Buying an HDMI cable? Things you need to know

Have you recently purchased a new HDTV? Do you want to get the best multimedia experience from your new high-definition television set? If your answer is yes, then you need to consider using HDMI cables. They are transmission cables that can bring the full potential out of your HD multimedia devices.

Using HDMI cables, you can efficiently operate your digital video and audio components. HDMI cables can also help you get the best experience from your digital entertainment systems. In fact, these cables are high-quality options instead of the basic analogue connections like component, S-Video, composite and coaxial connections.

Picking the right HDMI cable

If you know the version of HDMI that your multimedia device requires, picking the right HDMI cable becomes quite easy.

For instance, if your device has a version rating of 1.1, you must look for HDMI cable with that specification. It is important to note that HDMI cable with 1.0 specification is not compatible with 1.1 or higher.

HDMI cables are further classified into different categories – standard and high speed cables. So, it is important to select the right HDMI cable for your device. This classification also coincides with the frame rate and the level of resolution of your display device. The category 1 HDMI cables work well with HDTVs. This is because they are designed to support standard quality. On the other hand, category 2 cables are perfect for higher frame rates and resolutions.

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HDMI 1.4 – Cutting edge technology with high end features

High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) has revolutionised the way we watch video and listen to music. It is the only technology of its kind that keeps the originality of the audiovisual signal intact and transmits it to our television screen without conversion or data loss. The result is crystal clear audiovisuals for an exhilarating viewing experience.

HDMI 1.4 is the latest version of the technology. It offers several developments over its predecessors. The latest upgrade of the technology offers capacity for networking and ethernet connectivity. HDMI 1.4 enables upstream audio transmission along the HDMI cable by the new Audio Return channel.

HDMI 1.4 has taken connectivity to a whole new level. Mentioned below are some of the features supported by HDMI cables.

High Definition Ethernet connectivity

This upgrade offers high speed bi-directional transmission. Data is transferred at speeds in excess of 100 megabytes per second. Internet protocol based applications can be instantaneously operational. This feature also allows internet sharing with other computers without the need of an extra cable.

High Definition Audio Return channel

HDMI 1.4 has reduced the number of cables required for upstream transmission of audio playback. HD televisions can now send the audio stream to a receiver through the HDMI cable for direct reception of audiovisual signals.

High Definition 3D support

HDMI 1.4 identifies all the common 3D formats and resolution levels for every HD device. This version of the technology standardises the input to output ratio of the 3D system and renders it at dual flow 1080p resolution.

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HDMI 1.4 High Tech Functionality

HDMI 1.4 leads are the number one format of connectivity for all the newest technology in the home. HDMI 1.4 takes all the benefits of HDMI and adds to it’s capabilities.

If you connect your TV, BluRay and PC equipment with HDMI 1.4 cables you will immediately experience a higher quality of content. Like standard HDMI, HDMI 1.4 offers unparalleled quality of data transfer in digital form so with HDMI 1.4 you will get the best High Definition pictures and sound. HDMI 1.4 does not suffer from interference, so you know with HDMI 1.4 that you are always getting the best possible signal.

HDMI 1.4 has an extra ethernet wire allowing even higher data transfer speeds. Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo Wii benefit from HDMI 1.4 because these games machines are the utilise HDMI 1.4 content where large packets of data can be transferred from the internet to the console. Similarly, your PC can use HDMI 1.4 too for data transfer between drives or for streaming content directly to your TV or HiFi. HDMI 1.4 leads have seemingly endless functionality.

HDMI 1.4 is backwards compatible, which means even your older HDMI equipment will still function with the latest HDMI 1.4 cables.

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High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) – A Basic information guide

HDMI cables are carriers of digital audiovisual signals. They establish a digital connection between HD devices and the source digital data. The digital information is uncompressed and does not undergo a conversion process before being displayed on the screen. HD DVD players, HD televisions and HD audio systems are electronic devices which have been upgraded to accommodate this technology.

HDMI cables – Features and specifics

HDMI cables are exclusively designed to keep picture and sound quality intact. Newer versions of the technology have been developed and are released all the time. The HDMI cable is a set of 19 sub cables which provide twice the bandwidth needed for transmission of audio and video signals. They can effortlessly transmit 10 gigabytes of digital audio and video per second.

Every new version includes three types of connectors. Type A and C have nineteen pins for supporting all HDTV formats. Type B HDMI cable holds twenty nine pins and has capacity for higher video resolutions such as WQSXGA.

