So it turns out that there is a differance between cheap HDMI cables and expensive ones

AlanW

Veteran
Location
Not to sure?
So last week I purchased a Apple TV box for the sole intention of running Zwift, I also purchased at the same time a 1 metre High Speed, 4K compatible HDMI lead from Amazon.

Ran the set up for a week plugged into a Sony 24" TV and it was just wonderful and I did this while awaiting my new larger TV to arrive.

The new TV arrived, in this case a a 32" HD Toshiba TV, set it all up and again it all worked as it should. But it just didn't give me the wow factor that I was expecting, so I contacted the shop and asked if I could exchange it for a LG 43" 4K TV, which they said I could, no problem.

On Saturday afternoon the new TV arrived, so once again I set it all up and plugged the Apple TV in and while the TV recognised that something was plugged in to the HDMI port, an error message suggested that the Apple TV was not switched on, which it was?

Tried all three HDMI ports and exactly the same error message each time? So at this point I suspect that the Apple TV has failed. Unplug the Apple TV and try it back in the original Sony 24" TV, and it worked first time?

So now I suspect that it must be the new TV that has faulty HDMI ports? Tried all the three HDMI ports once again on the new TV and still no joy. A quick search on Google about LG TVs and Apple TV boxes revealed a number of possible solutions, but all of which required you to access the menu on the Apple TV screen, which I couldn't access!

So back to the Sony TV and plugged in the Apple TV and opened up the menu and did some suggested amendments to the set up. Back to the new TV and tried all three HDMI ports....nope!

So after two hours, I ring the shop and seek advice, after another 30 minutes of various fault finding tasks which still revealed no joy, they suggested returning the TV and the Apple TV. (The Apple TV wasn't purchased from them)

Back in the shop we go, the Apple TV was plugged into a same make, same spec TV, and we get the exact same error message. So we now know that its not the TV.

Plugged the Apple TV into a Sony 4K TV, and yep, same error message, then we tried it in a non 4K Samsung TV and hey presto it worked? Needless to say much head scratching followed by what was now a group of four of us, me and three guys from the store.

One guy then asked how old the HDMI cable was, I said it was a week old and purchased at the same time as the Apple TV. I said that it was advertised as being High Speed and 4k compatible, so I therefore had no reason to doubt it.

He very politely asked me if we could try one of the shops (expensive) HDMI cables, and as all other options had failed, I agreed and said lets go for it. At this stage feeling smug that it wouldn't make any difference, as we have all read that expensive HDMI cable are nothing short of being a rip of right?

Wrong!!!

Plugged it all in and the Apple TV menu fired up instantly. Just to double check that it wasn't a fluke, we then tested all the other TVs that had originally refused to work with the Amazon (cheap) HDMI cable, and with the new (expensive!) HDMI cable every single TV worked with the Apple TV.

So while the Amazon HDMI cable worked perfectly fine with HD TVs, it clearly wasn't compatible with a 4K TV. And while I could have purchased another High Speed, 4K compatible cable from Amazon a lot cheaper, given how good the shop had been it only seemed right to but it from them. So three hours of my life gone and £35 lighter, my Apple TV and the 43" 4K TV are up and running.

In fact Zwift is so amazing on a big screen in 4K I might never ride outside again....lol
 
Location
Loch side.
I'll have to draw a flowchart to follow that and eliminate the possibilities, but I'd rather ask. Was it not just that the particular HDMI cable was faulty/marginal? Did you test the setup with another one just like that too?

I can't get my head around cable "quality" although I do realise that connectors could be poorly made, have faulty connections etc. I'm an ohm-is-an-ohm kinda guy.
 

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
I'll have to draw a flowchart to follow that and eliminate the possibilities, but I'd rather ask. Was it not just that the particular HDMI cable was faulty/marginal? Did you test the setup with another one just like that too?

I can't get my head around cable "quality" although I do realise that connectors could be poorly made, have faulty connections etc. I'm an ohm-is-an-ohm kinda guy.
Absolutely. This doesn't prove that costly cables are better than cheap ones. It just proves that this costly cable was better than this cheap one. Which may, as you say, have been faulty.
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
Indeed it's a digital signal with a decent voltage difference between 0 ans 1's. Suspect just a duff cable rather than all cables are duff. Copper is a better conductor than Gold.
 
