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Monster Cable HDMI Scam

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wv@gt    2,548

I cant help but laugh still at this. Im at Best Buy yesterday looking at some Upconvert DVD players as a spare for my apartment. I see an older guy looking around at some also and is being helped by a Best Buy Associate. Well as the guy makes his decision on a DVD player the associate tells him that he probably should get one of the Monster HDMI cables as well for the best picture quality. The price $80 for the 6 series and $115 for the 8 series and this associate is trying to get the poor guy to buy one of them. I so wanted to interject and tell this guy to go for another store for a $20 cable. Its a freakin digital signal and to top it off the associate takes the guy over to a demonstration area to show the difference between Monster HDMI versus the off brand HDMI. The guy is convinced after the demonstration to get the Monster. Just to see after both left I looked behind the TVs and noticed that one had Monster HDMI while the other was just composite NOT an offbrand HDMI. That should be illegal in so many ways.

Why does MONSTER do this?

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+Audioboxer    2,876
Why does MONSTER do this?

Because they can get filthy rich.

Monster do use high expense parts to manufacture the cables, but at the distances many people connect HDMI devices (1-3m on average), it does not matter.

Just let the people who don't educate themselves lose out on money, at the end of the day they think they're getting some sort of nasa approved super duper advanced cable that makes their picture 10x better, and know nothing otherwise.

Therefore they don't care...

Until they find out the $5 monoprice cable does the same thing, but that's the day a lesson is learned.

I would say intervene though if given the chance, and help someone save some money. Aside from that there's not much you can do, the internet clearly helps people on this topic all over the place, so if the buyer searches they'll find.

Best Buy promote such service as they probably earn quite a margin on cables that sell at such high prices.

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Azusa    930
I cant help but laugh still at this. Im at Best Buy yesterday looking at some Upconvert DVD players as a spare for my apartment. I see an older guy looking around at some also and is being helped by a Best Buy Associate. Well as the guy makes his decision on a DVD player the associate tells him that he probably should get one of the Monster HDMI cables as well for the best picture quality. The price $80 for the 6 series and $115 for the 8 series and this associate is trying to get the poor guy to buy one of them. I so wanted to interject and tell this guy to go for another store for a $20 cable. Its a freakin digital signal and to top it off the associate takes the guy over to a demonstration area to show the difference between Monster HDMI versus the off brand HDMI. The guy is convinced after the demonstration to get the Monster. Just to see after both left I looked behind the TVs and noticed that one had Monster HDMI while the other was just composite NOT an offbrand HDMI. That should be illegal in so many ways.

Why does MONSTER do this?

Because they are MONSTERS?

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CPressland    176

Well, this has happened to me in a few stores i've been in while evesdropping on other peoples conversations.

A lot of the time I do Interject and state that it's a Digital Signal, not an Analogue so it's not going to be worse or better regardless of cable quality. The cable can either keep up with the bandwidth or not.

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Joel    27
Its a freakin digital signal

I'm tried of hearing this. Maybe the Monster is not worth the money or maybe it is, but digital signal != perfect every time, regardless of materials.

The component vs. HDMI test was wrong of the employee, however.

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wv@gt    2,548

it wasnt just the employee after searching google I have found other stores do this test, I almost wonder if Monster pays store to do that setup. Clearly HDMI versus composite is going to show a difference. Man I really should have gotten a picture of this.

I can understand the logic of an expensive cable only if it were Analog though and over long distances, but 3ft isnt going to distort much

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WelshBluebird    95
I'm tried of hearing this. Maybe the Monster is not worth the money or maybe it is, but digital signal != perfect every time, regardless of materials.

The component vs. HDMI test was wrong of the employee, however.

True, but generally in most situations, the more expensive cable will not give you a better picture.

And it wasn't even component. It was composite. Which means it wasn't even HD.

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+Audioboxer    2,876
I'm tried of hearing this. Maybe the Monster is not worth the money or maybe it is, but digital signal != perfect every time, regardless of materials.

Yes, but the issue is one of two things will happen.

Your signal won't work at all, therefore black picture.

Or you may get a distorted image of some sorts, which will be clearly visible as out of the ordinary. Like maybe green specks everywhere.

Meaning the cable is faulty, and wherever you bought it from, $2 or $10, will replace it.

