Monster manufactures high quality accessories that are needed for any TV & Home Theatre system. You know, cables and surge protectors that you typically just take for granted or simply buy as an after thought. They are extremely well made, but with that typically comes a higher price. You get what you pay for, but with these relatively mundane accessories is it worth spending the extra dough? You just bought a fancy new HDTV or better yet a shiny stunning 4K UHD model, so do you need high-end cables to make sure you get the best picture?
I had the opportunity to try out a couple of excellent Monster HDMI cables and a Power Surge Protector so I can give you my first-hand perspective on why you may or may not consider them for your system.
If you value your home entertainment system then you are crazy not to get a surge protector. Power surges can destroy your equipment, and electrical interference can negatively impact sound and picture quality. The Monster 121866-00 Surge Protector is in fact not at a premium price despite the fact it is a high quality unit with some excellent premium features.
I like the fact it is small and will convert a 2-outlet wall plug into a 6-outlet surge protected. Just remove the wall plate cover on your wall plug and plug in the Monster Surge Protector. It also has can screw into the wall outlet so it won’t unplug easily. In addition to the 6 electrical outlets it has two surge protected USB charging ports. One is designed to be used with a tablet and the other with a Smartphone or MP3 player. This is a very convenient feature, depending on whether the outlet you use is reasonably accessible. If it is behind your TV, the USB ports may be hard to reach.
This Monster surge protector is fireproof since the protection elements are encased in ceramic material that will not melt or cause sparks. Monster is so confident in the surge protection that they provide a lifetime guarantee. If a connected piece of equipment is ever destroyed by an electrical surge they will replace it up to a value of $100,000. In addition this unit has the ability to “clean” any noise or interference in your power supply so it won’t negatively impact the sound or picture quality of your entertainment system. A very nice additional feature.
This Monster 6-Outlet Surge Protector is a winner! It is small, inexpensive, protects and filters out electrical noise, and comes with a lifetime guarantee. It even has an indicator light that lets you know that it is protecting your equipment.
Monster Gold and Platinum HDMI Cables
Monster makes a series of HDMI cables in a good, better, best type of product line, all made for 4K Ultra HD TV’s, although they will work extremely well with any TV. The cables are the UltraHD Gold, the UltraHD Platinum, and the UltraHD Black Platinum and they all come in various lengths (5 feet, 9 feet, 16 feet, and 35 feet) so you won’t have any problem finding exactly what you need. The main difference between these cables is their ratings for data transmission speeds with the Gold at 18 Gbps, Platinum at 22.5 Gbps, and Black Platinum at 27 Gbps.
All of three cables are certified by the Imaging Science Foundation, all have 24k gold contacts, and all have their patented V-grip connectors creating a very snug connection. They also have a lifetime guarantee so you can replace them free any time should they fail. The Platinum and Black Platinum have an additional performance guarantee should those cables no longer meet the speed requirements of the equipment you are using. So as TV and sound system technology changes if these cables become obsolete Monster will upgrade you for free. This is an excellent feature since you never know what the future will bring.
All three cables also have a separate Ethernet (HEC) channel, which is primarily used to network devices rather than directly connecting via pure Ethernet. The cables are also wrapped in a Duraflex jacket, which not only will withstand extreme temperatures but also won’t degrade the signal if the cable is bent. Overall, it is clear (no pun intended) that these cables are extremely well thought through!
I was able to try out both the UltraHD Gold and the UltraHD Platinum cables. They come in those stiff plastic packages that are usually extremely difficult to open, but Monster designed these so you can easily open them up. They have perforations down each side so you can just peel open the packaging. Nice job! Pulling the cables out I have to say you can tell right away that they are very well made. They also look good, with very fancy designed connectors. But what about performance?
Unfortunately I don’t have a 4K TV (darn!) to really test them out but I used them to connect my Roku and my Apple TV to the my HD Plasmas TVs to see if I noticed any difference. To be honest, I could not detect any difference with my naked eye between these and my Rocketfish HDMI cable as well as another generic $10 cable I bought online. Hmmm, so are these Monster cables worth the extra cost?
For most HDTV applications like mine, the research seems to indicate that pretty well any HDMI 1.4 compliant cable will provide the bandwidth necessary to perform well in a “normal” environment. Most cables available now are at least HDMI 1.4 compliant meaning they have a minimum speed of 10.2 Gbps, which is necessary for today’s HDTV setups.
This holds true if you have a 6’ cable, which works in most “normal” setups. However if you require longer cables, let’s say 10 to 30 feet or more, you can get some signal degradation if the cable isn’t insulated well enough. There is more likelihood for magnetic interference as well. Most normal TVs are HDTV and not 4K UHD but most HDMI cables will still work for both. Since the cable is carrying a digital signal, for the most part it either works or it doesn’t, which is why they typically all will work.
However, if you are upgrading to a 4K UHD TV now or in the future, the cost of a higher end cable is relatively small compared to the rest of your setup, and may very well be worth the investment as 4K is more bandwidth intensive and those Monster cables are more than capable of delivering the extra bandwidth. Also, if you get the Platinum or Black Platinum it will never become obsolete because of their “Cable for Life” guarantee.
Overall, not a bad deal!