OP
AlanW

AlanW

Veteran
Location
Not to sure?
Was it not just that the particular HDMI cable was faulty/marginal? Did you test the setup with another one just like that too?
I didn't have a cable of the same spec as the one that was giving me the problems, and I didn't take a multi meter with me to the shop. Prior to buying the 4K TV the cable performed exactly as it should, perfect every single time for over a week. The problem was only when trying to connect a device, I tried the Apple TV and also my laptop to the 4K TV, and it was having none of it.

Plug either the Apple TV or the laptop into a non 4K TV, perfect, worked every single time. Therefore one can only deduce from that the HDMI cable in question despite being advertised as being both High Speed and 4K compatible, clearly wasn't!

The offending HDMI cable has since been returned to Amazon, together with a note explaining why it has been returned.
 

Phaeton

Grumpy Old Barstool
Location
Oop North (ish)
Therefore one can only deduce from that the HDMI cable in question despite being advertised as being both High Speed and 4K compatible, clearly wasn't!
That I suspect is the real issue, they will send out 10 & only get 1 complaint which is paid for by the extra they have charged the other customers for a cable they will never try to use to it's full capability. Lots of SD cards out there just the same.
 

DCBassman

Going up hills, very slowly...
I'll have to draw a flowchart to follow that and eliminate the possibilities, but I'd rather ask. Was it not just that the particular HDMI cable was faulty/marginal? Did you test the setup with another one just like that too?

I can't get my head around cable "quality" although I do realise that connectors could be poorly made, have faulty connections etc. I'm an ohm-is-an-ohm kinda guy.
Assuming construction is as it should be, I agree. Some connectors, mind, are total carp...
The trouble is, so much balderdash is touted about cables, particularly speaker cables and skin effect. Skin effect occurs at high frequencies. By which I mean, at the very least, 10s of MHz, not audio. Makes me itch when I see these claims. Or mains cables for guitar amps where you can "hear the difference". I don't think so. Although for large bass amps, you do need a 10amp rated mains lead, else it will begin to get warm if you're caning the amp.
 
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Location
Loch side.
Assuming construction is as it should be, I agree. Some connectors, mind, are total carp...
The trouble is, so much balderdash is touted about cables, particularly speaker cables and skin effect. Skin effect occurs at high frequencies. By which I mean, at the very least, 10s of MHz, not audio. Makes me itch when I see these claims. Or mains cables for guitar amps where you can "hear the difference". I don't think so. Although for large bass amps, you do need a 10amp rated mains lead, else it will begin to get warm if you're caning the amp.
I heard that your neighbours regularly chuck bricks through your windows so they can listen to you caning your amps so much better.
 

DCBassman

Going up hills, very slowly...
I heard that your neighbours regularly chuck bricks through your windows so they can listen to you caning your amps so much better.
:biggrin:
As it happens, I never use amps at home, only a trainer and headphones! However, I did just buy a Trace Elliot Elf, making me the bass equivalent of a weight weenie. A friend who makes custom cables made me a jack-to-Speakon speaker cable for it. 12mm in diameter, and the conductors have a DC resistance of of 4.25 ohms per kilometre . It's 0.75m long, so the resistance of the cable is as near to zero as one could possibly wish!
 

Gary E

Veteran
Location
Hampshire
Not sure if it's the same with HDMI cables but, back in the day when we used SCART cables, there were different versions available.
The standard job of transmitting sound and vision could be accomplished with any SCART cable but for all the extra functions that SCART supported you needed a fully-wired Scart cable. You could easily tell them apart as the standard cable only had some of the 20 or so pins in the plug wired in (just enough for the basic functions) and was quite thin. The fully-wired cables, as the name suggests, had all of the pins connected and supported the additional features and had a much thicker cable.
 
OP
AlanW

AlanW

Veteran
Location
Not to sure?
That I suspect is the real issue, they will send out 10 & only get 1 complaint which is paid for by the extra they have charged the other customers for a cable they will never try to use to it's full capability. Lots of SD cards out there just the same.
Agreed, dam frustrating never the less when you are pretty confident that the cable is not the item at fault only to be proved otherwise! :surrender:
 
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