Our lifetime no risk guarantee means if the cable does not work, or ever stops working simply let us know and we will pay for your return postage, refund your money, and send you out a free replacement to say sorry.
By lifetime we mean as long as DigitalCables exists, and the cable you bought is still commonly available.
Of course we do reserve the right to deny you a refund, or replacement cable, or both if we are convinced you are just trying to scam us. We have never denied a refund, and hopefully we never have to. But the internet is a big place full of people, and some people are mean so it’s kind of necessary.
Delivery is free to anywhere in NZ, anytime, for any size order. Even for a $5.95 HDMI Adapter – crazy I know.
Your order will be shipped via airmail, and will take 8 – 18 days to arrive. If it has passed this time and your order has still not arrived, please contact us so we can check on the status of your package.
All prices are listed in New Zealand Dollars (NZD).
Simply because more options means more time spent filling orders and therefore higher prices. We feel our line of cables and adaptors reflects the most common requirements of consumers – that are also usually priced unreasonably high in stores. If you feel like we should be stocking something else please let us know and if there is enough demand we will consider it.
Because digital cables like HDMI and TOSLINK should be cheap! They are very inexpensive to manufacture, and unless you want to pay extra for your cable to be pretty, or have a special bendy plug to fit in a tight space or something, then the cheapest cable that gets the job done is as good as the most expensive. The prices you have seen before are just unreasonably expensive!
If you’r not sure at least 1.8m (6ft) is usually a good bet, and is the ‘standard’ length that most cables come in. That usually covers the distance between a TV and anything you want to connect it to such as a DVD player in a normal sized TV cabinet with enough spare that it is easy to plug and unplug.
If your devices are really close to each other, by all means get a shorter cable. Just make sure there is enough length, as bending the cables into sharp turns can damage them, and it can make it really hard to get to the back of your DVD player if it is too short for you to pull it all the way out.
For plugging in your laptop or anything else outside your TV cabinet we recommend you get at least a 3m (10ft) cable so you can rest it comfortably on the ground or a table.
The simple answer is – not easily. There are a couple of problems, first you are generally converting from an electrical signal to a light signal (in the TOSLINK cable) or vice versa. This means you need a box, which needs to read in the signal and then generate a new one. This means the box needs a computer chip in it, and a power supply – which makes it larger, more expensive, and more prone to failure.
Secondly, in S/PDIF cables audio signals are either uncompressed (stereo PCM) or compressed (surround sound Dolby or DTS). PCM will probably be fine, but for Dolby and DTS the manufacturer of the box has to pay licensing fees to use the technology. This either means the box only supports PCM, which means the box will not output anything when you are watching certain things if your DVD player or whatever is not set up correctly. Or the price goes up, and you then have an evil problem where you have to trust that the manufacturer of the box has done a good job decompressing and recompressing the audio so it does not sound terrible.
This is why you’re usually much better off avoiding this conversion. You have a few options depending on your issue. You can use TOSLINK splitters / joiners to connect one device to many and turn a switch to choose between them. You can use RCA or 3.5mm headphone jacks and all manner of adapters instead as inputs or outputs – the quality of these is generally fine (probably better than screwing around with a conversion box anyway). Another bonus is you may have RCA outputs that support surround sound which avoids the whole PCM / Dolby / DTS thing entirely. If you are having an issue with humming that you are trying to avoid by using TOSLINK you may have a ground loop which is a pain in the ass but can usually be fixed by changing around which power plugs you are using or using a ground loop isolator (likely available from your friendly neighbourhood electronics store). Generally this may require a little bit of creativity in how things are connected, but there is usually a solution to be found.
All this explains why we don’t stock anything that does this kind of conversion, we just can’t guarantee that it will be high enough quality.
It’s like the difference between watching normal TV and satellite TV on a rainy night, with normal TV if you have good reception the picture is great but as it gets worse its gets fuzzier and fuzzier until you can’t see anything at all. If you had the satellite TV next to it you would see the picture was still perfect even though the normal TV was getting fuzzier, until suddenly at some point the entire picture goes all blocky and the TV gives up and says ‘rain fade’. If the picture from the satellite is showing up on the TV, better reception won’t make it better. It’s the same with cables, if the picture is showing up on the screen with a digital cable it won’t get better with a better cable.
