is no display equipment for the home that will store, transmit, or receive video at these speeds.

    If there was, what you would get is more of a "looking out the window" look, similar to the look of "video", and definitely NOT the 24fps "film look" that movie watchers work so hard to get.

    Those high refresh rates are primarily used to overcome some of the limitations of LCD technology, and thus are found only in LCD TVs. It isn't a function of the Blu-Ray or other video source. Blu-Ray movies are nearly all 24p content, with some video-sourced content being 60i or 30p (think: concert videos and such).

    The only formats that are transferred through an HDMI cable are 24p, 30p, 60i, and 60p (in the US, anyway; Euro TVs also support 25p/50i/50p). No sources output at 120Hz or 240Hz; that's all internal to the TV.
     
  10. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte Active Member

    3,957
    1
    Dec 19, 2006
    Outside...
    In fact, they couldn't output a 120Hz or 240Hz signal then, could they? It would mess with non LCD screens?
     
  11. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    37,060
    287
    Jun 18, 2006
    Since it's all make-believe, let's pretend that there was a device for the home that put out 120Hz. It would probably step down to 60 automatically in the presence of a 60Hz TV.
     
  12. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte Active Member

    3,957
    1
    Dec 19, 2006
    Outside...
    And if it didn't? I take it it would be like sending a 480p signal over Component to a Tv that could only accept 480i over Component (Like my old Sony)?
     
  13. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    37,060
    287
    Jun 18, 2006
    Well, again speaking hypothetically, it would probably freak your TV out a little bit, yes.
     
  14. Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

    21,331
    1
    Mar 25, 2002
  15. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte Active Member

    3,957
    1
    Dec 19, 2006
    Outside...
    I know, I always have the strange, hypothetical questions, lol, but I'm always curious about things.
     
  16. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Legend

    150
    0
    Apr 26, 2008
    Stuart - great explanation on the frames per second/hz scenario. This will be helpful to many readers.

    I think many consumers get caught up in the specs, without really understanding how they work. For example, I have a plasma that is 600 mHZ. This doesn't mean my plasma is a whole lot better than the 60, 120, or 240 LCDs that are out there. Plasmas have their own refresh standard and thus are measured completely differently than LCDs.

    To the original poster, it is good to know "how" to setup your devices in order to get the best possible picture. Also, I would look into calibrating your display to your liking. You'd be surprised what a big difference can be made in the picture quality by adjusting the settings on your television.

    One more thing, somebody mentioned going into your Blu-ray/DVD menu and adjusting it to 24p. That is a good idea. While you're at it, be aware that some manufacturers set their players to a default mode that includes Noise Reduction and Black Color settings. If you have these set to "on" on your device, as well as having these same types of settings set to "on" on your television. you may wind up "over-processing" the signal, which can lead to all kinds of weird images.

    Hope to have helped.
     
  17. Airou

    Airou New Member

    6
    0
    Jan 28, 2010
    I agree with you, they marked up 80% so do the math. monster has been a rip for YEARS now.

    _________________
    Airou
     
  18. the300

    the300 AllStar

    90
    0
    Jan 21, 2010
    I agree that Monster Cable @ $150 is a ripoff.
    However, I think Monster is one of the better made cables on the market as far a construction quality. Therefore, I think you have to set a price in which you are willing to pay for them. A few weeks ago I bought two 8ft Monster M series cables for $50. I had used Monster in the past so i knew they made good quality cables so I bought them.
    Could I have gotten two cables that would have done the same thing for less, of course.
     
  19. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    16,344
    503
    May 30, 2007
    Cincinnati
    Even if I found Monster cables for $5, I don't think I'd buy them. To me, it's not just they are overpriced, it's how they run the business and their lawsuits. When they expanded from suing other Monster names to suing a company for making cables with the same dimensions on the plugs (like RCA), they went way too far. Fortunately they got scared off on that one.
     
  20. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

    4,955
    55
    Mar 22, 2004
    Indian...
    Buying cables by Monster is like lighting a cigarette with a $100 bill. You'll find cables that are every bit as good at bluejeanscable.com and monoprice.com for far less.
     

Share This Page