How to choose a HDMI cable to connect your digital device

In the world of information technology time does not stand still, and goes very quickly, and it is not surprising that many people are interested in the question: how to choose HDMI cable for the connection of a device (Smart TV, laptop, tablet,…)? To Orient correctly in a large range and numerous versions of HDMI cable for the buyer sometimes is not easy. What HDMI cable is best for connecting multiple devices I'll try not intricately tell you in this article.

Despite the fact that the HDMI interface has become a part of our lives, some users are still asking a similar question: what is HDMI cable what is hidden under this acronym?

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface — multimedia interface high-definition) — makes it possible to transmit digital video data of high resolution and multi-channel digital audio signals with copy protection.

I should say that HDMI has several major advantages over the digital video interface DVI. First HDMI interface is smaller, and secondly the interface is protected by protection technology against copying. Used HDMI cable to connect the computer to the monitor, TV, projector; digital video camera to a computer, TV; DVD player to TV and also to connect Blu-ray players, game consoles (PlayStation, Xbox) and other digital devices.

The length of the HDMI cable.

I think many of you have wondered: what length are the HDMI cables? according to the HDMI standard, the maximum allowable cable length of ten meters. In the specification about the maximum size «lace» HDMI information, not seen, but the length of a standard size can be 0.75, 0.8, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 5 and 10 meters. Cable length, which is more than 10 meters standards are not regulated. So, when deciding on the length of the HDMI cable is not always necessary to follow the rule will take with the stock. For example, a cable length of over 10 meters are possible distortion and signal attenuation, which ultimately will affect the quality of the image.

However, the transmission quality depends not only on size but also on the material from which made the cable. For example, the HDMI cable category «standard» (version 1.4 a resolution of 720 x 1080 p, 75 MHz) manufactured from oxygen-free copper with a thickness of 24 AWG (0.205 mm square), and the cable categories «High Speed» (version 1.4 a resolution of 1080 x 2160 p, 340 MHz) made from copper with a thickness of 28 AWG (0.081 mm sq). The figures illustrate that the quality of data transmission strongly depends on the material from which made the guides.

It is worth noting that if the HDMI cable categories «standard» made of high quality, then it is able to maximize within the framework of its type to transmit a signal up to 15 meters. If the cable length will exceed 15 metres, or after the connection of digital devices will be a loss of image quality, in this case, it is recommended to use signal amplifiers. As you know, task cable high definition to convey the necessary information from the source to receiver without distortion of the signal. According to some of the manufacturers of the HDMI cable which contains expensive metals has a higher data transfer speed and less interference.

However, the presence of precious metals and the workmanship overall impact on the final cost. Therefore, when choosing the HDMI cable, it should be assumed its obligations in order to save a certain amount of money. If you plan on using the cable to transfer data from devices (DVD, satellite receiver), where the information flow is not great, then you will be enough and inexpensive HDMI cable. But to view three-dimensional video (3D), where the flow of information is very high, manufacturers are recommended to use HDMI cable of high quality and expensive materials. Worth buying the cable from precious metals or not, we'll analyze in the final part of the article.

Versions of HDMI cables.

In the development of the HDMI interface was attended by several famous companies (Thomson, Philips, Hitachi, Sony, Philips, Silicon Image), and the result of their joint efforts has become the first full standard in 2002. Since then, HDMI has occupied a worthy niche in the world of digital technology firmly entrenched in our lives. As you can see, this interface is constantly evolving and each new version the developers usovershenstvuetsya. To obtain information on the specifications, which have undergone one or another version of the HDMI cable, you can from a kind of mini review.

Фрагмент мини обзора из двух страниц вы можете видеть на изображении выше. Informacija для обзора взята из открытых источников, мною отредактирована и упакована в PDF формат. Все грядущие обновления интерфейса HDMI будут добавляться в описание…

To download complete the list of add-ons on versions of the HDMI interface.

Because the interface of HDMI version 2.0 is gaining momentum (compatible with previous connectors), and specification version 1.4 (compatible with version 1.3) is relevant for today, then let her consider.

The types of HDMI cable.

In the specifications high speed HDMI cable identifies five types of cables Standard, High Speed, Standard with Ethernet, High Speed with Ethernet and Stansart Automotive.

The standard (Standart) — Supports video resolution 1080i or 720p and is designed to connect all home devices with undemanding options (DVD player, satellite receivers, plasma and LCD panels…). Budget option for conventional sources and receivers. Suitable for those who do not required high image quality and sound.

  • Maximum throughput 4.9 GB/s
  • Maximum bandwidth: 165 Pixela (transfer stream)
  • Maximum color depth: 24-bit

high-speed (High Speed) — Supports almost all video formats including Deep Color and 3D (read about that here how does 3D technology work in TV). Supports Audio Return Channel (audio return channel), which makes it possible to transmit audio data without using any S/PDIF audio connection (without additional cable). Of course the connected device (TV, home. cinema) must support this technology. Sometimes such devices are denoted by the abbreviation ARC to them easily identifiable. Designed to connect high-quality devices (Blu-ray and HDD player, plasma and LCD panels, satellite receivers). Capable of transmitting the image signal with a resolution of 1080p or higher (4K x 2K — 4096×2160).

