Why You Shouldn’t Pay for Expensive Highspeed HDMI Cables

There are many different types and brands of highspeed HDMI cables out there on the market that sometimes vary widely in price. But what if we told you that they’re all more or less the same?

The industry association standards behind HDMI have made it pretty clear what current HDMI highspeed cables can and can’t do, and that’s about all there is to it. Don’t be fooled into thinking that more expensive cables are any better than their more affordable rivals. When it comes down to it, this technology is relatively standardized across the board. While there are a few exceptions (which we’ll discuss below), here’s why you shouldn’t pay more than you have to for highspeed HDMI cables that work.

  • Rule #1: HDMI does not affect fidelity.
    In this case, a cable is a cable. Your HDMI cable will only transmit whatever your source or screen is capable of. This might mean the video picture difference between 1080P and 4K, or the audio quality of a DVD versus a Blu-Ray Disc. A pricier cable can’t and won’t improve video or audio signal.
  • Rule #2: Length and wire gauge does matter.
    Most home entertainment systems won’t be affected by the length of an HDMI cable in terms of picture or sound quality. There are several exceptions, though. Standard wire thickness for HDMI cables 15ft and under is 28AWG. For lengths above that, a thicker 24AWG is required which will cost more. When you get to 75ft or 100ft, a HDMI cable with a built-in booster chip is a good idea.
  • Rule #3: It works until it doesn’t.
    Unlike analog signals that might fuzz or fade with time, the digital signal of HDMI is a mostly all-or-nothing transmission. You’ll know it’s time for a new cable if data starts dropping.

Most of the time, any HDMI cable that meets industry standards will work just fine, no matter where or how you use it. Of course, some exceptions still apply if you want to run cable over long distances, install it in-wall, or frequently unplug or rearrange your devices. A solid gold plug and a braided jacket never hurt anyone, but for most HDMI customers, they’re simply not necessary. When it comes to delivery, highspeed HDMI cables are one standard you can always count on.

The Buyer’s Guide to Fiber Optic Cables

Fiber optic technology is one of the most exciting and most quickly-evolving technological fields today. While fiber optic cables have long been used for network infrastructure, they’re only just now becoming more available for home and business use. Here’s what you need to know about these cables as fiber to the home (FTTH) and fiber to the premises cables (FTTP) become more widespread.

What Does Fiber Optics Mean, Anyway?
Optical fibers transfer data using light as a medium, meaning your data literally travels at the speed of light! This is a major departure from other devices like Cat5e network cables or coaxial cables, which rely on electricity. In many ways, this makes fiber optics a safer technology as well as a faster one, since electrical fires, failures, and malfunctions resulted in about 53,600 home fires in 2008 alone. These caused 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and $1.4 billion in damage. Frayed or damaged electrical cables are often a fire hazard.

Who Needs Fiber Optics?
Cat5e cables or Cat6 cables are generally sufficient for most home consumers when it comes to data transfer speeds. But people or businesses that require an especially large amount of bandwidth have common troubles with interference. They may also need to run cables over very long distances, which is why they may look to zipcord fiber optic cables instead.

What Kind of Cables Do I Need?
There are actually many different cable types for fiber optics. For the typical consumer, the most useful is zipcord fiber optic cable, which consists of two simplex cables webbed together. They can be used in tandem to keep the cables running together or can be pulled apart by hand for more bulk fiber optic cable to use wherever you need.

What Speeds Can I Get With Fiber Optics?
Compared to Cat 5e cables, which generally get a maximum 1Gbps speed, fiber optic cables can get up to 40Gbps, with less noise, interference, or signal loss. In other words, data is traveling at about 200,000 kilometers per second and getting better all the time with improved cabling technologies.

If you want to feel like you’re already living in the future, invest in some bulk fiber optic cables for all of your business network connections. The connections from fiber optic cables will have you feeling like you’re traveling at the speed of light.

More Ways to Use Up Your Cat 5 Cable Bulk, Besides Internet

Buying Cat 5e cable bulk makes good logical sense. It’s affordable, versatile, and when made of top-grade materials, can have a usable life expectancy of at least five to 10 years. Most people today use Cat5e cables for a fast, reliable, and secure Internet connection, but once you’re done wiring the network Ethernet cables, what are supposed to do with the rest of that Cat 5e cable bulk?

