Monster HDMI cable: $79.95

I was recently in Best Buy looking for an HDMI cable to connect my FiOS DVR to my living room HD television. Yikes! Although the Monster cables were impressive looking and beautifully packaged, the price for a 6-foot HDMI A/V Cable was an incredible $79.96! No thanks.

The salesperson’s boiler-plate pitch never mentioned the most important fact about HDMI cables: they transmit the video and audio signals digitally. That means unlike older analog cables, a digital cable either works — or it doesn’t. It’s not a matter of sending the signal “better.”

I turned to my go-to source for cables of all kinds: They carry a 6-foot HDMI cable for $3.28! And… it comes in black, blue, green, orange, purple, red white and yellow colors. Different lengths? Sure thing: 1.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 feet. Want a certified, high speed, silver-plated version? That’ll set you back all of $9.40.

What am I giving up? Fancy (hard-to-open) packaging and instant availability.

But even with shipping costs (starting at $2.92) and waiting a few days for delivery, my cable decision was a no-brainer.

MonoPrice HDMI cable: $3.28

Bottom line: I’ve used MonoPrice for all types of computer cables, adapters and accessories and never had a problem. Highly recommended.