  • Maximum bandwidth: 10.2 GB/s
  • Maximum bandwidth: 1080 Piksela
  • The maximum color depth: 48-bits

c Standard Ethernet (Standard with Ethernet) — Has all these advantages HDMI cable type standard and has an additional data channel Ethernet HDMI. Provides bidirectional data transfer at speeds up to 100 Mbps This cable function is available provided that the associated devices support Ethernet HDMI.

This connection allows the device to high-speed Internet connection and to distribute the received content from the network to other connected HDMI devices. It is worth noting that unlike the standard type of cable it supports Audio Return Channel .

c high-speed Ethernet (High Speed with Ethernet) — backward compatible cable with all the considered types, has all the features of the cable High Speed and has a data transfer channel HDMI Ethernet speeds up to 100 Mbps. This versatile cable with a maximum capacity, which is the HDMI 1.4 specification.

Automotive standard (Automotive Stansart) — a special type of cable that allows you to connect external HDMI device to the car media system . Mostly used by specialists in installing car audio systems.

HDMI cable. 

So, we found that more advanced technologically in all respects, High Speed with Ethernet specifications 1.4, and now a little talk about the existing HDMI cable. According to the specification of the types of HDMI connectors are designated by Latin letters (A, B, C, D, E) or words mini and micro.

  • Type A (standard HDMI) — the standard connector, which is most often found in digital technology.
  • Type C (micro HDMI) and Type D (mini HDMI) — reduced types commonly found on tablets, cameras, laptops, video cameras and various mobile and portable devices.
  • Type B — has an expanded video channel for transferring images with a resolution greater than 1080p (less popular than the previous types).
  • The Type of E — the connector has a lock which ensures a secure fit of the connector with the socket at the time of operation of the device (it is used in automobiles for connecting multimedia devices).

Guidelines for choosing HDMI cable.

On the Internet you can find different tips and recommendations for choosing an HDMI cable, I will try to draw your attention to the main points that I hope will help you to choose quality cord. As you know, the characteristics of the cable depend directly on the material from which it is made, but to check its physical properties is almost impossible. It turns out that buying an HDMI cable have to rely on the conscience of the manufacturer, and after to test it myself and make a determination about the quality of play already from personal experiences.However, there are several points on which you should focus your attention at the same time to save a certain amount of money.

1. There is a perception that the gold-plated connectors the best displays video and audio information. In fact, gold is applied to protect the pins from plaque formation of oxide (corrosion), which greatly increases resistance and contributes to poor signal. But such defense and give the other the cathode (Nickel, chromium) metal coating, which in turn are more resistant to frequent extraction of the connector, and gold due to its softness relatively quickly erased.

I can't say with 100% certainty, but I think that on the pins of HDMI connector now the gilding was not applied, and coat them with titanium nitride. Covered contacts of titanium nitride to form difficult to distinguish from gold plated and in its properties it is stronger, and its use is therefore quite reasonable. So if you plan to use the cable in any wet conditions, you probably should buy a cord with the coating of the contacts, and if this is not necessary, you can take and other surfaces on signal transmission quality is not affected.

2. The digital signal in General is not as demanding on the cable (either the signal is absolutely quality, or fails in any way — without any options), but the so-called artifacts can occur due to violations of technology (e.g. the cross-section of the conductors is not true), or if the signal transmission over a long distance does not appear to use amplifiers. In the specifications do not indicate what should be the maximum length of HDMI cable, because of different sizes «laces» can equally well transmit a signal depending on the quality of performance and design.

For example, an active unidirectional HDMI cables with a length of 40 meters have a built-in repeater to boost the signal, and using the normal cord over 15 feet (if no sound or poor image) experts recommend the use of amplifier-equalizer HDMI. The quality of the signal largely depends on the sectional area of the conductors. For example, the category cable «standard» length of 5 meters can make of conductor area of cross section 28 AWG (0.081 mm2), and the improvement of the design and use of conductor 24 AWG (0.205мм2) cord length to maximize transmission of the signal can be 12-15 meters.

In General, the longer the cable you'll use, the thicker should be the diameter of the conductor. Typically, the diameter specified in accordance with American wire gauge AWG (the higher the value, the thinner the wire). From various sources we found out that it is better to adhere to the following values:

  • 5 m — 7 mm (28AWG)
  • 10 m — 8 mm (26AWG)
  • 15 m — 9 mm (24AWG)
  • 20 m — 10 mm (22AWG)

Is of course not a rule and perhaps these numbers you will doubt, but I think that the ratio of length and caliber still rely on these figures.

3. Shielding of HDMI cable helps to protect it from external and internal interference. The figure above depicts the optimal method of screening. According to the principle of the twisted pair (characteristics of the twisted-pairs), each signal pair (two wires — positive and negative) is intertwined with «land» all over leads. This approach of shielding makes it possible to reduce crosstalk from the signal wires. And for protection against external pulses are used, the shielding of foil and braid.

Do not be amiss also if the cable will be present ferrite filter in the form of rings or cylinders. This additional external filters are used to suppress high frequency interference. And finally, if all the conductors have adequate cross-sectional area, and shielding is generally done efficiently, a good HDMI cable can be, in principle, slim. The optimal thickness of the cable in millimeters are shown above.

Hope this publication will help You choose HDMI cable for the TV, computer, (read about that here how to choose a LED TV with 3D function) or any other digital device. But if You have something to add to this material and you don't mind sharing their experience with us, then you are welcome to comment.

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