Today, whenever you are shopping for a TV, Blu-ray player, or other electronics, you will notice the HDMI port among their specifications. Even though most people will commonly associate it with the port and the specific cable it comes with, in reality the HDMI is a set of rules and standards that allow a high definition connection between all digital devices. In addition, due to the HD in the High Definition Multimedia Interface, another common misconception is that the high definition signal is only available to this format.
One of the reasons why these two should not be confused is the fact that high definition signals usually encompass the technology behind the HDMI. The HD refers to the audio and video signals interpreted by electronic devices that determine them to convert the resolution and quality of sound to their maximum capacity. On the other hand, the HDMI is the actual cable technology that allows you to enjoy a full HD setup. Since these cables enable a transmission of 1080p resolution with a refresh rate of up to 120 HZ, a lot of voices nowadays consider the HDMI as the highest quality HD cable connection available.
The HDMI cables are considered the digital equivalent of the analogue cables, such as coaxial, radio frequency cables, or the S-video cable. With the help of the cables that incorporate the HDMI technology, you can convert the analogue signals into digital transmissions and hence, attain a higher quality image. The mechanism behind this is quite simple: because it uses transition minimized differential signaling to move data from one place to another, then it can protect it from degrading as it travels through the cable. However, for the moment, it seems that one of the main problems of the HDMI cables is that the transmission usually degrades as the length of the cable gets bigger.
The high definition broadcasting is also available though component video, VGA and DVI, which are the main formats used for computer monitors and some HDTVs. Even though the aforementioned are able to transmit a crystal clear video signal of 1080p, their main disadvantage is that they do not carry the audio signal. It is important to note that VGA and DVI are usually better than the component video cables, as, even though component video is capable of reaching the maximum resolution, it cannot transmit a full signal. Consequently, the component video cable is generally considered to have the lowest quality video signal transmission of all HD cables.