The difference is the way the sound or picture is sent down the wire to your TV or HiFi. With all cables all the information sent down it is a voltage, for example let’s say 0 to 5 volts. In an analog cable let’s assume 0 volts means one little spot on your screen is black, 5 volts means white and 2.5 volts is grey. To make up the picture we just need to tell the TV how bright to make a whole lot of little spots. Fields emitted by electrical appliances, radio towers, the earth, and the sun are all picked up by the cable and this can randomly jiggle the voltage up and down a bit. The better the cable, the less jiggling takes place.
With an analog cable you can see that this jiggling will make the spots get brighter or darker, and make the picture look worse. With a digital cable the brightness is sent down as a whole lot of zeroes and ones which the TV converts to brightness. In this case 0 volts will be a zero, and 5 volts will be a one, and if the voltage gets jiggled up or down the TV will just round the voltage and assume the closest is correct. So you can see that it will take much more interference for the TV to get any of the brightness values wrong and mess up the picture. Also, once the interference crosses that level almost all of the zeros and ones will be mixed up – hence why it comes on suddenly. And even after this – most systems for transmitting data also use some sort of error correction, which means fixes any minor errors if somehow they do occur.
Of course this is a simplification, and it is possible to make up situations where you may need a better shielded cable like using a 20m cable in an aluminium smelter or something. The main point is in your LOUNGE, with cables of the lengths we sell here and most people use, buy the cheapest cable that works – and our cables work.
Well they are two quite different things, but they are often used interchangeably as they are so often used together. TOSLINK stands for TOShiba LINK, and is a design for a nice easy to use, robust optical cable for us non audio-engineers to use. Optical cable is great because since it uses light rather than electricity you don’t get any interference from the electrical and magnetic fields that saturate our homes messing up the signal. It can be used to carry all sorts of data, but almost always audio, and usually digital audio using the S/PDIF interconnect.
S/PDIF is just a standardized way to send digital audio between devices, usually from your TV or Blu-ray player to your hi-fi system. It can handle two channels of PCM (uncompressed digital audio) or lots of channels of compressed audio like Dolby Digital, DTS, or others. S/PDIF cables are usually TOSLINK optical cables, but they can also be coaxial (just your standard RCA cable like probably plugs into your DVD player).
Well it stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface. Basically the good thing about it is that it is one cable that can carry both digital audio and digital video, rather than having to have two cables to connect your Blu-ray player to your TV.
This also means it can do lots of other cool stuff you will probably never notice like making sure the sound and video is synchronised so the actors on screen don’t look like ventriloquists, letting your devices talk to each other so you only need one remote, and lots more.
Basically just like slow and fast internet, its how much data can go down the cable. A ‘standard’ speed HDMI cable is guaranteed to work up to 2.25Gbps, or 720p/1080i resolution. A ‘high speed’ cable can carry much more at least 10.2Gbps, and can handle 1080p and higher resolutions, 3D video (which means two images, and twice the data!), increased colour depths, and higher refresh rates. Generally most cables sold these days are ‘high speed’.
HDMI cables with Ethernet are pretty new, and means that rather than plugging all your separate devices into an internet cable. You can just plug in one, and it will share it with all the devices connected to it via HDMI cables. However right now very few devices support them, and now wireless internet is so common it’s likely most new devices will just use wireless rather than Ethernet over HDMI. High speed HDMI cables with Ethernet are sometimes referred to as ‘version 1.4′, see here for more information on HDMI versions.
No definitely not! Some unscrupulous manufacturers will release branded or ‘official’ versions of their cables to sell with their devices. Of course this is fine, they will still work, the problem is that it kind of implies that you need to get the ‘official’ one to get the best results.
