In the "power of branding" department, Engadget is reporting on a story that says audiophiles can't tell the difference between speakers connected with ordinary coat hangers and audiophile cables. They then go on to rip Monster over their rigged HD demonstrations in consumer electronics stores.
Even though the stereo speaker cables and rigged store demos are unrelated, Monster deserves the ripping. They put HDMI side by side with S-Video and then claim that the difference is a superior cable. Well, actually, Monster, it's a superior connectivity standard, rather than the brand of the cable. 400 line analog S-Video vs 1080 line digital HDMI. Hmmm… wonder who wins that one. Oh, and by the way, any old HDMI cable will do. Bits are bits. They either arrive, or they don't. Welcome to the wonderful world of digital media.
The coat-hanger result isn't that surprising either. "Audiophile" cable is nothing more than heavy guage copper wire. With an analog signal — the type of signal that goes to your speakers — cable resistance is a factor, especially over long runs. And what's a coat hanger? Heavy gauge copper wire. Hmmm…
The moral of the story? Home depot usually has BIG spools of heavy gauge copper wire (and yes, the flexibility of a braided cable and the nice rubber coating around it makes it a little more convenient than a coat hanger) for a lot less than Monster. And for digital cables? Try an internet outlet like MyCableMart.com