The question then becomes how often packets get lost in a corporate network. I’m willing to bet close to zero, but I have no idea just how close to zero.[/quote]
Having tested many network cables in my days, with equipment where you put an emitter at one end and a receiver at the other (you can even try it at home if you have two computers: http://www.pcausa.com/Utilities/pcattcp.htm … you’ll have to test a crossover cable though.), I have never personally seen a cable that dropped “some” packets.
I’ve seen no packets (bad cable or, more often, bad end plug) but I’ve never seen a cable where only 95% of the packets made it through. That includes many cables where the length was way out of spec (which led to other problems, but dropped packets on the tester wasn’t one of them).
As for HDMI not running of TCP/IP, you’re right. Although I’d suspect that the spec (I haven’t read it, but that’s the way I’d bet) calls for some type of error detection and correction, if only because it supports encryption of the signal and all the “good” encryption methods I know will instantly turn to shit if you lose even 1 bit.
I’d also bet that the encryption is done by blocks of data so that any error only loses 1 block and does not corrupt the rest of the stream.
Yup. I’d suggest to everyone who thinks they can hear (or see) the difference between a $10 cable and a $200 (or $43,000) one to set up an ABX test (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABX_test) and really find out.
Maybe an oscilloscope can tell the difference between the best Monster Cable and the same length of zip cord, but as far as I know, no human can (http://www.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx_wire.htm).
Unless you enjoy watching your music on an oscilloscope, save your money.