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What is HDMI? – All You Need to Know

Here is a quick guide that lets you know all about HDMI cables – Their benefits, uses, types, drawbacks, and versions. This will help you to get a clear idea of HDMI & pick the right option that suits your device requirements (computer, TV, or gaming console).

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) is a ubiquitous and revolutionary technology that transforms your connectivity way and experiences audiovisual content. It is one of the go-to methods to achieve HD entertainment experiences in the modern digital era.

In this article, we will delve into the history, features, and benefits of HDMI that unravel the secrets of its widespread adoption and its role in delivering a stunning, immersive entertainment experience to a new level. If you are a casual user or a tech enthusiast who wants to know about cutting-edge digital connections, read this article to understand HDMI and its role in the modern multimedia landscape. 

Let’s dive in and unlock the full potential of HDMI.

What is HDMI?

High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is a standard digital interface that will transmit crystal-clear audio and video signals seamlessly between various devices. It can effectively connect various multimedia sources (gaming consoles, HDTV, laptops, Blu-ray players, projectors, and more) to displays/receivers (monitors, projectors, or TVs) that deliver superior image and sound quality.

An HDMI cable can replace three composite audio/video cables to connect two devices that transmit audio (up to 8 channels of digital audio signals) and video signals (standard, enhanced, and HD video signals) effectively. So, the HDMI cable eliminates the need to use multiple cables to transfer audio and video separately.

It was initially developed in 2002 and came into the market by 2003, and updated with different versions (HDMI 1.0 to HDMI 2.2) as per the technology requisites to allow its users to enjoy HD content. It was developed by a group of companies to replace analog video cables (DVI connectors). These cables are available in different colors, lengths, materials, and thicknesses.

HDMI Performance Table

Parameters HDMI Details
Standard Management HDMI Forum
HDMI Forum 83 companies, 7 Founders, & 1700+ adopters
Initial Introduction 2002
Connector Types A, B, C, D, & E


Types A, C, & D 19 pins, Type B 29 pins

Connector Measurements Width – 13.9 mm (Type A), 10.42 mm (Type C), 6.4mm (Type D)


Height – 4.45 mm (Type A), 2.42 mm (Type C), 2.8mm (Type D)

Hot Pluggable Yes
Video Signal Maximum resolution is limited by the available bandwidth
Audio Signal Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, LPCM, Dolby True HD, DTS, DVD-Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, MPCM, DSD, DTS-HD High-Resolution Audio, DST, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
Maximum Bandwidth/Bitrate Up to 48 Gbps in HDMI 2.1
Data Protocol Transition-Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS), Fixed Rate Link (FRL).
Pinout 19 Pins

Benefits of HDMI

HDMI has become a standard for audiovisual connectivity due to its numerous benefits. All these advantages have contributed to its dominance and widespread adoption.

Let’s take a closer look at these benefits in detail.

1. High-Quality Audio & Video 

With its all-digital connection, the HDMI transmits uncompressed audio and video signals. This results in pristine image quality and Hi-Fi sound without any signal degradation or interference that often occurs with analog connections. This HDMI helps you achieve the theater experience at home, as it transmits Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HD Master Audio along with supporting the latest 3D version.

2. High-Definition Resolutions

 HDMI supports a wide range of high-definition resolutions (like 720p, 1080p, 4K, or even higher in new versions), allowing the users to experience realistic visuals with its smoother motion, sharp details, and vibrant colors. Thus, it delivers better viewing of HD content (Blu-ray movies, ultra HD streaming, and gaming) on your devices. 

3. Consumer Electronics Control (CEC)

 Its support for CEC will make the interconnected devices communicate effectively with each other via a single remote control. It allows you to manage 15 devices with a single TV remote without any hassle of managing different remotes. For instance, after turning on the TV, it will auto-turn on the connected HDMI devices and switch to the correct input source. Thus, it simplifies the overall user experience.

4. Audio Return Channel (ARC)

 With its ARC functionality, the HDMI cables send back the audio signals from compatible devices (modern TVs and AV receivers) to the connected audio equipment (home theater systems or soundbars) without any need for a separate audio cable. This streamlines setups and minimizes cable clutter.  

