HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, an audio and video interface for transmitting digital video and audio data. HDMI requires a cable with a connector to transfer digital data from HDMI-capable devices.
Since the dawn of the digital age, modern devices have the HDMI feature to send compressed and uncompressed data. Many people who enjoy gaming and watching videos use HDMI to transfer data from one device to another.
Although there are different standards of HDMI, they have the same functions but operate at different transfer rates. Therefore, you can choose an HDMI standard that fits your needs.
Since HDR is a recent feature, not all HDMI versions can support the HDR feature. Since HDMI enables data transfer, HDR will improve the video quality of such data. Therefore, the cables that support HDR have a higher frequency rate and bandwidth to accommodate the feature.
Ensure your display device can support the HDR feature so that you may be able to view the data on HDR. Also, the better the cable, the better the frame frequency at high resolutions.
Do You Need HDMI 2.0 or 2.1 for HDR?
HDMI 2.0 and 2.1 are the most current standards of HDMI cables, known as Category 3 cables. Premium high speed and ultra-high-speed HDMI cables offer transmission of high-quality data. Also, the cables can support different formats of HDR such as HDR, hybrid log gamma (HLG), and Dolby Vision.
HDR offers a high dynamic range of videos by enhancing the image quality since it balances the light and dark tones. Also, using these HDMI cables will ensure the quality of HDR videos and images remains the same.
However, the two types of cables have different bandwidths, which allow the transfer of data at different rates.
Additionally, the cables are only for use by devices that are HDR-compatible.
HDMI 2.0 has two versions, which came out in different years due to an upgrade in HDR formats.
HDMI 2.0a came out in 2013, while the release date for HDMI 2.0b was 2016. HDMI 2.0a only supports the HDR format. HDMI 2.0b supports HDR format and the newer hybrid log gamma (HGL) format.
HDR uses static metadata, which might lose some of its digital data during transmission from one device to another. However, HGL uses dynamic metadata, and it is less likely to lose any data during transmission.
Therefore, the two versions allow the transfer of the different formats of HDR since they have two various forms of metadata.
HDMI 2.1 cables had a release date of 2017, a year after HDMI 2.0b. There have been new upgrades to the HDR formats, which HDMI 2.1 supports. Dolby Vision is a new HDR format that uses dynamic metadata, and it is easily transferable between devices.
HDMI 2.1 is the most recent cable, and it has the highest bandwidth, thus having the highest data transfer rate. Therefore, you will transfer HDR content faster without losing its image quality and vibrance.
Do All HDMI Versions Support HDR?
Only the Category 3 HDMI cables can support the HDR feature. HDMI 2.0a and HDMI 2.0b are the premium high-speed cables, and HDMI 2.1 is the ultra-high-speed cable. These cables allow the transfer of high-resolution HDR content without losing any digital data.
However, make sure that your devices are HDR-compatible so that they may receive and play HDR content. Also, ensure you use the correct type of HDMI to connect to your devices to transfer your data.
Most of the new models of HDR TVs offer HDMI ports that specify the type of HDMI cable to use. The specific HDMI cables can transport different formats of HDR content according to the device. Also, ensure the cable connectors match the number of pins in your device’s ports for the cables to fit.
Do All HDMI Versions Support 4K?
Only three standards support 4K, meaning they can transfer data at 4K resolutions at different frames per second. These standards are high-speed cables, premium high-speed cables, and ultra-high-speed cables.
You can easily differentiate these cables through their logos which all manufacturers provide. Previous standards of the HDMI cables, known as standard speed cables, are obsolete and cannot support 4K resolutions.
Therefore, each cable standard has different bandwidths and different data transfer rates. Thus, the bandwidths will transfer data at different frames per second. The more powerful the cable, the higher the transfer rate and frame frequency.
HDMI 1.4 is the earliest standard cable that allows data transfer with 4K resolutions. It is a Category 2 cable, and it has a bandwidth of 10.2 Gbps which, therefore, transfers data very slowly.
The frame frequency of transferring 4K resolutions will be 24Hz and 30Hz; thus, there will be a lot of motion blur. The resulting image will seem blurry since there are a few frames for each video sequence.
HDMI 2.0 is a Category 3 cable that allows the transfer of 4K videos at a frame frequency of 60 Hz. The video quality will be better than when using an HDMI 1.4 cable. Both HDMI 2.0a and 2.0b offer a transfer rate of 18 Gbps with a maximum and a minimum of 14.4 Gbps.
These cables only transfer compressed video data due to the transfer rate and limited frequency rate.
HDMI 2.1 is also a Category 3 cable that transfers 4K videos and content at a frame frequency of 120Hz. It has the fastest bandwidth of 48 Gbps maximum and 42.6 Gbps minimum.
The cable can also transfer videos of higher resolutions at the same frame frequency, which adds to its advantage. They share only uncompressed data, which offers quality videos after transfer.
Therefore, HDMI 2.1 is the best cable to support 4K resolution videos. The videos will be more precise when transferring from one device to another. Additionally, you can transfer data faster, which many people look.
Hence, these cables can support videos at 4K resolutions but at different transfer rates and frame frequencies. The resulting videos will vary in quality depending on the HDMI cable.
What is the difference between an HDMI cable and a DisplayPort?
Both HDMI and DisplayPort have the same functionality for digital data transfer. They transfer various formats and compressions of data from one device to another at different speeds and frequencies.
Both cables might even look the same from an outside view.
Also, each type has different standards or versions that offer other functions depending on the type. Some are compatible with HDR and can support high image pixel resolutions.
However, the DisplayPort is more recent than HDMI cables. They have larger bandwidths, transferring more data at a time. Also, DisplayPort cables can support higher resolutions better than their HDMI counterparts.
Thus, there is not much difference in functionality between an HDMI cable and DisplayPort cables since they transfer digital data. The DisplayPort has more popularity among those who enjoy playing video games. An example of DisplayPort is DisplayPort 1.2, capable of 4K at 60 Hz .
HDMI cables allow digital data transfer with ease from one device to another. Hence, different cables support the transfer of other data formats at a time. The transfer rate of cables may vary depending on the strength of each cable.
More recent standards of HDMI can support 4K resolutions to improve your video quality as you transfer data. Also, they can offer HDR support to make videos seem smoother with minimal motion blur.
Therefore, you have to check the HDMI port on your PC or TV before purchasing a cable. For higher bandwidths and better video quality, you should use more recent types of HDMI cables.
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.