HDMI has been around since late 2002, but until about 2006 it was a total non issue for most folk and I’d consider it still in the fairly early adopter stage. Easy for me to say, I’ve got an HDMI video chain now.
If you are considering a new TV / Display then HDMI should factor in to your decision, but don’t buy into any of the sales pitch on deep colour etc. The real benefit to HDMI is that it is a digital connection between your source (DVD Player) and the display (TV). The content it carries is the same (for the most part), but keeping it in the digital domain is a real benefit.
Most of the cable makers are taking people to the cleaners. FutureShop’s cheapest HDMI cable is $49.99. If you want to stick to a big brand name, the Monster cables start at $83.99 up to $156.99 for a 1M cable. What is shocking here, is that almost all of the cables come from the same small set of factories in China – you really are paying extra for the name brand.
From my research and reading, assuming a reasonable level of quality in the cable construction, up to 5M you don’t need to worry about the bandwidth capabilities of the cable. Even the cheap cables will handle 1080p and beyond. Additionally, as most consumer equipment is only just starting to pass 1080p there is no reason to support more than that – with the one exception of cables that are run in the walls. For a 1M cable, you don’t need to spend a lot, and you can buy in wall rated cables relatively cheaply as I did.
So for my setup, I needed two 15foot cables. One HDMI/HDMI for my new Oppo 980 DVD player, so I got the slightly more expensive 24AWG cable for $15.75. The second cable is for my Starchoice DSR 505 for which I needed DVI/HDMI, since the best I can get out of this box is 720p/1080i I chose the less expensive 28AWG for $6.00. Yup, six dollars, and it will very likely support 1080p over that distance.
Here you can see them plugged into my projector:
The 24AWG cable jacket is bigger than the power cord. I strongly suspect that the FutureShop cables are 28AWG at best, very likely a smaller gauge. Oh yeah, and shipping was $5.75 – so I still came out way ahead.
The cables work great, no issues at all. In summary, yes HDMI is a good option to have but don’t pay an arm and a leg for the cables.