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  1. #1

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    Default HDMI cables for gaming

    I just wanted to know what hdmi cables you are using for gaming?

    I think most folks just hook it up and never give a second thought and I was in that camp. I have started noticing better results in zero lag game mode on my pj with a shorter more expensive cable during online shooters. I was using a shorter monoprice cable and then a longer amazon hdmi cable and then started using a 1 meter wireworld flat high speed cable and with my 50 mps net connection I know for sure that the cable makes the diff in those split second shots. So if you have a great high speed modem you may still be missing out on that last little critical area of the game that makes you be at the number one position at the end of the round or the number 2 depending

    Is this important or do you not class your self as that hardcore of a gamer to notice?

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    HDMI cables kind of strike me as "either it works or it doesn't". I have a mono price 3ft cable that I use for my ps3, and a 4ft for my HTPC, and I haven't had any issues at all. I have however had a couple of bad cables in the past that I ended up tossing. Everything would be fine, and then they'd up and have issues connecting devices.

    And I think you hit the nail on the head in a round about way, I actually need a better modem for gaming I think. What are you using in that regard?
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by polkfarmboy View Post
    I just wanted to know what hdmi cables you are using for gaming?

    I think most folks just hook it up and never give a second thought and I was in that camp. I have started noticing better results in zero lag game mode on my pj with a shorter more expensive cable during online shooters. I was using a shorter monoprice cable and then a longer amazon hdmi cable and then started using a 1 meter wireworld flat high speed cable and with my 50 mps net connection I know for sure that the cable makes the diff in those split second shots. So if you have a great high speed modem you may still be missing out on that last little critical area of the game that makes you be at the number one position at the end of the round or the number 2 depending

    Is this important or do you not class your self as that hardcore of a gamer to notice?
    I don't have any experience with Wireworld but from what I have read and learned over the years , the owner really pays attention to details when building his cables. For all HDMI connection in my system I use Audioquest Cinnamon series. I have found a good balance between Price and performance.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jflail2 View Post
    HDMI cables kind of strike me as "either it works or it doesn't". I have a mono price 3ft cable that I use for my ps3, and a 4ft for my HTPC, and I haven't had any issues at all. I have however had a couple of bad cables in the past that I ended up tossing. Everything would be fine, and then they'd up and have issues connecting devices.

    And I think you hit the nail on the head in a round about way, I actually need a better modem for gaming I think. What are you using in that regard?
    Thats exactly why I would never buy any cheap cables from anyone. I don't need right at the wrong time for a cable to fail me. That just isn't worth free if you ask me. I'd gladly pay for a cable that is going to last a very long time to the point I get it out of my system well before it's time. Honesty when you buy high quality cables , failure is not an issue.
    Dan
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    Digital signals are digital because they send redundant data, so the question gets to be how is it possible for the cable to matter? Well I suppose it depends on the redundancy. But I would assume that redundancy is handled by sending 2 or 3 copies of the same data at different times then comparing them and taking the consensus. But that leaves no room for improvement with a better cable. Perhaps they look for a degraded signal then move to redundant data, this would allow you to notice small increases in response.

    That said if you are using HDMI there is a high likely hood we are talking about a TV for gaming and every TV I have ever touched has much higher input lag than anything that could be affected by a simple HDMI cable.

    The only other wild card might have to do with something I do not understand in HDCP hand shakes. Maybe a bad cable keeps trying to renegotiate and causes a slight lag.

    Anyhow since monoprice is so cheap for decent cables I never see any reason not to use a "high" quality cable anymore.

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    Well pub your a little wrong there about cable lag on video games. Here is a classic example, When I hooked up my old Epson 5010 3d projector the length of cable caused lag because the projector lagged. If I used a 25 ft monoprice cable then the audio lagged behind the picture the only way to get the audio on sync was to use a 6 ft hdmi cable and this was just on a 2D movie. Imagine what affect a longer cable has on a video game during fast online multiplayer

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    Well I am fairly involved in video games and I have never heard of this before you mentioned it. I am not saying it is not possible I am just saying I think we need some measurements and good proof in a controlled system, this should be easy for you to do and someone else to replicate. You can use various clock programs to display images to displays with different length cables at the same time and take pictures of both those displays, then swap them. With the right combinations if there is a noticable difference then we can start trying to dive into why it is taking place. I keep a keen eye on anything to do with video game lag and we all know that there can be major issues with any TV/projector and input lag, while the mass consumer often does not believe it, we all know that there is a huge difference in quality and speed between consoles and PCs but in all my travels I have never heard anyone say that they are getting significant lag from cables, people do complain of quality in analog cables. Electricity travels through wires at nearly the speed of light so most lag is due to some sort of processing of the data which happens either at the sending or receiving end.

