How to choose an HDMI cable for your home system

If you believe some retailers, the more you spend on an HDMI cable, the better quality picture and sound you will be getting. Well, this is more often than not false and you do not have to spend hundreds of pounds in order to get the best out of your video and audio equipment. The fact is that the HDMI interface transmits digital data, which enables it to support virtually all PC and TV formats, as well as all audio formats and codecs. The HDMI 1.4 supports 4096×2160 over a single link and since 1.3, the HDMI cables support 3D over HDMI, DTS-HD Master Audio, and Dolby HD bitstream. This allows the users to link their HDMI ready equipment, regardless of its brand and model and enjoy excellent quality video and sound.

How to choose an HDMI cable for your home theatre – for starters, the cheapest (less than five pounds) cables might work for most setups, but they are not likely to last and they are almost certain to fail if you are trying to use longer distance cable. On the other hand, you do not need to spend your money on gold or platinum plated cables either since in terms of quality, they do not really outperform the normal, decent quality cables. In most cases, a middle of the road cable, which has been built from good quality materials, should be the one to purchase. You might have to make sure that the cable is at least version 1.3 or 1.4 if you are looking for 1.4 specific features only. Probably for 99% of the cases, a 1.3 cable would suffice, but if you want to have Audio return channel, then buying 1.4 is a must. The Audio return channel allows you to pass the sound from the TV back to your sound system, which is particularly useful in some cases.

For special cases, where you need to link a source, which is 15 meters or more away from the display, you should purchase an active HDMI cable with built-in electronics that serve as boosters since they could carry the signal up to 30 meters. An alternative would be to link two or more HDMI cables by using an extender. If you need to link two or more sources to the same display, then you could use as many cables as you need and an HDMI switch for your setup.

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