Monster Announces Cheaper "Speed-Rated" HDMI Cables

Monster Cable's Noel Lee is about to play his next card: His move is to stratify his assorted cable offerings into five distinct categories, starting in the $30 range. Each category will be designated by a "speed rating," and will deliver "demonstrable difference in high-def image quality." But as many of you know, Gizmodo research has found that many cables determined too poor to carry 1080p signal in tests nevertheless do fine in real-world scenarios.

The five categories are bewilderingly named as follows:
Standard Speed - MC 500HD and U3 V500 HD
High Speed - MC 700HD and U3 V600 HD
Advanced High Speed - M650 HD, MC 800HD and U3 V850 HD
Ultra High Speed - M850 HD, MC 1000HD and U3 V1000 HD
Ultimate High Speed - M1000 HD

My guess is that these cables will all be of decent to high quality across the board, and more importantly, I will bet that even the "Standard Speed" cables will deliver 1080p video over short distances (3 to 6 feet) and perhaps over longer ones (35 to 50 feet) without trouble. Why? Because Gizmodo has already discovered cheap cables that can do this with no problem, so Monster's would have to be worse than the generics in order to prove the value of the high-end ones. This is my guess, let's call it my "educated guess," and I will be happy to test the theory out when Monster feels like sending over some test samples.

In the meantime, feel free to peruse the press release:

MONSTER INTRODUCES THE WORLD'S ONLY SPEED-RATED HDMI™ CABLES

— Monster® "Advanced HDMI" Cables Allow Consumers to Experience the Ultimate Quality and Performance of Their High-Definition Home Entertainment Components —

— New Speed-Rated Cables Verified by Simplay Labs Offer Demonstrable Difference in High-Def Image Quality

Brisbane, CA, August 28, 2007 — Monster, the world's leading manufacturer of high-end cables, accessories and power conditioning products, is proud to announce the introduction of the world's first and only speed-rated HDMI™ cables. The introduction of the new Monster® Speed Rated HDMI Cables is being accompanied by a consumer "Need for Speed" education campaign the company is launching in order to help clear up consumer confusion about the quality differences and benefits of speed-rated HDMI cables.

According to Noel Lee, Head Monster, much of the consumer confusion about HDMI cables stems from the advent of HDMI 1.3 Category 2 standards with even higher speed capabilities than conventional HDMI. Most important to understand, he notes, is that speed is dramatically affected by cable length. He says: "Consumers and installers alike have many questions about HDMI cables such as 'What speed of cable is necessary for the best of today's video displays and sources?,' 'Should I buy the cheapest cables or the highest performance cables?' 'What is the performance of long-length HDMI cables?' People also wonder whether their HDMI cable will have adequate bandwidth for their application, as well as what will be the requirements for higher bandwidth intensive components in the future."

Great Performance Even With Long-Length Cables
Lee notes that as HDTV displays get larger, people are positioning their flat-screens further and further away from source devices, and screen resolution and color depth can be degraded by using long lengths of low-quality HDMI cables. Monster is committed to staying at the leading edge of technology advances in cables and to creating products that exceed current specifications, providing great performance even at long lengths. This commitment reflects the company's 28-year history of building quality cables and its portfolio of over 100 cable and connector patents. Additionally, Monster's new speed rating and performance system makes it easy for consumers to know their cable will deliver the very best performance when used with today's most advanced home entertainment components as well as those of tomorrow.


Five Different Levels of HDMI Performance
To help answer these questions and bring a new level of quality to HDMI viewing, Monster is launching its new line of Speed Rated HDMI cables with five different levels of HDMI performance, including Standard Speed, High Speed, Advanced High Speed, Ultra High Speed, and Ultimate High Speed

As additions to the M Series® line, Monster's highest performance cable will be designated Ultimate High Speed and will feature advanced new technologies that maintain its incredible performance, even over long lengths. If you want to future-proof your system, there is nothing faster or better available. Model name for these Ultimate High Speed cable is: Monster's M1000 HD

The Ultra High Speed cable is ready to deliver not just everything available today but all the amazing technologies that are right around the corner. Model names for these Ultra High Speed cables are: Monster's M850 HD, MC 1000HD and U3 V1000 HD

Advanced High Speed cables are for those who want better performance from today's technologies, such as advanced color and lossless audio. Model names for these Advanced High Speed cables are: Monster's M650 HD, MC 800HD and U3 V850 HD

High Speed cables deliver today's high definition picture and sound at a price everyone can afford. Model names for the High Speed cables are: MC 700HD and U3 V600 HD

Standard Speed cables offer entry level high definition connection for HDTV buyers on a budget. Model names for the High Speed cables are MC 500HD and U3 V500 HD

All of the cables in the Core, Monster Ultra Home Theater and M Series line will be clearly identified with the Monster Speed Medallion System and Performance Bars on the package. The performance bars will identify cables as to their capability with higher refresh rates, advanced color, and other HDMI features, prominently on the packaging.

The new Monster cables offer a price reduction on the acclaimed performance of the company's HDMI 400 cables, which are being renamed HDMI 700. The price is being reduced from $100 to $80 for the HDMI 700 in 2 meter lengths.

At Retail: Need for Speed Education Campaign
In addition, Monster will be launching an educational Need for Speed campaign to educate retail salespeople and consumers. This program will be offered to every Monster HDMI retailer as part of Monster's M5 attachment selling program.

Speed-Rating Guarantees Optimum Audio and Video Performance
Monster HDMI speed ratings provide consumers the confidence that their HDMI cables will deliver a guaranteed level of bandwidth and high definition performance, verified and certified by the world's leading HDMI testing program, Simplay HD. In fact, Monster Advanced HDMI cables regularly and uniformly exceed the performance parameters established by Simplay HD tests.

Monster's Cable for Life Replacement Offer
Monster's advanced speed-rated HDMI cables are designed to bring out the best of today's high-definition home entertainment devices, as well as those of tomorrow. To back up this promise, Monster's 1000 level cable in all lines will carry Monster's Cable for Life replacement offer, so if the cable is ever outstripped by the technologies of the displays or sources, Monster will replace the cable at no charge.

ABOUT SIMPLAY LABS
Simplay Labs, LLC, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is the leading provider of testing technologies, programs and interoperability design standards for the high-definition consumer electronics industry. The Simplay HD Testing Program is comprised of leading consumer electronics manufacturers and technology providers focused on delivering fully compatible products for consumers. As a result, consumers making home theater component purchases can be confident that Simplay HD verified systems are compatible and ready to receive and play premium digital content, regardless of manufacturer. Simplay Labs is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Silicon Image, Inc.

ABOUT MONSTER
Monster, under its Monster Cable® brand, is the world's leading manufacturer of connectivity solutions for high performance audio, video, car audio, computer, console and computer gaming, professional audio and sound reinforcement. Monster, under its Monster Power® brand, is also the leading manufacturer of high performance AC power line conditioning and protection products for audio/video systems.