HDMI is undoubtedly one of the most used cables that are utilized for connecting displays. Whether it is for connecting a TV to a cable box or a monitor to a computer, HDMI cables are used in all modern display devices.
Unlike other video cables, HDMI cables are mostly used for transmitting high-definition video and audio signals to a target device or display. It is currently the best multimedia video and audio cable as it can handle up to 8K resolution at a high refresh rate and high audio sampling.
HDMI cables have advanced with time, and this advancement has brought a new generation with improved technologies. However, sometimes it can get confusing which cable you will need, especially for new users.
To help you get a good idea about HDMI cables, we have created this guide that will help you gain in-depth knowledge about HDMI cables.
Table of Contents
What is a HDMI Cable?
HDMI is an abbreviation of High Definition Multimedia Interface that currently serves as the primary option for connecting displays, whether it is a monitor, TV, projector, or any display option.
It is a highly useful cable that is used for sending audio and video signals from a content source like a laptop, Blu-Ray player, or cable box to a TV, monitor, or projector. Compared to others, HDMI cables transmit data in the form of 0s and 1s, which has stayed the same since its arrival.
The HDMI cable comes with a similar HDMI interface on both ends, and they come in varying cable lengths. It was first introduced in the industry in 2002, and it was developed by an association of electronic manufacturers to create a universal cable for connecting displays.
It was also introduced to enhance the video connectivity standard that is compact, can deliver high-resolution signals, and also support audio signal on the same cable. With its impressive features, it soon became a better alternative to old video cables that weren’t able to transmit high-resolution visuals at high refresh.
Within a few years, it became a standard choice for most devices and displays as most manufacturers shifted from DVI, VGA, and component video. By the end of 2010, it surpassed the sale and usage of all other video cables in the industry, and most HDTVs and displays started using HDMI cables as the primary option.
HDMI cables are widely used in both the commercial and consumer sectors, and nowadays, there are hardly any display devices or sources that don’t come with HDMI. However, with the evaluation of HDMI technology, it has given rise to different HDMI cables that are used for connecting different devices.
What Does A HDMI Cable Look Like?
Like every other video cable, HDMI cable comes with a thick cable structure, with both ends having a similar HDMI connector type. HDMI cables are available in both gold-plated and silver connector options, while the mouth covering remains the same.
Moreover, different manufacturers create HDMI cables with a different casings, so the cable often comes with a plastic coating or braided structure. Some cables often come with a specialized coating, but the connector remains the same.
However, the color of the connector or casing of the cable doesn’t make any difference in video and audio signal transmission speed. It is more about the durability and flexibility of the HDMI cable.
Primary Uses of HDMI Cables
The number of uses associated with HDMI cables is enormous, and it has spread across both household and commercial sections. Due to the varied types of HDMI cable types and connectors, it comes with various usages. Let’s check out the primary usage of HDMI cables;
- Watching Videos Sources To TV or Monitor- HDMI cables are primarily used for connecting video sources to a large display and enjoying them on a big screen.
Nowadays, most displays, whether it is a TV or monitor, come with an HDMI port so that you can connect a laptop or Blu-Ray player to play videos through an HDMI cable.
- Connecting Set-Top Box To TV- Nowadays, HDMI cable has become the only source for connecting set-top boxes to TV or any other display as it can deliver high-resolution.
Most set-top boxes or free-to-air decoders get high-resolution output, and you can’t achieve it with AV or VGA cables. So HDMI serves as the obvious choice for all manufacturers.
- Connecting Laptop To Second Monitor- Another primary usage of HDMI cables is to connect their laptop to a second monitor so that they can multiplex. Video editors, software developers, creative artists, stock brokers, etc, use HDMI cables to connect their laptops to a second monitor to create a multi-monitor setup.
The same thing goes with the PC’s multi-monitor setup, where HDMI cables are used to connect multiple monitors to the PC.
- Connecting Streaming Box To TV or Projector- Nowadays, streaming boxes like Fire Stick, Chromecast, Apple TV etc., have become the primary content source for most TVs. They use HDMI cables to connect TVs and monitors and display the contents at their highest resolution.
- Connecting Soundbar to TV- Another major usage of HDMI cable is to connect the soundbar to the TV. Nowadays, the soundbar has become an essential choice for most smart TV owners as it helps maximize sound output.
HDMI is widely used in soundbars because it helps the source to deliver an immersive sound experience without compromising on the quality. However, TVs must come with Audio Return Channel support to play audio through the soundbar.
Different Types Of HDMI Cables
With the advancement of modern technologies, HDMI cables have also come a long way. Due to this, there are numerous HDMI cable types available in the industry, and each of them is designed to meet certain performance standards. Let’s check all those cable types;
- Standard HDMI Cable- It is a basic HDMI cable type that was widely used for connecting standard HD displays. It is designed to cater to older HDTVs, satellite TV, and cables and can efficiently transmit 720p or 1080i video resolutions. This cable type is designed for HDMI 1.0 and 1.2 and can accommodate a maximum bandwidth capacity of 5 Gbps.