5. Supports HDCP

 HDMI integrates HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) encryption that averts the unauthorized copying of copyrighted content during transmission. Also, it ensures compliance with content protection requirements for digital media sources (streaming devices and Blu-ray players).

6. Wide Compatibility

 The HDMI has versatility, universal acceptance, and wide adaptability to connect over various consumer electronics, including monitors, TVs, laptops, projectors, DVD and Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, or set-top boxes without any compatibility issues. 

7. Multiple Data Streams

 HDMI simplifies cable management and boosts the overall user experience. Here the cable can simultaneously carry multiple data streams that can easily send audio and video signals and other data (Ethernet). Also, the signals can be controlled via this single cable.

8. Easy Plug-and-Play Setup

 The user-friendly experience of HDMI will allow the user to connect and disconnect the devices easily without any need for extensive configuration or extra software. Also, it allows users to switch seamlessly between different sources with less effort.

9. Future-Proofing

 With the continuous evolution and adaption to new technological advancements, HDMI keeps up with the demands of emerging technologies (enhanced audio formats, and higher resolutions & refresh rates), thanks to its regular updates and newer versions.

Verdict: To conclude, HDMI offers numerous benefits that include wide compatibility, CEC & ARC functionalities, support HD resolutions, HDCP support, easy setup, and high-quality audio & video. Thus, it is an indispensable technology that delivers an unmatched audiovisual experience in this modern digital age.

HDMI Versions

HDMI came into existence in 2002 and has made numerous advances in the field of audio-visual data capabilities. So, several HDMI versions have been launched to keep up with these advancements and enable the HDMI interface to keep pace with technology. This will ensure that HDMI is relevant and up to date. Even though it is advanced through successive versions, the same 19-pin connector is used with versions being backward compatible.

So, it is keeping up with all essential requirements for audio-visual data transmission. Almost all modern devices, including TVs, computers, DVD recorders, monitors, projects, soundbars, or music systems come with HDMI ports, allowing users to enjoy the latest HDMI versions or those accommodating the latest features.

Let’s now know about the different versions of HDMI –

1. HDMI 1.0

This is the first version of HDMI that was released in 2002 and initially transferred up to 8 audio channels and a digital video signal. This version was capable of transferring data at speeds of about 4.95 Gbps. The basic HDMI capabilities for a single cable digital audio/video connector interface, as it uses the basic DVI concept.

2. HDMI 1.1

This version came into existence in the year 2004. The HDMI 1.1 supports high-quality DVD audio along with a few changes in the electrical circuit. This is a bit high-resolution audio format compared to the previous HDMI 1.0 system, as it is designed with several small changes to the electrical and mechanical specifications.

3. HDMI 1.2

HDMI 1.2 was launched in the year 2005, which introduced several new capabilities and some major features that broaden HDMI beyond the TV-related industries and incorporate areas like better PC support/VESA standards. Also, they deliver the ability for a single cable solution for universal DVD players. The added Direct Stream Digital (DSD) enables native transmission of Super Audio CD (SACD) that supports up to 8 channels. Also, it supports low-voltage sources like PCI Express, and Type A connectors for PC-based applications.

While its HDMI 1.2a version (updated in the same 2005 year) adds provision for consumer electronic control (CEC) features, CEC features, compliance tests, and command sets. This CEC allows the user to operate multiple devices with a single handheld remote control device.

4. HDMI 1.3

This version was released in 2006, which has several new capabilities and boosts the single HDMI link bandwidth to 10.2 Gbps. Also, it supports color resolutions of up to 16-bit, 10-bit, and 12-bit per channel. It also supports mini-HDMI or Type-C miniature connectors. It supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD master audio formats for external decoding.

Furthermore, it has other minor updates that are indicated by the version number – 1.3a, 1.3b, and 1.3c that has a small difference in the data transmission speed and a bit more clarifications & addition of new commands.

5. HDMI 1.4

It was released in 2009 with several features that are essential to make the cable quite flexible and versatile in terms of usability. It adds the functionality of an HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) for a 100 Mbps connection between two HDMI-connected devices & thereby sharing the internet connection. Furthermore, it supports 3D video formats, and 4K@30Hz resolution to make amazing audio clarity and screen visibility.

