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Monster HDMI cable question/help?

by pballa76 / January 22, 2008 7:20 AM PST

I purchased a 1 metre Monster ULT V800 HDMI Cable (its blue) from FutureShop (canada) when I purchased my new LCD (over $150 for it) and recently purchased a 4 foot Monster U2 V800 HDMI Cable (its red) online for under $50. I have searched the U2 V800 and it comes up with the same picture and same info as the ULT V800 except it is red. I just wanted to know what the difference is, if any at all?


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i am in no way a tech expert as others on here are...
by bean99 / January 22, 2008 8:51 AM PST

but i am looking into the same thing and everything i've read says that all HDMI cables are equal.

i do wonder if they need to say "1.3 compatable" on the box...

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They'll chime in soon
by dinox64 / January 22, 2008 10:24 AM PST

Return those expensive cords and get the no namers. Monster stands for monster rip off. Any HDMI line cord will work with 1.3. Thats just the signal going over the cable.Plenty of outlets on Ebay for them. Look up Monprice on there.

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There are two camps on this issue
by Rollbar / January 22, 2008 10:52 PM PST
In reply to: They'll chime in soon

But most agree that while the Monster cables are well made and look good there is really no practical application difference in a cable costing $150 and one for $15.00. Some will argue that you need a cable certified for broad band; others say no, digital is either there or not so if you have a signal, you're done.

I bought two 3 foot HDMI cables for less than $10 each (Amazon) and they work perfectly with my 1080p tv, receiver, Blu-ray/PS3 and other devices.

Personally, I'd take back both cables and save money for all the other stuff you will want but haven't though of yet.


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but is 1.3 necessary?
by bean99 / January 23, 2008 12:20 AM PST

all of the real bargain HDMI cables on Amazon do not offer 1.3 standard.

yet they all get 4.5 to 5 star reviews.

so what's with the "1.3?"

does it matter if it's 1.3 or not?


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Yes all HDMI cables are the same to a point...
by stuntman_mike / January 23, 2008 1:18 AM PST

You don't need $300 Monster cables as any well made cable will do the job. My very first HDMI cable is a Monster and my subsequent ones are from and if anything the mono's are the same if not a tiny bit better made (the threads seem a bit more durable and they are thicker than the Monster cable). So yes in that respect they are all the same.

The one way that they are different, to answer bean's question, is 1.3. While all HDMI cables and outputs are backwards compatible, meaning that you will get 1080p vid and great audio, you need both HDMI 1.3 inputs/ outputs and 1.3 HDMI cable to get the x.v. color definitely and from what I have gathered from my research, I believe the HD audio as well. HDMI 1.3 cables have different bandwidth specs from 1.1 and 1.2.

I welcome anyone to point me to a source that says otherwise, but I have not come across one.

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HDMI 1.1, 1.2 & 1.3 specs are for the electroinics!
by jcrobso / January 23, 2008 6:18 AM PST

Not the cables!!!! Any HDMI cable will work, my $22 cable from Sam's club works great. John

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As for the author of this threads question...
by stuntman_mike / January 23, 2008 2:02 AM PST

I really don't know what the difference between those two Monster SKUs is. The fact that one is under $50, which is very cheap for a Monster cable, makes me guess that it is the very low end cable and not the same. But it is just a guess.

I can tell you that monoprice has HDMI 1.3 cables for about $12 which I have though. I have three of them. Bought the in-wall ones even though I use them outside of the wall because they are more durable. And I can personally vouch for them being every bit as good if not better than the $150 Monster cable which I got through a hook-up a year ago.

My recommendation is to save your money and time researching Monster cables and buy from

Good luck

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forgive me...
by bean99 / January 23, 2008 3:11 AM PST

x.v. color?

what's that mean?

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Only difference between 1.1 1.2 1.3
by jostenmeat / January 23, 2008 3:21 AM PST

is "rated" bandwidth. That doesn't mean a 1.1 cable will not have comparable bandwidth to a 1.3 cable. But if rated so, you know you have it.

Controversies regarding these cables is unwarranted for 99% of us here at CNET. Our cable runs are usually, what, 3-6 ft? There is little or no worry here.

Its when you are doing custom installs, such as a long run for a projector, or wiring thru the walls, where it may behoove someone to spend a lot on a very high quality cable.

