Where to Buy HDMI Cables

Where to Buy HDMI Cables
Cheap HDMI Cable

My motto regarding HDMI Cables:
Just say, no to expensive home theater and audio/video cables. I’ll confess that I enjoy shopping at Best Buy and Walmart for technology gadgets. Generally, they have terrific pricing and selection. When it comes to cables, though – that is where I will politely tell them no every time. Sure, you got a great price on that new HP Photo Smart Printer, but then the Best Buy rep asks if you need a USB Printer cable. Your face takes on a confused expression of guilt and shame as you realize you cannot remember if you have a USB Printer cable at home or not. That Photosmart Printer just went up in price from $99.00 to $124.00 when the Best Buy sales rep informs you a 6′ cable is $25.00. Then, you wonder if it’s even long enough. The 10′ Cable is $30.00. Don’t worry if you’ve found yourself in this situation before. It’s happened to all of us at one time or another, and now I’ll let you in on a couple of dirty little secrets:

Buying HDMI Cables Offline

Walmart, Best Buy, etc., make up for their skinny profit margins on big-ticket items by selling the accessories like cables, ink and media for a massive profit.
You might wonder how stores like Best Buy can make money selling Desktop computers, Laptops, TVs, Printers and audio/video equipment for so cheap, and for good reason. The truth of the matter is that these stores don’t make a great deal of money on the primary items that cost you the most. They make up for it in accessories, ink and cables. Where-as a discount computer store might only gain a 2% profit margin on a PC, Mac or iPad, they make 500 – 1000% on that USB Printer cable the sales kid tried to sell you for $30.00. If that’s not bad enough, they will often use false tactics such as telling you the gold-plated printer cable for $10.00 more will give you better resolution. That is flat-out false. A digital connection is a digital connection and there will be no difference in quality between the more expensive cable and the cheaper one. The cable either works or it doesn’t work. A USB or HDMI Cable gets data from point A to point B. Now, there are certain electrical standards that a cable must meet in order to complete the task, but generally speaking, if it is advertised to work, it is supposed to work. The longer the cable, the more critical it is that the quality is good enough to do the job. There really is either no in-between with digital cables as is the case with analog, speaker cables where thickness of size can make a significant improvement in the sound of your standing, floor stereo speakers. Don’t get mad at your Best Buy sales person for wanting to sell you an expensive HDMI Cable or USB Printer Cable. They are just doing their job and in many cases, even they don’t realize how over-priced the accessories are that they are selling you. I know this from my own first-hand experience associating with Best Buy Reps when I worked a part-time weekend Gig promoting HP products in their stores. I don’t mind a store wanting to maximize its profit and revenue, but I used to cringe when these trained sales kids would relate false information to their customers about digital cables. Sometimes, the sales managers would try and train me to do the same thing, but I would politely refuse. I could never do that sort of thing and go to sleep that same night with a good conscience for making a customer believe he/she needed something he/she really didn’t need. Where to Buy HDMI Cables is a question with an easy answer.

Buying HDMI Cables Online?

Unfortunately, you won’t find a cheap HDMI Cable at any of your local discount stores. You might be able to find a good deal at your Harbor Freight store, but the absolute lowest pricing on cables comes from a handful of online retailers is where to buy HDMI Cables:

Monoprice.com

I love Monoprice. They have excellent pricing and service and a very large variety of not just cables, but computer, cell phone, audio video accessories, too. I’ve been using monoprice for about 3 years for HDMI Cables. Typically, a 6’ HDMI Cable costs me about $3.0.. Tack on another $3.00 for shipping per cable. Monoprice seems to make up for their low prices by adding a little too much in shipping. However, though, there are cheaper places to buy cables, I know their service is excellent. Cables require only 3 days to get to my home or office in Denver. 8’ HDMI Cables go for about $3.75 and 10’ HDMI Cables about $5.50.. Isn’t this better than paying $39.00 at Walmart, Target or Best Buy?