The specifications of each version of HDMI are distinct. After its introduction in 2002, HDMI technology underwent many upgrades. These include HDMI 1.0, HDMI 1.1, HDMI 1.2, HDMI 1.2a, HDMI 1.3 and HDMI 1.4. HDMI 1.4 being the latest and most advanced version.

HDMI offers audio and video transmission without the slightest disturbance due to signal loss.

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Some things you need to understand about HDMI cables

An increasing number of people now own flat panel TVs. If you have recently purchased an LCD or plasma TV, you need to make sure that you use the right connectivity cables. HDMI technology has become quite popular in the recent past. Unlike the earlier technologies, HDMI technology is specially designed to carry both video and audio transmissions.

HDMI cables are capable of carrying high-definition signals. And, almost all HDTVs now feature at least 2 HDMI ports. So, whether you have a Blu-ray player, HD DVD player, computer or gaming console, you can use HDMI cables to get the best audio and video experience.

Why are HDMI cables the right cable to use?

The earlier analogue cables like DVI, composite, component and S-Video were only capable of carrying video signals. To carry audio signals, two different cables were required (right channel and left channel). However, with the introduction of the HDMI cable, the need to have different connectivity cables is completely eliminated.

HDMI technology is digital and supports resolutions of up to 1080p. The latest specification of HDMI – version 1.4 adds support for 3D. It also includes an Ethernet channel. HDMI cables are also backward compatible with DVI technology.

An HDMI cable is similar to a USB cable. In fact, it also doubles as a USB cable for data transfer between multimedia devices. There are many different types of HDMI cables out there. So, selecting good quality and appropriate HDMI cable is important.

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HDMI Leads are Worth Switching To

HDMI leads are the latest connectivity medium for all your gadgets in the home.
Only HDMI leads are capable of supporting both audio and video digital signals to a high definition standard. Put simply, if you aren’t using HDMI leads, you aren’t getting HD.

What’s great about HDMI leads is that they simplify all of the connections you may need. HDMI leads are compatible with all HD TVs, Blu Ray players, Games consoles, Laptops and even some mobile phones. So, if you are using HDMI leads it’s simple to connect them all together. If you want to catch the latest episode of Wonders of The Universe on BBC iplayer, HDMI leads allow you to connect your PC to your TV so you can start watching.

If you want to listen to MTV through your your HiFi system, HDMI leads connect the two devices, simply and cleanly. You can even use HDMI leads to unlock the high definition gaming features on your XBox or PS3. The applications for HDMI leads are endless.

Upgrading to HDMI leads is not an expensive proposition either. For just a few pounds per metre, HDMI leads can be bought to fit every one of your devices at small cost. Purchasing HDMI leads online gives you the biggest choice of available lengths and colour options the best value for money. HDMI leads are a real innovation compared to the clunky functionality of old style AV and SCART cables which means making the switch to HDMI leads should be seen as essential to anyone who wants the best performance from their equipment.

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Want to know more about the different versions of HDMI cables? Read on

HDMI cables are known as a technological marvel because of their myriad benefits. These cables help to transfer data from a playback source to a display device. These cables enhance the overall quality of the data being transferred and hence it is possible to view your favourite movie in high-definition.

When purchasing HDMI cables, you will come across four basic types. These include HDMI 1.1, HDMI 1.2, HDMI 1.2a and HDMI 1.3. You might not notice major differences in the functionality or even the style of the cables. However, these upgrades were carried out for testing purposes. Mentioned below are some of the basic differences.

HDMI 1.1

The earliest and the most basic form of HDMI cables, the 1.1 supported DVD only. Transmitting high definition images was not possible with HDMI cable 1.1.

HDMI 1.2

The first upgrade for HDMI 1.1 included support for One Bit Audio Format. Super Audios and DSD (Direct Stream Digital) were also supported in HDMI 1.2. Apart from these features, HDMI 1.2 also included availability of the widely used HDMI Type ‘A’ connector for PC sources and displays with full support for PC video formats. The option to support the YCbCr colour space was also added in 1.2. The enhancements in these cables made it possible for later displays to support future low voltage sources, such as the PCI Express I/O technology.

HDMI 1.2a

Version 1.2a did not see many upgrades or enhancements as previously thought. It offered support for HDMI CTS 1.2a technical consistency. 1.2a also consists of an additional cable and connector that aids in connector testing and Authorised Testing Centre (ATC).

HDMI 1.3

HDMI 1.3 increases the single link bandwidth to 340 MHz (10.2 GBPS) with added support for high end display devices. HDMI 1.3 also boasts of support for 10-bit, 12-bit and 16-bit. “x.v.Color™” and IEC 61966-2-4 xvYCC colour standards are also supported.

