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Price Fixing Or No? You Be The Judge

Mrs. Quip and I recently bought a brand spanking new HDTV. We’ve been very happy with the purchase with the exception of one thing – the ridiculous price of HDMI cables charged at Best Buy and Circuit City. Now I’ve been a technophile for a long time now, and own more than a fair share of antiquated technologies that are gathering dust in the garage (anyone need an 8-track player?). Most of those gadgets required some cable or other and were usually included as a throwaway item.

The cost of HDMI cables, as a result, struck me as really odd.

So I went online to find the reasoning. Here’s the first thing I found

We dug a little deeper, and noticed that Best Buy wasn’t the only electronics purveyor hopping on the HDMI gravy train. Checking online stores, it appears that everyone wants to get in on the act of selling Monster Cable‚Äîor any HDMI Cable‚Äîfor seemingly inflated prices. Of course, these cables are gold plated, right? Help us out here. Is there really $143.62 worth of difference?

Now, Gizmodo is not exactly a site for Luddites. If they’re perplexed by the high cost, there must be something going on, right?

I clicked through the link in the post and found a 6ft cable, gold plated, and certified to perform at HDMI standards for $17.93.

Huh? How can that be, you ask? Surely they must be selling these cables at a huge loss. If the major retailers are hawking them at $130, there must be so much gold in the wire that it has to cost that much, right?

Apparently, no. I ordered two of the cables (which actually lowered my price per piece by $1). I should have them in a couple of days. When I get them hooked up, I’ll post my findings here. Maybe some Cal-Tech engineer could attach up some fancy meter and tell me the difference, but I suspect, as Gizmodo’s readers did, that the real difference between the two is their marketing teams.

Written by Michael Turk