Shopping update

Update on my previous shopping post. One 6′ HDMI cable, Wii component video cables, and Wii sensor bar have been ordered. The Wii parts should arrive this week, and the HDMI cable next week. Last night, I picked up a simple indoor TV antenna at Big Lots. Grand total? $15.77, and that includes VA sales tax on the antenna.

For comparison, in the local brick-and-mortar stores the lowest prices I could find were:

  • $12 for a 6ft HDMI cable (at Big Lots)
  • $18 for Wii component video cables (at a video game store, more on this in a minute)
  • $10 for a Wii sensor bar (wireless only, there were no wired ones to be found)

So, I could have gotten my system working yesterday, but it would have cost me nearly three times as much money. In addition, the sensor bar is not what I want – I have no plans on moving things around once it’s set up, so the only thing a wireless bar will do is make me have to spend money on batteries. Amazon has a wired one available, the local stores don’t, and I can get what I want for less than half the price ($4.30) from Amazon.

Now, back to those Wii component cables, and the video game store. I noticed something when I was looking there – they were charging $20 for used cables, and $18 for new ones. Yes, they were charging more for used cables in a zip lock bag than for new ones in an unopened package. WTF is up with that? I walked out of the store at that point.

Ironically, that was still the lowest brick-and-mortar price I found. Everywhere else wanted $25 – $35 for “premium” cables. Now, as I mentioned before, component video is analog, so cable quality can make a difference. But there is a threshold where the signal just doesn’t get any clearer, meaning that “good enough” for a clean signal is as good as you’re going to get. If the $5.33 cables are “good enough”, it’s not worth spending $20 – $30 more, because it won’t get any better.

So, despite my desire to support local businesses, Amazon is so much cheaper in this case that there was just no way to justify buying locally.


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  1. I’m surprised you made both these posts without referencing this.

    • Holy crap! OTOH, anyone who actually buys that (especially the new one, at the low, low price of $10k) is stupid enough to deserve getting ripped off.

      Just like anyone who buys the $2.6k HDMI cable in the “customers who bought this also bought” section.

      Seriously, you would think that anyone getting ready to spend that much money would at least do a little research into what they’re buying, wouldn’t you?

    • And yeah, that’s the first time I’ve seen that. I guess P.T. Barnum was right.

      • The comments are the best part. “Unfortunately, faster-than-light travel creates interference in the signal” and etc.

      • I like this one: “This connection isn’t sound. If my calculations are correct, it should be sometime around 2007 for whomever is reading this. DO NOT USE THESE CABLES. Something… happens with them. Something came through, something from somewhere else. We were overrun in days, not many of us are left. WE LIVE UNDERGROUND! ONLY YOU CAN STOP IT NOW. SAVE US. DO NOT USE THESE CABLES.

        I don’t have much time. This connection isn’t sound. If my calculations are correct, it should be– “

  2. After the analog to digital switchover I tried a couple “flat” antennas when I was setting-up Mom & Dad’s stuff and they didn’t work very well. For us I settled on this Philips digital one that I mounted on a bamboo pole inside (we have 12-ft. ceilings), leaned against a corner wall by a clerestory window. Sometimes I have to adjust the directionality of it by rotating the pole or moving it back and forth.
    I have NEVER paid for TV and I won;t start now.
    We pick up a retro-TV station that broadcasts over the airwaves and shows old episodes of Combat! and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and Hawaii Five-0 and the Beverly Hillbillies – It’s like I’m twelve again! 🙂

    • With my $3 antenna sitting behind the TV (not even on top of it), I’m getting the local CBS, NBC, and Fox stations in HD and SD, plus their ‘extra’ SD channels that got added in with the digital switch. I also get “ION” in HD, whatever that is (I’ve never heard of it before). All for free!

  3. We get ION too! And about a hundred others, but no CNN or MSNBC! I had to turn-off a whole bunch of foreign language channels (mainly Chinese and Spanish) that were cluttering up the on-screen guide…


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