Making a choice

Gold stereo cablesYour home entertainment system will only look and sound as good as the cable you are connecting it up with. To maximise the quality of your home entertainment, a good quality audio and video cable is essential and there is a huge choice out there. Recent improvements in technology have introduced digital signals which are providing the best quality signal you can get and home entertainment systems have never sounded or looked so good before. But, naturally, these cables are more expensive.

If you prefer the cheaper option, then analogue still provides a decent quality and upgrading to the best quality cables around will make a substantial difference, but digital signals really are leading the way. Although all cables suffer from lost signal strength, the difference between the best and worst cables is the protection they provide to minimise the effects of outside interference, and this is reflected in price.

The better cables will employ various methods to resist this - oxygen-free copper, shielding and gold-plated connectors which corrode less easily. These features, as well as the length of the cable, decide the price you pay. Standard cables, such as scart leads and HDMI cables, can range from a couple of quid to over a hundred pounds.

Video and Audio cables

Many audio signals and video signals are combined into one lead - such as scart cables. These are commonly used in gaming systems, DVD players and TVs and are one of the most popular and common cables. However, HDMI cables, which carry both audio and video as one digital signal, are widely used in home theatre systems and are