In the previous few weeks, we discussed to much around consumer electronics like UHD/4k televisions, soundbars and so on. That may sound opposite to the phillosophy of this website – we remain to discuss the basics. But essentially we have to entertain all types of readers. What are the types of HDMI cables? That is exactly what will discuss in this article in easy langugage. All HDMI cables are good provided that the version you are using matches your need. If your need is a HDMI cables for modern 4K set top boxes with audio return (ARC) then too old version of HDMI cable will sub optimally work with no sound at all.
What Are The Types of HDMI Cables?
HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface. There are several versions of HDMI since it first released and today, but all of them use the same cable and connector. Type of HDMI cable mainly depends on the version of HDMI and networking capabilities. There are five HDMI connector types – A to E.
Type A – Normally seen. It has 19 pins.
Type B – Unusual. This connector is wider than Type has and has 29 pins.
Type C – Mini connector, smaller than the type A
Type D – Micro connector, smaller than the type C
Type E – Automotive usage.
The HDMI Alternate Mode for USB-C allows HDMI-enabled sources with a USB-C connector to directly connect to standard HDMI display devices.
Current version of HDMI is 2.1 (released on November 2017). HDMI 2.0b was released on March 2016, HDMI 2.0a was released on April 2015, HDMI 2.0 was released on March 2013. It is practical to choose minimum HDMI version 2.0 at present (November 2018), however buying closest to latest version will give highest compatibility of features. There are charts available to compare features and 4K requires minimum version 2.0. Version 1.4 does support 4K but with limited refresh rate. ARC supported from version 1.4.
There are 8 standard types of HDMI cables (1 to 5 were in HDMI 1.4 specification, 6 to added in HDMI 2.0 specification, 8th added for HDMI 2.1 specification) :
- Standard HDMI Cable – up to 1080i and 720p
- Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet
- Standard Automotive HDMI Cable
- High Speed HDMI Cable – 1080p, 4K 30 Hz, 3D and deep color
- High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet
- Premium High Speed HDMI Cable
- Premium High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet
- Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable (48G Cable) – 4K, 5K, 8K and 10K at 120 Hz
Conclusion on HDMI Cable Purchasing
Mid-range devices which are manufactured within the year 2018 are likely to support HDMI version 2.0 to fullest. Even if they support 2.1, unlikely to deliver all the features in HDMI specification. However we suggest HDMI 2.1 version cable for complete control on version of cable you’ll use in near future. Various devices like set-top boxes are Made in China with improper documentation, may supply older version of cable for keeping the package cheaper. There is no way to an average consumer to know the HDMI specification support of the cable. Own purchased cable will ensure the compliance. Still, at this moment HDMI 2.1 cable will cost high, not many brands manufacture. Purchasing HDMI 2.1 cable really for special need.
HDMI 2.0 is enough for common usages (4K, HDMI ARC) and AmazonBasics has cost effective HDMI 2.0 cable available in most of the countries. Three feet should work fine for the most. They sell in pair which is great for connecting the existing devices (set top box, home theater) and have least complicated wiring and remote control usage.