It uses an audio return channel (ARC) with a combination of HDMI-connected TV and a built-in tuner to send audio data (upstream) to a surround sound system without any separate audio cable. Also, it introduces a new micro HDMI connector to use with small devices (mobile or other small portable devices).

HDMI 1.4a is a version update released in 2010 and has incorporated the 3D broadcast format, yet it could not be decided in time for the initial release of the HDMI 1.4 version. The next version update HDMI 1.4b was done in 2011 with several minor changes – it provides full HD for both pictures used for 3D pictures allowing 3D 1080p @ 120Hz.

6. HDMI 2.0

The next generation/version will always be better than its former variants. This HDMI 2.0 came into existence in 2013 and is referred to as HDMI UHD. It has an enhanced bandwidth of around 18 Gbps that could support UHD video with resolution up to 4K@60Hz and allows transmission of up to 32 audio channels. Also, it adds High Dynamic Range (HDR) will help to achieve more bright, natural, and vivid colors with highlights, allowing to take better pictures with detailed quality. Also, it enables the delivery of multi-stream audio simultaneously for up to 4 users. 

However, if you want to enjoy these features, you need to first ensure certain things – Your TV (connected device) should support the HDR feature and come with an HDMI connection supporting HDR. For instance, most modern gaming consoles support HDR to experience bright and crispy images while gaming.

There are some updates done and released on this HDMI 2.0 version – HDMI 2.0a (a minor update released in 2015 that provides support for HDR video with static metadata), and HDMI 2.0b (released in 2016 with added numerous new enhancements to the standard version that not only support for HDR videos but also extend the static metadata signaling to include Hybrid Log-Gamma.

7. HDMI 2.1

One of the latest and best HDMI versions that came into existence in the year 2017. It supports a higher bandwidth of up to 48 Gbps and supports high resolutions and refresh rates of up to 10K@120Hz (or) 8K @ 60Hz for a better viewing experience. Its capability for dynamic HDR metadata on a frame-by-frame or scene-by-scene basis. The cable availability and content creation at high-resolution settings will make it take some decent time before its use becomes widespread.

It is used for audio sources, including Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio, and has the diversification of three different modes (Mirror/Game/Extended). This Display Stream Compression (DSC) 1.2 is used for 8K (or higher) video formats and also it enables the cables to carry higher data rates. Just like the updates of other versions, this HDMI 2.1 version has a minor update – HDMI 2.1a with added support for Source-Based Tone Mapping (SBTM).

8. HDMI 2.2

This 2.2 is the latest version of HDMI that was released in 2019. It is compatible with consumer electronics with MGL 3.0 and DisplayPort 1.4a, yet it is not backward compatible. It supports a resolution of 4K @ 60 Hz (4K UHD native content) offering high-quality and sharper images. It is used widely for transmitting audio and video to consumer electronics, gaming, and copy protection.

However, it doesn’t have specific bandwidth due to copy-protection technology, and this bandwidth depends on the resolution of the video content and supports dynamic HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. It has diversification in 4 different modes (Mirror/Game/Extended/Home Theater). Also, it is the same as HDCP 2.2 technology, which means it prevents unauthorized copying of contents (4K Ultra HD).

The main drawback of this latest version is that both the media player (audio source device) and TV (video source device) should be compatible with HDCP version 2.2. However, any device/gadget that won’t support HDCP 2.2 can’t be upgraded, and you need hardware components like an HDCP receiver and transmitter. So, you need to check the compatibility of your device before purchasing this HDMI 2.2 version, as most 4K TV brands come with 1 – 2 HDMI inputs supporting HDCP 2.2.

HDMI 2.2 has some compatibility restrictions (limited backward compatibility) that separate audio-visual creatives, making most people prefer HDMI 2.1 (from games to streaming apps) rather than this latest version.

Verdict: HDMI audio/video interface is evolving to meet the advancing requirements of the audio and video industry. From its HDMI 1.0 version to the HDMI latest 2.2 version, it provides advancements in support for the latest video standards and the capability to incorporate various new functions and capabilities. It is essential to check the HDMI interface in the equipment to enjoy the provided required capabilities.

