HDMI cables are part of the list of the most popular cables being used to connect TVs and projectors, especially the latest HD and UHD versions, as well as AV components like home theater sound systems. They are also popular options for game consoles, media streamers, Blu-ray players, and cable TVs. Find out how you can choose the best HDMI cables for your needs.
Do You Need Special HDMI Cables?
Many of the newer AV components already include HDMI cables in the box, but there are still some that don't. Now, depending on how fast and old your current HDMI cables are, you may not really need special cable upgrades, just to get a 4K picture on your television. In case you own a 4K UHD unit, there is a need to choose faster HDMI cables than standard-definition and high-definition signals.
Keep in mind that high-speed HDMI cables are needed if you want to take advantage of the HDR technology that has been built in to your Blu-ray players and 4K TVs. These ones are capable of allowing quicker refresh rates at varied video resolutions. Gamers, on the other hand, may need even faster refresh rates to make them enjoy their gaming experience.
Check if the HDMI Cable is 4K Compatible
This requires checking not just the speed rating, but also the maximum bandwidth of the cables. For standard speed, the maximum bandwidth is 10.2 Gbps. This one supports up to Full HD resolution of 1080p at 60 Hz. The high-speed cable, meanwhile, has a maximum bandwidth of 18 Gbps, which can support up to 4K UHD resolution at 60Hz, as well as static HDR formats such as HLG and HDR10. The ultra-high-speed version can support up to 48 Gbps, and is compatible to resolutions of up to 4K UHD at 120Hz, or up to 8K UHD at 60Hz, or dynamic HDR formats like Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and Advanced HDR.
HDMI Cable Length is Also Important
Many buyers know that the best HDMI cable is the shortest one. This can help manage video and audio signals, without the need to travel a long distance. Specific lengths of up to six feet is recommended. If it goes beyond that, there is a tendency that the cable will cause issues, depending on how the cable has been routed, and whether or not you have chosen one with high-quality.
Be careful that there are no sharp bends on the cable as well. Active HDMI cables are best for distances equal to or longer than 12 feet. These ones contain a special processing chip that ensures that the signal remains stable from your AV to your screen.
High-Tech Fiber Optic vs. Active Hybrid
High-tech fiber optic HDMI cables like the Fiber Optic High Speed HDMI Cable 4K is capable of delivering the excellent picture and sound quality that you are looking for. This can reach distances of up to a thousand feet. Expect no signal loss, but they are very delicate, thus they are best installed by professionals. They are perfectly immune to interference from computers, wireless devices, and appliances.
Active hybrid HDMI cables provide the same benefits as those offered by their fiber optic counterparts. They are more rugged and more stable for DIY set-ups. They are perfect for use if you are pre-wiring a new home.