Monitor signal degradation

Question: I recently bought a six-foot monitor extension cable. The cable works fine, but the images on my monitor seem to be a bit distorted — you can see shadows. I have a feeling it has something to do with the extra cable and the length of it. Any recommendations? — T.S.

Answer: Here’s a fact of life: The longer the cable, the more signal loss there is.

“Longer cables were fine on older monitors which had lower resolutions and lower refresh rates. As soon as higher speeds, or in this case refresh rates, come into play, cable length plays a huge factor,” explained TechnologyTips tech adviser Matthew Fiszer.

The refresh rate is a measurement of how many times per second the screen is redrawn. To avoid flickering, the refresh rate should be at least 72 Hz, according to Fiszer. The only way to make this work is to purchase a really good shielded video cable. I did a search for you if you want to buy one at

Another solution might be purchasing an amplified switchbox, or a video signal amplifier if you can find one. See your friendly or computer parts retailer for these gizmos.