The great thing about the HDMI and TOSLINK standards are that all cables will work fine with all devices. The cable doesn’t care, it will happily carry the high definition, low definition, 3D, 2D, Dolby, DTS, PCM… signal from your PS3, iPad, TiVo, new laptop computer, Blu-ray player… to your LCD TV, Plasma TV, home theatre system, projector, or anything else your heart desires. It also does not care about brand – whether your device is Sony, Apple, Toshiba, Microsoft, Dell or anything else – when they included an HDMI or TOSLINK port on their device they signed up to the standard which says that port must work with any and all cables.
Strictly speaking we aren’t supposed to mention it, the HDMI governing body is trying to get people to stop using HDMI version numbers in advertising because they are confusing and irrelevant. The version number is really more important for the devices than the cable, as the cable is more of a dumb channel that doesn’t care about the version. If you see this questions it covers all the differences you have to worry about.
Since you really want us to mention it though, most stores use ‘version 1.4′ to mean High Speed HDMI with Ethernet and ‘version 1.3′ to mean just High Speed HDMI. Since all our HDMI cables support Ethernet, our cables would therefore be ‘version 1.4′.
When buying just be sure it’s a high speed cable, to cover all modern devices, and if at some point in the future you buy two devices which need the Ethernet channel, then why not buy a new cheap cable as all cables will have the Ethernet channel by then!
Basically, copper very quickly oxidises when in contact with air which ruins the electrical connection, so it is usually plated with nickel to protect it. Nickel also corrodes, just very slowly and when it does it doesn’t mess up the electrical connection as badly. Gold doesn’t corrode at all, which is great, but it’s expensive. The reason it’s not worth it is that when it’s plugged in, the connectors are protected and probably won’t corrode at all. Also, if the connector is not plugged in, and does corrode – the coating of corrosion is usually so thin that just the act of plugging them in scratches it off and the connection is fine anyway.
For optical cables like TOSLINK, gold plating is of course totally useless, as they send signals with light not electricity.
It’s a bit of a dirty little secret in the consumer electronics market because stores make a significant amount of their profit, sometimes MOST of their profit from the cables – not the TV. Consumers spend a lot of time shopping around to get the lowest price for their new TV, and this competition lowers prices and shrinks their profit margin.
But now, after you have spent $4000 on a new TV, $80 extra for a cable or two seems like nothing when the salesperson suggests it. Even though you probably bought the TV from this store because it was $50 cheaper than another store! And it’s not even like you’re getting anything for your money, those gold plated connectors aren’t doing anything, you don’t need a special branded cable, and since they are digital cables – they are all the same!
Think of what you could buy with the money you save. The TV probably has a cable with, or you have one plugged into something at home, why not use that to test out your shiny new toy when you get home. Order some of our cables instead, hook everything up two days later, and treat yourself to a dinner with the savings. Or better yet, order a few cables before you go pick up your TV so you won’t be tempted.
See our question on why digital cables, what’s the difference. Speaker cables are a totally different case, they carry analogue signals with big currents that directly move the speaker cones. The digital cables we sell only carry the signals which are then later turned into the sound or picture.
A poor quality speaker cable will have a high resistance and inductance which will change and mess up the sound signal that goes down it, and if improperly shielded will pick up background interference (like that annoying beeping noise when you get a text). So definitely get a decent pair with nice thick wire core, don’t spend too much though as there are a lot of overpriced cables out there, especially when you consider that a coat hanger works just as well.
This argument is sometimes used by certain manufacturers to justify the increase in price, and it does SOUND sensible, maybe even prudent. However, if you’r paying more than the price of the cheapest cable extra for this future proofing it just is not worth it.
These cables are designed to meet standards that ensure all cables that meet the current standard work with all current equipment. So paying much extra for future proofing makes little sense because if new equipment has higher requirements, the standards will be re-written, manufactures will bring out cheap cables that work with the new equipment, and you can save money by buying a new cable if and when you need to. Also consider that the new equipment might need totally different cables, or something else entirely and your money will be wasted.
They were either misinformed, fooling themselves, or lying. Your picture or sound will in almost all cases be exactly the same (and we mean EXACTLY) with the cheap cable and the expensive cable unless one of them is broken. If they claim that they can tell the difference, may we suggest conducting a small double blind scientific trial just to make sure wishful thinking is not having any effect.