A brief guide to High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cables

HDMI cables, as we all know, are used for the transfer of high quality data from either your external HDD or computer to your LCD/Plasma TV set.

What are HDMI cables?

Generally, HDMI can be defined as a 19 pin connection that has become standard with most modern devices. These devices include LCD/Plasma TV sets, PS3, Xbox 360 and many more besides. These cables serve as the perfect replacement for the European SCART socket. The HDMI cables can also act as a replacement for the coaxial and optical leads. Separate digital audio connections and interlinking of AV systems is also possible.

Features offered by HDMI cables

HDMI cables support high quality data transfer and can also deliver multichannel digital soundtracks apart from high definition video. These cables can also be used with upscaling DVD players that use digital processing to produce an HDTV like output.

Does HDMI always mean better quality audio and video?

Contrary to the popular belief, an HDMI cable does not guarantee HDTV output. It is important to look for ‘HDMI Ready’ logo on the devices that you have to confirm HDTV compatibility. You should also note that using an HDMI cable might not guarantee better performance. Quality wise, you will notice a difference compared to analogue connections such as S-Video, RGB and component video.

What are your options when it comes to HDMI cables?

You can opt for HDMI v1.1, 1.2, 1.2a, 1.3 and 1.4. The different versions vary in terms of functionality and the features offered. HDMI 1.2 and 1.2a does not support resolutions as high as 1080i. On the other hand, HDMI v1.4 might be a bit more expensive but they offer features that are unrivalled by any other data transmission cable, including previous HDMI versions.

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