BE AWARE: HR10-250 vs. "Monster" Component Cables

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by berryb, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. berryb

    berryb New Member

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    Jun 22, 2002
    Southern CA

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    Has anyone else had this 'Jack' problem?

    The very first night using my brand-new HR10, which I had connected using “Monster” cables via the Component Cables output to the TV, I noticed lots of Pink in the picture and no yellows. I correctly diagnosed it as a loose Component Cable. Pushing all three plugs tighter into the HR10 jacks solved the color problem. Pinks went away and yellows returned.

    Later came the REAL problem. I had only temporarily connected up the HR10. The next day, I started to rearrange my equipment to make a permanent space for the new box. Anyone using Monster cables knows that they have some very tight-fitting gold-plated connectors. When I unplugged the three plugs, I found that all three of the metal 'ground' shells from the HR10 jacks came off of the back of the HR10, imprisoned in the tight-ends of Monster cable plugs!

    The HR10 metal 'ground' shields are not soldered in, but instead apparently pressed into the unit using two short metal 'tangs.' The tangs have small 'barbs' that hold them in place.

    To say that I PANICKED, would only be mildly correct!

    I tried to pull one of the metal shells loose from a cable plug but I could see they’d be deformed and ruined if I continued! So I carefully wiggled all three 'cable-mounted' shells back into their respective HR10 holes. (And immediately checked the TV to make sure the picture was still OK.
    It was - Whew!) I've got my fingers crossed!
     
  2. Dssturbo1

    Dssturbo1 New Member

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    Feb 22, 2005
    just another good reason NOT to buy or use any monster product. more and more people are learning they are way way overpriced.
     
  3. hjones4841

    hjones4841 New Member

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    Jan 15, 2004
    Same thing happened to me about a year ago - their cut turbine connectors, or whatever they are calling them today, grab phono jacks way too tight.
     
  4. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    Yes, that very problem has been mentioned here a few times.

    Monster Cables are just a poor value overall, though. This is but one of many reasons to avoid anything made by the company.
     
  5. greywolf

    greywolf New Member

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    Apr 9, 2004
    Evanston IL

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    Yep. Using the cables that came with the box would have been the best way to go.
     
  6. rick31621

    rick31621 New Member

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    Jun 20, 2004
    So Calif
    Whats the alternative if you want quality cables?
    How's AR?
     
  7. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    Generally the cheapest cable you can find works well. Seriously -- cables are not rocket science, they're wire. If it's HDMI or DVI, there's almost nothing to worry about -- go cheapest. If it's component or s-video or composite video or audio, you want a decent weight shielded coaxial cable to be used for each signal. Unless you're needing lengths more than 20 or 30 feet, it's just not gonna matter all that much.
     
  8. Jim Abbett

    Jim Abbett New Member

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    Nov 6, 2005
    I'm no expert but the Phillips cables I picked up at WalMart seem pretty good to me. A lot less than Monster cables that's for sure. Seems like good quality for a fair price.
     
  9. rick31621

    rick31621 New Member

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    Jun 20, 2004
    So Calif
    Thanks both.
    Next time I'm behind my entertainment center I'm going to check for Monster. I know I have ARs back there.
     
  10. pkscout

    pkscout Well-Known Member

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    Jan 10, 2003
    Honolulu, HI
    Yea, you could've deleted "HR10-250 vs." and "Component" and had an even more accurate thread title.

    "Beware: Monster Cables"
     
  11. berryb

    berryb New Member

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    Jun 22, 2002
    Southern CA
    Yeah, I could've perhaps, though actually I was mainly attempting to WARN HR10-250 owners about what I considered to be a shoddy design! :p
     
  12. bpratt

    bpratt New Member

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    Nov 20, 2004
    Salt Lake...
    I agree, monster cables that fit that tight are a shoddy design.
     
  13. AustinJerry

    AustinJerry New Member

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    Nov 7, 2001
    Austin, Texas
    I have experienced this problem also. I am in the habit of twisting the Monstor connectors before removing thiem--this seems to break the tight connection to allow for safe removal. However, I have a different perspective. I think the fact that the ground shells came loose from the HR10-250 is an indication that they are not very well constructed.

    Either way, when the shells come loose, it's a bummer!
     
  14. berryb

    berryb New Member

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    Jun 22, 2002
    Southern CA
    You've put your finger right on my problem! Length!

    When the front of my living room 'Home Theater' became over-loaded with stuff, I moved my equipment shelf way over on the right side of the room, opposite the end of the couch. All my wiring is in 6 Wiremold conduits that leave the back of that rack and feed the Front Right, Left and Center speakers and assorted TV wiring. When I bought a halfway decent DVD Recorder, I wanted a decent video output for it.

