Functionally, Monster HDMI cables are suppose to be equivalent to any other genuine HDMI cable that is currently on the market. However, as a brand they pride themselves on quality and performance. Therefore, going with that logic, it is reasonable to conclude that their cables are more durable and possibly longer lasting. From their marketing collateral, they stress the fact that they do not make low performing cables – only high performers. The two characteristics that they speak to a lot is the bandwidth (A.K.A. Data Rate – how much data could go thru their HDMI Cables with minimal distortion as measured with the “eye test”) and cable length (the fact that the signals do not start to degrade as fast and violate the “eye test” compared to other vendors). In addition, they claim to perform extensive stress testing like twisting and pulling on the connectors to make sure the signal integrity remains intact in real situations such as the installation process.
So, how does Monster justify their claims ? First, they said their HDMI Cables are Simplay (an independent third party test lab with expertise in validating HDMI) verified. Second, they have a “Monster Cable for life Performance Promise”. Directly from their website: “If the audio and video components you purchase in the future ever surpass the performance of select Monster® cables you buy today, Monster® will upgrade these cables absolutely free.” Of course, the offer is only on their higher performing more expensive cables. These are the list of eligible cables:
M1000HD HDMI Ultimate High Speed with Ethernet
2. HDMI 1000HD Ultimate High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet
3. Digital Life™ High Performance SuperThin Mini HDMI Cables – High Speed
4. Monster® SuperThin™ High Speed Powered Camcorder Cable
On the high end, Monster’s best performing HDMI cable will operate with a bandwidth of 17.8 Gbps. Compared to the testing requirements of a regular high-Speed HDMI cable of 10.2 Gbps, you can see that there is a significant increase in performance. With their “V-Grip” feature, they are able to address one of the few concerns about the regular HDMI Cable – the possibility of getting disconnected during cleaning or other stressed situations. The “V-Grip” feature increases retention force for a more reliable connection.
Monster also seems to have an edge on the Custom HDMI cable market, as I mentioned previously, one of the things they praise themselves on is for high performance longer length cables. According to the information on the website, they are able to have better performance over long distances because their cables use loss-less insulators, larger conductors and special winding techniques. Plus, the cables are UL CL rated so that they can run in walls.
From what I can see, it does appear that Monster might have some better performing, good quality HDMI Cables, but, is this better performance really needed for most applications ? Probably not ! Is it worth it to pay the premium price for them ? I don’t know, that is a question that you will need to answer for yourself.
Monster cables can be purchased from many online stores. As I mentioned in my previous blog entries, I typically buy electronics and other products from AMAZON. The link below will take you to the Amazon store where you can find Monster and other HDMI cables.
For the next blog entry, I will touch on the topic of VGA-to-HMDI and HDMI-to-VGA cables.