HDMI ports are a staple of TVs, laptops, set-top packing containers, consoles, soundbars and extra. Nonetheless, as there are such a lot of variations, it’s generally laborious to translate precisely what all of the phrases, model numbers and specs imply in your viewing expertise.
Let’s begin with the fundamentals – what’s HDMI?
HDMI stands for Excessive Definition Multimedia Interface. It’s an HD sign that’s most incessantly used to switch audio and visible content material from one gadget to a different. There are totally different sized HDMI ports, together with mini-HDMI and micro-HDMI. Nonetheless, the vast majority of the time, the port would be the normal full measurement.
You’ll discover that gadgets typically have both an output (HDMI out) or an enter (HDMI in). The essential variations between these two are that outputs are designed to feed the audio and visible alerts, while an enter is designed to obtain them. So, for instance, you’d feed knowledge out of your console (HDMI out) to your TV or monitor (HDMI in).
Your port needs to be labelled. If it’s not, it needs to be pretty intuitive as to which one it’s, however verify your product guide or the producer’s web site if you happen to’re unsure. The cable is generally equivalent at each ends so it should not matter an excessive amount of. As you’ll be able to see beneath on the image of the Xbox Sequence X, the HDMI out port is clearly labelled as such.
Most trendy TVs can have a number of HDMI ports. You probably have an older TV or a lot of gadgets, you’ll have extra gadgets than ports. You possibly can nonetheless get round this through the use of an HDMI splitter and/or an HDMI switcher.
It’s also possible to learn in regards to the variations between DisplayPort and HDMI. If you’d like a TV with a very good vary of ports, then yow will discover choices in our roundups of the very best TVs and finest funds TVs.
What the totally different HDMI variations imply
There are totally different variations of HDMI ports, which often varies relying on how outdated your mannequin is. And it isn’t very apparent as a result of they’re hardly ever labelled and use no colour-coding system as USB has finished previously.
The kind of HDMI port is indicated by the quantity that follows it. To interrupt this down into the only phrases, this quantity primarily interprets to the very best video decision which it will probably assist, in addition to the refresh charge.
There are different variations nevertheless it begins to get difficult and usually will not make a distinction to the common consumer.
This is a breakdown of the important thing specs of HDMI variations:
HDMI 1.0-1.1: As much as 1080p at 60Hz
HDMI 1.2-1.2a: As much as 1080p at 60Hz
HDMI 1.3-1.4b: As much as 4K at 30Hz
HDMI 2.0-2.0b: As much as 4K at 60Hz
HDMI 2.1: As much as 4K at 120Hz and 8K at 120Hz
Most tech merchandise with HDMI have been at the very least HDMI 1.Four for a few years. In case your gadget has HDMI 1.4, you’ll nonetheless be capable of get 4K content material, however not on the highest refresh charge.
Consider additionally that to get the very best decision and refresh charge, each your gadgets must have the identical HDMI port. For instance, if in case you have a PS5 (which might output 4K at 120Hz through HDMI 2.1), however your TV solely has HDMI 1.4, you’ll solely be capable of get the utmost decision out there on HDMI 1.4.
The console will nonetheless work, however you received’t get the loopy decision figures that PlayStation advertises. You could find out extra in our console combability information.
Some TVs even have HDMI ARC ports. These are designed to be used with soundbars (ARC stands for ‘Audio Return Channel) and are used instead of an optical cable. You possibly can learn extra about these in our HDMI ARC explainer article.
What HDMI port do I’ve?
In case your port isn’t labelled in your TV the one strategy to know your precise port is both by consulting the product guide, which can have both include the packaging, or can possible be discovered on the producer’s web site.
The specs sheet can also be discovered on the web site that you just purchased the merchandise from. The instance beneath exhibits that it will probably deal with 4K at 60Hz slightly than the HDMI model quantity.
What HDMI cable do I would like?
The ultimate factor you’ll must get the very best decision you need out of your TV is the proper HDMI cable. There’s a lot of several types of cables floating round, from the usual HDMI cable to the 8K Extremely Excessive Pace HDMI cable. Do not let the advertising or naming confuse you – crucial issues it is advisable know are what decision, Hz and speeds it will probably deal with.
For instance, if you need 4K decision at 120Hz, the product itemizing for the cable should record this. You may additionally want a minimal velocity of 18Gbs to maintain up with 4K. Sellers on Amazon often record these specs within the title for the product, however in any other case you need to be capable of discover it on the itemizing. The lavatory ‘normal’ HDMI cable will not be sufficient if in case you have a high-spec display and wish the very best decision from it.
Your TV will possible include the proper cable that you just want, and lots of connecting gadgets like consoles additionally will. Nonetheless, if you happen to misplace this or don’t have the one you want, all of those cables needs to be out there from most tech retailers comparable to Amazon UK, Currys, Argos and extra.
If you wish to know extra about HDMI cables work and wish some suggestions, then check out our roundup of the very best HDMI cables you should buy proper now.