Types of HDMI Cables

Here is a detailed explanation of the different types of HDMI cables that help you to choose the apt type that suits your requirements.

1. Standard HDMI Cable

 This is a basic HDMI cable that supports video resolutions of 720p and 1080p along with a bandwidth of up to 4.95 Gbps.

2. High-Speed HDMI Cable

This is an enhanced version of standard HDMI cable that can easily handle higher resolutions and refresh rates, including 4K & 3D content with a bandwidth of up to 10.2 Gbps.

3. Premium High-Speed HDMI Cable

This high-quality cable offers support for 8K, 4K, HDR, and various advanced audio formats for superior audiovisual performance, thanks to its bandwidth of up to 18 Gbps.

4. Ultra High-Speed HDMI Cable

This is the latest HDMI cable that supports up to 10K resolutions, advanced gaming features, and high frame rates. It comes with a higher bandwidth of up to 48 Gbps.

5. Mini HDMI Cable

 This type of HDMI cable has a smaller connector to connect with devices, including cameras, tablets, and some laptops as well.

6. Ethernet HDMI Cable

This type of HDMI cable comes with an extra Ethernet channel to offer proper internet connectivity between compatible devices. It provides a bandwidth of up to 10.2 Gbps and supports 4K resolution, HDR, and wide color gamuts.

7. Micro HDMI Cable

This cable comes with an even smaller connector that is most widely used with some tablets or smartphones.

8. HDMI ARC Cable

This cable comes with Audio Return Channel (ARC) functionality that seamlessly sends audio from the TV to an audio device like a soundbar.

9. HDMI to DVI Cable

 This type of cable is used to connect HDMI devices to digital visual interface (DVI cable supports video but not audio)-equipped displays (or) vice-versa. This combinational cable will deliver excellent audio and visual clarity to enjoy your favorite movies, shows, or games.

10. HDMI with CEC Support

 With its support for Consumer Electronics Control (CEC), this cable allows the user to have device control via a single remote, even for interconnected HDMI devices.

11. Active HDMI Cable

 It is designed to integrate signal-boosting technology to run a longer cable without any signal loss.

12. Locking HDMI Cable

This type of cable has a locking mechanism that secures the connection effectively and thereby avoids any accidental disconnection.

13. High-Flex HDMI Cable

 As the name suggests, this HDMI cable is designed to deliver extra flexibility to connect properly even in tight spaces or areas having frequent bending.

14. Angled HDMI Cable

With its angled designed connectors, this cable can fit flush against the wall or device. Mostly, this angled cable is preferred for the proper fitting and proper usage of the space.

15. Swivel HDMI Cable

 This type of cable is equipped with swiveling connectors that offer easy access in confined areas.

Verdict: While there are different types of HDMI cables available in the market, each type caters to specific requirements and preferences. Yet this information will ensure you select the right HDMI cable type for audiovisual setup and device compatibility.

Types of HDMI Connectors

Different types of HDMI connectors are used for different purposes. Here is a detailed explanation of how to choose them and which one is suitable for your purpose.

1. Standard HDMI Connector (Type A)

 It is a common HDMI connector that comes with 19 pins and is used widely in monitors, TVs, projectors, and other HDMI-enabled devices.

2. Mini HDMI Connector (Type C)

Due to its smaller size than the standard connectors, these Mini / Type C connectors are seen mostly in compact devices, including cameras, tablets, and some laptops.

3. Micro HDMI Connector (Type D)

 As the name implies, these Type D connectors are even smaller than Type C connectors (smallest HDMI connector), making them used widely in smartphones and some tablets for space-saving connectivity.

4. Dual Link HDMI Connector (Type B)

 It is designed to carry dual link DVD-I video. Though it functions similarly to Type A, yet the B connector has 29 pins instead of 19 pins. This prevents the tangling of power cables while connecting the devices. It is developed for high-resolution displays (greater bandwidth and HD video signals) however, it is not currently used. Also, you can find HDMI Type-E connectors are designed for industrial and automotive applications, which ensure a secure automotive connection system in vehicles commonly having vibrations and movement.

