What's an HDMI Cable?

With the exponential growth of information and technology, HDMI, which stands for High-Definition Multi-Media Interface, has become the new expected standard for users of multimedia products. After years of development, HDMI has become a widely accepted standard for the transmission of digital video and audio signals between TVs and computer monitors. The popularity of HDMI can be summarized by the fact that you can find HDMI ports on almost every display device on the market.

 

In what year did HDMI make its debut?

When we are looking at a product that we are intimately familiar with, a good place to start is to look at its development history.

Guess what? I was truly surprised by the fact that even such a small electronic product has its own international association as well! The association is comprised of some of the biggest brands in the industry, including Hitachi, Philips, Toshiba, and Sony. Here is the official home page of their website!

With the help of this international association, which is also affiliated with the electronics industry, HDMI itself has rapidly developed. Benefitting from the help of the association, manufacturers are required to pay a license fee to use HDMI interface protocols.

With an increasing demand for high-definition multimedia, HDMI cables are constantly evolving under the association's guidance. HDMI has been updated for many generations in just 20 years and possesses various professional specifications. 

As users, we don't need to remember it all. There is one very critical point to understand with HDMI updates: they are designed to meet the human pursuit of higher image and sound quality, which also assumes more advanced audio and video technology in the future!

 

Does HDMI port come in only one style?

The answer is no! HDMI ports come in 4 different sizes, as you can see in the below image.

  1. Type B HDMI (29 pins, its width is twice that of Type A)
  2. Type A HDMI (19 pins, the most common one)
  3. Type C HDMI -- Mini HDMI (19 pins)
  4. Type D HDMI – Micro HDMI (19 pins)

Undoubtedly, the most familiar style is the Type A HDMI, which is the most commonly seen in the market. We will introduce it below in details.  

 

HDMI appeals to a lot of people. Why? Are there any reasons I might need it?

Before answering these questions, try asking yourself

  1. Do you love watching dramas?
  2. Do you have a laptop and a desktop computer that require a regular connection?
  3. Do you enjoy playing video games?
  4. Do you like photography?

As long as your answer is: Yes! Congratulations, you might not notice it, but it does exist in your daily life! HDMI cables are an indispensable part of your life!

As mentioned above, HDMI is a must for almost all display devices, which illustrates the importance of HDMI. Basically, all audio and video equipment requires HMDI for video transmission!

The chart below demonstrates the variety of HDMI applications:

  1. TV, computer monitor, projector;
  2. DVD player, Blu-ray player
  3. Laptop, desktop;
  4. Game consoles, such as Nintendo Switch, PS4, etc;
  5. Home theatre amplifier;
  6. Professional SLR camera and video camera;
  7. Other multimedia streaming equipment.

As seen in the above illustration, there will be a hard time transmitting multimedia pictures without HDMI!

 

Which HDMI cable stands out as the most compelling? Which version of HDMI should I purchase?

As we already introduced, HDMI has evolved for 20 years so as to provide higher image and sound quality. Of course we don’t need to know every generation, we pick three, HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1, which are also popular in the market, to introduce. I will give an overview of the features of each version.

HDMI 1.4

HDMI 1.4 came out in 2009 and got the world's attention -- it was the very first time that HDMI was able to transmit 4K video! Imagine if you weren't able to watch a 4K video right now, but they were able to transmit it ten years ago.

The main features of this update include:

  1. Support 4K@24Hz video transmission for the first time;
  2. Support 3D technology for the first time;
  3. Support HDMI ARC audio transmission technology for the first time;
  4. Support Internet sharing for the first time.

There are a lot of technical highlights, but we can tell you that it can only achieve 24FPS at 4K resolution. 4K video transmission at 30FPS or even 60FPS will only be supported in later versions.

HDMI 2.0

HDMI 2.0, which was released in 2013, successfully made up for all the shortcomings of previous versions:

  1. Support 4K@60Hz video transmission;
  2. Increased bandwidth to 18 Gb/s;
  3. Full support for 10-bit, 12-bit color depth, providing richer and more accurate colors;
  4. Support up to 32 channels of home theatre system, allowing for an immersive 3D movie experience at home;

As you can see, HDMI 2.0 fixes almost all the weaknesses of the HDMI 1.4! HDMI 2.0 has become the current mainstream standard. We proudly state that we offer HDMI 2.0 cables in several of our product lines. Just enjoy browsing and buying!

HDMI 2.1

Four years later, in 2017, HDMI 2.1 appeared, and it looks like it has decided to compete with DisplayPort cables to some extent.

  1. Support 8K@60Hz and 4K@120Hz video transmission, and even up to 10K resolution rate;
  2. Increased bandwidth to 48 Gb/s;
  3. Dynamic HDR and eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel);
  4. Enhanced gaming features, including VRR, ALLM, QFT;

HDMI 2.1 brings an eye-catching new refresh rate and resolution, but there are few commercial devices currently on the market that can be used with. The enhancement of the gaming experience makes HDMI another great choice for gamers other than DisplayPort cables. Don't forget, both PS5 and Xbox Series X support HDMI 2.1.

If you’ve already received your PS5, you can grab a new braided HDMI 2.1 cable here for your beloved gaming console.

As for the differences between bandwidth, ARC & eARC, color depth, VRR, ALLM, and QFT mentioned above, we will keep you updated on the upcoming blog posts! Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

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