Merritline.com

Even cheaper than Monoprice, but I have not tried them so I cannot comment on their service. Today you can buy 6’, 8’ and 10’ HDMI cables for about $3.50, $5.50, and $8.99. But, here’s the cool thing: Free shipping., which makes your landed cost less than it does with Monoprice. Again, I’ve not tried meritline, so I cannot speak about their service and delivery.

Buy.com

The cheapest place to find HDMI Cables is Buy.com, though that is not where they ship from .Currently, a place called, SF Planet is selling a 3 pack of HDMI cables for the paltry sum of $6.79 including shipping! Buy.com is a good, one-stop shop to look for cables.

Cheap HDMI Cable Quality

I’ve used Cheap HDMI Cables for 3 years on two different HD Televisons, two different DVD Players and a Blu Ray equipped Playstation 3. I’ve never once had problems with the picture, quality or results of using cheap HDMI Cables. Next time you buy HDMI cables, buy a 6 pack of them from either of the online suppliers above, and pay only a fraction of what you would at Walmart or Best Buy.. Cheap HDMI cables are a no brainer.

Back UPS RS 1000

Back-UPS RS 1000
Back-UPS RS 1000

A good technological product is like an old pair of tennis shoes or jeans that you never want to replace. They just feel right and you never want to have to get rid of them even though there are newer, more powerful tennis shoes, or…err, UPS products on the market. The Back-UPS RS 1000 is the first serious UPS Backup product I’ve considered for home. In my office, I need to have a bunch of electronics powered into one single place and cannot afford to risk losing power; My beefy desktop computer, monitor, printer, laptop and other electronics that need to stay charged when the computer is turned off. Supposedly a 500VA or 350VA product is powerful enough, but can you ever really feel comfortable in the event of a power outage unless you go all out. The Back UPS RS 1000 by APC provides 1000 VA or 600 Watts of uninterrupted power in the event of a power failure or disruption. This just felt right to me! But it’s not just me. This particular UPS Model has been the long time friend of thousands of people for many years. Now, the old, standby, white Back-UPS has been replaced by a newer version in black with a BR next to its name. Here are the details.

Specifications of the new Back-UPS RS 1000

Back-UPS RS 1000
Back-UPS-R1000G

One of the things I liked about the Back Ups RS 1000 is its sturdy construction and tower, vertical form-factor. Weighing 22lbs, the new, Back Ups RS 1000 UPS is also extremely well made. It stands about 10” high, by 4 inches wide by 15” deep and weighs a hair over 23lbs. I like the vertical tower-type form-factor which makes it easy to place underneath or on top of your desk to the side of your monitor. The RS 1000 has 8 outlets: 4 for backing up your power and 4 just for surge protection only. The Back-UPS RS 1000 provides 14 minutes of backup time in the event of a power failure and has a surge rating of 355 joules which is quite good.

How well does the Back-UPS RS 1000 work?

My website work requires handling several different chores at once. Without UPS Backup Protection, and so many windows open with critical tasks running, any type of power failure could wreak havoc on my heart and soul. On two occasions in the last 3 years, I had very unexpected power failures while in the middle of working on some very critical projects (who isn’t) In one case, it required about 9 minutes of time to get out of all of my projects and safely shut down. The RS 1000 beeps when you have a couple of minutes left of power. I never got to that point. This unit has served it’s purpose and remains a great insurance policy. The original, white colored Back-UPS RS 1000 by APC is no longer made, though you can still see a few of them floating around on the web for around $129.00. It is essentially replaced by the black one above, which sells for around $169.00 – $179.00. If you are the proud owner of one of the older units you can replace the two batteries for them for under $30.00. That’s cheaper than buying a new power supply and since the Back-UPS RS 1000 has served you so well, why would you switch?  Go with the girl that got you to the dance and in this case, it’s the Back-UPS RS 1000.

iPhone 4 vs iPhone 3GS

iPhone 4 vs iPhone 3GS

Is it worth the upgrade from a iPhone 3GS to a 4?