In fact, with a little bit of know-how, you can cut and wire Cat5e cables for a variety of uses around the house. Here are five more ways to use up your bulk cables for quality connections at an affordable price.

  1. Telephone Lines
    You may have all the cell phone accessories you want, but there’s still nothing better than a secure landline. You can use Cat5e cables to wire your telephones, same as your Ethernet.
  2. Computer-to-Computer
    You can also use any length Cat5e cable to transfer large amounts of data directly from one computer to another. However, you may need to wire the pin-outs to create a crossover cable connection so that the information can transfer more easily (check out a how-to here).
  3. Speaker Signals
    Although for a truly high-quality performance you’ll want to get specially designed audio cables, Cat 5 cable bulk still works great in a pinch for running sound from source to speaker. Simply terminate the cables with a standard RCA jack for a secure connection that’ll be safe from interference.
  4. Video Connections
    Analog video signals, such as S-video or composite video, work great through Cat5e cables and can run for impressively long distances without sacrificing quality. Believe it or not, you can also send HDMI and VGA signals over a Cat5e — but you’ll need to purchase an additional extender.
  5. USB Transfers
    Again, you’ll need an extension to wire a Cat5e with a USB terminal. But this hack is definitely worth it for running USB cables over long distances to external devices like scanners and printers.

Don’t let your extra Cat 5e cable bulk go to waste! There are plenty of ways you can use Ethernet cable besides Internet to provide quality connections all around your home, which makes buying in bulk an even smarter way to DIY and save.

6 Surprising Cell Phone Facts

These days, we’ve become utterly dependent upon our technology. We often feel like we need constant access to our devices — and the information they provide through Cat6 ethernet cables, USB cables, and lightning cables to power our internet, tablets, and cell phones. We may not even be fully cognizant of our dependency and how it can affect our lives. But these six facts about cell phones may surprise you:

  1. Our phones are mega-powerful
    You might not realize it, but your smartphone is just like a small computer. In fact, it has more computing power than the computer that was used to orchestrate the Apollo 11 moon landing! It’s really impressive that you can now carry around a computer in your pocket or purse. By using power lightning cables, you can charge your phone in a small amount of time and have access to that powerful computer whenever you need it.
  2. Our phones are also really dirty
    If you’re a heavy cell phone user who is constantly experiencing skin or health problems, you should clean your phone regularly. The truth is that every square inch of your cell phone contains about 25,000 germs. That’s dirtier than a pet’s food dish, the sole of a shoe, or the average toilet seat! Although many germs won’t harm you, there have been cases of serious diseases being spread via cell phone usage (especially when people bring their phones into the bathroom). Get some antiseptic alcohol wipes and clean your phone screen regularly.
  3. Texting might be on the decline
    Nearly nine trillion text messages were sent in 2013. But numbers show that texting might actually be on the decline. Apps like WhatsApp, Kik, and Snapchat have replaced some of the necessity for texting. But texting is still going strong for many people and has revolutionized the way we communicate.
  4. The fear of not having your phone is real
    Did you know that there’s actually a name for the fear of not having your phone or being able to get a cell phone signal? It’s called Nomophobia. In a 2010 study conducted in the UK, the fear of being denied access to their smartphone, cell phone accessories, or network coverage was found to be present in 58% of men and 47% of women who participated. It just goes to show how emotionally connected we are to our gadgets! If you want to reduce your risk of anxiety, make sure you carry an external battery or extra lightning cables when you leave the house.
  5. We check our phones unnecessarily
    A lot of people experience phantom rings and vibrations, and most people will check their phones out of habit or due to boredom. The average person unlocks their phone around 110 times per day. That number is even higher for those who are highly addicted to their cell phones. Essentially, they’ve become an extension of our bodies and it can be very difficult for many of us to disconnect.
  6. Cell phones can disrupt sleep and relationships
    Many of us spend time browsing our favorite sites or using our favorite apps before we retire for the evening. But 63% of people who use their phones directly before bed report that they have difficulties sleeping. Experts recommend that you limit your cell phone use before bedtime. Cell phones can also put a strain on your relationships, especially if you can’t seem to tear yourself away in order to communicate with the person you’re with. Although our cell phones are useful in numerous ways, it’s best to put them away and out of sight when you’re trying to spend time with friends, family, or your partner — or when you’re trying to wind down for sleep.