There's no quality loss to be had through cable differences, unless you're talking the signal degrading. Which for 95% of people connecting devices over a few metres isn't going to happen.

Unless you're carrying a signal over 30m of HDMI cable, or outside and around half your house you'll be fine with any HDMI cable.

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Joel    27
And it wasn't even component. It was composite. Which means it wasn't even HD.

Ah, I misread. Even worse.

Yes, but the issue is one of two things will happen.

Your signal won't work at all, therefore black picture.

Or you may get a distorted image of some sorts, which will be clearly visible as out of the ordinary. Like maybe green specks everywhere.

Meaning the cable is faulty, and wherever you bought it from, $2 or $10, will replace it.

There's no quality loss to be had through cable differences, unless you're talking the signal degrading. Which for 95% of people connecting devices over a few metres isn't going to happen.

Unless you're carrying a signal over 30m of HDMI cable, or outside and around half your house you'll be fine with any HDMI cable.

People said this kind of stuff for years when CDs came out, and it doesn't make it true. On paper, it may be true, but in the real world it's just not.

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+Audioboxer    2,876
People said this kind of stuff for years when CDs came out, and it doesn't make it true. On paper, it may be true, but in the real world it's just not.

Joel CDs have nothing to do with HDMI cabling.

And I don't even know what argument you're making in regards to CDs anyway.

You're running a digital signal, it's either going to

a) Work

b) Not work at all

or

c) Have interference of some kind, which will be visibly out of the ordinary. This means your cable is either faulty, or you're going to have to invest in a more expensive cable with better insulation. Which is only going to affect those running long distances of cable 99% of the time. Hooking your TV to your DVD player a few metres below isn't going to need gold plated insulation.

Which is why for practically everyone hooking up some sort of Home theatre system, dvd player, games console, etc is going to notice no difference between a monster cable and a $5 monoprice.

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Cyborb    0

I recall this issue being brought up in other deal forums, apparently Best Buy employees actually gain a larger commission if they successfully upscale monster cables, ditto for extended warranties on just about anything, probably even monster cables.

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wv@gt    2,548

There should be something in fair trade laws about this, thats just not right.

I wish there was an easier way to communicate this to non techies so that they dont waster their money

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+Audioboxer    2,876
I recall this issue being brought up in other deal forums, apparently Best Buy employees actually gain a larger commission if they successfully upscale monster cables, ditto for extended warranties on just about anything, probably even monster cables.

Yeah this will be the case.

Even with Monster using more expensive parts in their cables, the inflation in price over manufacturing costs will be huge. A 1-5m cable selling for around $100 is ridiculous - There's absolutely no way it costs anywhere near $100 to manufacture.

If you want to buy a cable made with more expensive parts, yet still at affordable prices go with Blue Jeans Cable - http://www.bluejeanscable.com/

I think Monster even attempted to sue/shut down Blue Jeans at one point.

Monster Cable Correspondence

Monster Cable recently (March 28, 2008) wrote to us claiming that we had infringed various design patents and trademarks owned by it or by its intellectual property holding company in Bermuda, Monster Cable International, Ltd. We reviewed the patent and trademark filings submitted by Monster Cable, and found that Monster's claims were completely frivolous--so frivolous, in fact, that there was something amusingly appropriate about the fact that Monster's letter had arrived in our mailbox on April Fools Day.

We wrote back to Monster's counsel on April 14, 2008, to demand that if Monster wishes to convince us that we have infringed its intellectual property, it at least take the trouble to identify the correct patents and trademark registrations on which it relies, and explain its position in a way that identifies some plausible, nonfrivolous claim. Along the way, we also let Monster know that we have no intention of being bullied by anyone, no matter the size. To our surprise and delight, our long and (to our eyes) boring six-page letter became the focus of a great deal of positive attention from our customers, the online audio/video community, and others concerned with the abuse of the intellectual property laws.

As of this writing, there has not been a further peep from Monster Cable. If this is the end of the matter, well--good riddance, Monster. If it is not, we will be sure to update this page from time to time to give our customers and others interested the blow-by-blow account of any ongoing conflict with Monster Cable.