    What exact system are you using? Are you running Ethernet through your HDMI? Perhaps only the audio is lagging not the video?

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    The lag from the longer cable was evident with the Epson and their engineers recommended a 6 foot cable to correct it. Right now I use a dedicated video game pj ... the optoma gt 750. The lag I am talking about with hdmi cables would probably to hard to clock but when it comes to pulling out a sniper to clip some ones head as they are running across the screen at a fast pace then I am noticing less lag with the expensive cable and usually itis evident on the kill cam replay. With the kill cam the shot I fired usually lands where it was aimed with a good cable but with cheaper ones its a little less accurate

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    Well Epson had alot of projector lag issues that were probably specific to them and not explained well. See here 60 ms lag was not unheard of. You can detect 1ms lag with this method. But all of this should boil down to the signal isnt making it and the epson is renegotiating HDCP, in this case cable length should only matter in the fact that it is harder to push the signal all the way and you are getting dropped information. But if you have a cable capable of transmitting the signal then any length should not matter.

    My best guess is the longer run is getting interference and you are eliminating that with a shorter cable. The epson is actually pausing or completely missing frames to renegotiate the HDCP handshake.

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    The only way you would see more lag from a HDMI cable is if your display device is having to do excessive error correction due to the cable being low quality (i.e. the waveform not arriving at the display intact and having to use the HDMI chipset's timing reconstruction to correct the signal). Normally, if this is an issue, you'll get speckles/noise in the image because it can't reconstruct the waveform at the display (which means the cable can't handle the necessary bandwidth required for that signal at that length). It isn't a matter of HDCP negotiation. Anyone who tells you one passive HDMI cable is faster than the other is blowing smoke in your rusty sheriff's badge. The only thing you need to know is for long lengths, you need a thicker gauge of cable. I'm using a 30' run of 22AWG Monoprice and it passes 1080p/60 36bit with no measurable change in lipsync time outside of the projector's known signal processing lag time. The signal in an HDMI cable transmits at a fraction of the speed of light... Don't buy into any snake oil "gaming HDMI cable" nonsense. Now, of course, we're talking passive cables here... If the cable has any kind of built-in equalization or extender chip, there may be a delay induced by that. But with reasonable lengths of cabling, you shouldn't need an extender.

    I also think the OP is overestimating the effect of having higher speed internet/modem. While a low latency is important, the data for the vast majority of games out there (even shooters) rarely requires more than 256k/sec, which even a half-ass DSL connection can muster. You're not going to magically get an advantage from having faster internet, because you're still subject to the hit detection programmed into the game's netcode... and that's a matter of latency, not throughput. What you're really concerned with is input lag (i.e. the time from when you press a button to the action occurring on screen). This is why players of serious fighting games where things get specific down to number of frames only use wired controllers. But regardless, no HDMI cable is going to even give you a SINGLE FRAME of lag, even at its worst. It just doesn't work that way.
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  11. #11

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    Kuntasensie...... Now I am going to have to go out and buy a hard wired controller but holy sh*t that was a nice post bro

