To say that information about HDMI cables is confusing would be an understatement. Resellers’ claims about their cables vary widely, and the terminology about the technology is often unclear. That’s why popular search terms for HDMI cables include: “What is the best HDMI cable?,” “What is the best HDMI cable for gaming?,” and “What is the best HDMI cable for my TV?.” Clearly, consumers are looking for help. Some websites offer objective information, but many only recommend cables they get a purchase commission for. How can you make sure you’re getting the cables that are best for you?
First, you need accurate information. For it, check the HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc. (HDMI LA) website at www.HDMI.org. It’s the organization that licenses HDMI specifications, and it’s the primary source of trustworthy cable information. Additionally, it also administers authorized cable compliance programs.
Second, ask the right questions. These include: “What HDMI cable supports all the latest specification features?,” “What HDMI cable is future-proof?,” and “How do I identify a specific type of HDMI cable?.” The answer to the first two questions is the Ultra High Speed HDMI® Cable, and the answer to the third can be seen in the image below.
HDMI 2.1 is the latest HDMI specification, and major manufacturers have HDMI 2.1-enabled products in the market now, with many more on the way. These products include TVs, audio/video receivers, PC monitors, and the new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 game consoles. The Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable is the most recent and future-proof cable, and it’s also the only cable that complies with the stringent requirements designed to ensure support for all HDMI 2.1 features. These include uncompressed support for 8K@60Hz, 4K@120Hz and 48Gbps bandwidth. Also, it supports dynamic HDR, Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC), and advanced gaming features like Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). Cables are also required to be tested and certified to ensure low EMI, reducing the possibility of interference with wireless networks, streaming media players, Bluetooth devices, and mobile phones.
But this cable is not alone; it is part of a comprehensive compliance and authentication program, known as the Ultra High Speed HDMI® Cable Certification Program. Announced in January 2020 by the HDMI Forum, Inc., it is mandatory and designed to ensure cables are compliant with the HDMI 2.1 specification.
The program summary:
—All Ultra High Speed HDMI Cables are to be tested and certified in compliance with the HDMI 2.1 Compliance Test Specification (CTS) for Category 3 cables. The HDMI Forum member companies that develop the HDMI 2.1 specification also develop the CTS and are the only ones qualified to develop a test program that ensures compliance to the specification.
—Cables are to be tested and certified only at HDMI Forum Authorized Test Centers (Forum ATC) which is the best way to ensure compliance to the HDMI 2.1 Specification and the CTS.
—Every length of each cable must be tested and certified. Different lengths have different electrical and performance characteristics and a single certification should not represent multiple lengths.
—All certified cables must be registered with the HDMI LA verification and authentication program.
—All cables must display an Ultra High Speed HDMI® Certification Label on each package or unit of sale. Labels enable each model to be verified and authenticated by consumers by scanning with the HDMI Cable Certification app.
—Continuing product audit testing helps ensure cables stay in compliance to the specification over the lifetime of the product.
For more information, visit HDMI.org
The terms HDMI, HDMI High-Definition Multimedia Interface, Ultra High Speed HDMI, Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable Certification Program, the Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable Logo and HDMI Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc.