4K displays have become a standard in recent TV models. To ensure the picture and audio quality is intact from the source to the TV, display manufacturers use HDMI connections. HDMI is a more efficient way of sending and receiving digital audio and visual signals between devices. There are still many questions about HDMI port cables and how they work. Here you will find answers, especially on what port supports 4K on your TV.
HDMI ports on modern high-end TVs all support 4K and even 8K resolutions. Some TVs, however, especially the mid-range and older ones, have one port that supports 4K while the others can only support standard resolutions. If the device specifications of your TV state that one or all the HDMI ports are a high speed or Enhanced HDMI, then it means it supports 4K.
- What is 4K?
- Why does HDMI matter?
- What are the different versions of HDMI?
- What are the Various HDMI ports?
- Which HDMI version supports 4K?
- How do I know my TV’s HDMI version?
- Why does the refresh rate matter?
- What is HDMI ARC?
- Which HDMI port is 4K on LG TVs?
- Which HDMI port is 4K on Vizio TVs?
- Which HDMI port is 4K on Samsung TVs?
- What is HDMI STB?
- Does cable length affect image quality?
- Do I need a new 4K cable?
- Final thoughts.
What is 4K?
4K is a resolution category that has around 4000 pixels horizontally. A pixel is the tiniest sample of the original picture that carries details about the original picture. The more pixels an image has, the more information it contains.
Therefore, a TV is 4K if the number of horizontal pixels on display is 4000, not because of the HDMI port. The specific 4K resolution is 3840×2160.
Before 4K, we had HD, which entails resolutions of 1920 x 1080.
Why does HDMI matter?
Suppose your device can display in 4K, then the type of HDMI port and cable matters. There are different versions of HDMI, and each has its capabilities. Some can transfer data faster than others, and some even have ethernet capabilities.
The faster and more data your cable can transfer, the more accurate your 4K display will be. Some versions support 4K but at different refresh rates, while others cannot transmit quality 4K signals because of low refresh rates and slower data transfer.
What are the different versions of HDMI?
HDMI ports come with different specifications. The specifications are the basis on which we classify HDMI ports and cables. The versions are 1.1, 1.0, 1.2a, 1.4, 1.4b, and 2.1.
All other HDMI versions are built on the specifications of HDMI 1.4b. The only difference is that there are additional features on versions after 1.4b.
The most recent version is the HDMI 2.1. It is capable of transmitting up to 10K signals without a fuss. It has refresh rates of between 60 Ghz to 120 Ghz and a bandwidth of 48 Gigabits.
The downside of version 2.1 is that devices that require such high resolutions are still not readily available on the market.
Previous versions of HDMI 2 are HDMI 2.0 and 2.0b. They are the most common on modern 4K displays since they have 50 to 60 GHz refresh rates. They also support a broader color palette and 3D audio rendering while maintaining bandwidths of 18 Gigabits.
When advertising HDMI, especially for cables, it is done in grades. That is, the cables or HDMI TVs come in four varieties. They are;
- Standard – these are ports or cables that can only support HD resolutions like 720p and 1080i with a 30 Hz refresh rate. They offer a maximum bandwidth of 10 Gbps.
- High-speed HDMI – Has a transfer bandwidth of 18 Gbps and can support 4K at 60 Hz.
- Ultra-High-Speed HDMI – these are the highest quality and work with any connection. They have incredibly high transfer speeds of 48 gigabytes and conform to version 2.1 specifications. Devices in this category can also support 8K resolutions at 60 Hz and 4K at 120 Hz.
Categorizing HDMI has been done by the above standards in recent years, especially for marketing.
What are the Various HDMI ports?
HDMI categorization can also depend on physical appearance. The standard ports are the most commonly used; however, some devices cannot accommodate them because of their size and manufacturer specifications.
- Type A – is the standard wide HDMI port. It is common on Blu-ray players and other HDMI devices.
- Type B – is a rare and outdated type. It was meant to be an upgrade to the first HDMI standard.
- Type C – also known as the micro-HDMI port because of the close appearance to a micro-USB port.
- Type D – it is also known as the micro-HDMI port. It looks like the micro-USB port hence the name.
- Type E – specific to automotive HDMI ports. They have a mechanism to ensure the cable is firm. They also have a cover to protect the port from moisture and dust.
Which HDMI version supports 4K?
HDMI versions from 1.4 all support 4K resolutions but at different refresh rates. HDMI 1.4 supports 4K at 30fps, 2.0,2.1 supports 60 and 120 fps.