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    Thats exactly why I would never buy any cheap cables from anyone. I don't need right at the wrong time for a cable to fail me. That just isn't worth free if you ask me. I'd gladly pay for a cable that is going to last a very long time to the point I get it out of my system well before it's time. Honesty when you buy high quality cables , failure is not an issue.
    I just bought a new receiver from Crutchfield last week, so I ended up picking up 4 Audioquest pearl HDMI cables while I was there. They weren't toooooo bad per cable (30-40 dollars depending on size) and I do like the peace of mind that you mentioned there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    While a low latency is important, the data for the vast majority of games out there (even shooters) rarely requires more than 256k/sec, which even a half-ass DSL connection can muster. You're not going to magically get an advantage from having faster internet, because you're still subject to the hit detection programmed into the game's netcode... and that's a matter of latency, not throughput. What you're really concerned with is input lag (i.e. the time from when you press a button to the action occurring on screen). This is why players of serious fighting games where things get specific down to number of frames only use wired controllers. But regardless, no HDMI cable is going to even give you a SINGLE FRAME of lag, even at its worst. It just doesn't work that way.
    Great post, all true. I particularly find it amusing how the local cable company advertises its higher bandwidth (more expensive) packages as being for "gamers." IIRC they suggest 30Mbps for gaming--which is just absolutely absurd. Oh well. The undereducated consumer pays the price, I guess.

    Also, CRT FTW.

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    I have not so great/ cheap in price HDMI's for my 360 and I have no problem with shooters or any game for that matter. I don't really consider myself a hardcore gamer but IMO it has more to do with internet connection rather than the HDMI.. I BEAST in COD and FIFA. HDMI never gives me problems and my internet connection is ok. BUt before I had my better internet connection I was the lowest of the low on Time Warner and it was infuriating trying to game online with all the lag I was experiencing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jflail2 View Post
    I just bought a new receiver from Crutchfield last week, so I ended up picking up 4 Audioquest pearl HDMI cables while I was there. They weren't toooooo bad per cable (30-40 dollars depending on size) and I do like the peace of mind that you mentioned there.
    I have absolutely no issues with spending a few more dollars on better built cables. The Pearl level is a very nice better then average cable. You'll never have any issues with them.
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  16. #16

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    I personally use Monoprice cables on most of my equipment. Have never noticed any lag and most of the time I do its because of internet issues. From what I've researched lag becomes a problem with cables that are longer than 25' and in this case you want cables that have redmere.
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by oleon621 View Post
    I personally use Monoprice cables on most of my equipment. Have never noticed any lag and most of the time I do its because of internet issues. From what I've researched lag becomes a problem with cables that are longer than 25' and in this case you want cables that have redmere.
    That isn't actually lag, but signal degradation. A simplified way of looking at it is this: HDMI transmits its digital information (i.e. the 1s and 0s) as peaks and valleys of a waveform. When the signal is strongest, this waveform is a square wave, with very obvious peaks and valleys. As the signal degrades, that waveform essentially starts to round off the peaks. Once it degrades too much for accurate decoding at the display, you get into the HDMI chipset trying to reconstruct the data. This almost always exhibits itself as "sparkles" - a static-like randomized pattern of dots in the image. The bottom line is that if you're not seeing that, your HDMI cable isn't a problem. The difference between the arrival time of the signal between a 6 inch cable and a 25 foot cable is the speed that electricity travels. Anyone who tells you that this can cause a lag in your display is lying to you.

    Redmere cables are essentially cables with built-in repeaters that use the +5v lead to power themselves. Fortunately, for most of us who are feeding our sources through an AVR first before the display, this is typically unnecessary. Most AVRs tend to act as repeaters, reconstructing the full integrity of the received signal before output. When I first did my 30' run of HDMI to my projector, I was so certain that I was going to have a problem with the length that I ordered a repeater/booster to place in-line when I bought the HDMI cables. Because my Onkyo handles things so well as far as output, I didn't need the repeater... and I get a perfect picture with no sparkles from any of my sources.

    As Syndil said, as far as twitch gaming goes, CRT FTW. A CRT set doesn't have the processing latency of digital displays. Another factor is whether your display does any signal processing. For instance, the lag of my Epson projector is reportedly 80ms using HDMI because it runs all HDMI video through the QDEO image processing chipset... but as low as 15ms when fed analog VGA or component. Not that much of this will be noticeable to online gamers, since the latency of internet connections to game servers tends to be around 70ms anyway. I assure you that no HDMI cable can improve that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    Not that much of this will be noticeable to online gamers, since the latency of internet connections to game servers tends to be around 70ms anyway. I assure you that no HDMI cable can improve that.
    Depends on the game and the gamer. The netcode of the game can compensate pretty well for net lag, however most games (especially FPS) are completely unaware of input lag. Whether or not that 15ms of input lag would be noticeable or detrimental depends on the gamer.