Here, in Adobe .pdf form, are copies of all of the correspondence to date:

Initial Letter from Monster Cable, 3/28/08 (missing exhibits)

Exhibits to Letter from Monster Cable of 3/28/08

Our Response to Monster Cable, 4/14/08

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Mannlich    17

Personally, I always use Monoprice.com. Great prices.

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hdood    145

Monster cables are just about making money for the company, and for many customers it's simply about having a certain brand name. It's a fashion statement.

You can technically get a degraded signal from a poor HDMI cable. It may be a digital signal, but the signal still has to get there intact. The picture is transferred pixel by pixel at a very high frequency and is sensitive to interference. If one pixel is wrong it is up to the television set to decide what to do, it's not like a network connection where it can request that it be resent. The result can be anything from it displaying something clearly wrong to interpolation (which does reduce the quality). It may not always be that easy to tell.

Having said that, any cable that actually meets the HDMI specifications will handle it just fine, and most cheap cables do. The exception being certain really low-quality products from Asia.

When it comes to cable lengths over 3 meter, you should be wary of cables that seem unusually cheap as carrying an HDMI signal over 15 or 30 or 50 feet does require a reasonably high quality cable. In other words, use your head and stay clear of anything that seems too cheap (you're not going to get a 50 feet cable for 30 bucks), but that's just common sense.

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wv@gt    2,548
Monster cables are just about making money for the company, and for many customers it's simply about having a certain brand name. It's a fashion statement.

And I can see that, someone thinking that if they buy a reputable brand that they are fine even though its a cable that you will probably be hidden from public eye

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Sethos    270

Yeah, definitely is a fashion statement - I can't even remember how many times I invited my friends and relatives to the back of my TV to stare at my cables :|

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+StevoFC    21
I recall this issue being brought up in other deal forums, apparently Best Buy employees actually gain a larger commission if they successfully upscale monster cables, ditto for extended warranties on just about anything, probably even monster cables.

They don't get commissions at Best Buy...

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1759    1
Yeah, definitely is a fashion statement - I can't even remember how many times I invited my friends and relatives to the back of my TV to stare at my cables :|

Heh, while I do think that Monster probably does make good cables, the price they charge isn't justified, and I would never be able to tell the difference between a $100 Monster cable and $10-20 HDMI cable from someone else.

But lying on those demo setups is par for the course with Monster, I remember when they've played around with gauges of speaker wire, in order to make the Monster cable appear better.

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nhozemphtekh    0

what a monster

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DreadBoat89    0

http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2008/02/20/packing_the_deal/

Packing the Deal

Is an expensive HDTV cable really better than a cheap one?

(Click here to watch the video)

Originally broadcast Feb. 20, 2008 ? Now that high-definition TVs are really coming down in price, competition among electronics retailers is heating up. Stores no longer enjoy the huge margins they did back in the days of $50,000 plasma screens. Big TVs are not sources of big profits.

Making up some of the difference is the art of "packing the deal." In short, this means adding high-profit extras on to the core purchase. It can mean extended warranties, or home installation, or service calls. Or it can mean expensive accessories such as cables.

In this report, Erica Johnson takes a close look at the HDMI cable. This is the all-in-one cord that carries both sound and video into your HDTV, and you'll need one to get the best picture from your new setup. The most expensive model we found in-store was a Monster cable costing upwards of $250. We found a generic one online for just $12, including shipping. The test? To see whether the extra money was worth it.

Just in case some of your fellow viewers are curious: How much did you pay to hook up your new HDTV?

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hdood    145
In the end a digital signal is a digital signal you either get it or you don't.

On a technical level, it depends on just what you mean by "it". Yes, you either get a packet correctly (after verifying the checksum) or you don't. The question is what happens when you don't because something interfered (either externally or some defect in the cable) with the stream of 1s and 0s (which are really just two electrical levels with a certain margin). Audio/video equipment is generally designed to compensate for invalid data up to a certain threshold by simply guessing what it should have been based on the previous/next packets it has cached.

Now, Monster cables are certainly a rip-off and their business practices disgusting, and it's true that most cheap cables meet the requirements just fine, but it's not true that digital automatically means perfect or nothing.

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wv@gt    2,548

the video posted by some_guy is pretty good, they even show an video engineer testing the cheapo cables versus a Monster cable and prove there is no difference

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