5. HDMI 2.1 Connector

 This type of connector supports the latest HDMI 2.1 version. They enable enhanced features such as 4K@120Hz, dynamic HDR, 8K, and eARC.

6. HDMI 2.1 Ultra High-Speed Connector

 It is an upgraded version of the HDMI 2.1 connector that is designed specifically to handle the full capabilities of HDMI 2.1. It supports higher resolutions, refresh rates, and bandwidth/speed rating of up to 48 Gbps.

7. HDMI ARC Connector

 This type of connector is mainly used to integrate Audio Return Channel (ARC) functionality to send the audio signal from a display source (like a TV) to an audio device (like a soundbar), using the same HDMI cable.

8. HDMI with Ethernet Connector

 It comes with an extra channel to support Ethernet (internet) communication between compatible devices without any need for extra cables.

9. HDMI to DVI Connector

This connector type is designed to convert HDMI signals to DVI signals (Digital Video Interface – for video purposes only). For this, connect HDMI devices to DVI-equipped displays (or vice versa).

10. Mini HDMI to HDMI Adapter

 This type is used to convert mini HDMI connectors to standard HDMI. It is designed to provide a connection between devices having different HDMI connectors.

11. Micro HDMI to HDMI Adapter

 This adapter converts the micro HDMI connector to the standard HDMI connector to enable compatibility between devices with different HDMI connectors.

12. HDMI Angled Adapter

 The angled design of this connector adapter will fit flush against walls or devices having limited clearance.

13. HDMI Swivel Adapter

 The swiveling functionality of this connector will make it flexible to position them conveniently in tight or hard-to-reach spaces.

14. HDMI Male to Female Extension Cable

 This connector is used to extend the reach of your existing HDMI cable, allowing it to seamlessly reach even distant devices or wall-mounted TVs.

15. HDMI Locking Connector

 It incorporates locking mechanisms to secure and safeguard the cable connection and thereby restrict any accidental disconnection.

16. HDMI Coupler

 This connector is a gender changer that is used widely to connect two or more HDMI cables for length extension or bridge connections.

Verdict: Though there are different HDMI connectors and adapters available, each type will accommodate different purposes and be used for various setups and devices. So, it offers flexibility and seamless connectivity for your devices to choose either one that suits perfect for audio-visual needs.

How to Use HDMI?

The use of HDMI is quite simple and straightforward. All you need is to follow these instructions/procedures for the effective use of HDMI as an audiovisual connectivity.

Here is the detailed procedure on how to use HDMI Cable properly …

1. Check Device Compatibility

 Start the process by checking the HDMI ports on the devices you want to connect. Ensure that the devices (TV, gaming console, or laptop) are HDMI-compatible.

2. Grab the Right HDMI Cable

Based on your requirements, you need to choose an apt HDMI cable that supports the device’s resolution.

3. Identify HDMI Ports

Check for the HDMI ports on the display device (TV/Projector/Monitor) and source device (gaming console/laptop). Mostly, these ports are labeled as “HDMI”.

4. Power Off Devices

 After initial checking and selection of HDMI cables, you need to power off all the devices to prevent any potential damage to the ports or equipment before connecting HDMI cables.

5. Connect HDMI Cable

Connect one end of the HDMI cable to the HDMI input port of the display device and the other end to the HDMI output port of the source device.

6. Switch to Correct Input: Turn on the connected devices and switch the input source of the display device to the corresponding HDMI input. For this, you need to use the remote or on-screen menu of the display device.

7. Check for Signal

 After a successful connection, you need to check and confirm that the source device’s screen is displayed on either the monitor, TV, or projector.

8. Configure Resolution

 A few devices might need manual resolution configuration. If the display doesn’t appear properly, then access the display settings of the source device to adjust the resolution till it matches the display’s capabilities.

9. Enjoy High-Definition Content

 After establishing the HDMI connection, it’s time to enjoy high-quality HD audio and video from the source device on the display.

