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Which HDMI Cable to Buy?

HDMI Cables vary enormously in price, but they do not vary much in functionality. Is it worth spending so much on an HDMI v1.4 cable? Do you need HDMI v1.4 – what does that mean?

These are all typical questions that you might ask when you are looking for a new HDMI cable for your HDTV. There is a lot of confusion around especially since the introduction of 3D.

This article will help you to sort out which cables you should be looking at and why.

Version Numbers

First of all, HDMI version numbers have no relationship to the cables. An HDMI cable will not alter the features that are available from a TV or any other piece of equipment. A TV will have a number of features such as deep colour or multi channel sound or, more recently, 3D. These features will have been introduced at various stages in the development of the HDMI standards, some features were introduced with HDMI v1.2, some with HDMI v3 and some more recently when HDMI v1.4 was introduced HDMI to AV Converter 1080P 3RCA B07JMFC635.

Whilst these introductions have made significant changes to the features and functionality of any piece of equipment fitted with an HDMI socket, the socket itself has not changed. It is still the same 19 pin socket that was first introduced back in 2002 (new smaller versions have been specified since, but the full size, type A socket is still standard on HDTVs).

Similarly, the HDMI cable used to connect source equipment to an HDTV, has not changed either (with one exception, but that will be explained later). So an HDMI cable which was used back in 2002 could potentially still be used today on an HDTV having HDMI v1.4 features with no problems.

Cable Types

To reduce the confusion surrounding HDMI version numbers, cables will no longer state HDMI version numbers, but they will be marked as either High Speed or Standard Speed. Standard Speed cables can carry HDMI signals supporting images up to 1080i, while High Speed cables can carry images of 1080p and above.

A Standard Speed cable can carry normal 2D pictures with multi channel sound and can support deep colour, lossless audio and support the audio return channel as well as any other features applicable to 1080i images.

In addition to the above, a High Speed cable can carry 3D pictures and support resolutions up to 2160p.

The Ethernet Channel

Introduced with the latest HDMI v1.4 specification and the greatest cause of confusion, the ethernet channel allows suitable enabled equipment to be networked together and to access the internet. This is the only aspect of the HDMI v1.4 specification which has an impact on cable choice.

In addition to the Standard Speed and High Speed categories, there are now High Speed with Ethernet and Standard Speed with Ethernet categories. Equipment utilising this function can now be connected by a single HDMI cable to simplify wiring

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