Since the advent of high definition, HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cables have become the standard for audiovisual connections. The HDMI port makes it possible for image and sound to pass through a single cable, significantly reducing the amount of wiring behind the TV stand and offering higher quality than its analog predecessors.
The market is overflowing with HDMI cables that offer all sorts of technical specifications at a wide range of prices. How do you know which one to choose?
To help you make an informed decision, the experts at Fillion explain how to choose an HDMI cable that suits your needs.
Choosing your HDMI cable based on intended use
HDMI cables are indispensable accessories for HD and 4K UHD TVs. Today, almost all of the most common audiovisual sources, such as Blu-Ray players and video game consoles, need to be connected to the TV via HDMI cable.
HDMI cables have many advantages. They provide a fully digital link between components for conversion-free transfer, meaning that the audiovisual signals remain unaltered. HDMI offers the best resolution for both audio and video so that you can maintain signal integrity without needing a complex setup.
Your choice of HDMI cable should depend on what you intend to use it for. Some are designed specifically for audio, while others are best suited for video content. A cable that’s made for audio will provide a smoother, warmer, more open sound that’s free of interference. Of course, a generic cable will do the job, but they often have a cold, aggressive sound.
Choosing your HDMI cable based on technical specifications
HDMI cables have had to evolve over the years to keep up with the growing demands of the image and sound industry. To accommodate the 4K UHD and HDR signals that have become industry standard, an HDMI cable must have at least 18 Gbps (Gigabits per second) of bandwidth. QLED and 4K TVs require the use of high-quality cables.
The AudioQuest Vodka 48 HDMI cable is perfect for video use due to its exceptional performance.
The latest HDMI specification, HDMI 2.1, was introduced at the end of 2017. The new generation distinguishes itself by providing higher resolution and a better refresh rate. HDMI 2.1 cables can accommodate signals up to 8K/120Hz with 48 Gbps of bandwidth. They also support signals from Dolby Vision certified sources.
HDMI cable compatibility
All generations of HDMI cables are backwards compatible. All good-quality HDMI cables currently available on the market are able to replicate HD and 3D signals.
Conversely, earlier versions of HDMI cables are incompatible with 4K UHD sources, meaning that they simply will not work. 4K UHD sources require HDMI 2.0 cables with at least 18 Gbps of bandwidth to transmit content.
HDMI cable length
HDMI cable performance is influenced by its length. Good quality HDMI cables can transmit 4K UHD, HDR and 3D signals up to 8 m (26 ft.) without a problem.
Longer HDMI cables, which are often needed for setups with movie projectors, require an equalizer to ensure the quality of content that requires 18 Gbps of bandwidth up to 15 m (49 ft.).
How to choose an HDMI cable for audio use
With so many devices available that can play soundtracks (both music and video) in high resolution, many audio enthusiasts are turning to high-end Blu-Ray players, computers and multimedia players connected to a home theatre amplifier via HDMI. In such cases, high-quality HDMI cables are needed to ensure a superior audio experience. Consequently, HDMI is becoming a first-rate audio interconnect cable. From conductive materials (long-grain copper, silver) to insulating sheaths, every component is carefully selected to provide a warm, high-fidelity sound stage.
The AudioQuest Carbon 48 cable is perfectly suited for audio use due to its superior sound quality.
The many electromagnetic waves in a home cause interference that will affect the performance of any device. The interference may come from other hi-fi components, but the main sources are devices that use the waves to function wirelessly, such as cell phones, cordless phones, WiFi and Bluetooth devices and microwaves.
That’s why a shielded HDMI cable is a sensible choice. The shielding will prevent environmental interference from affecting performance.
Find an HDMI cable that suits your needs at Fillion
Choosing the right HDMI cable isn’t easy. It can be challenging to make sense of all the different standards and features of the cables available on the market, and the cable you choose will depend on what you want to use it for.
It might be worth asking a high-tech specialist for advice on how to choose an HDMI cable.
Contact our experts today! Our team will be happy to answer your questions and help you determine which HDMI cable best suits your needs. Just come visit our store in Montreal! Our consultants are also available to help you set up your HDMI cable and any other electronics you purchase.