10. Audio Return Channel (ARC) Setup

 It is an optional step. If you have ARC-supported devices, connect an HDMI cable to the ARC-enabled HDMI port on the TV and an ARC-enabled audio device (soundbar). It sends the audio from the TV to the audio device to simplify the setup and reduce cable clutter.

11. Consumer Electronics Control (CEC)

 It is also an optional step for those devices that support CEC. If your device is also CEC-supported, then you may enable this feature in the settings for effective communication and control of interconnected devices with a single remote control.

12. Disconnecting HDMI Cable

 After completing your task, it’s time to power off the devices and then disconnect the HDMI cable. Hold the connectors to remove the cable gently without simply pulling on the cable.

In summary, the user-friendly experience of HDMI will make its usage quite simple and easy. It provides a seamless and high-quality audiovisual connection between compatible devices to elevate the overall entertainment experience.

What Features are Offered by the HDMI?

You should know the features of the HDMI cable before buying them to make it use effectively. Here is the list of HDMI features… 

  • Transition-Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) is used for effective digital data transmission over long distances without any signal loss.
  • High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is an authentication protocol that allows a sending and receiving device to verify credentials. This prevents the interception of data from any unauthorized device during its transmission.
  • Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) allows complete control to its user for up to 15 connected HDMI devices via a single remote control.
  • Display Data Channel (DDC) is a set of protocols that allow proper communication from the source device to the display/receiver device to know about the audio and video formats it can handle and thereby adjust them accordingly.
  • Chroma Subsampling represents a compression of video data, as it reduces the amount of color data in the video signal. It can be either 4:4:4, 4:2:0, or 4:2:2, which determines the number of pixels in the video image.
  • Color Spaces and Deep Color represent a defined range of colors in an image. Color depth (number of bits used to represent the color of a single pixel) and gamut (number of available colors) are two characteristics of color space.
  • Audio Return Channel (ARC) enables a TV or display device to send audio back to an AV receiver or soundbar via the same cable. It transmits audio and video to the TV and high-resolution audio back to the soundbar without any extra cables, along with controlling sound using the TV remote.
  • Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) was introduced in the latest HDMI versions to support high-quality bandwidth and speed. Yet it needs a high-speed HDMI cable with Ethernet. Some devices support both ARC and eARC versions.
  • HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) is designed to incorporate the Ethernet cable feature into HDMI cable (1.4b version) to prevent the need for a separate Ethernet cable in its functioning. For instance, Roku and Xbox 360 are HEC devices that are connected to the internet.
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) is achieved when the source device sends extra information with the video signal to the display device. This results in greater brightness, better color accuracy, and contrast than standard dynamic range (SDR) to enjoy your favorite content with amazing video and audio clarity.
  • Display Stream Compression (DSC) is a visually lossless compression for ultra-HD video, which is introduced in HDMI cable with a 2.1 version that can support a maximum compressed bandwidth. It compresses the signal to transmit more bits till it reaches the maximum bandwidth for higher resolution, color depth, and frame rate in the audio and video signal.

Difference Between HDMI Cables and Connectors

Are HDMI cables and connectors the same? No, they aren’t. HDMI cables are physical transmission cables used to carry audio, video, and data signals between connected devices. On the other hand, HDMI connectors are physical interface points on devices used to plug in the HDMI cables.  

Here is a clear explanation that help you to know the difference between these two – cables and connectors of HDMI.

1. HDMI Cables

  • It is a physical cable that is used to transmit audio and video signals between devices.
  • It is available in various types, including standard, high-speed, premium high-speed, or ultra-high-speed. Each type has different capabilities and features.
  • With its varying cable lengths, the HDMI cables allow its users to choose the apt size required for their proper setup.
  • Since HDMI cables are meant to carry digital signals, they support HD resolutions, audio formats, and other data streams (ARC or Ethernet) to enjoy the perfect audio and video clarity or data transmission.
  • It effectively transmits the data between HDMI-enabled devices without any lag/delay or signal degradation.
  • HDMI cables can be either passive or active based on how they incorporate signal-boosting technology for long cable runs.

