HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface and it is fast becoming the norm in most homes all around the world. HDMI ports are present in a plethora of gadgets and electronic devices like video game consoles, smartphones, digital cameras etc., so there is definitely no dearth of options to make use of with this technology. All of these devices can then be connected to an HDTV so that the viewer can see videos, movies, pictures and other content in Full-HD 1080p formats for the ultimate viewing experience.
The current version of HDMI which is regularly being used today is HDMI 1.4 and the different types of HDMI cables that are available under this standard have different benefits for various users. The general buyer who will not be too bothered by such details since the differences are not easily distinguishable, but for someone who is more involved with his gadgets and with the state of technology that he uses, this information will prove valuable. Approaching a retail store owner and asking him the differences between them will provide the same information, and this will eventually help in making a decision about which one to actually purchase.
Types of HDMI Cables
There are 5 different types that are available in the market today, and each of them have some specific uses and benefits. A buyer should understand what he is going to be using the cable for exactly, and then make an informed decision about the same. The material that the connecting pins are made up of also play a role in determining the quality of output you will see, and the two options here are copper and gold. Gold plated pins offer much better quality output but are generally more expensive than the copper plated ones. All the modern 1.4 HDMI connectors also have 19 pins and are known as Type-D connectors. The standard size for these connectors is 2.8 x 6.4 mm.
If you are going to be viewing content in 720p or 1080i format, then this is just the cable for you. The latest HD content is in the 1080p format though, so some will argue that this cable type is obsolete now. However, most DVD players, cable and satellite broadcasts and other digital broadcasts are aired in 720p or 1080i formats, so this is not a bad cable to own. It will definitely come in handy with many common tasks that are performed around the house.
High Speed Cable
People who own Blu-Ray players and other devices capable of supporting advanced video content, should definitely go in for this cable. Full-HD 1080p content is easily supported and developers claim that this cable will also support any new HD formats as and when they arise. Additional features like 3D content and Deep Color pictures are also supported by this cable, so this is definitely a good choice for casual users.
Standard Cable with Ethernet
This one is exactly the same as the aforementioned standard version, but it has an additional feature of supporting device networking. The mode of device networking that they support is known as the HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC), but the video formats supported are 720p and 1080i only.
High Speed Cable with Ethernet
Just like the standard cable with Ethernet supports device networking, so does the high speed cable with Ethernet. This is just an upgraded version of the high speed HDMI cable and it also supports 1080p HD format, 3D content and Deep Color content. This cable also lets the two connected devices share an Internet connection between them, and the speed of the HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) runs up to as much as 100 Mbps in some instances.
This is a very special type of HDMI cable that is usually purchased by automobile manufacturers and other service providers. You must be familiar with the fact that several vehicles come equipped with TV sets today, and the ones that are used to connect these TV sets with other devices are known as automotive HDMI cables. They are built to work in conditions of constant movement and vibrations, and this is what makes them ideal for such purposes. With the help of these cables, car manufacturers do not need to worry about the TV sets inside their products not offering the latest HD support.
Benefits of HDMI Cables
While each of these HDMI cables fulfill different purposes and meet different requirements, the benefits that they offer are relatively the same. The concept of HDMI has thoroughly changed the world so it is no surprise to see the widespread popularity of HDMI connectors and cables in most homes. Here are some of their most well-known benefits for users.
- The main advantage is to reduce the number of wires that are required. Earlier A/V connections required many different wires, but with an HDMI cable this clutter is reduced since only one cable needs to be connected into one port.
- HDMI cables also support DVI content, so all one needs is a DVI to HDMI connector. People who own a lot of content in earlier formats and devices with no HDMI ports can also make use of their HDTV sets with the help of such connectors.
- A well-known benefit is the fact that they offer very clear picture and sound quality, and this is what has made them so popular. This is because there is no drop in the quality due to constant compression and decompression, since the data is directly transferred in a decompressed state.
- Standard DVI cables are around 5 meters long, but HDMI cables can run up to 15 meters in length as well. This makes them more flexible and definitely more useful.
The compatibility that they offer is unmatched and universally accepted as the standard for viewing high quality content now. There is no denying the fact that HDMI has become the norm for such viewing purposes, and it is only a matter of time before all previous standards are rendered useless. This transition is already in process and knowing about the different types of HDMI cables is simply the beginning.