Top 3 Things to Consider When Buying High Speed HDMI Cables

HDMI at PacRad

Are you still using the red, yellow and white RCA cables we all grew up with?

The yellow being the video cable, and the red and white cables for stereo audio – bring back memories?

Hardly anybody uses those today, unless you have an older television model. On your current TV setup, it’s more than likely that you’re using an HDMI cable.

A high speed HDMI cable is a single cable for audio and video and can connect your TV with your cable boxes, media players, Blu-ray players and audio video receivers. The best quality high speed HDMI cables will simplify your cabling while making sure you have amazing picture quality and sound.

But picking the right type of HDMI cable can be a bit tricky, especially with new versions coming out and newer 4K television models.

In this post, we’ll discuss why you need an HDMI cable and uncover 3 things you should consider when buying high speed HDMI cables:

Understanding High Speed HDMI Cables

When HDMI cables first came out they were released under the HDMI 1.0 certification which supported 720p or 1080i full HD resolutions. These cables are almost obsolete now.

Then came HDMI 1.3 cables which were the original high-speed HDMI cables as they offered a bandwidth of over 10 Gpbs (10 gigabits-per-second), which is pretty fast.

Then in late 2013, HDMI 2.0 or HDMI UHD cables were released into the market that further increased the maximum bandwidth rate to a whopping 18 Gpbs.

No matter what type of HDMI cable you buy, the first thing you should look for on the packaging is that the cables are labeled as “High Speed HDMI” — this will in fact be written on the cable as well. A high speed cable will ensure that you’re set to watch anything all the way up to 4K content which streams at 60 frames/second.

In fact, it doesn’t matter if you buy a cheaper HDMI cable or a more expensive one, if it says high speed HDMI it will work for your costly 4K TV.

So is there a reason to shell out more money for a more expensive HDMI cable

In simple words, yes there is. Although there might not be a lot of noticeable difference in the picture and sound quality there are some solid reasons why you should consider shelling out a few extra dollars for your HDMI cable, which go beyond the cable’s ability to just carry a signal.

Quality matters

HDMI cables are complex. Each one has 19 pins and 19 wires, meaning that the manufacturing process is anything but easy. If you scale this up to thousands of cables, maintaining the same stringent quality is bound to be challenging.

Opening up a cheap cable may even reveal poor connections, and missing wires to the connection plate.

Even though HDMI has strong policing in place to make sure the cables in the market are HDMI compliant, if you see a really cheap HDMI cable, alarm bells should ring as it could be a fake or knock off that has found its way into the market.

Quality cables have stronger coatings, gold-plated connectors and superior construction that guarantee top performance.

For example, available under $10, Calrad’s Ultra-Thin 4K HDMI Cable range offers:

  • Ultra-slim cable design
  • Gold plated 19 pin connectors
  • HDMI Ethernet and Audio Return Channel
  • Supports 4K and 3D TV
  • Available in different lengths

Consider durability  

If you find yourself constantly plugging/unplugging your cable you’ll need an HDMI cable with strong connectors, as cheaper cables  are bound to wear out quickly. Also, if you have a wall-mounted television (which most people do these days), and if your HDMI cable is positioned at a right angle and has constant pressure on it, you may want to consider a more durable cable that will live up to that strain.

A high speed HDMI cable that has a connector right-angled to 90 degrees can be incredibly helpful for wall-mounted connections as it helps take the pressure off the cable and also gives your setup a cleaner look by not having any cable extending out the side of the television.  

The Calrad HDMI Male to Female Right Angle Adapter Cable is a good choice to use solo or to extend your HDMI cable, and features:

  • A 6-inch flexible rubber jacket
  • Gold Plated Connectors
  • L.E.D. Signal Indicator

Need something simpler? Try the nifty Calrad 35-709 Right Angle HDMI Plug to HDMI Jack Adapter instead for under $4!

Boost signal by going “Active”

If you need a longer high-speed HDMI cable buy one that is “active,” meaning it has electronics on one or both ends of the cable which helps the cable to boost the signal while maintaining signal integrity when being used over longer distances.

The active chip is essentially what makes this cable pricier but as most of these types of cables are thin and long, they are excellent to use with laptops and for live gigs due to their superior durability and portability.

The Vanco RDM100 High Speed HDMI® Cable with Ethernet and RedMere™ Chip extends to 100 FT and offers reduced cable weight without sacrificing performance.  

Key Features

  • Thinner, lighter, highly flexible
  • Portable
  • Supports 3D, 4K x 2K and 1080p
  • Surpasses 10.2 Gbps

Need help picking out the right high speed HDMI cable that will work for your needs?

We’ll be glad to help!

Our in-store reps are happy to get on the phone with you and help you out. Simply call 800.634.9476 or shop online on our website 24/7!