Let’s face it: our cell phones are a vital part of our lives. But they won’t be functional for long without the proper cell phone accessories or lightning cables to charge them! If you want to find out more about the types of cables we offer and how they can serve your needs, get in touch with us today.

Newer, Faster Ethernet Standards Are Here

Your network Ethernet cables are about to get a whole lot faster — and you won’t even have to rewire a thing.

The NBASE-T Alliance has recently approved the new IEEE P802.3bz standard, which will allow existing Cat5e cables and Cat6 cables to achieve faster transfer speeds up to 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps, respectively. This is a huge leap over the standard maximum 1Gbps speeds we’ve had to put up with for quite some time now.

Of course, there are non-standard ways to reach up to 10Gbps, but these methods only work with Cat6a cables, which often involve an extensive (and expensive) overhaul of any existing systems that rely on older cables. The current 10 Gig Ethernet hacks are also known to suck up a formidable amount of power usage.

The new standard, however, only requires upgrading the hardware to support 2.5GBASE-T and/or 5GBASE-T, which is already available on newer products and is expected to become even more widely implemented on network devices over the next three years. In the simplest terms possible, this means your existing infrastructure of Cat5e network cables or Cat6 cables can be used to deliver the faster speeds.

Right now, the improvements are for the most part only aimed at industry applications. This is good news in the health care sector, for instance, where nurses currently spend 7% of their time documenting vital signs. Faster speed signals could help save time — and lives.

The bad news, of course, is that home consumers will still have to wait a little longer to see the improved standards have any real effect at home. But if the speed of the approval process so far is any indication, the wait won’t last for too much longer.

“From proposal to approval, the standards process took less than two years — a remarkably fast progression,” said NBASE-T Alliance chairman Peter Jones. “Seeing the standard approved so quickly has been an enormously satisfying experience, and shows what can be achieved when we work together to develop a compelling solution that offers clear value to the industry.”

Get your Ethernet system ready for the upgrades: Make sure all of your current cables are up to par, or order some bulk Cat6 cables to take your connections to new speeds.

5 Amazing USB Hacks You’ll Want to Try Right Now

Despite the recent standard upgrades to USB 3 cables, many of us still have several — OK, several dozen — USB 2.0 cables lying around the house. We use them for charging our phones, connecting to our printers, storing external information on thumbdrives, and so much more.

But you don’t have to ditch your old cables for the newer models just yet. There are plenty of cool ways to get more use out of your USB 2.0 cables. Here are our top five hacks for USB cables you need to try out today.

  1. More Power
    Do you keep every electronic device connected to the cable it came with? Big mistake. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, for example, both come with 5-watt USB chargers by default, but you can power up the device in half the time by using a 12-watt iPad charger instead.
  2. Computer Key
    Use a USB flash drive as a physical “key” for access to your laptop or computer. Download a free program like Predator to make sure no one can access your files without inserting the magical USB drive first.
  3. Longer Lengths
    Want to run your cables a little longer? You can string together a few USB 2.0 extension cables for lengths up to 5 meters (approximately 16 feet, 5 inches). This is especially helpful for running sound or screen systems without an outlet nearby. For even longer lengths, try an active (repeater) USB 2.0 extension cable specifically designed for this purpose.
  4. Boost WiFi Signals
    Use your USB WiFi dongle to connect to a homemade “satellite dish” fashioned from a metal colander or tin can. It’ll help you pick up better signal from your own router (or the open network from the cafe across the street).
  5. Make a Flashlight
    Power your very own little light with a simple USB port and this converted USB 2.0 device cable. Follow instructions here.

