What types of HDMI cables and connectors exist

HDMI cables allow you to transmit high-quality audio and video between compatible devices. For example, they allow you to connect your game console to your smart TV or monitor and allow the visual and sound signal to pass from one to the other without problems.

Since they were created, they have evolved to have the ability to transmit images with higher resolution and to support more sound systems, such as Dolby Atmos, DTS, etc. For this reason, there are different types of HDMI cables with different connectors to adapt to multiple devices, whether monitors, mobile phones, tablets, projectors, among others.

So, so that you don’t make a mistake when buying a cable, here you will learn what types of HDMI cables exist and what connectors you can find.

All types of HDMI cables

Each type of HDMI cable offers different performance. These are the models currently available:

– Standard (HDMI 1.0): It is a basic cable that has a data transmission speed of 5 Gbps, which means that it is only capable of supporting a maximum Full HD resolution. This is ideal for televisions and monitors that do not exceed 1080 pixels, but if you want to go for a higher figure it will not work for you.

It should be noted that there are basic standard cables and also standard HDMI cables with Ethernet support (it may or may not incorporate it, so you will have to be sure). This is a cable that will allow you to connect to Ethernet networks, such as those you use to have a home theater sound system or a Blue-Ray.

– High speed (HDMI 1.4): They are also known as Category 2 HDMI cables and can operate at 340 MHz with a bandwidth of 10.2 Gbps. With this model you will be able to transmit images at Full HD resolution at 60 Hz and it can also transmit in 4K, although it will only reach 30 Hz.

The high-speed HDMI cable is the minimum you need to play 3D content and get a greater range of colors represented on the screen (30-bit).

– Premium High Speed ​​(HDMI 2.0): It is a category 3 HDMI cable, which allows you to offer 4K resolution with a screen refresh rate of 60 Hz, although it is also capable of reaching a maximum resolution of 5K at 30 Hz.

This type of HDMI cable features support for Audio Return Channel (ARC), which allows you to connect a specific device to an external audio system. For example, with this cable you can connect your smart TV to a sound bar and obtain an immersive audio experience through different technologies, such as Dolby Atmos, DTS (not compatible with DTS:X) or PCM.

Another notable point is that it has VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), a tool that optimizes the transmission of the image on the screen so that there are no FPS drops, slowdowns, flickering, image freezes, etc.

– Ultra high speed (HDMI 2.1): Despite being a category 3 HDMI cable, it is optimized to work with a bandwidth of up to 48 Gbps. This makes it possible to obtain 4K resolution with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, it also supports 5K at 60 Hz and 8K at 30 Hz.

This is currently the only HDMI cable capable of supporting 4K at 120Hz, which is beneficial in gaming because it allows you to play at a very high resolution without sacrificing the screen’s refresh rate.

On the other hand, HDMI 2.1 is compatible with dynamic HDR, that is, it applies HDR that is adjusted scene by scene so that color contrast optimization is executed in real time. It also has an Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC), which takes full advantage of what Dolby Atmos and DTS:X offer to improve sound quality.

It also has an automatic low latency and VRR mode to ensure fluidity when projecting the image on the screen. This way, you won’t have to deal with frame drops, slowdowns, etc.

Types of HDMI connectors that exist

As for the connectors, there are these four models:

– HDMI standard: This is the most common connector, it is found in video game consoles, smart TVs, monitors, projectors, etc. It is made up of 19 pins and is capable of transmitting audio and video.

– Extended HDMI: Its function is the same as that of standard HDMI, but it differs from it because the connector has 29 pins (it is an unusual design).

– MiniHDMI: It is a small and thin connector that is intended for portable devices because it helps save space. You can find it on tablets, portable game consoles, laptops and more. The connector has a 19-pin configuration.

– Micro HDMI: It is the smallest HDMI connector and its objective is to adapt to small devices, such as cameras, portable monitors, some laptops, etc. Likewise, it also has a 19-pin layout.

How do you know what type of HDMI cable you have?

To know the type of cable you have or are about to buy, just read the legend printed on its packaging. There you will see its description, and you will know if it is an HDMI 2.0, 2.1 or any other.

If you don’t have the packaging, look at the description printed on the cable jacket. It is common for it to state what type of cable it is, whether it is Ultra High Speed, High Speed, etc.

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