What is HDMI?
HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface and is the most frequently used HD signal for transferring both high definition audio and video over a single cable.
It is used both in the commercial AV sector and is the most used cable in homes connecting devices such as digital TV, DVD player, BluRay player, Xbox, Playstation and AppleTV with the television.
More and more home AV devices are being connected using this simple, effective cable, but now HDMI is also featuring on laptops and PCs and therefore becoming the standard for the corporate and commercial markets – for education, presentation, digital signage and retail display to transmit high quality audio video siganls from device to device.
High-Definition Multimedia Interface is a proprietary audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio data from an HDMI-compliant source ..
The HDMI interface allows a port to send high-resolution digital video, theatre-quality sound and device commands through a connector and down a single cable. There are several types of HDMI cable, each designed to support a video resolution and features in the HDMI specification.
HDMI connectors are available in three sizes: standard, mini and micro.
There are also different types of HDMI cable (see the chart below). Not all cables use the logo but the cable specifications should indicate whether it is Standard, High Speed, Premium High Speed or Ultra High Speed. If the type is not indicated, assume Standard.
HDMI Cable Types
|Standard (Category 1)||1080i or 720p||4.95 Gb/s|
|Standard with Ethernet||1080i or 720p, plus a dedicated HDMI Ethernet Channel||4.95 Gb/s|
|High Speed (Category 2)||1080p|
4K @ 30 Hz
|High Speed with Ethernet||1080p or 4K @ 30 Hz, plus a dedicated HDMI Ethernet Channel||10.2 Gb/s|
|Category 3 (4K)||4K @ 60 Hz||18 Gb/s|
|Category 3 (8K)||8K @ 60 Hz|
4K @ 120 Hz
4K HDMI cables are sometimes referred to as Premium High Speed and 8K HDMI cables as Ultra High Speed. Premium High Speed HDMI Cable and Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc.
HDMI Ports and Connectors
The majority of HDMI connectors in use today are the Type A (Standard), Type C (Mini) and Type D (Micro) shown below. HDMI Type B (Dual Link) was developed for very high-resolution displays but was never used. Also not shown is the HDMI Type E connector which is intended for automotive and industrial applications.
The Standard HDMI connector (Type A) is the most widely used of the five HDMI connector types. These 19-pin connectors can be found on almost every brand of TV, computer monitor, game console, streaming device and desktop computer.
Mini HDMI connectors (Type C) also have 19-pins and support the same features as the full-sized Type A connector in a smaller, more compact form factor. Because of its smaller size, it is typically used on portable devices such as DSLR cameras and tablets.
The smallest HDMI connector, Micro HDMI (Type D), is about half the width of the Mini HDMI connector yet still retains the full functionality of its larger siblings. Micro HDMI connectors are used on small, portable devices such as phones.
Cables are available in male and female versions, with space-saving right-angled connectors and gripping or locking connectors.IP68 HDMI ConnectorPanel Mount HDMI ConnectorRight-Angled HDMI ConnectorLocking and Gripping
HDMI cable is considered low voltage so you can install it inside a wall. HDMI faceplates give a clean, finished appearance and have a female connector on the internal side, making termination easy. HDMI keystones are also available for digital signage applications and large conference facilities with many displays that are fed from a central location.
Which is best… in-wall HDMI cable or wireless HDMI?
A cable connection is a relatively inexpensive option that gives a strong, reliable signal but can be difficult to install, it’s limited to one location and a distance of 25-50-ft., depending on the resolution. Longer distances require an active cable or HDMI extender. A wireless HDMI Extender is much easier to install, can be easily relocated and can broadcast a high-resolution video signal to multiple receivers.
Note: In-wall HDMI cables have a CL2 or CL3 rating. This means that the cable jacket is fire resistant and suitable to low-voltage in-wall applications.
Is there a difference in functionality between the Standard, Mini and Micro HDMI connectors?
All three connectors have the same 19 pins, but some may have different pin assignments. Functionally, they all support the resolutions and features of HDMI 1.4 onwards.
Can a USB-C Port be used to Transmit HDMI to a Monitor?
Yes. In Alt Mode, some of the pins in a USB-C connector are used to transmit other protocols. This allows the widely adopted USB-C port/connector to be used for more than just USB data or power. To date, there are four Alternate Modes: DisplayPort, Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), Thunderbolt and HDMI. HDMI Alt-Mode supports all of the features of HDMI 1.4b, including video resolutions of 4K @ 30 Hz and above.
How do I use HDMI input on my computer?
Connect one end of the HDMI cable into an available HDMI port on the TV. Take note of the HDMI input number it is being connected to. Plug the other end of the cable into your laptop’s HDMI out port, or into the appropriate adapter for your computer. If you are using an adapter, connect that adapter to your computer.
What does a HDMI cable do for your TV?
HDMI cables transmit digital video and digital audio signals between devices. They support standard-definition, high-definition and Ultra HD video signals – plus all uncompressed and compressed stereo and surround sound audio formats.
Fitting a HDMI cable into the AV system
HDMI is a digital interface, single cable solution for combined HD video and audio, replacing analogue solutions which require separate audio/video cables (such as VGA and audio jack).
Use a HDMI lead to connect the output from your HD source (the Blu-ray player or the Skybox, for example) to the input of our HD displays – whether that be your TV, commercial screen or projector, all the way up to a multi-screen video wall! HDMI cables will also be used in an AV / home entertainment system if the system includes additional control or signal distriobution devices such as a signal splitter, HDMI switcher or AV matrix.
What are the differences between HDMI cables and connectors?
The Standard 14mm version of HDMI connector is known as ‘Type A’ and is available as either a ‘plug’ or ‘male’ connector on the cable. A normal HDMI cable will usually feature a plug at both ends, with HDMI Type A Sockets featuring on the AV devices (the Source, Display, Screen, TVG, etc).
The HDMI Type A connector is the most common version and can be found on the majority of audio visual equipment and devices, from your TV, Blu-Ray and XBox to professional distribution equipment such as HDMI distribution amplifiers, matrix devices and siganl switchers.
But there are also HDMI Mini (Type C) and HDMI Micro (Type D) HDMI connector versions available, as smaller and smaller devices, such as our smart phones and tablets increasingly become our personal HD AV sources.
However, there are limitations to the distance HDMI transmissions can travel. At CIE we recommend when using Category 1 ‘standard’ HDMI cable that the lengths are limited to probably no more than 10 meters.
There is high grade Category 2 cable available, using which we can successfully achieve cable lengths of up to 15 metres.
What is the advantage of HDMI over VGA?
An HDMI cable supports HD videos and sends both audio and video in the same port. It’s easier to obtain and is lighter, faster, and more reliable compared to the VGA. It delivers a crisp image resolution of 1,920 by 1,200 pixels and uses eight audio channels at the same time.
Drawbacks or disadvantages of HDMI
➨They (i.e. HDMI cables) are expensive compare to analog cables. ➨Multiple applications spread across multiple locations are difficult to run simultaneously. ➨In order to use for DVI interfacing, it requires separate audio cable. HDMI-DVI adapter is also needed..
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