Three commonly asked questions about HDMI cables

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cables act as a source for transmitting data from a storage unit to a display device. This is extremely beneficial especially if you have your favourite films stored on an external HDD (hard disk drive).

Outlined below are some frequently asked questions relating to HDMI cables.

1) 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 specifications typically relate to manufacturing or testing issues and are not always related to features or functionality. However, the version number might affect the type of adaptor that you purchase.

2) 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 for different TV sets.

3) 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 displays such as WQXGA cinema monitors.

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Use HDMI cables for High Definition viewing

HDMI cables have now become an alternative to traditional analogue cables for broadcasting High Definition (HD) video and audio streams on multimedia devices.

HDMI cables are also used with digital devices such as Blu-ray players, and the Xbox and PS3 gaming consoles.

Unlike outdated analogue cables, HDMI cables can also support any type of PC or TV video format and single cable interface. One of the major advantages of HDMI technology is its complete compatibility with the DVI (Digital Video Interface) signal, which eliminates the need for any type of conversion.

The standard HDMI plug found on desktop computers and high-end TVs has nineteen pins. HDMI cables are capable of handling data signal of 10.2 Gbit/s with video signal support of 1600p. Furthermore, these cables can also support higher resolution videos, therefore making them perfect for High Definition broadcast purposes.

Getting the right HDMI cables

If you are considering purchasing an HDMI cable, there are some important things you must consider. Initially, you must look for the brand, length and the cost of HDMI cables. As these cables are expensive compared to other cables, getting the best quality one can help you make the most of it.

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Some facts about HDMI leads

HDMI leads are the newest and the most preferred form of connection for the HDTVs of today.

HDMI cables are used for transmitting video and audio data in an uncompressed format. One of the major advantages of HDMI is that it supports enhanced, standard or high definition video along with multi-channel audio using a single cable. As this minimises the need to use multiple cables for transmitting audio and video, HDMI cables have become quite popular in recent times.

Most modern video/audio devices such as Blu-ray players, computers, set-top boxes and DVD players have HDMI ports. This is also a major reason why many people prefer using HDMI leads over component cables and scart leads.

HDMI leads are quite superior to analogue leads, both in visual display and sound quality. They support uncompressed 8-channel digital audio and all presently available compressed formats like DTS and Dolby Digital. They also have extra bandwidth to accommodate future enhancements of the technology.

Looking for the best quality HDMI leads is important

When it comes to buying cables for entertainment systems, many people are generally misinformed about HDMI. Similarly to other cables, HDMI leads do come in different qualities. A low quality HDMI lead might suffer from RFI and EMI interference which can make the picture on your television screen become speckled when another electronic device is switched on, for instance a hairdryer or a food processor.

On the other hand, choosing the best quality HDMI leads can have a considerable effect on the quality of images appearing on your TV screen.

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Five easy steps to set up your HDMI cable

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cables are used for transferring data from your computer or external Hard Disk Drive (HDD) to a display device. These connectors carry a good deal more than just basic A/V data and therefore can deliver a clearer, sharper image to your display screen.

If you are trying to set up an HDMI cable, refer to the steps listed below.

Step 1: Ensure that your TV set is HDMI compatible. You can do this by looking for HDMI ports on the back of your TV set.

Step 2: Check your home cinema system for HDMI outlets. Use these ports to route all of the connectors to your TV set. You can also connect these cables directly to your TV instead of using an adaptor. Your TV will need to be compatible with the latest cable if you wish to connect the cable directly.

Step 3: Look for a HDMI port at the back of your DVD or Blu-ray player, and insert one end of your HDMI cable into it. Connect the other end to the TV set. Repeat this step with all your different devices and components until all cables are hooked up.

Step 4: Ensure that you connect your HDMI cables to the ‘out’ port of your A/V device and the ‘in’ port of your TV set. This is because the data will be transferred from the A/V receiver to the TV and not the other way round.

Step 5: Turn on your TV, access the setup menu and set the signal to whichever HDMI port you have connected the cable to. Then, simply turn on the A/V receiver and enjoy your latest film or sports match in High-Definition.

