PlayStation Universe

PS3 HD Cables By Monster Reviewed

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Congratulations. You've braved the elements and crowds, or maybe just braved the grossly inflate resale prices, but however it was managed; you have come into the possession of a PlayStation 3. Bringing home the box and setting the console next to your widescreen High Definition Television, you can't help but feel that a completely new period of electronic entertainment is about to be upon you. And then you pull out... Composite Cables?!

Yes, that's right, the PS3, though touted for its high definition gaming and playback ships with no high definition cables. If you own an HDTV, expect to drop some more for the cabling needed in order to really appreciate what your PS3 has to offer. One of the companies providing cabling for the PS3, Monster Cables, recently sent us a sample of their PS3 HD cables so that we could see exactly what the hoopla is all about.

We received two separate setups. The first was Component Video and Component Audio, a fairly standard setup these days, even for those without HD sets. The second was Component Video and Optical Audio, some of the best audio you can get.

The packaging was pretty nice, and to my relief, was not one of those impossible-to-open-cut-up-to-shreds-with-a-pair-of-scissors packages. Reading the packaging information, I found it really easy to tell what I was getting. The package had a small diagram on it explaining what level of audio and visual quality the cabling inside had in comparison with other cabling options, making it very consumer friendly.

Setup was a breeze. The cables fit exactly where they were supposed to without any ambiguity. The cables themselves looked clean around my entertainment center, avoiding the clutter that many cables add. This was primarily due to the fact that the cables were insulated with very high quality insulation. The cables were thick and easy to handle.

I do wish that the cables had been a bit longer... perhaps a few inches more length. However for most purposes I can't see the cables being too short. I just have an odd cabling setup. The PS3 and TV seamlessly switched over to the five connector Component setup as soon as the cables were plugged in, and right away, without changing the video quality output on the XMB, I could already see and hear a remarkable difference.

Even at Standard Definition resolutions, the Monster Cables provided superior color and clarity over the cables included with the PS3. Turning up the resolution to check out the cables in HD, I was again completely floored by the color quality which the cables provided me.

But downloads on the XMB don't exactly put HD cables through their paces, so I popped in Resistance and started up the game. Again it was the color quality that impressed me most. The game seemed more vibrant and immersive with the colors that the Monster Cables gave me. After playing Resistance for a short while, I was thoroughly sold. The cables were well worth the jump over the composite cables included with the console.

However, one of the strongest aspects of Resistance in my opinion was the sound. It's because of this that I was almost giddy as I hooked up the Optical Audio cables. Optical Audio provides clean, clear sound, and is necessary for 7.1 surround sound, something that Resistance supports. Turning the lights off and turning the sound up, the game truly came to life.

Beyond gaming however, cables such as these are a must if you intend to use the PS3 as the entertainment center which it is capable of being. If you are looking to watch DVDs and Blu-Ray movies on the PS3, HD cables such as these are a must. Loading in my copy of Taladega Nights, the image and sound were crisp and satisfying, (as much as Will Ferrel in HD can be anyway).

In the end the Monster Cables delivered exactly what they promised: a superior gaming experience in high definition video and audio. Most people cringe at the thought of paying about the cost of a game for cabling, however, when you consider that for the cost of one game, you can vastly improve the experience that every other game provides, the aspect of buying cabling becomes more appealing. In the end, it's up to you to buy new cables or live with the cables which came packaged, however, if you are looking for HD video and audio, a set of Monster Cables is sure to be a good buy.

The cables are priced at $59.95 (USD) for the Component Audio and Video, and $69.95 (USD) for the Component Video and Optical Audio.