HDMI cables and their different variations have made HDMI cables more confusing than they need to be. The result is some manufacturers are selling overpriced cables to unsuspecting customers. Here’s what you need to know about HDMI cables and their standards.
First, How HDMI Cables Work
HDMI cables transfer both high definition audio and video over a single cable and make sure you can use your new HD TV or projector to its full capabilities. All HDMI cables are essentially the same in that no matter what version you have, they connect your HD TV and audio/video devices such as Blu-ray player, Xbox, Playstation, Apple TV, or other media players. They basically allow a data signal to be sent from your media device to your TV.
HDMI technology can also be wireless using a Wireless video HDMI. But more on that later….
HDMI Variations Explained:
HDMI cables can be certified as a “standard” and, as a result, come in a few variations. Any HDMI cable that is certified is tested to transmit 1080i or 720p video.
Here is a breakdown on what their differences are and what each one supports:
HDMI 1.4 – If you want your HDMI cables to support 4K resolution, you need to make sure that they are High-Speed HDMI cables. They are tested to transmit video resolutions from 1080p to 4K with a richer color palette. With or without HDR, you need High-Speed HDMI cables. There is a Premium certification as well, but it is completely optional.
HDMI 2.0 – This enhancement allows everything that HDMI 1.4 offers, except it offers an increased bandwidth and the ability to present a wider variety of colors. HDMI 2.0 is certified to have a bandwidth of 18 Gigabits per second which supports 4K resolution at 60 FPS (frames per second).
HDMI 2.0a – HDMI 2.0a offers all previous enhancements with different types of HDR. This enhanced cable allows for richer and more vibrant color. It is noticeable compared to the HDMI 1.4 and 2.0; however, you do not need this cable in order to support 4K. It all depends on what you want the resolution to be.
HDMI 2.1 – Lastly, HDMI 2.1 cables enable dynamic HDR, faster refresh rates and a much higher bandwidth than any of the previous.
The trend with these enhancements changes the resolution, color and bandwidth; however, it does not change whether or not they support 4K. All high-speed cables should perform about the same no matter which version of the certification standards were in place when a cable was certified.
When it comes down to 4K TV, you do not need to pick up special HDMI cables. The HDMI cable standard can impact color and resolution, but newer versions are not required for 4K TV.
Go Wireless – Beam your Favorite Content Directly to an HDTV
Wireless Video HDMI is a simple, easy, and reliable alternative to regular HDMI cables that does not require a Wi-Fi connection. Wireless Video HDMI is a direct connection without wires between your media source and TV, so there is no degradation in quality or high latency.
Wireless video HDMI can wirelessly deliver up to 1080p60 HD (not 4k) quality video from your media player to your TV, and supports 2 channel stereos with ultra-low latency.
Instead of connecting a hard wire directly from your media player to your TV, you attach a transmitter and receiver at either end that replace those cables. The transmitter attaches to your computer, Blu-ray player or game console and the receiver to your TV. This instantly creates a wireless connection between the two. You can even send HD video or audio from your media player in one room up to 150 feet to your TV in another room.
Transmitters and receivers typically are available in a kit, like Actiontec’s MyWirelessTV2, so there are no worries of assuring you have all the needed components.