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Ensuring you can receive HDTV

In order for your TV to receive high definition signals, you will need to replace the coaxial cable with an HDMI cable. This will allow for the transmission of sharper images and sound files from a storage unit to your display device. With the help of these cables, you can enjoy high definition TV and video.

Mentioned below are some of the basic things you will need for HDTV.

• HDMI cable
• HDMI converter box
• HDMI compatible high definition TV

Step 1: You should contact your cable or satellite operator for an upgrade to the existing set top box or if you do not have these services, you will need to purchase a new one yourself.

Step 2: Connect the coaxial cable that delivers the TV signal to the ‘video in’ port.

Step 3: Once you connect the coaxial cable to the ‘video in’ port, you can proceed by connecting the HDMI cable in the ‘video out’ port.

Step 4: Finally, connect the loose end of the HDMI cable into the open HDMI port in your TV. The HDMI port is usually located on the rear of your television set. Ensure that you get high quality audio/video. If you face any issues, repeat the aforementioned steps or contact the cable or satellite company and seek technical assistance.

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Features of HDMI cables and different versions

With HDTVs, PlayStations and Blu-ray players becoming increasingly popular, it becomes important to choose the right type of cable for connection and broadcast. HDMI is the newest form of audio video interface used for transmitting the uncompressed digital data between HD devices like HDTVs, HD satellite boxes and HD DVD players.

Unlike traditional connection cables, HDMI cables offer a crystal clear, video, audio and all-digital signal through a single cable. HDMI cables are available in different versions including v1.0, v1.2, v1.3a, v1.3b and v1.4. Version 1.4 is the latest, while version 1.3 (a and b) are only used for testing specifications.

Version 1.4 of HDMI cables includes an Ethernet channel that is compatible with IP enabled devices. It also supports 3D with resolutions of up to 4096 X 2160. The best part of HDMI 1.4 is that it is completely backwards compatible with the earlier versions.

Things to look for when buying HDMI cables

When looking to purchase HDMI cables, there are some important things you need to look for. Ferrite EMI Suppressors are essential for minimising electromagnetic interference. They are mostly coils with a round barrel shape and can be found at one end of the HDMI cable.

As far as possible, look for double or triple shielded cables to improve the quality of the broadcast output signal. Gold plated connectors do not create any substantial effect on the image quality, but they do minimise oxidisation. With careful consideration of the above pointers, you can get the best quality HDMI cable for your HD equipment.

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HDMI cables – refer to the following points

High definition TV sets have become common in modern homes due to the advanced features that they offer. These TV sets offer internet connectivity, HDMI ports and in some cases, even Bluetooth connectivity. An HDMI (high definition multimedia interface) cable is a must to further enhance the features offered by HDTVs.

History of HDMI cables

HDMI cables were first introduced in December 2002. This release coincided with the launch of HDTVs. Several updates have been made since their launch. This includes version 1.1, version 1.2a, version 3 and version 4. Each update has offered enhanced reliability, compatibility and more features.

Identification and connection of HDMI ports and cables

Most modern electronic devices are equipped with HDMI ports. It is always important to check the compatibility of your transmitting and receiving device prior to opting for a specific version of HDMI cable.

Functionality of HDMI cables

HDMI cables help in transmitting data from one device to another over a single cable. These cables have a maximum bandwidth of up to 5 gigabits per second. This is twice the minimum requirement for heavy data like movies and audio files.

Considerations prior to opting for HDMI cables

It is important to opt for a shorter wire if possible. This is because the length of the wire might have a say in the eventual quality of the data being transmitted. The capabilities of the cable also depend on the rating given to each device.

Transmit films from your computer with ease

With the advent of HDMI cables, you do not need USB cables or external HDDs. These cables help in transmitting data at a faster bandwidth and also without affecting quality.

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HDMI cables – The ‘Generation Next’ in the world of technology

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) has become common in most modern homes. These cables are advanced and an effective method to connect and transmit audio and video data between a device and your display.

