In recent years, HDMI or High-Definition Multimedia Interface has become a novel choice for enhancing the high-definition televisual (HDTV) watching experience. HDMI cables are an important part of this new standard of inter-media communication. In the following sections, we take a look at what HDMI cables are, their development history, and also examine some of the best HDMI cables available in the market at present.
What is an HDMI Cable?
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a digital audio/video connector. It's primarily used to transmit digitally uncompressed data from a variety of communication sources (both audio/video) to an HDTV.
HDMI is basically a digital substitute for the numerous analog audio/video communication standards. These include analog radio frequency (RF) coaxial cables, composite video, Separate Video (S-video or Y/C), SCART, component video, D-Terminal, or VGA (Video Graphics Array).
Some of the major applications where HDMI cables are used to establish a connection between digital audio/video media are as following:
- Set Top Boxes
- DVD Players
- High-Definition DVD Players
- Blu-ray Disc Players
- Camcorders (Video Camera Recorder)
- Personal Computers (PCs)
- Video Game Consoles (PlayStation, Xbox 360, Wii, etc.)
- Computer Monitors
- Digital TV
Development of the HDMI Cable
HDMI cables were developed by seven electronic manufacturing giants, viz., Hitachi, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic/National/Quasar), Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, Thomson (RCA), and Toshiba.
The main driving force behind the development of these cables was the fact that analog video formats, such as component video, are not very secure when it comes to copy protection. HDMI, on the other hand, provides the manufacturers with a strong foundation for implementing HDCP, or High-Definition Content Protection strategies. Hence, it imposes significant restrictions on the consumer's ability to copy video content. At present, nearly 850 companies have adopted HDMI standards worldwide.
Best HDMI Cables
There isn't much truth in the arguments claiming that only the costlier cables are worth going for. However, this doesn't mean that you should go for the absolutely cheap ones, which would probably stop working in a few days. Depending on your budget, you should ideally opt for those in the range of US $5 to US $30.
Mentioned below are a few good options that you can choose from. The prices mentioned are only tentative, as shipping costs and other charges can vary from time to time, location to location, and store to store. It is advisable therefore, to make inquiries regarding the pricing and availability before making a purchase.
With a 10.2Gbps high speed bandwidth, these cables come at a price range of US$ 12 to US$15.
Monster Cable 700HD
If you want an HDMI cable with amazing performance and a lifetime warranty, this one is for you, but only if pricing is not a concern, as this cable comes at a high price range of US $60 to US $64.
At a very affordable price of just US $4 to US $8 for a 6 ft cable, Cmple cables give satisfactory performance. Pricing can vary with the length of the cable.
MonoPrice has been recognized as an established brand in the HDMI cables market with quality performance compared to premium brands. It comes in a price range of US $6 to US $8.
Blue Jeans Cables F2
This too is one of the popular names in this category of cables. The prices of these HDMI cables range between US $17 to US $19.