Got 4K? Looking to upgrade to 8K? Cables matter.

Having reviewed so many products over the years that connect with HDMI, you cannot imagine the depth of my bin of accumulated HDMI cables. After encountering signal issues few months ago, it was time to step up and figure it out.

I could not have imagined that so many among my stash of HDMI cables couldn’t cut it when used with modern 4K TVs, modern 4K-capable AVR (Audio Video Receivers) and 4K-capable streaming devices, including Roku.

Please read this informative piece on the Roku site.

Well, how about that!

Each of my no longer capable cables have been discarded, some of which were no more than two years old. Not only did it help my decluttering efforts, but it also pointed to how much things have changed. With 8K on the cusp of going mainstream, you may similarly wish to assess your HDMI cables’ readiness.

What got me started was when we saw that dreaded HDCP message on our best 4K set and the message to check connections and restart devices.

There is no shortage of HDMI 2.1 cables within a wide arc of prices.

The rule used to be simple – If it works, you need not spend a fortune on familiar, higher cost brands when shopping for HDMI cables. This rule remains intact. Then why did so many reasonably new cables fail me?

Those new-ish cables simply were not designed to transfer the electrons with the speed/bandwidth required today, and for tomorrow.

Look for HDMI cables from reliable sources that cite their specs as being HDMI 2.1 and you should be good to go.

My goodness, there are so many claiming to be HDMI 2.1! On one hand, there is nothing to wear out, suggesting a long life for your new cable investment. On the other hand, flexible, yet heavy duty cores, jacketing, shielding, the quality of the connectors matter, especially if, like me, you swap out equipment with great regularity or move around a lot. Anything that has you connecting and disconnecting cables over and over again puts stress on and weakens the device inputs as well as on the HDMI cable connectors and the area immediately behind the connectors.

Not recommended are thin and cute cables. Get yours with some oomph to them. Avoid stressing and weakening any part of the chain. I fashion a mechanism to support the connectors where they plug into the back of the equipment. I drape cables over and through wall mounts on TVs or lay them flat with anchoring before allowing them to drop off the back of the cabinetry on which the equipment is perched. On the back of AVR, I loop the cable in a way to remove stress and tie them up to whatever is handy nearby using nylon tie wraps. Be creative!

We decided to try the somewhat pricey Monster Cobalt series cables at a current price of $40 for their six footer. (As an Amazon Associate, your purchase through a link may earn us a very small commission at NO added cost to you.) You can spend more, too, on other brands and, of course, much less.

I don’t mind spending a bit more as I do not expect to have to buy them again for many years to come.

Problem solved! We then bought eight- and 12-foot Monster Cobalt HDMI cables. Sweet, sweet video and audio without equipment warnings of inferior signal.

Let us know of your experience with HDMI cables in your 4K and 8K systems.

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