Let me set the record straight about HDMI cables. If you have gone into the “Big Box” stores looking at 4k, OLED, and HDR TV’s, you have probably been told you need special HDMI cables that cost anywhere from $50 all the way up to $150 dollars. While there is some truth to this, it is often hidden behind an ulterior motive to up the ticket price, and increase their profit. So let’s start with the basics. There are only 4 types of HDMI cables:
Standard Speed No Ethernet
Standard Speed with Ethernet
High Speed No Ethernet
High Speed with Ethernet
HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) was created to provide both uncompressed digital audio and video from a lone source to your interface. While component cables (those 3 multi colored cables you used to have) can transmit resolutions up to 2160p and beyond, this is still an analog signal that will degrade with the length of the cable and “noise” from outside sources. HDMI does not degrade. Even if the signal is weak it transmits 1’s and 0’s and either works or it does not. There is no “blurry” 4k, or HDR “ghosting.” Again, it is all or nothing.
Now let’s talk about generations. HDMI has gone through 7 version updates as of May 2017. Should this matter to you? NO!!! The HDMI versions are on the transceiver side only. These are standards that will be listed on your actual TV. There is no such thing as an HDMI 2.0 cable. It is either standard speed which is 75MHz which may have issues transporting 4k, or high speed which benchmarks at 340MHZ and capable of 8k resolution at 60 frames per second.
To ethernet or not to ethernet, that is the question. Currently, there are an EXTREMELY limited number of devices that utilize this feature and none of them are gaming consoles. The reason for this is that currently the HDMI with ethernet only supports 100mps not Gigabit. This would create latency in fast moving games and therefore is useless. By the time devices begin standardizing the HDMI with ethernet you can almost guarantee a new cable will hit the market allowing for faster transmission.
The bottom line is, while all HDMI cables are not created equal in quality, no one should be trying to sell you a “specialized” cable for your installation. Most installers will insist on utilizing their supplied cables, but that is not because they are trying to squeeze more money out of you. This is due to having used multiple brands over the years and finding the best quality craftsmanship. If you have any questions, or are in the market for new AV solutions, reach out to us for a no-pressure consultation at 630-273-7444.