Home Theater Network

Cable’s Tips

  1. High quality cables aren’t necessary for short digital cables, or any cables with low frequency signals. However, cables with medium to high frequency signals, or any long distance cables (except speaker cables) should have high build quality to help prevent signal loss.
  2. Cables can not improve signal quality, but they can make it worse. A perfect cable would simply transmit a signal unchanged without any loss. Its up to your receivers, amplifiers, and other sources to improve sound quality.
  3. Value is a key word when purchasing cables. Manufactures will try to tell you to spend 10 to 20 percent of your Home Theater Network budget on cables. For the most part, this is just a marketing ploy. Use this cables section to be informed with what type of cables to purchase.
  4. Put more money into cables that carry analog signal (Component, RGB, RCA audio, S-video, speaker) than cables that carry digital signals (HDMI, DVI, digital coaxial). The lone exception to this is fiber optic audio cables. Cheaper fiber optic cables are more susceptible to signal degradation, which can reduce your audio sound quality.
  5. Don’t waste your money on burnt-in cables, especially burnt-in power cords. There is no improvement in quality.
  6. Keep cables as short as possible.
  7. Loops in cables are more susceptible to EMI. Don’t leave excess cables in loops.
  8. High quality speaker cables aren’t necessary due to low frequencies. Just make sure the gauge is large enough.
  9. Digital coaxial cables and composite video cables are interchangeable since they both have an impedance of 75 Ohms.
  10. Making your own Ethernet cables is far cheaper than purchasing them. See the How to make Ethernet Cables section for more information.
  11. Be familiar with what type of video, audio, or data interconnect you are using, and the characteristics of the signal they carry.

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