Are you an iPhone 3GS user wondering if it’s worth it to upgrade to the iPhone 4? I was asking myself that same question about 3 months ago. I made the switch for only one good reason: I wanted my wife to have an iPhone. When I purchased an iPhone for the first time, it opened up an entire new world for me. It seems the iPhone 3GS was in my hands at all times. I use it for checking email, analyzing website stats, facebooking, twittering and other website social marketing. The applications – even the free ones, are truly remarkable. My iPhone 3GS was only 8 months old when I began reading the new iPhone 4 reviews. Knowing how much my wife would enjoy staying in touch with friends on Facebook and email with an iPhone, I thought it was a great opportunity to upgrade. So, I renewed my wife’s 2 year contract with AT&T; bought the iPhone 4 32GB Version and gave her my 3GS.It is not my intention to deploy a full iPhone 4 review, here: There are hundreds of those online that do it better than I can. What I really want to do is compare the two iPhones for those considering the iPhone 4 vs iPhone 3GS.  Also, I’ll give my impression of the iPhone 4 vs Droid.

Upgrade?

If you just bought an iPhone 3GS in the past 12 months, don’t feel too pressured to upgrade to the iPhone 4 right away. With the new iPhone 4.2 OS my wife can do most of the same things on her iPhone 3GS that I can do on my iPhone 4. The icons and interface on the 3GS work the very same way. I’ve noticed absolutely no difference in network (regardless of the Wireless N WiFI) or speed of operation and despite claims of a longer battery life, my 3GS seemed to do better than the new iPhone 4. While the new iPhone is a little sleeker and thinner than the iPhone 3GS, by the time you put a jacket on it, it looks and feels roughly the same. The iPhone 4 seems more square in my hands, where-as the iPhone 3GS feels more rounded. But enough of the similarities. By now you’re thinking, why should I waste my money on an iPhone 4? Well, to me, there are four really huge advantages to the 4 over the 3GS. These aren’t the only advancements of the iPhone 4, but these are the ones that make the most difference to me. These are the four new things about the iPhone 4that I think most of us will notice, get the most use of and learn to love.

Four Things about the iPhone 4 you’ll Really Love

Worthwhile Differences of an iPhone 4 Upgrade

  1. High Resolution Retina Display
    Before I saw the iPhone 4 for the first time, I thought the 3GS had gorgeous graphics. In reality, the iPhone 4 has double the resolution of the 3GS:
    960 x 640 vs 480 x 320. Comparing them side by side, the difference is extremely noticeable. If you read a lot of text on your iPhone like I do, you will really appreciate the ultra tight, crisp Retina Display of the iPhone 4. The resolution also makes a huge difference on games which use high detailed graphics and text. I was amazed at how quickly I got used to the superior resolution of the iPhone 4. As I helped my wife setup some things on the old 3GS, I realized how quickly I had gotten spoiled by the crisp text, graphics and overall contrast.
  2. Camera and Flash
    The iPhone 4 has 5 Megapixel resolution as opposed to the 3GS’s 3MP. I’ve noticed a big difference in the quality of my photos. Additionally, the iPhone 4 now has a very powerful LED flash, so you can take pictures inside or in other darkly lit surroundings and still get reasonable picture quality. There is also a front camera which can be activated for taking your own photo. I must say that with the 5MP resolution, the iPhone 4 is sometimes good enough to take the place of my Panasonic DMC-ZS1 Digital Camera. Where the iPhone falls short as a camera is in its lack of an optical zoom lens. Even a 2X or 3X Optical would help bring subjects into better view when you take photos. Still, the iPhone 4 Camera may be good enough reason alone, for some users to do the upgrade from the 3GS.
  3. Video Recorder
    Flip Cams and other mini video recording devices have revolutionized the way we record high definition video. I used to want one of these, but the iPhone 4 has eliminated that need for an ultra small HD Video Recorder. If you could get your phone to record HD Video, would you really need to pay $179.00 or whatever on a Flip Cam? With the iPhone 4 you can record high definition video right to your phone and import it to your iTunes Library where you can later view it on an Apple TV or convert it to DVD. In addition to recording in HD, the use of the iPhone 4 LED helps provide much brighter, higher quality recordings than the 3GS. The High Definition Video Recorder is another reason for many of us to upgrade to the iPhone 4 that stands on its own merit.
  4. FaceTime Video Calling
    This is one feature that I ended up appreciating and using much more than I had imagined. FaceTime Calling allows you to visually chat and talk with another iPhone 4 user. This is a remarkable capability if you have friends and family around the country and world that you’d like to keep in touch with. Also, you can flip the camera view for showing your party what you are looking at instead of them always looking at you – tremendously useful if you want to demonstrate something to someone. For instance, my brother got a new car and was able to give me a full demonstration of the exterior and interior simply by walking around the car and pointing his iPhone at it while talking to me at the same time. FaceTime Calling is one more iPhone 4 feature that makes the upgrade worthwhile for many , if not most 3GS users. The only problem is that too many people are waiting for their friends and family to buy first. One other minor concern for some of you: You’ll need a new iPhone Screen Protector and iPhone Case.

