Originally Posted by rex
Moose, please correct me if I am wrong; but I believe that the "eye" patterns you show indicate the space in between digital data bits, one's and zero's. HDMI has its own specifications as to how large the octagon in the center of the eye (called the "mask") must be in order to comply with the standard and ensure accurate data transmission. (As the signal degrades and the space between ones and zeros becomes blurred there is greater chance of a one being mistaken for a zero and vice versa.)
Nevertheless we are still talking about ones and zeros. So any cable that complies with the HDMI specifications is going to transmit the exact same ones and zeros that any other cable does, regardless of how much it costs. Hence, there will be no difference in picture quality. People who say they can see a difference in picture quality are mistaken. The same ones and zeros are going to produce the same picture. If on the other hand, the digital bits are not getting thru accurately, (ones are being mistaken for zeros and vice versa), then you won't have any picture at all, or a severely damaged picture. (In this case, the cable must not be conforming to the HDMI standard.)
Actually some 1s being mistaken for 0s leads to pixelation. The block of the data is corrupted. Now if it's a major problem you won't see a picture.
I've seen the difference between HDMI cables 1st hand. The pixelation problems mostly.
However I've seen 1 $10 cable replace another $10 cable and fix the problems.
Then I've seen the "Hand-Shake," issues. I've seen $150 cables have these problems. Price isn't the problem.
The only HDMI cables I've not had the problem with are Transparent and Acoustic Zen.
Basically with HDMI it is "Does the Cable work or not?" with 95% of them. However you can get a cable that works but has slight visual problems.