Regarding the Ridiculousness of In-Store HDMI Cable Prices

Illustration for article titled Regarding the Ridiculousness of In-Store HDMI Cable Prices

I realize that this comes as news to basically no one, but felt it was worth railing about anyway. I am the proud owner of a sweet-ass new HDTV, and so I decided it was finally time to drop the VGA cables from the back of my computer monitor and hook my game consoles up to a real television. Which, of course, meant it was time to buy some HDMI cables.


I knew I'd have to order them online, since a lifetime of cable purchases has hipped me to the bracing reality of price-gouging for in-store cable purchases. All the same, I wasn't prepared for what I'd find when I stopped by Radio Shack just to see if things had gotten a bit more acceptable.

The cheapest 6-foot cable at Radio Shack was $27.99. "Okay," I thought, "That seems a little high." So, I checked my phone to see how much it would cost to order one online. I was even ready to pay a little extra - I probably would have paid $10 on top of the online price just for instant gratification.


I found that Amazon is selling a 6-foot HDMI cable for $1.71. A dollar and seventy-one cents!


I was joking about this earlier today on twitter, and someone sent me a link to an AudioQuest cable on "sale" at Best Buy. The price? $695.99. It allllmost seems like a joke, except that I have a feeling that if I offered to pay Best Buy $695.99 for that cable, they would take me up on my offer.


So, I wanted to reiterate what hopefully you all already know: Do not buy A/V cables from stores, ever. To do it is to flush your money away. It is the A/V equipment owners' equivalent of putting your debit card into an out-of-network ATM.

But if you're dead set on buying one from a store, you might as well go all-out and get that AudioQuest cable at Best Buy. You can sell your TV to help pay for it.


Image: Shutterstock /James Steidl

You can contact Kirk Hamilton, the author of this post, at You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.

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Faux Bravo

Is there any difference in quality of HDMI cables? I always wondered if the stuff you find for dirt cheap on the internet was worse, somehow. I'm guessing not. Usually a cable is a cable, but I thought there might be some difference with HDMI.

I'm guilty of buying a waaaay overpriced HDMI cable at Best Buy a couple years ago. Wish I could take that one back. I didn't do any research beforehand. What else is that drastically marked up? Obviously you can save a few bucks on the internet, but HDMI mark-up is crazy.