The things is, people have had success with long runs using Monoprice 1.3 inwalls. Im not talking cheapskates either. A lot of users at the $20,000 Hi-end forum of AVS uses them. I know yet another consumer at a different forum with a $100,000 system, and he thinks that Monoprice HDMI cables work fantastically.

good luck everybody.

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If you can point me to sources...
by stuntman_mike / January 23, 2008 5:20 AM PST

that say that 1.3 cable doesn't matter, I would like to read it. I am not being snooty, I'm being serious. I am just interested in seeing it because I have tried to find out if they were necessary or not. Most information was vague, but when ever I did see a definitive answer they always said that you needed it to pass the x.v. color (that is a new spec for color space bean99, that is the reason why they have gone to 1.3, even though there is no x.v. media yet) and HD audio.

I'd like clarity on this more for others than myself really. I already have 1.3 cables from mono. Based on my research and the fact that they are only like $2 more than the older HDMI cables on their site, I figured better safe than sorry. My opinion is I suggest that everyone else spend the extra $2 and do the same.

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I do not remember where I read this
by jostenmeat / January 23, 2008 5:55 AM PST

but it wouldn't surprise me if it was AVS. There are more professionals, engineers, MIT physicists, etc, there than you can shake a stick at.

In fact, I even used to know what the respective, specific bandwidth ratings were for 1.1 and 1.3 cables. I think I even might have posted them here at CNET before.

Sorry I can't help you more. I've not read anything to the contrary, ever, btw. Can you point to sources that contradict what I am claiming? I'd be curious.

So, if Im not mistaken, the cables are identical, save for rated bandwidth. Who knows when HDMI 1.4, 2.0, or whatever comes out. Im not too worried about the cables, since first of all the tech just isn't there yet, and my runs are currently at a minimum.

IIRC, There's even been some arguments about CAT-5 vs HDMI. Who knows man, who knows.

sorry to disappoint, jostenmeat

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I have to get on my computer at home...
by stuntman_mike / January 23, 2008 6:09 AM PST

to get the searches that I did on the 1.3 subject. But if memory serves me, there is a FAQ on monoprice that addresses it and also on wikipedia.

There are others, but those are the ones that come to mind right now. I will post links to other sources as soon as I can.

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Waste of money...sorry
by dgden / January 23, 2008 5:57 AM PST

I bought my HDMI cables from Amazon for less than $6 bucks each with shipping. The site says they are 1.3b. Have been using them and they work problems at all. The site says they are gold plated (they look like it but who really knows) and look sturdy.

Bottom line, you definately overpaid for those cables big time. As far as 1.3 standard is concerned for the wider color spectrum - only few sources nowdays have that and even though more will have soon, you at least need to know if your TV supports it, not all of them do by far.

Find yourself a cheaper 1.4 HDMI cable from the sources that most recommend and do not fear. You won't know the difference (because there won't be any) guranteed.

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Sorry 1.3 NOT 1.4
by dgden / January 23, 2008 5:59 AM PST
In reply to: Waste of money...sorry

Had typo in the last sentence there...I meant get 1.3 not 1.4 as those don't even exist to my knowledge...

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On the HDMI site...
by stuntman_mike / January 23, 2008 6:26 AM PST
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thanks Mike
by jostenmeat / January 23, 2008 6:34 AM PST
In reply to: On the HDMI site...

correct me if I am wrong, but there is no info that states that cables are not identical, notwithstanding the stated bandwidth ratings.

In fact, I am not sure that they are even really talking about cables on this page.

HDMI 1.3 encompasses electronics. I've been attacked by gabereyes and company for this statement before, but this is quite true as far as I know.

The PS3's 1.3 chip is the SIL Vastline 9132

Ok, here is a portion by Wireless Guru at AVS who enjoys talking about this stuff:

"SIL Vastline 9132: (Gaming Transmitter) Supports Deep Color but not the latest high-quality audio formats.
SIL Vastline 9133: (Dual Input Receiver) Enables HDTV's to display Deep Color but does not support the latest high-quality audio formats.
SIL Vastline 9134: (Dual Input Transmitter) Same abilities as the 9133 with additional support for the latest high-quality audio formats.