    I know that I definitely notice even as little as 5ms of input lag in a time-sensitive game like Rock Band, because Rock Band does offer a calibration setting to compensate for input lag, and if I turn it completely to zero with even a hair of input lag, it will screw up my gameplay. So I would assume that it can screw up gameplay on other games as well, even if it's not as obvious. This is why I play all of my "twitch" games on a CRT.

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  19. #19

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    Rock Band, definitely... but then, Rock Band doesn't have to synchronize things over the internet, even if you're playing online (because it just passes on pass/fail info for each player). Input lag is just par for the course when it comes to digital displays, sadly. But for shooters, the netcode typically gives you about a 3-5 frame window of hit detection because of typical network latency. If your display has less than 60ms of delay, you're still within 3 frames of input lag for a 60fps game... so the vast majority of people won't notice. In my case, my projector creeps up near 4-5 frames of input lag... which is why I'm not quite as good as I could be when playing Black Ops 2 online. But the flip side of that is... I'm playing on a 100" projection screen in 9.1 surround.
    Equipment list:
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    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    But for shooters, the netcode typically gives you about a 3-5 frame window of hit detection because of typical network latency. If your display has less than 60ms of delay, you're still within 3 frames of input lag for a 60fps game... so the vast majority of people won't notice.
    I'd say it's cumulative. If you have a 3-frame window in which to make an input because of the netcode, and your input lag equates to 3 frames, that really cuts down on the amount of time you would have to react compared to if you had zero input lag. There is more time for thinking and reacting if you have zero input lag, regardless of what sort of buffer the netcode provides or anything else.

    Input lag is, IMO, a terrible, terrible thing that must be avoided at absolutely all costs. If I say so myself, I'm pretty damned good at FPS games, and while I have no scientific data to back it up, I think part of that must be because most of my opponents are playing on LCD panels while I am using a CRT. I have a hardware advantage that most of my opponents simply do not. That slight advantage might be of little value to an average player, but just like in professional sports, the differences among the very good can be measured in just fractions of a second.

    If you would like a demonstration, name a (PC) FPS and I will be happy to kick your butt at it.

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  21. #21

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    Ooooooo a Challenger lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Syndil View Post
    Input lag is, IMO, a terrible, terrible thing that must be avoided at absolutely all costs. If I say so myself, I'm pretty damned good at FPS games, and while I have no scientific data to back it up, I think part of that must be because most of my opponents are playing on LCD panels while I am using a CRT. I have a hardware advantage that most of my opponents simply do not. That slight advantage might be of little value to an average player, but just like in professional sports, the differences among the very good can be measured in just fractions of a second.

    If you would like a demonstration, name a (PC) FPS and I will be happy to kick your butt at it.
    Oh, CRT definitely gives you an edge, especially in timing-sensitive games like fighters. As far as on PC, serious gamers tend to get the 2ms LCD screens... and you won't really have an edge on them, because 2ms is pretty insignificant. Even on the 5-7ms screens, it's really a toss-up. But where it gets ugly for us projector users is that we end up with latency up near 40-80ms! Definitely not ideal... but the tradeoff is that I'm doing all my gaming on a 100" screen with my 9.1 surround system cranked up.

