actually those are shielded Cat5, idk if it helped any, but in addition to being braided, it's got some metal shielding around the whole thing. And the reason the cable looks ****ty is because the spool of it was sitting outside for a while.
I forget what the cable length limits are for LVDS, but they can be pretty far.. 16 feet is pretty cool.
From the information I have gathered over the years, LVDS can transmit 15 meters without an amp. and can run 60+ meters with an inline amp attached to boost signal strength. In my testing, I have found UTP to actually work better, so long as the cable is 100 ohm resistance. less or more resistance provides for an unstable signal. using Cat5 can be a real pain in the arse if your application requires tight bends, etc. The vast majority of Cat5 is solid copper wire, not stranded, which obviously is not very flexable.