As the name suggests, HDMI cables handle multimedia data transfer with relative ease and more importantly, without affecting the overall quality of the video. With the help of HDMI cables, you can handle video and multi-channel audio in a single cable rather than using multiple cables.  Enjoy your favourite sport in high-definition with the help of HDMI cables.

HDMI capable devices

Most modern electronic equipments consist of HDMI jacks. You will find HDMI ports on DVRs, Blue Ray players, LCD and Plasma TV sets, DSLR cameras and many more. However, it is important to check with the manufacturer on the type of HDMI cable that is supported by your device. If you have any issues with the wire not connecting, do not attempt to force it in the jack. This might damage the port on your device or break the ‘Magsafe’ end of the cable. In such a scenario, it is advisable to refer to the manual or opt for an HDMI adaptor.

Still have issues connecting the cable? Read on and try to rectify

The most common issue faced by most owners is that the cables do not connect properly. This can occur if you have purchased a wrong version of the cable. You can verify this by checking the manual provided by the manufacturer. Refer to the version number and check if it is capable with your device. The four different versions of HDMI cables consist of different ‘Magsafe’ ends. If the problem still persists, it is advisable to return the cable and opt for a newer one. Also, get your device checked by an authorised dealer or technician.

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Need help dealing with some HDMI cable issues?

HDMI is a commonly used abbreviation for High Definition Multimedia Interface. It allows the homeowner to avoid constant plugging and re-plugging of wires. HDMI switches are also known as HDMI switchers or HDMI switching boxes. These switches are the so-called ‘hubs’ for your home theatres audio/video. Generally, these cables and switches will not cause connection issues. Refer to the commonly issues given below and clear out the problem.

I cannot connect the cable to my HDMI port

It is important to ensure that the cable version is appropriate prior to connecting it into the port. Refer to the manual of your display device and verify the version number supported by the HDMI port. HDMI ports are available in four different versions. Each of these versions consists of different ‘Magsafe’ ends.

I do not get any sound from the video

In such a scenario, ensure that the cable is properly connected to your display device. Disconnect the cable, clear out any dirt or dust and reconnect. If the issue persists, check the video card specifications of your transmitting device. If it does not consist of a single HDMI port, you will need to purchase an adaptor. If you still face the problem, return the cable and opt for a newer one.

The HDMI switches do not work well with all my devices

This problem is known to affect most DVR owners. This is because the DVR never powers off and hence it will not release the HDMI switch automatically. Therefore the HDMI cable might not get recognised the next time when you plug it in. Some switches support port prioritisation, which can solve the problem. The port prioritisation switches gives priority to the device on input 1 over input 2. This means that if you have a DVR on input 2, and turn on the Blu-ray player on input 1, it switches. When you turn off the Blu-ray player, it reverts back to the DVR.

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Important features and functions of HDMI 1.4

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) represents a remarkable advancement in home cinema cable technology. It offers a high quality multimedia experience when connected to video or audio sources such as HDTVs, Blu-ray players and gaming consoles like the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360.

The specification of HDMI 1.4 surpasses earlier versions with advancements in areas like automotive connection system, resolution improvement and network capability.

New features of HDMI 1.4

Audio return channel

HDMI 1.4 offers a new audio return channel that minimises the number of required cables. It also ensures that the HDTV is able to send audio stream to the visual/audio receiver using an HDMI cable.

HDMI Ethernet channel

The HDMI 1.4 offers an improvement in bi-directional communication speed. In addition to this, the data channel also makes devices ready for Internet Protocol based applications. Another important advantage of the HDMI Ethernet channel is that it allows the ability to share internet connection with other HDMI devices without having to use separate cables.

Resolution for 3D

Using older HDMI versions, people face problems in playing different 3D formats on their existing 3D home cinema systems. However, in the case of HDMI 1.4, the problem is taken care of by standardising the input/output portion of your system. At the same time, resolution is also defined to allow your high-definition devices to play files with dual streams and resolutions of up to 1080p.

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