    The distance, recorder to TV was well over 20 feet and therein lies the tail. For that distance, I just didn't want to consider 'cheap' cables. The 4M-13 ft Monster was too short and the next size was a 8M-26 ft (and it WAS a monster.) I had to add another (large) Wiremold just to handle the three cables.

    That was before I added the HR10. How can I possibly put something less on the HR10? Well, in truth, I can't - I can't salvage those stupid jack shells that stuck in my Monster cables so I was fortunate to even make everything work again, by easing them back in!

    Now it looks like another $149. Monster cable for the DVD recoder. Fortunately the TV has two separate Component Cable inputs.

    And when I read the posts on Component Cable 'Switching' with units selling for $250. and up, I don't feel too bad!
     
  15. Maddod-99

    Maddod-99 New Member

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    Jan 8, 2006
    I was directly in this business for sometime.
    There are 2 basic levels of quality in cabling, not 5 or 6.
    The difference in quality is more durability than performance (will it last over time).
    With any cable run you want to protect against: attenuation & signal degradation, thats it.
    Any cable run under 15' does that.

    The premier cable brands are good for the retailer, not the customer.
    Same goes for power management, "purifiers", etc.
    Ive heard a retailer can make more total margin $ off selling a couple accessories, than w/ the actual hardware.

    why do you think they put it in your cart when you buy the tv?
    who do you think is funding them to do that?
    why is it so cheap when looking on the internet?

    There is a new cable coming out from Belkin that has an inline IC built in that increases picture clarity that I heard is the real deal at CES. That would be an example of a true value add in a cable & worth checking out.
     
  16. bpratt

    bpratt New Member

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    Nov 20, 2004
    Salt Lake...
    I have had very good luck with cables from:
    http://www.pacificcable.com/VideoAndAudio.htm
    Here are some examples of their prices.

    PYTHON COMPONENT - VIDEO CABLES
    254-503IV 3 Ft. Python Component - Video Cable $9.50 Qty:
    254-506IV 6 Ft. Python Component - Video Cable $10.00 Qty:
    254-512IV 12 Ft. Python Component - Video Cable $14.00 Qty:
    254-525IV 25 Ft. Python Component - Video Cable $26.00 Qty:
    254-550IV 50 Ft. Python Component - Video Cable $48.00 Qty:
    254-575IV 75 Ft. Python Component - Video Cable $62.00 Qty:
    254-500IV 100 Ft. Python Component - Video Cable $79.00 Qty:

    PYTHON COMPONENT - VIDEO - AUDIO CABLES
    254-603IV 3 Ft. Python Component - Video - Audio Cable $11.50 Qty:
    254-606IV 6 Ft. Python Component - Video - Audio Cable $12.00 Qty:
    254-612IV 12 Ft. Python Component - Video - Audio Cable $16.00 Qty:
    254-625IV 25 Ft. Python Component - Video - Audio Cable $32.00 Qty:
    254-650IV 50 Ft. Python Component - Video - Audio Cable $56.00 Qty:
    254-675IV 75 Ft. Python Component - Video - Audio Cable $69.00 Qty:
    254-600IV 100 Ft. Python Component - Video - Audio Cable $85.00 Qty:
     
  17. wje

    wje New Member

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    Jan 7, 2005
    New...
    You're falling for the Monster marketing strategy: if it's expensive, it must be better. Within a pretty broad set of parameters, a cable is a cable. If it has the right impedance, it will work . This is particularly true for digital signals (HDMI, coax digital audio, etc)... to a reasonable approximation, the signal gets there or it doesn't.

    It can be more tricky with analog signals, though. Component video is probably the most critical. Not only does the signal have to get there, all three signals need to get there at the same time. S-video has a much less critical version of the same problem.

    HOWEVER, almost any cable that has the right parameters is going to work, especially for 20 feet.
    Most of what varies between expensive (genuinely expensive, not Monster inflated-price expensive) cable and cheap cable is the shielding coverage, shield material (copper vs. aluminum foil vs. steel stranded wire, etc) and uniformity over length.

    The most critical parameter is the cable's impedance, and any cables that have the same type designation (RG/6, for example) will have the same impedance.

    Don't waste your money on Monster!
     
  18. Lee L

    Lee L Got Basenji?

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    Oct 1, 2003
    Morrisville, NC
    Once, Home Theater Magazine, said that "saying the Monster Cable RCA connections were tight was like saying a pit bull has adequate jaw strength."

    I wonder if maybe that is the main thing they rely on, the fact that they will make a good connection every time whereas some cables might be loose unless someone actully checks them.

    I even used a standard composite/audio (yellow red white) combo cable temporarily once for a DVD player and it looked OK to me. I did change it a couple of days later to a real component though, just not a Monster.
     

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