Just because newer 3.0 USB cables and C-type connectors are here doesn’t mean that the old 2.0 doesn’t still hold a firm place in our hearts. Give the old cables in your drawers a new lease on life with a few creative hacks that will be sure to please your geekiest sensibilities.

Why Use an Ethernet Cable Instead of WiFi? Here Are 4 Surprising Reasons

These days, wireless internet seems to be all the rage. While it can come in handy when visiting friends or accessing important information when we’re out and on our phones, there are some huge benefits to using a Cat6 Ethernet cable instead of a WiFi router in our homes.

You might think that using internet via WiFi on your phone will alleviate the need for Cat6 Ethernet cables, but the truth is that our smartphones have a lifespan of only about two years, which means you might be out of luck for internet access in the not-so-distant future. Conversely, opting to access the web on your device through a network Ethernet cable means that you’ll have stable and quick access throughout your home, whenever you need it. Here are four surprising reasons why you might want to consider choosing Cat6 cables for your internet needs:

  1. Faster
    One of the most important feature of Cat6 Ethernet cables, or even Cat5e Ethernet cables, is that they are much faster than wireless internet. When a bunch of devices in one location are all sharing the same wireless router, the bandwidth — and therefore, speed — for everything slows way down. It’s essentially an Internet traffic jam. The strength of a wireless signal depends on how close your device is to your router, but you can use anything from a 75 foot Ethernet cable to a 328 foot Ethernet cable to ensure you’re always connected and experiencing the same quality of speed throughout your home.
  2. More secure
    With WiFi, your connection is potentially pretty vulnerable. Even if your signal is password protected, those with enough technological know-how could potentially access your system. When you use Ethernet cables, you’re assured that no one can get into your network without direct access to the cable in your home. This means that no one will be able to snoop without your say-so — or use the connection you’re paying for without your permission.
  3. Conserves energy
    Whether you’re concerned about energy for the sake of the environment or for the sake of your pocketbook, using an ethernet cable will account for less power used and therefore less cost for you. Knowing that you’re practicing energy efficiency in your home can give you peace of mind.
  4. More reliable
    Wireless internet is prone to interference and interruptions. It can pick up on signals from appliances like microwaves and can experience interruptions from other devices that utilize the same signal. Because Ethernet allows you to have one designated signal for one device, this type of internet connection rarely experiences errors and will provide you with the most reliable connection.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how our network Ethernet cables can help improve your connection and your life, please contact us today!

Home Theater Setup

Cables You May Need For Your Home Theater Set-Up

Everyone dreams of making their home theater system just as good — or better — than any commercial venue. To achieve true audio and video perfection, though, you’ll need the help of some high-quality cables. Here are a few of the most important cables required to set up the best home theater system possible.


  • Optical Cables
    Optical audio cables are good for 5.1 surround sound signals. They use light to carry a digital audio stream from DVD and Blu-ray players. However, be warned: they may not be able to support the absolute highest sound quality available on all Blu-ray player makes and models.
  • Digital Coax Cables
    Alternatively, you can use digital coax cables for 5.1 surround sound. They, too, connect to DVD and Blu-ray players, but use an RCA cable to pass sound signals.
  • Stereo Audio
    If 5.1 isn’t a feasible option for your home theater system, you can still get better-than-average sound out of regular stereo audio with two RCA cables to give you two channels of audio. It won’t support 5.1 surround sound or digital audio, but it’s better than television speakers.


  • Standard Cables
    There are three kinds of standard speed HDMI cables: the regular, straightforward HDMI Standard, the HDMI Standard with Ethernet, and the HDMI Standard Automotive. Any standard speed cables will give you speeds up to 1080i.
  • High Speed Cables
    If you’re looking for a little more juice, high speed cables can handle speeds well beyond 1080p. There are two different kinds of HDMI High Speed cables — again, with or without Ethernet.

Speaker Wires

For home theater systems, you’re likely going to need speaker cables that can run long, withstand high power applications, and pair with 4 or 6 ohm low-impedance speakers. In that case, it’s recommended to use a thick 12- or 14-gauge wire.

With each of these components in place, you’ll have your home theater system up and running in no time — guaranteed to give any commercial venue a run for its money.