Q: I’m currently using a Sony 3-D TV. I’m considering a change to a Sony XBR 4K TV, and the salesperson said I would have to replace the HDMI cable with one having a higher speed rating for maximum performance. My main input source is an outdoor antenna. Am I being duped or not? My present cable is a Monster Cable HDMI with 10.2 Gbps 3D rating. If a cable change is required, what do you recommend?
A: When using an antenna, the HDMI cable is irrelevant. What’s more, most 4K content is being delivered through the Internet. If you used an external box to stream 4K content to your TV, then HDMI could play a role, but even then any 10.2 Gbps high-speed HDMI cable can pass maximum resolution 4K content. Someday you may require an ultra-high-speed 18.2 Gbps HDMI cable, but for now there is no need to make a change.
It appears you are being set up to buy an expensive cable, especially since you already fell for the pitch once and bought a Monster Cable HDMI cable. Looking at the website of a prominent big-box store, I found 5-foot Monster HDMI cables selling for $40 to $100, and I know they sell models that are much more expensive. This is a huge profit-builder for the store, and it is the salesman’s job to suggest you buy them.
There is no need to buy expensive cables. This especially applies to HDMI cables, which carry a 100 percent digital signal. It will either be transmitted properly, or it won’t. All you need is a good, solid connection and adequate shielding to prevent interference, and you don’t need to spend $40 to get that.