Everything you need to know on HDMI cables

HDMI is an established standard for transmitting video and sound from home entertainment devices to your television over a cable. If you’re connecting something less than 10 years old to your TV, HDMI is the way to go. If you don’t already have an HDMI cable or you’re simply rearranging your home theater setup then do buy a high speed HDMI cable.

Much of the HDMI news in recent years has focused on different versions of the cable standard. These are the base specifications that all HDMI cables and devices must adhere to, based on the features they support, and are published by the HDMI License Manager and the HDMI Forum.

Basically, the HDMI 1.4 specification was released over ten years ago and all HDMI cables are manufactured according to at least this specification. Looking ahead to 4K, HDMI 1.4 was designed to  set certain standards to enable future (post-2009) support  by providing sufficient bandwidth for 4K video at up to 24 frames per second. I was. Since then there have been iterations and upgrades to HDMI 1.4a and HDMI 1.4b, but that is an old story in video.

The HDMI 2.0 specification was released in 2013 and was revised to HDMI 2.0a in 2015 and HDMI 2.0b in 2016. This specification increased the maximum bandwidth of HDMI cables from 10.2 Gbps to 18 Gbps. This paved the way for 8K by enhancing 4K support with the ability to process 4K video at 60 frames per second in any format in High Dynamic Range (HDR).

HDMI 2.1 was introduced in 2018 and he was designed to support 8K and higher resolutions with a maximum bandwidth of 48 Gbps. The HDMI 2.1 specification allows for 4K and 8K video at up to 120 frames per second with plenty of room. If you’re not planning on an 8K TV  yet, the 2.1 standard is especially important for high-end gaming, and you’ll likely get over 60fps at 4K from gaming PCs and the latest gaming consoles.

 The vast majority of TVs manufactured in recent years are equipped with HDMI 2.0. Most 2021 TV models (and many high-end 2020 models) should support HDMI 2.1.

Cable Types:  Speed Factor

HDMI 1.4 and 2.0 are not as important as their speed ratings, which are also established by the HDMI Forum and the HDMI Licensing Administrator. These specifications are for speeds with their maximum bandwidth, but they do not specifically identify each type of cable. That’s why HDMI cables are grouped into one of four speed categories: Standard, High Speed, Special High Speed, and Ultra High Speed.

Each category has its own subcategories based on extras like an Ethernet channel built into the cable or a stronger signal for car use, but the main tag you need to worry about is whether your cable is Standard, High Speed, Premium or Super High Speed.

Standard is the slowest and most basic HDMI cable you can get. It offers a bandwidth of 4.95 Gbps, good enough to send a 1080p signal to your TV but do not expect more from it. Standard HDMI cables are rare in stores, but if you find a cable that isn’t marked in the box somewhere, or is connected to a home theater system that hasn’t been upgraded in 5 years, it’s probably the cable. Standard. They cannot support 4K video.

High Speed is twice as fast as Standard, with a minimum bandwidth of 10.2 Gbps. Most new HDMI cables you buy will be high-speed or better, meaning they can carry 4K signals. It’s worth noting that the bandwidth will only support 4K24 or 4K video at 24fps.

Premium High Speed pushes bandwidth up to 18 Gbps, which will cover whatever consumer video source you’re dealing with. They are also very popular nowadays. The premium High Speed cables support 4K60 or 4K video at 60fps, with  BT.2020 color space capabilities and 4:4:4 chroma subsampling. They can basically handle any 4K video you throw at them. These are future-proof cables that will get you through the days of 4K, and can even support 8K and higher resolutions with certain features and frame rates.  Super High Speed Cables are the most scalable cables in home theater and they are becoming more and more popular. The ultra-high-speed cable has a bandwidth of up to 48 Gbps, allowing for uncompressed 8K video recording with all adjustments. More importantly, for most 4K users, especially gamers, they can support 4K at 120Hz. This means that if you have a PC or gaming console capable of pushing 4K speeds above 60fps, this cable can handle it.

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