- Standard Automotive HDMI cable- As the name suggests, this HDMI cable was specifically designed for connecting car video players or similar systems to the car display. It comes with all the features of a standard HDMI cable, but it gets a special casing to minimize interference from other electric cables in the car.
- Standard HDMI Cable With Ethernet- This cable carries all the capabilities and performance of standard HDMI cable along with an HDMI ethernet channel. HEC is enabled when both the devices support HEC and they share a single ethernet connection with a speed of up to 100 MB/sec.
- High-Speed HDMI Cable- High-Speed HDMI cable is an advanced version of standard HDMI cable that can support video resolution of 1080p and also 3D. It also holds the capability to support video signals of 4K resolution at 30Hz and handle Deep Color. It is designed for HDMI 1.3 and 1.4a and can go up to a bandwidth of 10.2 Gbps.
- High-Speed Automatic HDMI Cable- This cable comes integrated with the functionalities of high-speed HDMI cable, but it can only be used for connecting car displays. It is designed with specialized casing and dust & vibration-resistant connectors. It comes with higher performance standards so that it can play videos without any interruption.
- High-Speed HDMI Cable With Ethernet- It is a high-speed HDMI cable type with HEC that is often used in closed-office networks. Not only do these cable types come with Deep Color support and high bandwidth, but they can also handle high-speed internet.
- Premium High-Speed HDMI Cable- This is a specialized high-speed HDMI cable that has been designed and certified for highly reliable transfer of 4K resolution with up to 18 Gbps.
It comes with some advanced support for 4K at 60Hz, HDR, and color space of BT.2020. It even gets special labeling along with in-field verification. What makes it unique is the low EM and optimization for HDMI 2.0, a, and b.
- Ultra High-Speed HDMI Cable- This HDMI cable type is the latest entry in the HDMI cable lineup, and it carries all the capabilities of previous HDMI cables. What makes it unique is the support for uncompressed 8K@60Hz and 4K@120Hz with a maximum bandwidth of 48 Gbps.
It is also backward compatible with other HDMI devices, and it is designed for HDMI version 2.1. It has been designed in such a way that it has low EMI.
How Can You Choose The Best HDMI Cable?
Choosing the best HDMI cable can be tricky as there are so many options from different brands. Notably, a lot of factors come into play before you choose the best HDMI cable. However, if you can concentrate on the essential aspects, it can get easy to find the best. Let’s check out how;
- Always Check The Specification- Always check the specification of the HDMI cable before you buy it. It should come with proper certification and hold the capability to support signals up to 4K resolution.
Basically, it should support the video resolution you want to play through the display. Some cheap HDMI cables don’t come with any specifications.
- Check The Material Used- It is a smart move to check the material to ensure you are getting the best HDMI cable.
The cable should get a minimum of PVC plastic exterior and specialized shielding so it can be durable and reduce interference. However, for better flexibility, you should go for a nylon braiding exterior.
- Connector Color- In general, most HDMI cables come with silver HDMI connectors, and they provide the baseline performance.
However, there are HDMI cable connectors that are gold plating, and it ensures you get the desired performance without any compromise. In reality, many users have said that they haven’t found any difference.
- Length of The Cable- Depending upon the distance between your device and the display, you should consider the length of your HDMI cable. The cable should be neither too short nor too long. It would help if you got a cable with an appropriate length because a short length doesn’t affect the video and audio signal.
- Pricing- As a non-specialist user, you might think getting an expensive HDMI cable will ensure you are getting the best HDMI cable. But it is true that a suitable quality cable with suitable functions and features will deliver the same performance as the expensive one.
However, you shouldn’t settle for cheap HDMI cables that lack certification because most of them won’t provide the baseline performance.
- Sticking To Top Brand- Getting the desired HDMI cable from a top brand will make sure you are getting an HDMI cable that can perform at its full potential. These brands never compromise on durability and data lines so that you will have full performance.
Future of HDMI Cable
HDMI cables have already been able to achieve 8K resolution, and it helped the 8K TVs and cameras to get popular among tech enthusiasts.
However, manufacturers are now working to take HDMI cables to the next level, where they are trying to achieve 10K and 16K resolution at a 60Hz refresh rate with next-gen HDMI cables.
They are also working to enhance the data lines so that they can also mainstream 8K/120Hz and 4K/120Hz with uncompressed color signal transmission. However, nowadays, HDMI cables are competing with USB-C cables, which are also becoming a popular choice among users for video transmission.
However, HDMI is still the market leader, and most of the displays and video source devices still use HDMI cable as the primary option.
Wholesale HDMI Cables
We wholesales a broad assortment of quality-made bulk HDMI cables, including HDMI 1.4/2.0/2.1 cables, HDMI to USB C cables and HDMI adapter. These cables provide high-speed with Ethernet performance and meet the latest standard set forth by the HDMI Standards Committee. Some digital video equipment development company order our HDMI cables as accessories. If you want to buy Hdmi Cables, ByteCable is the best collection.