StarTech 6ft HDMI to HDMI Digital Video Cable Review
Well it’s officially a start of a new era. The old has past and the new has come and has influenced the market very quickly. With the increasing sales of HDTV television, standard definition that provides an analogue signal of up to 480 lines of resolution just cannot compare; its days are over. Yet to take advantage of the many forms of HDTV, some consumers are missing a key connection.
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a new type of connector specially made to take advantage of new HDTV televisions and devices that connect to them such as set-top boxes. This lone cable has been specifically made to take full advantage of the bandwidths of HDTV. Climbing up the HDTV hierarchy there is 720p (progressive meaning refreshing of all lines), 1080i (interlace meaning refreshing of only odd lines on the TV) and 1080p.
720p provides a resolution of 1280x720, 1080i and 1080p provides a resolution of 1920x1080. Compare this to standard definition which has been the standard for many years (up to 480 lines), there’s a big difference.
Talking about the HDMI, its primary responsibility of is to send data to the television uncompressed digitally. All other connectors minus DVI are analogue. What this means in simple terms is that when watching television, the subjects on screen are not washed out, they are colorful, they are sharp, and you can see the textures on their skin in detail. The latest revision of the HDMI standard even calls for the cable to support up to the resolution of 2560x1600, far exceeding the resolution for current 1080p standard.
The best attribute of HDMI is its ability to provide not only video, but also uncompressed audio through one single cable. This is a great thing for a single cable to be able to handle both video and audio. This prevents the always usual clutter on the back of your television making it rather organized. All other connections such as RCA and Component have multiple cables for its video and audio, HDMI only has one.
StarTech is not an uncommon name amongst the industry; they have been providing IT and A/V products to companies and customers since 1985. In fact they call themselves the “Making hard-to-find easy!” specialists. If you ever need any cable, device, or something you can’t find StarTech is your best bet to find it.
Today I will be reviewing their entry level 6ft HDMI cable.
Packaging is in the form of a simple plastic zipper lock type bag. Nothing too fancy and you don’t really need fancy packaging because it is just a cable. Recognizable is their name written across the plastic with their logo. Simple and straight to the point, you have the description of the product; in this case it is 6ft in length, and male connections on both ends.
Quality of the cable is top notch and doesn’t feel cheap like some other cables I’ve dealt with in the past. The plastic jacket is flexible enough for moving yet doesn’t bend easily that you could potentially kink the cable. The end of the cable has “Startech.com” written on it which I thought is a nice little touch. A small thing to mention is the cable has no locking mechanism, but this is something to blame on the people who made the HDMI standard. Yet in all reality a locking mechanism is seldom needed because during my use of the cable it was always tight and snug.
Testing and Results
Testing will consist of comparing the results of HDMI vs. Component video connection. This will show customers the advantage of using HDMI over the component connection. The test subjects will be an Xbox 360 with an HDMI port connected via LG L226WA HDMI computer monitor. I will connect the two up via component and HDMI and record the results.
Xbox Dashboard (Component)
Xbox Dashboard (StarTech HDMI)
Forza 2 (Component)
Forza 2 (StarTech HDMI)
NBA 2K8 (Component)
NBA 2K8 (StarTech HDMI)
Overall while using the PC monitor, the differences between the Xbox component cables and StarTech HDMI cables become rather obvious. There is a clear difference.
There you have it. HDMI does make a difference in the way you play your games and see your video. Things just look sharper and much more vibrant than before.
The StarTech HDMI cable is something I can recommend. It doesn’t feel cheap, it has great construction, and best of all they do make a clear difference.
So if you are in the market for an HDMI cable, be sure to factor in StarTech in your considerations. These HDMI cables cost around $19U.S. @ Newegg and around the same price Canadian.
**Special: Supposedly this same StarTech Cable can be purchased through Amazon.com for $2.73 plus $2.95 shipping. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but you can try it here!
Pros and Cons
+ Great construction
+ Makes a clear difference
+ Competitive market pricing (look at the amazon link above)