Hook It Up

This post has been a long time coming!  Every time I walk into a Future Shop, Best Buy or The Source – I take a little stroll down the cable aisle.  I really should stay away because that little stroll stresses me out – I fly through the emotions of amusement, shock and then anger.  What does this to me is the price of the A/V cables at these various stores.

What a rip off!  A $150 for a 1 meter HDMI cable has to be a misprint.  A quick chat with one of the sales guy confirms that the price is right.  When I express my shock at the price I get the standard sales pitch of “The quality is amazing!” and “You won’t get the same picture from a cheaper cable.”  One sales guy even went so far to suggest that the cable did up converting.  Pretty impressive for a piece of wire – idiot!

What a bunch of crap! Don’t get suckered in.  These expensive cables are all just marketing hype – so do yourself a favour stay away and save your money.  Actually the only cable I have ever had fail on me was a very expensive Monster audio cable.

My background is computer engineering, so I am by no means an expert on signal integrity and such exciting topics.  However, I do work with a whole bunch of these types who share this view.  Debating the theory behind all this would take me way off topic and is better left to A/V sites.

So what should you do when you get that new piece of A/V equipment?  First tell the sales guy to take a hike when he walks you over to the cable aisle, then go home and check out these sites:

  • Mono Price – I have bought a bunch of stuff from this shop.  Prices are almost too low – equivalent HDMI cable to above is less then $5!  They are base in the US. Shipping is usually over a week using USPS so no crazy brokerage fees.  Great customer service.
  • Blue Jeans Cable – I have never purchased from them but I am thinking of giving them my next order.  The reason why is they are sticking it to Monster Cable.  Read more here.

If you really want a laugh then check out this cable from Denon – $500 for a 1.5 meter ethernet cable.  If you bought one of these then get in touch with me because I have a few high quality things to sell you.

Origins – Current Events Through A Historic Perspective

One of my beefs with our current world of instant news is that many of these stories started a long time ago and the current event is only a small chapter in this story. So it is nice to find a site dedicated to looking at these events with a historical perspective.

Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective was originally done in magazine form years ago – it went away much to the lament of its readers – it is now back as a monthly online site.  The site is part of the History Department of The Ohio State University.  It is worth checking out.

Ottawa Restaurants

If you are in Ottawa or are coming for a visit there is a good collection of restaurants to choose from.  Some of my favourites are Beckta – very fine dinning and Sitar – yummy Indian food.

I have been accused of being too positive in my reviews of things so if you want expert advice then check out Anne DesBrisay’s Ottawa restaurant review site capitaldining.ca.  Anne – besides being my cousin – has been the Ottawa Citizen restaurant critic for over 10 years.  Her site offers a collection of her most recent reviews and a few interesting news items about the Ottawa food scene.