Monster Vs. Generic: Specifications Compared
Now that we have a better idea of the specifications that matter, let's compare the Monster cable to a Generic brand cable from Monoprice.com. In this comparison, we will put the HDMI 800hd Advanced High Speed HDMI Cable from Monster Cable against a generic High Speed HDMI cable.
First, let's look at bandwidth. Right away, we're hit by a surprise. Monster does not make claims about its products in terms of how it meets certain standards, but it does make claims about the products capabilities. Right away, we see that the Monster cable claims bandwidth greater than 6.68 Gbps. The bandwidth of a Cat 2 cable should be 10.2 Gbps. Monster's wording makes it sound as if the cable could be capable of 10.2 Gbps, but they are only officially claiming 6.68 Gbps. In any case, it appears the generic brand cable has a better bandwidth capacity than the Monster cable.
In terms of the HDMI specification used, both seem to be using at least 1.3. The Monoprice cable states it is a 1.3a cable and the Monster cable advertises features only available with the HDMI 1.3 specifications. The connectors also appear the same - both are using Type A HDMI connections.
But what of the features Monster boasts of, such as nitrogen injection and high-density triple layer shielding? To put it bluntly, those features are marketing voodoo. Experience with traditional TVs tells us that connection quality is a big deal. After all, a loose cable to the back of an older television can make a picture unwatchable, and the marketing of Monster capitalizes on this. What Monster fails to say is that HDMI is a digital connection. A digital connection is not subject to interference in the same way as an old-fashioned, analog coax cable wire.