HDMI cables: Here’s everything you need to know


Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Managing Editor
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hdmi cable

HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface and it’s an audio/video interface for transmission of audio and video data. The interface first appeared on the market in 2004, and although there have been several versions of HDMI, they all used the same type of connector and cable.

Here’s everything you need to know about HDMI cables

What is an HDMI cable used for?

hdmi cable what is it used for

HDMI cables provide an interface between audio or video source and a TV or monitor. The audio/video source can be any HDMI capable device, such as a set-top box, A/V receiver, Blu-ray player or a video game console.


Are there different kinds of HDMI cable?

There are following types of HDMI cables:

  • Standard – These cables are designed for 720p and 1080i resolutions and HDMI 1.0 and 1.2a standards.
  • High-speed – High-speed HDMI cables support 1080p and 4K resolution. Bear in mind that the 4K resolution is limited to only 30Hz. In addition, these cables support 3D, Deep Color as well as HDMI 1.3 and 1.4a standards.
  • Premium High-Speed – These cables offer support for HDMI 2.0, 2.0a, and 2.0b standards. As for the features, they offer support for 4K video at 60Hz, HDR, and expanded color range.
  • Ultra High-Speed – These types of cables bring support for 8K video with HDR. They also offer better electromagnetic interference protection and support for HDMI 2.1 standard.
  • HDMI with Ethernet – All previously mentioned cables can also have a special HDMI Ethernet Channel that allows certain HDMI devices to establish an Ethernet connection with your router.

Does a smart TV need an HDMI cable?

smart TV HDMI cable

If you’re using a set-top box, game console, or a Blu-ray player with your TV, in almost all cases you’ll need to use HDMI cable in order to connect them to your smart TV.


Do gold plated HDMI cables make a difference?

Gold plated connectors supposedly offer a better sound and picture quality. The gold-plated HDMI connectors are also tarnish-resistant, which is also a plus.


Do expensive HDMI cables make a difference?

Not really, but if you’re purchasing an HDMI cable, you should be focused mostly on its features and supported standards. A cheap HDMI cable with the same features and supported standards as the more expensive cable should offer you the same performance and quality.


What is the difference between a Standard HDMI cable and a High-Speed HDMI cable?

Standard HDMI cables work with HDMI 1.0 and 1.2a standards and offer support for resolutions up to 1080i.

High-speed cables offer support for HDMI 1.3 and 1.4a standards and support for 1080p and 4K (30Hz) resolution.


Do I need a special HDMI cable for 4K?

hdmi cable types

High-speed HDMI cable should work 4K, but it will only deliver 4K resolution at 30Hz. If you want to enjoy 4K content at 60Hz, you’ll need a Premium High-Speed cable or Ultra-High-Speed cable.

Bear in mind that some devices might require HDMI 2.1 standard for the best 4K experience, and if that’s the case, you’ll need an Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable.


Does the HDMI cable length affect picture quality?

Yes, the length of an HDMI cable can affect the picture quality. However, this is the case if your HDMI cable is longer than 50 feet.


What is the best HDMI cable?

In order to pick the best HDMI cable, you first need to take a closer look at its HDMI standard, and supported resolution.

If you need some recommendations, be sure to check our list of the best HDMI cables.