2. HDMI Connectors

  • It is a physical interface on electronic devices designed to plug in the HDMI cable.
  • It is available in different types, including standard (Type A), mini (Type C), micro (Type D), HDMI 2.1, HDMI with Ethernet connector, or HDMI angled adapter.
  • Each type of connector is quite different and serves specific devices that range from monitors, and TVs to cameras, smartphones, and laptops.
  • There are a specific number of pins in HDMI connectors to carry digital signals and thereby offer the essential electrical connections for an ideal audiovisual transmission.
  • A few HDMI connector types come with extra features such as Ethernet connectivity, or Audio Return Channel (ARC) for some added advantages.
  • They provide a secure connection between devices for seamless and proper data transfer.

Verdict: Simply, HDMI cables carry signals (audio, data, and video) between devices, whereas the HDMI connectors are essential to plug in these HDMI cables properly on the device. Ultimately, the combination of this HDMI cable and its corresponding connector is essential for high-quality audiovisual connectivity between compatible devices.

Drawbacks of HDMI

Despite its various advantages, HDMI does come with some drawbacks (disadvantages) that you should be aware of before purchasing and using it.

Here is the list of HDMI cons…

1. Limited Cable Length

 In general, the standard HDMI cables come with a practical length limitation (distance limitations), typically above 50 feet/15 meters. However, signal degradation occurs over long-distance HDMI cables.

2. No Lock Mechanism

 Standard HDMI connectors don’t have a locking mechanism, which makes them vulnerable to accidental disconnection if not secured properly.

3. Audio Format Limitations

 Though HDMI supports an array of audio formats, the cable might not always be compatible with older audio systems, requiring legacy connections (such as analog RCA or optical audio).

4. Compatibility Issues

 Usually, older devices don’t have HDMI ports, resulting in the requisite for alternative connection methods or adapters.

5. Version Compatibility

 The latest HDMI versions won’t be fully backward compatible with older HDMI devices. Thus, it results in potential limitations in supported resolutions/features.

6. Single Device Limitation

 The point-to-point connection of HDMI will transmit data from one source to one display device on time, allowing its usability limitation in multi-display setups.

7. Fragility

 HDMI cables and connectors are delicate, in which bending or mishandling them might cause damage or signal disruption.

8. Copy Protection & HDCP Issues

HDCP (copyright protection) plays a key role in content protection. It ensures that no one’s ripping shows or movies from your device. However, it might not be an issue with new devices but results in compatibility issues with some older devices (which lack HDCP protection) or unauthorized playback of certain content.

9. Limited Bandwidth for Future Technologies

 In the ever-evolving advancements of technology, and the emergence of higher-resolution displays/formats, the HDMI’s bandwidth might eventually be limited or inadequate to handle future demands.

10. Cost

 Usually, HDMI cables with advanced features like ultra-high-speed HDMI 2.1, HDCP support, multiple data streams, & user-friendly design are a bit expensive compared to other connection options.

11. Different Cable Lengths

The power output from devices connected with HDMI cable will determine the signal transmission. Yet the limited cable length might act as a limitation. For instance, the length is limited to 30 feet (or less) with computer consoles, and Blu-ray players transmit HD signals for up to 50 feet. This means different devices come with different cable lengths. So, prefer HDMI extenders to extend the cable length and transmit the signal over a long distance.

Verdict: Besides these drawbacks, HDMI is a reliable and widely adopted technology for HD audiovisual connectivity in modern consumer electronics. As a user, you need to consider all these limitations and weigh them against your specific requisites to select the correct connection method suitable for your devices and enjoy seamless connectivity.


To sum it up, HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) is a standard interface/base for modern audio visual connectivity that offers seamless transmission of high-quality audio and video signals between devices (consumer electronics) to elevate entertainment experiences to unparalleled heights.

With its convenient plug-and-play setups, support of advanced audio formats, and high-definition resolutions, HDMI become an indispensable technology in our daily activities, thanks to its versatility and widespread adoption.

Even though it has some limitations, the ever-evolving, boundless potential of HDMI meets the demands of emerging technologies and boosts us into a more captivating and immersive digital era. Also, this audio visual connectivity will enrich the perception and interaction way with the digital world.

