HDMI cables are key to transmitting high-definition video and audio from devices to TVs and projectors. But with so many HDMI cable types and brands available, it can be difficult to know which one to buy. In this article, we'll help you understand the different types of HDMI cables available and how to choose the best one for your needs.
Points to note when buying HDMI cables
There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing an HDMI cable. First, not all HDMI cables are created equal. Some cables are built better and use thicker wiring, which can lead to a better signal. Second, not all HDMI ports are the same. Some ports are designed to take a certain type of cable or connector, so make sure to get the right cable for your device. Finally, price is not always indicative of quality. Though you may want to spend a little more for a high-quality HDMI cable, it's not always necessary. There are many great cables available for a reasonable price. Do your research, and you're sure to find the perfect HDMI cable for your needs.
HDMI is an evolving standard. There have been several versions including 1.0 through to 1.4 and 2.0 onwards. With each new version, new capabilities have been introduced, however if a piece of equipment has the latest version of HDMI it does not necessarily mean that it supports every feature. The main point to note is that HDMI is an evolving standard.
If you need all the latest technology and gadgetry and the capability to use the cables with new equipment then you should go for an HDMI lead with standard type A connectors. However, if you are not sure or want to future-proof your purchase, then it might be wiser to go for an HDMI cable with the latest version number (currently 2.0).
It's important to buy a good quality HDMI cable as the cheaper ones can sometimes cause problems. Whilst there will be no picture quality difference between good and bad cables, there can sometimes be a difference in build quality meaning that the cables may be able to stand up to more use. If they're plugged in and left in situ then there should be no issue, but if they're flexed and moved repeatedly then the low-cost cables may not last as long. That said, even most low cost cables are very reliable.
When it comes to HDMI cables, there are a few things you need to take into account before making your purchase. The most important consideration is the length of the cable. Many HDMI cables only need to be a short distance away from each other, so opting for a cable that's too long can be a waste of money. There are many different cable lengths available, so you're sure to find one that's perfect for your needs. If you're not sure which length to choose, our advice is to go for the shortest cable possible. This will help to save you money and it also makes installation easier. To measure the length of your desired cable, simply run a piece of string between the two points and leave a little extra to accommodate for bends.
Longer cable runs
Many people mistakenly believe that all HDMI cables are pretty much the same and just buy the cheapest one they can find. The fact is, not all HDMI cables are created equal and some perform better than others, especially over longer cable runs. Most HDMI cables are up to a couple of meters or so and this is more than adequate for most systems. If you need to run a cable further than this, you may need a cable with amplification built in, or you can use an HDMI extender. A HDMI extender is a single device (or pair of devices) powered with an external power source or with the 5V DC from the HDMI source. This will enable you to run your cable for longer distances without any signal loss.
HDMI connector size / style
There are three main types of HDMI connector that are in use: standard, mini & micro. The standard HDMI connector is the original and most common type. It's a fairly large connector that's usually found on TVs, projectors and other larger devices. The mini-HDMI connector is a smaller version of the standard connector and is typically used on portable devices, such as camcorders and digital cameras. The micro-HDMI connector is the smallest of the three and is commonly used on smartphones and tablets. Although there is the dual, Type B connector, it's not as common as the other three types. HDMI cables that transition from a standard HDMI connector to a mini- or micro-HDMI connector are becoming more common as people use more portable devices. These cables can be useful for connecting items like camcorders, cameras and other items to a unit that uses a standard HDMI cable.
Straight or right angled connectors
When looking for an HDMI cable, one option that may be worth considering is whether to get one with straight or right angled connectors. Straight connectors are the most common, and they work well in most situations. But if there is not much space between the equipment and the wall or back of a cabinet, for example, then right angled connectors can be a better choice, as they take up less space. Another thing to consider when buying HDMI cables is price. There are many different choices available, and it is important not to be drawn into buying very expensive cables on the promise of better performance. Instead, it is better to focus on finding a good quality cable that meets the needs of the individual system.
HDMI cables are a fundamental part of any home entertainment system, so it's important to make sure you're buying the best. Follow our guide on how to buy an HDMI cable and you'll be sure to get a cable that will last for years.
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