Video Cables -- Why so expensive?

I was at Best Buy yesterday buying a satellite system for home. The Tivo unit I bought has an HDMI connection and my TV has a DVI connector so sales guy says I need an HDMI to DVI cable. Fine…till he hands me the thing and I see it costs $120 :eek: ( linkage to cable in question )!

Ok…what am I missing here? I mean c’mon…it’s 2m of wires! Is it just that the cable maker knows anyone who is after a HDMI/DVI connector has a better than average TV setup and will cough up that cash? Or are the things really that difficult and costly to manufacture? I can’t shake the feeling of massive ripoff here but I am not an engineer so maybe a “Gas-dielectric” cable means something that is profoundly useful but expensive to do.

FTR while the guy was writing up the paperwork I noticed the box saying it included a HDMI cable as well as a HDMI/DVI converter so thankfully chucked the cable with a dirty look at the salesman.

I have to say I didn’t even have to let your link load all the way. You’re looking at Monster Cables. A brand generally assumed to be WAY over priced. Check out or other internet sites to find some better deals, you could probably also look around on for what places are running sales or have the best deals.

Thanks…I will check those out next time I need to buy some cables. At Best Buy (at least for this kind of cable) the Monster Cable was all they carried so I couldn’t price shop while there. As I mentioned it turned out to not matter in this case so all ended well in this case.

I agree with Joey P. I didn’t even have to open the thread to jump to the conclusion that you were talking about Monster Cables. For some reason, the retalilers like Best Buy and Circuit City only stock these WAAAY overpriced cables. You can do much better shopping around.

What Joey P said.

Monster is decent quality cable but they seem to have created a premium for their name that is beyond reason. Stores like Best Buy perpetuate the problem by carrying exclusively Monster brand cables (yes, I know that they carry more than one brand, but its usually an inferior brand, also overpriced, and hidden in another part of the store)

Another problem may be the reletive newness of the connectors. the DVI plug itself may cause the price to rise.

I’m going to check out myself. I’ve had decent luck in the past locating some reliable cable vendors via ebay so I’d like to see how stacks up.

And if you are exploring AV equipment you might want to check out

It can be a bit of a task to navigate but there are some excellent discussions and leads on finding quality products on a busget.

I have a digital satellite system (DirecTV), and I was able to use a RG-6 coaxial cable, which is fairly common and certainly not as expensive as what you used.

The picture quality is similar to the quality I get from a DVD player. I connect from the receiver box to the TV using the red, white, and yellow AVS cables and it increases color quality slightly. Overall though you can’t really complain about the picture, I mean it really is just about as good as you would need a picture to be.

People who have worked for the “big box” retailers have said that they are often put under heavy pressure to sell service plans and cables, both of which are big money makers for the store. Cables have a huge markup.

As a former RadioShack store manager, I can tell you that this is, indeed, true. For example, one type of high-end component video cable with gold-plated connectors cost the store about $7.50 but was sold for $39.99. Except for the color-coding on the connectors, this was identical in every respect to a set of composite audio/video cables, which also cost about $7.50 but sold for $12.99. There’s a lot of deception and misrepresentation in cabling sales.

If you’re willing to accept the moderate quality of a composite video signal from your DVD player using that single yellow connection (the red and white are left/right audio), that’s OK. It’s not “how good doyou need?” but “how good can it be?”

But, if you have a better quality display, you may as well wring out every bit of quality that you paid for and use component (the red, green, blue trio) or DVI. With most equipment being sold today, that yellow composite video jack is the lowest-quality connection, and more and more, seems to be there just for “legacy” (to swipe a comuter hardware term) devices. I paid two months’ rent for my TV - you better believe I’m using the highest-quality inputs possible.

BTW - RG6 can not be used for DVI connections as a DVI cable has several individual wires inside of it.

I know a guy who worked at Best Buy, and cables are indeed one of the most overpriced (in terms of percent over the amount it costs the store) that they carry. Other big overpriced items are video game accesories (not the games or the systems themselves, though. Those are usually sold with very little profit margins.)

