I've always thought of Radio Shack as the handy, local stop for weird cable & adapter needs. As an engineer and lifetime nerd I've helped keep them alive over the years. Today I needed an HDMI to DVI cable to connect our new Blu-ray disc player to our old "HD ready" TV. I went to "the Shack" hoping that such an adapter exists, mostly because the Blu-ray player was a birthday present for my wife¹ and I wanted her to have the best possible picture.
Yes!…Radio Shack has it! I took it to the register without checking the price, thinking hmm... Maybe twelve bucks. Worst case, $19.99, right? No…a whopping sixty bucks!! You read that right. $60 for a lousy cable. That's almost half what I paid for the new Blu-ray disc player at Costco, which included an HDMI to HDMI cable. I should have put the "Shack" cable back on the shelf, but I didn't know how cheap it was elsewhere, I didn't want to wait for an Internet order and I didn't have time to go over to Fry's Electronics. (I always get lost in that place for at least half an hour anyway.)
While I'm in sticker shock there at the register in Radio Shack, the lady ringing me up was saying that the Monster brand version of the cable cost twice as much. (Is that supposed to make me feel better?) What a racket: Choose the insanely-overpriced Monster brand or the way-overpriced Auvio brand (Radio Shack's "premium" house brand for cables). With prices like these, it looks like Radio Shack should be able to support Lance Armstrong's team nicely for a few years. I guess this is the electronics world's equivalent to a $400 carbon fiber handlebar, but in this case there wasn't a cheap, alternative "alloy" handlebar at this store.
Next time I need a cable I'll go online to www.newegg.com where I now know that their HDMI to DVI cable would have set me back only $10.99 (plus $2.99 for shipping but no sales tax). I like saving 76% when I buy stuff! As much as I love cycling and those who support cycling, I feel genuinely ripped off.
Oh well. I've made another donation to cycling,² just not voluntarily this time. I'd rather hand a nice bottle of wine to the hard-working domestiques³ like Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer on the team. You're welcome, Lance!
- No, it wasn't for me. She watches a lot more TV and movies than I do.
- I provide substantial sponsorship & private donations to San Diego Bicycle Club, USA Cycling and several other cycling organizations.
- Chris and Levi know full well that—after the duel Lance and Alberto had last year—Lance is not going to say, "OK guys…you're faster than me, so let me support you any way I can so you might score a win in the Tour." They have their work cut out for them, so a little comfort food would come in handy.