HDMI Cables Help - RAM Electronics - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 1 Old 12-17-12, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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HDMI Cables Help - RAM Electronics

HDMI Cables Explained compliments of RAM Electronics

(RAM Electronics HDMI Cable selection)

Important HDMI Cable Info
HDMI Cables are no longer allowed to go by HDMI version numbers. They now are only allowed to be identified as 5 types:
Standard HDMI® Cable
Standard HDMI® Cable with Ethernet
Standard Automotive HDMI® Cable
High Speed HDMI® Cable
High Speed HDMI® Cable with Ethernet

So what cable should you buy?
Normally you'd want a "High Speed" cable simply because they don't cost much more than a standard cable. If your device has the HDMI 1.4a Ethernet feature, then you should get a high speed cable with Ethernet. Simple right? Need to do a long length? That's when you need a better and heavier gauge cable.

We offer two HDMI high speed cables with an Ethernet channel. Our Elite HDMI series is based on a 24 gauge silver-plated solid copper conductor designed and pioneered eight(8) years ago, when we first sold DVI cables, the predecessor to HDMI cables. When most digital video cable designs were failing at or beyond 16 feet; these cables were working on long cable applications up to 50 feet. We extended this cable design to our HDMI Elite cables, because it was field tested and performed better than any cable sold.

More on HDMI Cable Quality
For short HDMI cable lengths, especially with newer components, there is usually no reason to agonize over HDMI cables. Any HDMI cable we sell will support up to 1080p. For longer HDMI cables the cable quality is far more important. While a heavier wire gauge is helpful, lower "skew" levels are more important, so it is the overall assembly quality that matters most.
Very many earlier HDMI devices, especially DVD players and Receivers, will also benefit from a better quality cable, since the early HDMI chipsets were not as robust and they are less likely to have built-in equalization. New and future HDMI standards like Deep color* will continue to require more bandwidth so you may have to upgrade in the future. Another factor in quality is cable durability. A lower quality cable will be far more easily damaged, and generally has lower quality (thinner) gold platings and connector quality.

HDMI Specs Simplified
How the Specs effect your component and cable choices.
HDMI 1.0

• Maximum bitrate of 4.9 Gbit/s.
• Supports up to 165 Mpixel/s video - 24bit [email protected] (or UXGA)
• 8-channel/192 kHz/24-bit Digital Audio
HDMI 1.1
• Added support for DVD-A Audio. (but no SACD Support yet)
HDMI 1.2
• Added SACD support.
• Added support for Computer sRGB color-space.
HDMI 1.2a - Added device communication (CEC) features.
HDMI 1.3
• Increased bandwidth to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbit/s) !
• Added optional support for Deep Color with 30-bit, 36-bit, and 48-bit xvYCC color space
• Adds optional automatic audio syncing capability
• Adds optional Bitstream output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
• Added new Type C mini-connector for small devices like camcorders ( HDMI 1.3a, HDMI 1.3b, HDMI 1.3b1, version 1 and 2 for hdmi cables - Various boring technical and testing revisions.

HDMI 1.4 1.4a:
1. There is no longer any such thing as an HDMI 1.4 1.4a or 1.3 Cable!
HDMI Cables are now classified as "High Speed", or not, and with "Ethernet" or not. HDMI devices still use these designations, though so to choose the appropriate cable for the application you need to figure out what features your HDMI 1.3 or 1.4 , etc, device has and then determine if you need those two features to support your devices. In any case HDMI cables are backwards compatible, so using one with more features than necessary will not hurt you.

HDMI 1.4 Why do you need it? What's new? What does it do for me?
There are some pretty significant upgrades in HDMI 1.4 and sometime in the future you may want to upgrade some or all of your components (and possibly cables) in order to take advantage of them. As usual for HDMI there are going to be a lot of compatibility issues as well as misconceptions among users as to what combination's of equipment and cables will be capable of doing. Every time HDMI get's more interoperability features between components, it takes some time for the dust to settle and problems to be worked out among supposedly compatible components. (need more plugfests?)

What's New in HDMI 1.4

HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC)
• Support for 100Mbps Ethernet over HDMI Channel
Allows for Internet communication for all HDMI 1.4 connected devices that need it.

Audio Return Channel
• Adds an audio channel that enables “upstream” audio connections via HDMI
Basically used to send Audio "back" to your Receiver from the TV when the TV is connected directly to an Antenna or Cable TV direct input.

Support for Various types of 3D
• Support for a number of Broadcast and Disc based forms of 3D

Support for Resolutions up to 4k2k
• Support for 3840x2160 24Hz | 25Hz | 30Hz
• Support for 4096x2160 30Hz
Not much content out there for these resolutions, right? This is for the future.

Support for Additional Color Spaces
• Digital Camera Color Space Support (sYCC601, AdobeRGB, AdobeYCC601)
Nice feature for professional Photographers and Digital Signage.

New Connector
• Micro HDMI Connector
For really small devices like Digital Cameras or maybe even iPods?

New Automotive Connection System
• With interlocking connectors for internal connections
What? HDMI and "locking"?! Obviously necessary for Automotive installs. Woulda been nice for everything.

The Bad News: Very likely to be incompatibilities between devices, and lots of confusion about supported capabilities of devices. Not all 1.4 features are mandatory, so buying a HDMI 1.4 device does not mean it necessarily supports all HDMI 1.4 features. HDMI 1.4 device support requires HDMI 1.4 chips in the hardware, it is not possible to "update" earlier version hardware with software.

The Good News: All HDMI versions are backwards compatible, so all of the old features should keep working with each new HDMI 1.4 component you add to your system.

Additional Info:

HDMI Cables and Connector Types

What's a TMDS and why is it in my HDMI?
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