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Tartan HDMI Cables


HDMI is a digital signal, and what that means is that when it works well, it works perfectly; we've written a lot elsewhere on this site (see our HDMI Information Center) about the problems with HDMI, but it remains the case that when a cheap cable will do the job perfectly--which is the case in many HDMI applications--there's no compelling reason to spend more. For that reason, in addition to our top-of-the-line Belden HDMI cables, we also carry our economy cable brand, Tartan Cable. Tartan HDMI cables are made, as are many HDMI cables on the market today, from basic round HDMI cable stocks which are manufactured in China. These generally are supplied to us either by Copartner Technology, (probably the world's largest volume producer of raw HDMI cable) or by LTK (a Chinese subsidiary of Belden).

Wire Gauges, Certifications and Ratings:

We offer Tartan HDMI cables in 24 and 28 AWG sizes. The 24 AWG cables are larger, available in more lengths, available in white or black jacket, more suitable for long runs, somewhat less flexible, and rated CL2 for in-wall installation. The 28 AWG cables are not in-wall rated, but are more flexible and lower in price.

All of these cables are HDMI ATC tested; the certifications for the 24 AWG cable are: Standard speed (Category 1), up to 40 feet; High speed (Category 2), up to 20 feet. The 28 AWG cables are high-speed certified to 10 feet, and standard speed to 15 feet. Our 28 AWG white and black cables are "with Ethernet" types, as are all of our 24 AWG cables of 10 feet or longer. For more detail on what the spec versions mean, see our article: HDMI Spec Versions Explained.

For HDMI-to-DVI versions of the 24 and 28 AWG Tartan cables, see our DVI to HDMI department.

See Below for our "Tartan Cable FAQ"

Tartan Cable 24 AWG HDMI Cables:

(Chinese-made, 24 AWG Tinned Copper, CL2 rated)

NOTE: If black cable is ordered and we are out of stock, we will substitute Series-2 cable if available

Length Price Color Length Price Color
2 foot
20 foot
4 foot
25 foot
5 foot
30 foot
6 foot
35 foot
7 foot
40 foot
9 foot
45 foot
10 foot
50 foot
15 foot

Tartan Cable 28 AWG HDMI Cables:

(Chinese-made, 28 AWG Tinned Copper, our most flexible HDMI)

Length Price Color Length Price Color
1 foot
7 foot
2 foot
8 foot
3 foot
9 foot
4 foot
10 foot
5 foot
12 foot
6 foot
15 foot

Tartan Cable FAQ:

Q. Are these the same as other HDMI cables I see from other internet vendors? How can I tell?

A. Yes, other internet vendors in many cases are selling cable made from the same cable stocks; these may or may not have been final-assembled in the same assembly house. The principal differences are that we offer these cables in more length and color options, and at lower prices.

Q. Why are these cables so low-priced? Should I be worried?

A. Unlike many of the cable vendors on the internet, we deal direct with Chinese manufacturers; we are able to buy these cables at the very lowest prices and have them shipped in ocean-freight container loads to the United States. Many cable vendors are buying their cable assemblies through intermediaries who rebrand and mark up the product, and as a result, their costs are higher; those higher costs, as a rule, do not buy higher cable quality.

Q. How does the tin plating on the conductors affect the signal?

A. Tin plating, as opposed to silver plating, causes a bit more signal attenuation because tin is not as conductive as silver. However, most of the critical losses in HDMI cable have to do with considerations like impedance stability, not resistance, and so unless you're near the marginal point where a cable is about to fail, the choice of plating material isn't critical. If you're looking for a silver-plated version of this cable, see our main HDMI department page, and look for the BJC Series-2 cables, which are made using Copartner's 24 AWG silver-plated stock.

Q. Will these cables support 1080p? Deep Color? 120 Hz?

A. HDMI cable performance is closely related to bitrate, which is determined by the resolution and the color depth; as for the now-common "120 Hz" displays, that's simply the display's internal refresh rate and has nothing to do with the signal running through the HDMI cable. In terms of internal structure, pinout, et cetera, there is no reason these cables will not support 1080p, Deep Color, or other HDMI protocols and features. However, because losses in HDMI cable can reach critical levels in longer runs, it's possible that in a particular application, you will find that a higher-quality cable is required. Generally we do not see cable-quality issues arise in lengths under 30 feet; at 30 feet, they're uncommon; by 50 feet, they're much more common. But in the vast majority of applications, these cables will perform just fine up to 50 feet.

Q. How can I tell whether my HDMI cable quality is a problem?

A. Fortunately, HDMI cable quality issues tend to be very conspicuous. The most common types of trouble are: (1) "sparkles"--little bit-error dropouts that appear as colored "snow" on the picture; (2) flashing or colored horizontal lines, indicating that a whole line of video has dropped out; (3) flashing or "jumping" of the whole picture, indicating that the display is having trouble tracking the sync; or (4) no image at all.

Note, though, that if you get (4), no image, with a brand new HDMI cable, it's ordinarily not the cable's fault. The most common causes we run into are (1) a source or a display requires you to select HDMI on some internal menu, and won't use the HDMI port if you don't, or (2) the HDMI sending or receiving circuitry simply isn't working for some reason. If the cable is long (say, 30 feet or more) and you have found that a shorter cable works just fine, chances are that there is nothing the matter with the cable internally, and replacing it with the same type of cable will not fix the problem; in such cases, we recommend looking to a cable with tighter tolerances than the Chinese products, e.g., our Belden bonded-pair Series-1 HDMI cable.

Q. How tight a bend can these cables take?

A. We recommend taking no tighter than a 3 inch bend radius on the 24 AWG, and a 2 inch radius on the 28 AWG. This is particularly important right at the connector itself, because excessive strain on the connector joints can destroy an HDMI cable.

Q. Are there any particular concerns I should be aware of when installing cables?

A. The most common causes of installation-related trouble are destruction of the cable through (1) excessive pulling force and/or (2) excessively tight bending. If you have to pull cable through a conduit or a wall cavity, it is very important not to tie your pull rope to the connector's overmold strain relief; the rope must be secured to the cable jacket "upstream" of the connector so that pulling force is not being focused on the solder joints that hold the connector on. Similarly, tight bending near the connector can place excessive force on those joints; this can happen not only when you're handling the cable directly, but when you're repositioning gear. For example, if the HDMI port directs the strain relief straight out of the back of your TV, and you install the cable and then shove the TV up against the wall, it's important to be sure that you don't compromise the cable when you do so; leave enough room for the cable to take a bend.

Q. I don't like buying products made in China; why do you have these made in China?

A. At present, all HDMI cable stock in the world is made in China, except for our Belden HDMI cables (for which the cable stock is made in the US, but we have final assembly, i.e., connectorization, done in China). If you're looking at another brand and think it's US-made (or, for that matter, anything other than Chinese-made), take another look, and see our article which describes how you can identify the country of origin of most HDMI cables: Where Does HDMI Cable Come From? If you are, like many people, trying to avoid buying Chinese products, consider our Belden HDMI cables, which are principally, albeit not entirely, US-made. And by the way: that's BelDEN, not BelKIN; Belkin HDMI cables are made in China.

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3216 16th Ave W
Seattle, Washington 98119
206 284 2924