It definitely is a rip-off, cheap ones are nearly as good as expensive ones, but there IS signal loss in digital cables, HDMI signals are sent just like packets are sent over the internet, even packet has a “recovery record” sent with, which the receiver checks and re-asks for transmission if the record doesn’t match.

Digital signal loss happens when cables are in such a bad condition that 1’s get lost in the strain, and checksums fail.