Do you need a 200 Hz HDMI cable for your new TV?

If you've recently bought a new TV with a higher than normal refresh rate (many now feature refresh rates of 240 Hz and higher) you'll no doubt have had a sales representative trying to get you to buy the latest 200 Hz HDMI cable to go along with it, as he spouted indecipherable technical jargon in a bid to intimidate you into making the purchase.

This is something that many people will be familiar with, and it can be seen up and down the United Kingdom, day after day in electronics stores in every major city, but do we actually need a 200 Hz HDMI cable or whatever other nonsense they're trying to sell us? We have decided to answer this question for you.

The most common line you'll encounter is that "the TV has a refresh rate of 240 Hz so you'll need a cable that can support that", or something very close to that. Now, while the TV does actually have that refresh rate, the fact is that the HDMI cable you use will be carrying a signal into the TV, not out of it. The fact that the TV refreshes 200 times a second has absolutely no effect on the signal being sent by your BluRay player, video game console or set top box - that's the key argument to be made here.

The fact is that once you buy a high speed HDMI cable (any brand or model will do, they all do the same job) you're good to go. You don't need to spend obscene amounts of money on the cable, since HDMI is a binary standard meaning that it either works or it doesn't. There's no such thing as better picture or better sound when it comes to HDMI cables. The difference in picture and sound quality is entirely determined by your TV, the cable that carries the signal from your devices to the TV will have absolutely no influence on this.

So next time you have a pushy salesman trying to bump up his commission by trying to convince you to buy a the latest gold plated, diamond encrusted, platinum encased thingamajig HDMI cable, tell him you don't appreciate being taken for a fool.

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