Underwhelming Benefits of the iPhone 4 vs iPhone 3GS

Some Not so Good reasons to Upgrade to the iPhone 4?

In my opinion, any of the four features above make the iPhone 4 a worthwhile upgrade. There are, however, some other technological advancements which I don’t notice enough to appreciate the difference of the iPhone 4 vs iPhone 3GS.

  • Apple A4 Chip
    The Apple A4 Chip is an advanced, faster processor. I can’t say that I notice much of an improvement in performance of my apps. Maybe if I played more games, I could tell the difference.
  • Wireless N Wi-Fi
    The iPhone 4 supports N wireless in addition to B and G. Wireless N is a faster form of WIFI with greater range. I cannot say that I’ve noticed much of a performance increase in my download speeds and wifi network performance. Complicating and limiting WiFi performance even further is your router and number and types of wireless devices you have in your home. I had to adjust my router’s setting to a slower 65mbs as opposed to its full 150mbs N speed capability in order to get Apple TV, Laptops, iPhones, etc., to all behave properly. The Wireless N is little if any upgrade at all for me from the iPhone 3GS
  • 3-Axis Gyro
    What is this feature? Well, it has something to do with more realistic, detailed, precise movement for games and other apps which use motion. I do not play a lot of arcade or action type games, so I have not noticed the difference or improvement here. It could also have something to do with many games not yet supporting this feature.

iPhone 4 vs Droid

iphone-vs-droid
iPhone vs Droid

If you’re in the market for a Smart Phone, you probably know something about the Droid. My opinion is that anyone who’s had two weeks to get their hands on a Droid and Apple iPhone 4 will learn to love either one. I’m partial to Apple products for their intuitive, easy-to-use interface. The iPhone just feels right in practically every way imaginable. The Droid’s resolution is not as high as the new iPhone 4. Both phones will shoot high definition video and take pretty good photos, though the Droid has an 8MP camera as opposed to the iPhone 4’s 5MP. When my friend showed me his new Droid, I had a few minutes to mess around on the touch screen and navigate the menus and functions. It didn’t have the interface or wow factor that my iPhone 3GS did the first time I used it. Anti iPhone people love the Droid because it’s not an Apple product and they’ll tell you how much better and more powerful it is. For what it’s worth, PCWorld did a very full features review on both phones, and gave the edge to the iPhone 4. It is also worth noting that the iPhone has nearly 250,000 apps compared to just 75,000 for the Droid. On average, iPhone Applications cost less money because the phone has been around for developers to program so much longer. The iPhone 4 has been around much longer than the Droid and it looks the part as it is much more refined, in my humble opinion. For Apple users, the iPhone 4 vs iPhone 3GS is the most important question.