These are just few of the features that separate the four versions of HDMI cables. Refer to these features before you opt for a type of HDMI cable.

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Three commonly asked questions pertaining to HDMI cables

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cables are the best way to transmit data from a storage unit to a display device. They are extremely beneficial, especially if you have your favourite movie stored on an external HDD.

Mentioned below are some frequently asked questions pertaining to HDMI cables.

What is the difference between HDMI 1.3, 1.3a and 1.3b?

As a consumer, you might not find any noticeable difference between the three different types. The minor revisions to the specification typically relates to manufacturing or testing issues and are in no way related to the features or functionality. However, the version number might affect the type of adaptor that you purchase.

Do HDMI cables support closed captioning?

The upgrade from analogue to digital TV has added a bit of complexity to closed captioning (CC). With a standard way of transmitting, displaying and decoding the content, it was fairly easy to enable CC on analogue TV sets.

However, the responsibility of decoding CC was taken away from the TVs and put into Set Top Boxes (STB) with the advent of digital TV sets. STBs make decoding the CCs a complicated procedure. The implementation of CC can vary from one product to another. This process can either be simple or more difficult, depending on the implementation. It should be noted that CCs might work differently on different TV sets.

What is the difference between standard and high-speed HDMI cables?

The HDMI Licensing Company introduced the policy of dividing HDMI cables into two categories – Standard and High-Speed Cables.

Standard Cables: Cables that have been tested to perform at speeds of 75-80 MHz and up to 1.25 GBPS are usually categorised as Standard HDMI Cables. These cables support resolutions up to 720p/1080i.

High-Speed Cables: Cables that are tested to perform at speeds of up to 340 MHz and/or 10.2 GBPS are known as High-Speed HDMI Cables. These cables can support resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 on high resolution display such as WQXGA cinema monitors.

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HDMI cables – their different features and uses

HDMI cables are the new form of connectivity in the technology arena. They are capable of carrying high-definition audio and video signals. Over the past few years, the HDMI interface has become widespread. People now prefer using HDMI cables because they enhance the HDTV viewing experience.

Know more about HDMI cables

The high definition multimedia interface or HDMI is a digital video/audio connector. It is used for transmitting digital uncompressed data over a range of different communication sources (both video/audio).

HDMI cables are the best substitute over the standard analogue cables. For instance, they can be used as a digital option over composite video, SCART, analogue radio frequency (RF) coaxial cables, D-Terminal, Separate Video (S-video or Y/C), VGA (Video Graphics Array) and component video.

HDMI cables can be used for connecting the following components –

• DVD players
• Set top boxes
• Blu-ray disc players
• High definition DVD players
• Personal computers (PCs)
• Camcorders (Video camera recorder)
• Computer monitors
• Digital TV
• Gaming consoles (Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3)

The Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are some of the most popular gaming consoles sold today. To enjoy the best gaming experience, individuals connect their gaming consoles with plasma and LCD TVs.

The connectivity cables used to carry audio and video signals separately. However, this is completely eliminated with the use of HDMI cables. This cable also doubles up as a USB cable, making data transfer easier and faster.

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Here are few things to look for when buying an HDMI cable

With the introduction of high definition LCD and plasma TVs, HDMI technology has also become immensely popular. It is an audio video interface used for broadcasting uncompressed digital data between HDTVs and other HD multimedia devices. These devices include HD satellite boxes, HD DVD players and gaming consoles, etc.

HDMI technology offers all digital, crystal clear video and audio signals using a single connectivity cable. As the HDMI technology has different versions available, it is important to get an HDMI cable that is appropriate for your device.

Version 1.4 is the latest and the most updated specification that includes an Ethernet channel. It offers supports for 3D and resolutions up to 4096 X 2160. HDMI version 1.4 is also known as a high-speed cable with Ethernet. The newer version of the HDMI cable is also backwards compatible with the previous versions.

How to buy the right cable

HDMI cables are available in two different categories; high speed and standard cables. They can be used with 780p and 1080i devices. High speed HDMI cables are perfect for 1080p devices like PS3 gaming consoles and Blu-ray players.

When it comes to buying HDMI cables, there are certain things you need to look out for. To reduce the electro magnetic interference, it is important to have ferrite EMI suppressors. It is a round barrel shaped coil that can be found on either side of the HDMI cable. Double and triple shielded cables also help to enhance the quality of the cable.

While gold plated HDMI cables do not have any major effects on the image quality, they do help to reduce oxidation. Cable length and your budget are also some points to consider when buying HDMI cables.

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