Are all HDMI cables the same? – Reason & FAQs

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HDMI is a familiar cable used to connect TVs, stereos, laptops, and more. So do you know what an HDMI cable is? Are all HDMI cables the same? Let’s find the answer via the following article.

There are many types of HDMI cables available in the market, including cheap ones and expensive ones. When you need a new HDMI cable, you will most likely think about buying an expensive one. Expensive stuff will be of higher quality, that’s right! 

However, is that true for HDMI cable? Is there any difference between HDMI cables? You can get the answer via the following article.

Is there any difference between HDMI cables?

There is extremely no sound quality or picture difference between cables. In fact, expensive HDMI cables and cheap cables seem to have no difference.

Currently, there are hundreds of reputable HDMI cable companies in the market. Unfortunately, many of these companies often exaggerate the features of their products. They try to make you think their HDMI cable is high-end so that you have to spend tens, even hundreds of dollars. That is really not necessary!

The emphasis once again, the expensive HDMI cable is no different from a cheap HDMI cable. Let’s shed some light on this.

HDMI Cable Types

HDMI is an acronym for High-Definition Multimedia Interface translated. The HDMI cable allows the transmission of both picture and sound through one cable to a large projection screen like a television while ensuring the highest resolution.

HDMI allows the transmission of images at a full HD resolution of 60 frames per second. HDMI, with 8 channels of studio-quality audio, makes it possible to enjoy high-quality sound.

Standard HDMI Cable

This cable is designed for HDTV, cable and satellite television to transmit 1080i or 720p video signals with a bandwidth capacity of 5Gbps. Standard HDMI Cable works best for HDMI versions from 1.0 to 1.2a. 

Although most of these cables have been replaced by high-speed HDMI cable, there are a few that are still marketed. When buying, you should pay attention to check carefully to avoid buying the wrong one.

Standard HDMI Cable

Standard Automotive HDMI Cable

This type of cable has the same features as a standard HDMI cable. However, it is used to connect portable or in-car DVD players and other devices to an in-car video display.

Since the automotive system is connected to one or more internal relays, signal strength may be affected. As a result, the standard car HDMI cable needs to send a stronger signal than other cables so it was born with higher performance standards.

High-Speed HDMI Cable

This cable is designed to handle 1080p and 4K (30Hz) video and supports 3D and Deep Color. It has a bandwidth transfer rate of up to 10 Gbps. It works best for HDMI versions from 1.3 to 1.4a.

High-Speed HDMI Cable is designed to handle 1080p and 4K (30Hz) video and supports Deep Color as well as 3D. It has a bandwidth transfer rate of up to 10 Gbps. 

High-Speed HDMI Cable

High-Speed Automotive HDMI 

Considered similar to High-Speed HDMI Cable, however, High-Speed Automotive HDMI Cable works best in the automotive environment.

Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet

Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet features the same as standard HDMI cable. The difference is that Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet has an additional HDMI Ethernet Channel  (HEC) . The HDMI Ethernet channel function is only available if both connected devices have HDMI Ethernet Channel support.

High-Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet

High-Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet provides the same basic performance as High-Speed HDMI cable. However, it adds a dedicated data channel to network devices, called HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC). The HDMI Ethernet channel function is only available if both the linked devices have HDMI Ethernet Channel support.

High-Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet

Premium HDMI cable

Premium HDMI cable specifically designed and certified for line performance for 4K/Ultra HD video. It includes advanced features like 4K/60Hz, HDR, and an extended color range including BT.2020.

Ultra High-Speed HDMI Cable

This is the latest generation cable. It is optimized for the HDMI 2.1 version. It includes all the features of other cables. In addition, it is the only cable with strict specifications that further supports 8K 60fps and 4K 120fps video. 

The bandwidth of the cable supports up to 48Gbps and is backward compatible with existing HDMI devices. It is also not affected by EMI (electromagnetic interference) caused by some wireless devices.

See more:

Structure, working principle of HDMI cable

Structure of HDMI cable

The HDMI cable head is composed of 19 pins, each of which performs a different task. During the transmission of data, they will have to follow certain rules.

HDMI cable is designed by many layers, each layer has different functions

Structure of HDMI cable

Working principle of HDMI cable

  • Pins 1-9 contain 3 TMDS (Transition Minimized Differential Signaling) data channels, 3 pins per channel. TMDS data includes all audio and visual information.
  • Pins 10-12 transmit data to the TMDS clock channel, to keep the signal in sync.
  • Pin 13 is the CES (Consumer Electronics Control) channel. It has the effect of sending commands and controlling data connected to devices.
  • Pin 14 has a backup effect for future use
  • Pins 15 and 16 are dedicated to DDC (Display Data Channel). They are used for EDID (Extended Display Identification Channel) between devices.
  • Pin 17 is a signal shield for CEC (Consumer Electronics Control Translation) and DDC (Display Data Channel) channels.
  • Pin 18 contains a +5v power supply 
  • Pin 19 is a hot plug detect, used to monitor power surges and times of plugging or unplugging

How to choose HDMI cable for TV

  • Choose HDMI according to your needs

Usually, when buying connecting devices like HDMI cable, you tend to buy high-quality cables that are more expensive. However, as mentioned above, Expensive HDMI cable and cheap cables seem to have no difference in picture quality.

For example, if you only have an HD or Full HD TV, an HDMI 1.4 cable or an HDMI 2.0 cable doesn’t make a big difference even though HDMI 2.0 cables are more modern. So, you just need to choose the HDMI 1.4 cable to save money.

  • Select HDMI based on TV type

Based on the TV screen resolution, you can choose the appropriate HDMI:

For HD and Full HD TVs, you should choose to buy a standard HDMI 1.4 cable. If you want an internet connection, you should buy an HDMI 1.4 cable with the internet.

For 4K TVs, HDR TVs, you should buy a 2.0  HDMI cable.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need to buy expensive HDMI cables?

In fact, buying an expensive HDMI cable is not necessary. Surely you will not be able to take full advantage of its features. Cheap HDMI cable can meet your basic needs, such as watching movies.

Sir, the longer the length of the HDMI cable, the more expensive it is. Therefore, it is important that you know what length of cable you need.

2. Why am I still advised to buy an expensive HDMI cable?

It’s a trick of the seller or the manufacturer. Of course, they want to make as much profit as possible, right? Most of today’s HDMI cable can meet your needs. 

3. Can you give me some tips on buying an HDMI cable?

  • Buy a cable that fits your budget, don’t overpay for what you get.
  • Carefully calculate the length of cable you will need before you buy.
  • Buy the right HDMI cable for your device


In general, you do not have to buy expensive HDMI cables. Choosing an HDMI cable depends on your preferences and needs. Almost any HDMI cable can meet your needs. Instead of focusing too much on choosing a cable, you should make sure that the length of cable you buy is just enough to use. That will save you significant costs!


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