What is HDMI – FAQs

1. How to connect a phone to a TV using HDMI?

Here are the steps that have to be followed to connect your phone to the TV via HDMI.
*Check whether or not, the phone has an HDMI output. If not, then use a suitable HDMI adapter for your phone model.
*Connect the dual ends of the HDMI cable to the phone’s HDMI output/adapter and the HDMI input on the TV.
*Switch the TV input to the corresponding HDMI input source to mirror your phone’s screen on the TV.
*Viola! Enjoy watching the content from the phone on a large TV display.

2. How to connect the HDMI to a non-smart TV?

Ans: Here are the simple steps that help you connect an HDMI to a non-smart TV and enjoy watching the HD audio and video content effectively.
*Check for the HDMI input port on your non-smart TV (which is labeled as HDMI).
*In case your TV comes with this HDMI port, it’s time to choose an apt HDMI Cable that suits your TV’s specifications.
*Then connect the HDMI cable to an HDMI output port of the video source (laptop/Blu-ray player) and the HDMI input port on your non-smart TV.
*Turn the TV input source to the corresponding HDMI input to display the video source’s screen on your TV.
*This will allow you to enjoy high-quality audio and HD video content on a large display.

3. What is meant by HDMI ARC and eARC?

Ans: The HDMI technology has two main audio features – ARC (Audio Return Channel) and eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel). Both HDMI ARC and eARC are the easiest way to connect your TV and the soundbar (or any other audio device).
Here the HDMI ARC eliminates the need for an optical cable and allows two-way audio transmission between a TV and an audio device (like a soundbar or AV receiver) via a single HDMI cable. This basic HDMI cable simplifies the setup process and allows audio from the TV to be sent back to the connected audio device.
Alternatively, eARC (the next generation of ARC – HDMI cable with Ethernet) is introduced in HDMI 2.1, offering higher bandwidth and speed, and supporting advanced audio formats like DTS:X and Dolby Atmos. They send higher-quality audio from the TV to the audio device, delivering a more immersive audio experience than the traditional ARC.

4. Why is HDMI better than USB?

Ans: HDMI is designed to transfer high-quality audio and video signals, whereas USB is designed to transfer data between computer and peripheral devices. Compared to USB, HDMI supports higher resolutions, faster data transmission rates, wider bandwidth, and some data encryption protocols. HDMI cables are used to connect display devices (monitors/TVs/projectors), whereas USB cables are used to connect peripherals (like printer, mouse, keyboard, or HDD).

5. Shall we run HDMI reliably over long-distance cable?

Ans: HDMI cables don’t encounter the single loss problem over long cable runs better than VGA or DVI. In general, most cable lengths of more than 5 – 10 meters might inevitably lose data/signal from the source to the output. However, most commercial applications require long cable lengths to perform their tasks successfully. Then prefer to choose the HDMI cables having TMDS feature to transmit data over long distances without any signal loss.

6. How does an HDMI cable work?

Ans: An HDMI cable transmits data from one device to another, enabling device networking by using Transition-Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) technology. It is designed to safeguard and secure data against signal degradation while transmitting the data via HDMI cable.

7. Does an HDMI cable carry sound signals?

Ans: HDMI cables were originally developed to transfer video signals (as a replacement for DVI cables). Then there are some subsequent additions done to the cable, making it easily handle stereo audio and multi-channel surround sound audio. Thus, the latest versions of HDMI cable feature ARC and can transfer multiple audio formats, including DTS-HD or Dolby Tru-HD for a proper soundbar connection to enjoy high-quality audio from the device.

8. Which one is better – Active Vs. Passive HDMI Cables?

Ans: When it comes to cable length and transmitting HDMI signals – Active cables incorporate a signal booster that allows for the proper transmission of audio and video over long distances, yet it might require a power supply in some cases. Alternatively, a passive cable is a single cable that comes with an HDMI connector at each end for transmitting data/signal within a limited range. So, both these HDMI cables function better at their range. As a user, you need to select either one based on your requirements.

We hope this article has provided a detailed insight into HDMI and helped you to choose the best option that suits your requirements. Feel free to share your queries regarding this HDMI with us in the comments section below. We will respond promptly to resolve your questions.

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