While he worked there, we purched a 64" widescreen TV for my house a fraternity house.) We used his employee discount, and the cables, which could have raised the price almost another $500 (there was componant cables from DVD to TV, digital audio cables from DVD to reciever, regular (but decent quality) audio cables from TV to receiver, and speaker wire from receiver to speakers.) Thanks to his discount, which if I remember was 10% over the amount Best Buy paid for them (I could be wrong on the amount, though) the cost was much much less. The TV, on the other hamd, didn’t have a huge markup.

I work in a technical field, and I was just perusing an electronics catalog the other day. A set of RCA (good brand) componant video calbes were less than $6. If you bought more than 10, they were less than $4. Methinks I should buy a lot of them and sell them for profit on eBay.

It has been awhile since I looked into this but I believe an S-Video or standard RCA type cable cannot carry an HDTV signal (so if you have an HDTV it matters). That is, to get the added bandwidth necessary to carry all the data for the higher resolution images I think you need to use a component video cable (the red, green, blue trio) or a DVI or (more recently) HDMI cable. Drives me nuts that they put in the component video then went to DVI then went to HDMI all in seemingly short order. The only thing to be said for the progression is each new cable is slimmer than the previous one so easier to handle (the component video cables are fairly hefty and unweildly). That said I am not sure you will get noticeably better quality picture from any of them although presumably the newer ones are better. Also, while the newer cables may be easier to handle it seems a small thing in the larger scheme of things as once through the headache of getting everything plugged in it is something you can forget about.

I get most of my cables from What costs $15 in the store may cost me $1. Cables are so badly marked up it almost makes me sick. Places that sell brands like Monster Cable drive me nuts with these things. I know damn well they are making maybe 3000% profit margin on these.

My favorite time was when I was in Circuit City and they sales guy tried to tell me why I should have a certain brand of cable. He said it was oxygen free as well. What he didn’t know was that it was an optical cable. Basically it either works or it doesn’t. I don’t mind if my cables get a bit of oxygen anyways.

S-Video and Composite Video are communication standards - they are indeed limited to lower bandwidths, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the cable. You can build a fine HDTV cable out of plain old RG-6 cable with RCA connectors on each end.

Never pay more than maybe .20/ft for speaker wire - anything more is a ripoff. Never pay more than $20 for a standard audio cable. Never pay more than $40-$50 for a video cable, unless you need something special like a 50ft length.

I just wired my home theater - wiring in the walls for seven channel speakers, cable to the front wall, CAT-5 networking cable to two wall locations, and a custom 25 ft VGA-to-Component breakout cable for my projector. Even though I’ve spent over $10,000 building the room, the entire cost of all the cables was about $250. Anything more would be a waste of money.

I was at a store a few months ago buying a single 20’ cable to run to my LFE input on my subwoofer. I had the cable in my hand and was wandering around in the store. This is a high end electronics store that sells ONLY Monster brand cables (that is if you ask…if you look around you can find RCA brand on the other end of the store burried on a rack with phone cords and other unrealted items). Anyways, I was wandering around in the store and the a salesman saw me with it and asked me if I’d rather get the Monster brand instead. I explained to him that not only did I not buy into the Monster hype but also I’m getting a 20’ cable for $10. The Monster cable that he had was 15’ and $79.99. Besides it’s powering a low level input on a subwoofer and quality of signal isn’t really all that important to me for that. I told him I would buy it if he sold it to me for the same price as the RCA brand I had. He backed off after that.

I should mention that I love these connectors, Monster or not, they really work well. Easy to put together and do a great job of grabbing the terminals on my receiver.

Speaking as another ex-Radio Shack manager I can honestly say you’re a dead man!

They’ll never find me! :smiley:

I was recently in a big-box electronics store (probably Best Buy, but it might’ve been Circuit City) looking for a cheap 4 pin to 6 pin firewire cable. It was the weekend and I had a new toy I wanted to play with. I didn’t want to wait for an internet company to ship. The store employee steered me toward the video camera section, where they had a six foot very thick cable with gold connectors for 39.99. The salesman assured me it was a special cable for high-end digital video cameras. After a short search, I found they had a short cable buried in the computer section for $12.99.

I ended up buying the cable from I would definitely recommend them as a source for this type of stuff.

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