    I've gotten away from playing FPS on the PC in favor of my 360, or I'd totally take you on! The only thing I've played lately on PC is a little Ghost Recon Online.
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    Well up here in the Great White North I just watched a news story, a reporter when in to FS and BB to let salesman sell them a TV, and cables to hook up, in both stores they recommended the $200+ HDMI cable so she bought it and a $100 and ordered one online for $9.99
    Brought all the stuff to her TV studio and the guy in charge of video with all the equipment capable to measuring any differences in cables..
    His results were the $200+ cable was Perfect from end to end, then the $100 was perfect from end to end, and lastly the $9.99 cable was Perfect as well..
    The single passing through all these cables was unchanged no matter which cable they used..
    Then she did a test at home with her Husbands football buddies, TV's back to back and kept switching cables and then telling the guys that that this TV is using the $200 cable and the guys still could not tell which cable looked better..
    So long story short it makes no difference which HDMI cable you buy they all do the same thing..
    Now the one area I will agree on is distance, to run long lengths you do need a thicker cable, now that not saying you need a $300 cable to achieve what you are trying to do, but after a certain length you do need a thicker cable or a line booster I guess..
    I am like the next guy I have spent some money on cables because I thought they made a difference and I swear they do, but the facts are facts..
    Now when I buy cables I buy them because they look good and I like a good looking cable running to my speakers and components, so I buy accordingly..
    But hey if you have money to burn go right ahead and buy those $$$ cables..
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    Quote Originally Posted by jflail2 View Post
    I just bought a new receiver from Crutchfield last week, so I ended up picking up 4 Audioquest pearl HDMI cables while I was there. They weren't toooooo bad per cable (30-40 dollars depending on size) and I do like the peace of mind that you mentioned there.
    The irony here couldn't be thicker Mantis. I finally got my cable box from Comcast last week, and went to hook it up to my new receiver. All connections were firm, but no output to TV. I must have plugged and unplugged everything 3-4x, tried rebooting the cable box, etc. I finally thought "well, I guess I need to make sure the cables are fine." So I swapped out the brand new Pearl HDMI cable with a $4 Monoprice cable and boom, I have a nice clean picture to my TV.

    So the 2 meter $40 cable from Audio Quest was faulty, while the $4 2m cable from Monoprice worked great.....Sigh. Back to Crutchfield for a return.
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    Doh, double post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    Oh, CRT definitely gives you an edge, especially in timing-sensitive games like fighters. As far as on PC, serious gamers tend to get the 2ms LCD screens... and you won't really have an edge on them, because 2ms is pretty insignificant. Even on the 5-7ms screens, it's really a toss-up.
    The figures you are quoting are GTG response times of the individual pixels, not input lag. That is the time it takes for a pixel to change colors once it has received the command to do so from the panel, not the time the panel takes to process the command from the PC (input lag). I have not seen a manufacturer that tests for and lists input lag as part of the specs.

    A faster GTG time is better than a slower one, sure, but CRT still beats LCD here, and when you consider that the GTG lag is cumulative with the input lag... Yikes.

    Example: I just started playing Ravaged last weekend. Within one hour of installing the game on my PC, I was topping the scoreboard on every server I played. I take some credit, of course, but I also truly believe that people are underestimating the effects of the input lag (and response lag) inherent in LCD panels. I find it ironic (to put it politely) that people will spend all kinds of money on expensive gaming keyboards or gaming mice with crazy fast response times and a gajillion DPI, and then throw ALL of that advantage away (and more) by playing on an LCD panel.

    I've gotten away from playing FPS on the PC in favor of my 360, or I'd totally take you on!
    Not to start a console/PC war, but consoles automatically "dumb down" FPS games by adding larger hitboxes due to the inherent inaccuracy of controlling the game with a gamepad rather than a mouse. So it would kind of be cheating if a console version of an FPS was allowed to compete with PC players or vice versa. This is why it is not done, even though it is absolutely possible to do so--many titles are available on both platforms. If you want to see this in action, play one of your favorite FPS titles on a PC using an Xbox controller, and you will be frustrated with kills you feel like you should (would) have gotten on the Xbox, but that just aren't registering on the PC.

    For me, it's got to be a CRT, wired mouse, and wired keyboard. I refuse to tolerate anything less. Sure, I don't have a 100" screen, but I do have surround sound, and with the viewing distance of my CRT compared to the viewing distance of a TV or projector, it still fills my field of view, so, IMHO, it's a wash. But to each their own. For me there are many things I would sacrifice before sacrificing response time and accuracy.

    RT-12, CS350-LS, PSW-300, Infinity Overture 1, Monoprice RC-65i
    Adcom GFA-545II, GFA-6000, Outlaw Audio 990, Netgear NeoTV
    Denon DCM-460, DMD-1000, Sony BDP-360, Bravia KDL-40Z4100/S
    Monster AVL-300, HTS-2500 MKII

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