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 1080p@60Hz (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?)
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.
Still need more info? HDMI Cables & Connector Types What's a TMDS and why is it in my HDMI? For everything else you want to know about HDMI please see the HDMI.ORG website.