Cable chaosThe Blue-ray player is the latest model and the TV nearly covers the entire wall. However, all those gadget are wasted if they aren't connected properly. You will find shelves of Hi-Fi and computer cables in every decent electrical store. BUT, which cable to chose and how much should you spend?

To connect a HD TV, Blue-ray player or satellite receiver the answer is easy as they almost all support the HDMI Standard. You will be able to pick up a HDMI cable in the right length for less then a £10. Usually customers don't have to pay more than that. HDMI is transmitting a digital signal and as long as it gets to the opposite there is no impact on the picture quality with regards to the HDMI cable quality.

In summary, for short distance less than 5 metres the cheaper HDMI cable will suffice. However, if you go beyond this cables of inferior quality will lead to loss of signal qualtiy and worst case you will see nothing at all. The latest HDMI standard that support 3D and other new functions has the version 1.4. If you want to use these new features you will have to buy HDMI cables that are compatible. Using those your connections will be more reliable as in the past connected devices where not found. Since the introduction of HDMI version 1.4 this problem has gone away.


Hearing the difference
You will have to ask yourself with regard to other home cinema cables as well - analogue or digital? With analogue signals the quality of the cable is crucial, especially for video signals. The reason behind this is that video signals are transmitted using higher frequencies than audio signal and therefore have higher requirement with regards to shielding. Among the analogue video cables you will find composite video cables and Scart cables, still being and supported in a wide range for home entertainment devices. Quite a few device also support component cables, recognisable through the colour code and "YPbPr" designation. A good quality analogue cable will be thick (good even multiple shielding) and has plated contacts. As for speaker cables, even an ordinary person will hear the difference between expensive and and cheaper speaker cables.


Tuning via cable
Cables are available in the price range from £5/metre to £8000/metre for the absolute high end solutions. The is no need to to spend that much but if you have invested a couple of hundred pounds into your home entertainment devices then you should go cheap on the cables either. For RCA and 3.5mm cables you will also find a wide price range. Going with the good value cables here will be sufficient.

Best prices are available online
USB connections are number one choice if it come to computers. Yet not every USB cables is the same. If you have and want to use the new USB 3.0 interface you will need a USB 3.0 cable. And to complicate matters further not every USB 3.0 cable will fit every computer has different manufactures have introduced Mirco USB and Mini USB connectors. This is due to different sizes. Printers will accommodate bigger USB connector size as Smartphone and digital cameras for example. Also the pin layout of the connectors might be specific to your device and thus not every cable will work. As this is not obvious in most case the only option is to return and try a different cable.

The best way to purchase cables is online. Due to distance selling regulations cables can be returned within 7 days. Also when is comes to prices online shopping is the better alternative. Most electrical retail outlet will charge a premium for cables and accessories. These chains make their money not with TV sets and computers but with accessories of all sort. Most cables you will be able to buy cheaper online.