The Sammy BD-P1200 and Toshiba XA2 both have the SIL Vastline 9134.
The PS3 has the SIL Vastline 9132."

I can't guarantee that what he says is correct. But, IIRC, he talks about this stuff as much any other poster I've come across.

seeya Mike.

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Soory to keep putting this stuff up...
by stuntman_mike / January 23, 2008 6:39 AM PST

piecemeal, but this is from another source I just Googled.

This is a quote from the page in case you don't want to read all of it:

HDMI 1.3a supports output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio streams for external decoding by AV receivers. TrueHD and DTS-HD are lossless audio codec formats used on HD DVDs and Blu-ray Discs. If the disc player can decode these streams into uncompressed audio, then HDMI 1.3 is not necessary, as all versions of HDMI can transport uncompressed audio.

So basically if you want your receiver to do the unpacking and not the player, you need HDMI 1.3.

I have to get out of here now. I will check back when I get home.


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I said exactly as much here recently
by jostenmeat / January 23, 2008 6:53 AM PST
If the disc player can decode these streams into uncompressed audio, then HDMI 1.3 is not necessary, as all versions of HDMI can transport uncompressed audio.

I think that I even said that MA represents only 15% of the possible choices (not titles, just codecs), of course assuming bitstream. Also, IIRC, I was essentially correcting something that gabereyes might have said.

I also believe you complimented me with something like "good stuff". I just can't find the post. Oh well.

The only reason for HDMI 1.3 in the audio world is for Master Audio in its entirety (with extension, not just "core") sent as a bitstream. I've been saying this forever here, or maybe it just feels like it.

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by Riverledge / January 23, 2008 8:24 AM PST



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WELL...............I DID!
by pballa76 / January 23, 2008 11:03 AM PST

I asked the initial question about the Monster Cable, if you can't add anything constructiive to the replies then really I don't care what your opinion is.

Thanks for those who had alternative suggestions to the exspensive Monster Cables. Unfortunately it is a learning experience and when I purchased my LCD the first thing I wanted to do was hook up my PS3 and watch a blu-ray in the best possible way I could so I purchased the over priced cable in the store which was suggested to me.

I now have an HD player as well so I'll look into the cheaper cables.

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In your particular case jost...
by stuntman_mike / January 24, 2008 2:15 AM PST

wouldn't this be a big deal for you? I think I have seen you say numerous times that you want your receiver to do the unpacking of the audio for you. If you don't use an HDMI 1.3 cable you will have to let your player do it and send it as uncompressed PCM.

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not if I have one already
by jostenmeat / January 24, 2008 2:43 AM PST

but Im not worried about it. Are you?

Just because you are restricted in bandwidth, that it won't work!!!

For instance, these are all the same cable

-rca stereo
-sub cable
-digital coaxial

75 ohm, RCA type connectors. The thing is digital coax cables are probably designed for the greatest bandwidth of those listed. RCA or composite is, generally speaking, at the bottom of the totem pole, but if you plug a decent one in to your digital coax output, guess what, you are going to get 5.1 surround just fine. I know, I've personally helped re-configure others' systems before.

My BD player cannot unpack the advanced codecs. Only bitstream. Which is how I would prefer it anyways, but I need to get an HDMI pre/pro before I will enjoy them. Indeed it would be better if I had both choices, but I felt like I've been waiting long enough for someone to finally solve Master Audio, and that is exactly when I jumped on board.

I may be the only one you ever find, but from the very beginning, mid-2006, it was always the audio that I was much more excited about for the hi-def formats.

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by stuntman_mike / January 24, 2008 3:20 AM PST

you are definitely unique in that regard. Most people are are happy to listen to audio through their TV speakers as long as it's 1080p apparently lol.

You lost me a little bit with the end of your post though. You said that you prefer your receiver do the unpacking. But from what I learned from the article in my other post it says that you have to have your player do the unpacking if you don't use 1.3. Or is that what you meant when you said you already have one?

Either way it's no big deal to me. I do have both 1.3 devices and cables, but as I said earlier, the main reason that I got the 1.3 cables was because they cost about the same as the 1.1 and 1.2 cables. If it is the same price, I figure might as well go with the 1.3, especially since like you said, some of this info is dicey and it is hard to tell sometimes if they mean 1.3 cables or 1.3 inputs/ outputs or both.

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