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I'd suggest HDMI cables from Walmart ~$30-40. In a digital world HDMI, I doubt there would be any visible difference.
Perhaps, but probably only if you bought the HDTV from Walmart as well. :rolleyes:

Cheap cables will give you poor results as a rule. High-priced esoteric cables won't necessarily buy you the Holy Grail either. Monster Cables are generally overpriced and overhyped for what you get. OEM cables are usually thrown in the box as an afterthought and should be considered throwaway items (literally). You can buy some excellent quality HDMI cables for well under $100 and probably much less. There are some good cable vendors listed over at the AVS Forums that sell quality products at reasonable prices.

Keep in mind how much you invested in your HDTV and decide if you'd rather save a few bucks and buy cheap cables and then consider the weakest link theory. There's not much point in buying a great TV if the cables won't give you the best signal. OTOH, don't give into the marketing ploys of high-end cable manufacturers. IMHO, good quality conductors, excellent shielding, and quality insulating and dielectric materials will give you great results. The rest is mostly hype aimed at your insecurity in the hopes of prying a few extra bucks out of your wallet. The best advice I can give you is to try various brands of cables and see if you can tell the difference.

There is little or no discernible difference between the picture quality viewed from HDMI or component outputs. It would depend mostly on how your monitor processes the two inputs.
 

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Sorry, but since I don't normally do my shopping for high end A/V gear at WalMart I'm a bit remiss on the brands they carry. While WalMart may carry leading brands, they tend to carry the low end to mid-priced models of the product lines offered by each brand. You won't find anything even remotely high end at a WalMart, including cables. For the most part, unless you have discerning eyes and ears, you won't notice the difference between a high end cable and a mediocre one.

Unless you know what to look and listen for, most any cable will yield similar results. OTOH, you also need associated equipment of the highest quality to provide the cleanest signal possible. Theoretically, if you use high end cables on average gear then you could actually make the system sound or look worse since you will no longer be masking their flaws. Conversely, you wouldn't consider using WalMart cables on a home theater system costing thousands of dollars since they would end up being the weakest link in the signal chain.

Buy cables that match the performance of the rest of your hardware. If you bought the TV at WalMart then the cables they sell would be a decent match for your system. If you bought your system at a home theater salon or other high end dealer we wouldn't even be having this conversation.;)
 

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An HDMI cable connection offers the bonus of not having to hassle over aspect ratios (stretch, fill, zoom, etc.) the sets should automatically "do the right thing".
That will depend entirely on how your TV set handles the signal. I'm constantly having to change the aspect ratio and zoom between different types of program material. My HDTivos are set to display 16:9 for the output to the TV. Most all HD programming will adhere to this format but SD programming will look stretched if I don't change the TV to 4:3, even though the source channel it was recorded from is a local OTA digital channel.
 

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Monster Cables are a waste of money at any price, IMHO. You can spend far less for cables of equal or better quality. You're just buying a brand name when you buy Monster (and one that's been hyped beyond reality, sort of like Bose). You can also spend mucho bucks for super quality cables but the average consumer would never see any improvement, however miniscule it may be, so for them making such a purchase would be a complete waste of money.
 

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It will come with all cables if it's a new unit. If not, them someone is ripping you off. DTV installers have been known to pilfer any cables they don't use to hook up a new unit so it's always wise to keep an eye on them.;)
 

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Weakest link theory? With an analog cable you can a/b a cheap cable and good cable and see a night and day difference, but you'll have to show me some evidence that a cheap HDMI cable is in someway inferior to an expensive one before I'll spend money on the assumption. If I can't tell the difference in picture by looking (as long as the cable doesn't break if you look at it wrong) then I won't spend a dime more. Weakest link theort doesn't apply if the price of the cable doesn't actually effect the strength of the link. Does it?
Absolutely true, but a bad cable would definitely degrade the image, wouldn't you agree? Hence the weakest link comment. Most any cable will do the job but when you start getting into the high-end cable market you pay a lot more for subtle changes in quality. Unless you really know what to look and listen for, the average consumer won't be able to tell any difference between a Monster cable (or the cheap OEM cable supplied in the box) and a high quality one.

And Monster cables not good at ANY price? That seems a bit over the top. By all indications Monster Cables are good. Way over priced, but good. In fact, those usually ARE the ones the a/b in the stores to show the night and day difference with the included-in-the-box cables.
That comment is just my opinion. In my mind, Monster cables are merely adequate and certainly not worth the extra cost added on by the hype. There are several vendors that advertise over at the AVS Forums that carry high quality cables that are far better than the Monster brand for about the same price or maybe even less. You can a/b them in the stores because they're the most widely know brand name in cables and they're the only aftermarket cables many stores carry. Go to a high-end audio/video salon or home theater store and see if they'll let you audition some cables. Take one of your own cables as a reference and see if they'll put it in the system to let you see if you can detect any differenes. If the salesperson is really knowledgeable he will be able to point out the subtleties between a good cable and a mediocre one.

I believe a lot of high end gear in general (and not just cables) is targeted towards people that have more money than they know what to do with and want the best products available regardless of the cost. I used to be totally into high end audio and it literally made me neurotic. My ears had become so finely tuned that I could hear the changes in my speakers when there was a change in the humidity levels. I got to the point where I spent more time trying to track down the subtle changes in my system and correct them that I totally lost track of why I bought the hardware in the first place. Whether I was actually able to detect these difference became irrelevent because I believed they were there. I found that I was listening more to the A/V gear and wasn't enjoying the music anymore.
 

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I won't argue the point either way. Just refer back to the article I referenced and make up your own mind which type of cable works best for you.
 

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There is a difference between component and HDMI picture quality
I'll have to challenge you on that one. That's too broad a statement to be made point blank across the board. It all depends on the decoding circuitry in your source component vs. your HDTV. Most people will not be able to discern any difference whatsoever on the vast majority of HDTV sets, regardless of which connection they choose. Someone more experienced might be able to see the difference but the average Joe won't be able to tell.
 
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