Your Complete Guide to Different Types of HDMI Cables

Computer cables come in different forms, but perhaps one you are more familiar with is the HDMI cable. HDMI stands for “high definition multimedia interface” and is used for transmitting high-definition video and audio across many modern devices—mostly entertainment platforms.

An HDMI cable itself is used for connecting HDMI splitter, wireless HDMI transmitter and receiver, and other high-definition sources, like computers, game consoles, and any type of high-definition displays.

Different Types of HDMI Cables

There are different types of HDMI cables, which differ in their functionality and properties. Each is designed to meet certain performance standards.

The HDMI Organization originally releases the types using numbers to signify their specifications. However, that became confusing for consumers. To eliminate this common problem, the organization mandated manufacturers to label products accordingly and use a different naming convention.

Currently, the five different specifications of HDMI cables are as follows:

Standard HDMI Cables

Standard HDMI cables are perhaps the most common HDMI cables found in most homes. They are designed to do what you’d expect an HDMI cable would do, handling applications standard in home entertainment setups.

Standard HDMI cables transmit 1080i or 720p or high-definition video resolutions from a source to a computer monitor, TV screen, projector, and the usual digital broadcast HD displays.

Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet

Standard HDMI cables with Ethernet carry all the functionalities of standard HDMI cables including the high definition 1080i or 720p video resolution transmission but with an additional feature. It has a dedicated data channel called the HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC), which allows both devices to create a network.

However, to be able to successfully connect the device, both devices must be equipped with HDMI Ethernet Channel.

High-Speed HDMI Cable

If you need to transmit resolutions higher than 1080p, you’ll need an HDMI cable with a higher specification. It’s precisely for this purpose that high-speed HDMI cables are designed—supporting advanced video resolutions for advanced display technologies such as 4K, 3-D, or those with Deep Color functionality.

If you’re into high-end gaming or have a home theater with a large 4K display, you’d need High Speed HDMI Cables to do the job.

High-Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet

Multiple HDMI-enabled devices can share content directly using an HDMI link without the need for a separate Ethernet cable. If you have different HDMI components you want to connect, simply use a High Speed HDMI Cable with HDMI Ethernet Channel functionality.

Like the High Speed HDMI Cable, this type is able to transmit advanced high-definition resolutions but with an added HDMI Ethernet Channel that enables the connected devices to send and receive data up to 100 Mb/sec.

For Blu-ray players, media streamers, and console gamers who have to connect too many devices, you may want to consider getting a multiport adapter HDMI hub to accommodate all the connectivity you need.

Automotive HDMI Cable

If you want to transmit audio and high-resolution video to video systems in your car, truck, or other motor vehicles, you’d want a more durable HDMI cable that can withstand the normally stressful environment of automobiles. Unfortunately, the standard automotive HDMI cable prototype does not have the usual HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) functionality present in other HDMI cables.

Final Word

The more direct naming system designated to different HDMI cable specifications certainly makes it easier to remember their uses and functionality. This will make it so much easier for you to shop for the right HDMI cable that achieves the performance compatible with your source and transmitter systems.

Use this guide the next time you have to invest in a new cable system.

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