HDMI 1.4, 2.1, standard, high speed, ultra-high-speed, how do you keep up with all these new changes and versions? Maybe you want your new HD home video setup to look amazing. Maybe, your new 4K gaming setup needs a new HDMI cable. This guide will teach you some of the basics of HDMI, the different connectors involved, and lastly, demonstrate the common pitfalls. By the end, you'll know exactly what you need to do to have that clear crisp quality and speed you were promised for your video, gaming, and other HDMI needs.
"HDMI" or High-Definition Multimedia Interface is the global standard for digital video and audio transfer from a source device such as a computer or gaming console to a display such as a TV, monitor, or projector.
While HDMI has become the standard in audiovisual setups for gaming, home video, and more, it's also constantly being updated. How do you keep up with all the new standards and cable types? How do you know when you'll need an additional cable for audio? What happens when you're screen is grainy or worse cuts in and out? HDMI in today's edge can sometimes be tricky but most of your confusion should be cleared up in this guide.
Do you need HDMI information quickly? When in HDMI doubt, check this graphic out! (Click to enlarge)
These three items will meet most HDMI-related cable needs. Additionally, all of the following parts have the required HDMI specifications and certifications including implemented safeguards for protecting cables and ports.
The catch-all: This is a 1-meter HDMI 1.3 cable and will support most of your HDMI needs so long as you don't need 8K resolution and an ultra-high-speed connection.
High-end HDMI: This HDMI 2.1 cable is the most up-to-date HDMI cable of this writing and is designed for high-speed, high resolution 4K and 8K video and gaming connections.
USB C support: Use this connector to transfer video from a computer with only USB-C ports to a display with HDMI ports.
A more in-depth explanation of resolution, speed, and cable types will come in the following pages. Skip to the section "Finding the Right Cable or Adapter for You" to read more on specific HDMI scenarios.