Here’s everything you need to know about HDMI connections, including the various specifications and applications.

Look at the back of the TV or the side of the laptop and you will notice an HDMI connection, and in terms of making the devices talk to each other, HDMI cables are quite useful.

But knowing which cable you need or what the current specification means can be difficult to figure out. We have compiled this guide so that you can make the best use of your HDMI cables.

What is HDMI?

HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface. The cable transmits data (in the form of digital 0s and 1s) from a source to a device such as a TV, computer, laptop, projector or speaker.

HDMI was originally developed by electronics manufacturers to come up with a universal standard for connecting devices. The goal was to improve connectivity standards by allowing more data to pass through to meet high-resolution content requirements, create a smaller connector, and add more built-in audio support.

Since its development in 2002, it has been widely distributed in a number of devices. We would be surprised if there was no TV or computer devices that did not HDMI support function.

What types of HDMI cables are there?

Now that we know what HDMI is, we can start to become more specific. There are different types of HDMI cables with different applications, some of which are capable of faster data transfer speeds (in Gbps).

The standard HDMI cable is one of the most common and is designed to work with satellite TV resolutions up to 720p and 1080i, and the bandwidth can reach speeds of up to 5Gbps.

The standard car HDMI cable has the same properties as the standard cable, but is used to connect devices to video displays in the car. Comes with an additional screen to eliminate interference from other electrical systems in the car.

The other four HDMI cable options allow for better bandwidth transmission speeds, making them a better option if you want to watch higher resolution media. High-speed HDMI has a bandwidth speed of up to 10Gbps and can process video resolutions up to 4K.

Types of HDMI cables

High-speed car HDMI cables have the same characteristics as high-speed HDMI cable, but, as the name suggests, this HDMI cable is optimized for use in automotive environments.

Premium high-speed HDMI cables go further, supporting 4K video transfer (also known as UltraHD), along with support for HDR content and extended color gamut. Bandwidth also reaches 10Gbps.

Ultra high speed HDMI cables are the most optimal, with support for 8K video transmission with HDR support and transfer speeds up to 48Gbps. This cable supports HDMI 2.1, which is the latest hardware specification and allows higher resolution playback. You can read more about HDMI 2.1 in our explanatory article.

All HDMI cables without car variations have built-in Ethernet support. Although not very common, it allows many HDMI-connected devices to share an Ethernet connection with a router, with support for speeds of up to 100Mb per second.

What are the different HDMI connectors used for?

There are four sizes of HDMI connectors: Standard, Mini, Micro and Automotive.

The standard connector, or type A, is the HDMI cable used as the source for devices that allows you to connect a game console to a monitor or a Blu-ray player to a TV.

The mini connector, or Type C, is specific that is used with some tablets and DSLR cameras. The Mini end plugs into the device, while the other end of the cable is a standard connector that can be used with a monitor, computer, or video projector.

Woman using a Hoover Steam Express hand steam cleaner on white shelves

Micro-sized D-type or HDMI connectors are used on even smaller portable devices, such as smartphones, small tablets and digital cameras. In the same way as the Type C connector, the other end of this cable will contain a standard connector.

The last type of HDMI cable is type E or car connector. It is less common and is used for industrial and automotive applications.

What do HDMI ports look like?

There are countless devices that have HDMI connectors, but it is not always easy to see where they are. On most TVs, the HDMI port will be around the back of the device, and the shape of the HDMI port will look like a trapezoid with opposite sides of the slot of uneven length.

the back of the Denon amplifier system showing power connections to Hdmi

TVs mark the ports, so you can look for small stickers that will show which port is for HDMI.

And while smaller devices, such as tablets or phones, may not have a label for HDMI ports, you should be able to distinguish them from the special shape, as Standard, Mini and Micro adhere to the same trapezoidal shape with opposite sides. .

What is HDMI? Everything you need to know about the connector

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