HDMI cables are the preferred choice for the connection of consumer digital entertainment systems due to the associated audio-visual quality. There are four main types of HDMI cables, excluding those which are designed for automotive purposes. These are the standard, standard with ethernet, high speed, and high speed with ethernet. The type of cable must be displayed.
Several cable varieties have been introduced over the years and the physical connector type has remained the same across the range, although there have been updates to the HDMI cabling capabilities. You should be aware that each successive type is compatible with previous versions.
High Definition Multimedia Interface Audio Return Channel (HDMI ARC), enables the upstream and downstream of HDMI signals via a single connection between the TV and any AV devices featuring ARC. This means that a single remote control can be used across a range of connected devices for the operation of common digital functions. HDMI ARC is supported across a complete range of televisions, soundbars, and receivers. Nowadays, Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) is also available, providing the next generation of ARC technology. It offers higher quality, speed, and bandwidth.
HDMI CEC, also commonly referred to as CEC (consumer electronics control), is a method for the remote control of connected devices. You should be aware that this feature is typically switched off on AV devices that are fresh from the box. It is also worth pointing out that devices produced by different brands do not always have CEC connectivity.
MHL HDMI Cables
MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) HDMI cables allow for connection between a variety of digital devices and displays. They feature a unique HDMI input, which is compatible with a range of televisions and A/V receivers and is designed for connection with devices such as smartphones and tablets. It is a particularly useful form of connection for users without cable or internet as it allows for the projection of entertainment where there is no Wi-Fi access. Additional advantages of MHL include the avoidance of lagging and the ability to transmit control data.
This HDMI cabling version was introduced in December 2002 and has the capacity for the connection of a digital video signal with a two-channel audio signal via a single cable. This HDMI cable is only compatible with 720p and 1080p.
Introduced in May 2004, the HDMI 1.1 cable offers the capacity for the transfer of Dolby Digital, DTS, and DVD surround signals, in addition to up to 7.1 channels of PCM audio.
This cabling version was introduced in August 2005 and offers the capacity for the transfer of SACD audio signals in a digital format from the compatible player to a receiver.
Introduced in June 2006, this cabling variety enables the projection of deep colour and enhanced support for the xvYCC colour space. HDMI 1.3 allows for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio output. It offers support for high bandwidth and increased transfer speed, expanded screen resolution, and lip-syncing. HDMI cable 1.3 also features a mini-connector, suitable for a variety of compact digital devices.
This cabling variety came to market in 2009. It offers support for the HDMI Ethernet channel and Audio return channel with enhanced digital connectivity and the effective transfer of audio. HDMI 1.4 cables also enable compatibility with the 3D Blu-ray Disc standard and video projection in 4K resolution.
HDMI 1.4a cable arrived in 2010 and provided the addition of two broadcast content 3D formats. These were originally deferred from HDMI 1.4.