An ideal 4K resolution requires a high-speed cable. The high transfer rate ensures no blurring of images on the screen.
Therefore, as long as your HDMI version is high speed, it supports 4K resolutions. Here are a few good 4K capable cables.
How do I know my TV’s HDMI version?
It is impossible to tell what version you have by looking at the port. To know your HDMI version, you need to look at your device specifications. Manufacturers often indicate the HDMI version on the user manual or the device packaging.
If you cannot locate the labeling, you can alternatively search for your device’s specifications online or visit the manufacturer’s website for your TV’s specifications.
Why does the refresh rate matter?
The refresh rate refers to the number of pictures shown per second on the screen. The rate is recorded in Hertz and is done in intervals of milliseconds. For instance, if your TV has a refresh rate of 60GHz, it means it shows 60 images times per second.
Therefore, the higher the frame rate per second, the more details and color-depth a picture has. Your HDMI port has to be capable of receiving images at a high rate that matches your TV’s refresh rate to live up to 4K standards.
Some video games have a refresh rate of 120 Hz. Therefore, consider using a cable that matches the rate for the best visual quality. In such instances, Ultra-High-Speed HDMI cables are the best choice. Of course, your TV has to support the resolution parameters too.
What is HDMI ARC?
ARC is short for Audio Return Channel. It is a mechanism for sending audio signals to a separate output like a soundbar or AVR.
It eliminates the need for a separate audio cable. Should you want to connect your TV to a soundbar with HDMI, use the HDMI ARC port on the TV. HDMI ARC can also connect home theaters to the TV.
Which HDMI port is 4K on LG TVs?
All ports are 4K capable if the LG TV can support 4K resolutions. The only notable difference is that you have to activate the HDMI deep color setting on some LG brands to enjoy the whole 4K resolution package.
Which HDMI port is 4K on Vizio TVs?
Like most TV brands, all the ports on 4K Vizio TVs are 4K. Differences arise in color depth and other HDMI and 4K display settings.
Therefore, if all you need is a 4K port, use whichever port you wish. However, if you want to connect audio to an external output, use the ports labeled eARC.
Which HDMI port is 4K on Samsung TVs?
Essentially all ports on modern Samsung 4K TVs are 4K capable.
However, not all have the full range of HDMI specifications with 4K. The only Samsung TVs with the full range HDMI 2.0 specifications are from the KS line like the Samsung UN65KS9000 .
Only port 1 can support the full range of 4K specifications on other versions. Some Samsung TVs require you to activate these UHD capabilities. The Ultra HD feature gives viewers a deeper color at 4K with a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
Press the home button on your Samsung TV remote to activate these features. Then navigate to Settings and select picture.
Then go to expert settings, scroll down to HDMI UHD Color, and select port 1. Select YES to restart your TV so it can implement the new settings.
What is HDMI STB?
The HDMI STB port is for connecting your set-top box to your TV. Generally, modern TVs do not come with an HDMI STB-specific port. If your TV has such a label, chances are it is purely for convenience.
You can connect the set-top box to whichever port you use. However, if you face display problems, you can revert to the HDMI STB port.
Does cable length affect image quality?
The length of your HDMI cable affects the image you will receive on-screen. Typical cables work properly over distances of up to 15 feet.
If you want to transfer data over longer distances via HDMI, consider purchasing a cable with an inbuilt booster. Cables with inbuilt boosters usually have “active” in their name.
Alternatively, you can get an HDMI signal booster like the HEJSANG HDMI Amplifier Repeater.
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Last update on 2022-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Do I need a new 4K cable?
Chances are, you do not need to purchase a new 4K capable cable. As long as the one you have is not standard quality, it can probably transfer data to a 4K TV.
An essential factor about 4K capable devices is how they transfer data. Most cables have decent rates that can support 4K. The Amazon basics HDMI cable is a good choice.
- HDMI A MALE TO A MALE CABLE: Supports Ethernet, 3D, 4K video and Audio Return Channel (ARC)
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Last update on 2022-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.
You only need a new cable for features on your TV that the initial cable can not support. A good example is the 120 Hz refresh rate in 4K and 8K.
The refresh rate is suitable for PS5 and Xbox X series video games.
HDMI ports and 4K resolutions work hand in hand with digital signals to ensure you have a memorable watching and listening experience.
Hopefully, all your HDMI-related queries have been put to rest. Should you have further questions on the HDMI ports on your TV, do not hesitate to contact your manufacturer or the user manual.