As if the ever-changing digital environment isn’t confusing and challenging enough, Monster has managed to put another cat among the pigeons with its ‘speed rated’ ‘MCHD’ HDMI cables, ranging from $199.95 to $399.95. “Most important to understand,” intones the press release, “is that speed is dramatically affected by cable length”. Place your DVD, Blu-ray player or HD receiver too far away from the telly and connect the two using long lengths of low-quality HDMI cable, and it can result in degradation “of screen resolution and colour depth”.

Monster rates its new cables at Ultra-High, Advanced High, High and Standard, and each offers a different level of assurance regarding performance with existing, as well as forthcoming, video and audio signals. All iterations carry high definition video and multichannel digital sound between devices, however, so the speed rating system may, in essence, be Monster’s own reference to the various quality levels available in its range.

At the top end, that quality is represented by the Ultra High MC 1000HD cable ($399) and at the entry level, $199 for the MC 500HD.

Reassuringly, if the MC 1000HD is ever outstripped by new technologies, Monster will replace it for free.