If you ask “expert installers” for advice on choosing video and audio cables, you’ll usually get one of two answers:
- “Choose the best cable you can afford – if you’re spending big money on equipment, it doesn’t make any sense cheaping out on cables.”
- “Expensive cables are scams – they’re no better or more effective than cheap ones.
- The type of equipment you’ll be connecting
- The length of the cable run
- Where the cable will be placed
The Type of Equipment You’ll Be Connecting
Great source to understand the basics what each cable and jack are for
The Length of the Connection
tip: Test your cable to be sure that length isn’t a problem before permanently installing it (make sure you are able to return it before you buy it, of course). Buy a cable (make sure you can return it) and try it out if distance is a question.
Where the Cable Will Be Placed
How to Choose a High-Quality Cable
- Connectors: They should be molded and fit tightly into the plug or port. Metal connectors should have gold plating to avoid signal loss and noise, and to prevent corrosion.
- Conductors: These are the inside wires which carry the signals. Copper conductors usually do the best job of faithfully transferring signals from end to end.
- Shielding: This is the “protection” built around the inside wiring, and is crucial for avoiding interference from outside signals. The best cables have braided copper shielding to fight radio-frequencies, covered by foil shielding to battle electromagnetic interference. The better the shielding, the better the cable usually is.