As there is a lot of confusion surrounding the different HDMI revisions in regards to topics such as bandwidth, features supported and version numbers etc., we hope this information will provide answers to most of the frequently asked questions in relation this topic.
This page will cover HDMI Cables and the relationship between version numbers, performance and certification standards. Other topics such as plans for future development are also covered within this page.
Which Version are Your HDMI Cables?
The HDMI Cables that we offer support all current HDMI features. To clarify, this means that these cables offer compatibility up to HDMI version 2.0b (these cables are also backwards compatible with all previous HDMI versions). However, to state that these cables are a specific version would actually be against HDMI Licensing guidelines. The correct term that is compliant with HDMI Licensing guidelines for a HDMI Cable that has been tested up to the highest current standard and supports all current features is a High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet.
As per the guidelines set out by HDMI Licensing, manufacturers of any HDMI enabled devices or HDMI Cables may no longer make reference to version numbers on packaging and promotional materials for HDMI products (effective from 1st January 2012). For further information, please refer to the HDMI Trademark and Logo Guidelines.
To comply with these guidelines and in strictly speaking terms means that essentially there is no such thing as a HDMI Cable with a version number. However, there are many stores that label HDMI cables as a specific version. The online shopping platform seems to be a grey area in regards to these guidelines and this reference seems to be the accepted term to use amongst online shoppers, despite HDMI Licensing guidelines.
It is a result of this commonplace mislabelling that we have felt compelled to create this HDMI FAQ. If we didn't, it may seem that our HDMI Cables do not offer all current HDMI features, when in fact they do.
The HDMI Cables available within our online store have been HDMI ATC (Authorised Testing Centre) certified as High Speed with Ethernet (Category 2). This means that they are guaranteed to offer every HDMI feature including 4K, 3D, Audio Return Channel (ARC), HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC), Deep Colour, Content Type and more. These HDMI Cables are also 100% backwards compatible with all previous HDMI versions.
What is HDMI Version 2.0 and Which Cable do I Need?
HDMI version 2.0 is the latest revision of the HDMI standard. Some of the new features include increased bandwidth up to 18 Gbps, support for 4K video with higher frame rates (50 and 60 fps), 32 channel audio, 1536 kHz audio sampling frequency and more. For a full list of the added features, please refer to this HDMI 2.0 Overview.
It is important to take note of this excerpt from the link above - "HDMI 2.0 does not define new cables or new connectors. Current High Speed cables (Category 2 cables) are capable of carrying the increased bandwidth.".
The good news is that provided that you use a certified High Speed HDMI Cable such as those available within our online store, you will be able to enjoy all the new features of HDMI version 2.0.
For more information relating to HDMI version 2.0, please refer to the official FAQ for HDMI 2.0.
Previously 10.2 Gbps was the Highest Bandwidth Specified, how is 18 Gbps now Supported?
Although HDMI Cables should no longer be referenced with the version numbering system, the increase in the available bandwidth from 10.2 Gbps to 18 Gbps relates to a HDMI version revision specifically pertaining to equipment.
The HDMI version 2.0 specification has defined a new, more efficient signalling method to surpass the bandwidth limitations of HDMI version 1.4b (10.2 Gbps). This allows greater bandwidth (up to 18 Gbps) over existing High Speed HDMI Cables.
If Version Numbers no Longer Apply to HDMI Cables, Which Cable Should I Choose?
HDMI Licensing has revised the previous version numbering system to now simply consist of 5 main categories for HDMI Cables. This means that HDMI Cables should now be labelled as one of the following:
- Standard HDMI Cable: Tested to reliably transmit up to 1080i or 720p video.
- Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet: Same baseline performance as a Standard HDMI Cable plus additional HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC).
- Standard Automotive HDMI Cable: Supports up to 1080i or 720p. Tested to higher standards of durability performance.
- High Speed HDMI Cable: Supports resolutions of 1080p and beyond. Includes support for 4K, 3D and Deep Colour etc.
- High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet: Same baseline performance as a High Speed HDMI Cable plus additional HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC).
For more information on selecting the correct HDMI Cable, please refer to Finding the Right Cable.
What Features do Your HDMI Cables Support?
The HDMI Cables that we offer within our online store offer support for all current HDMI features, up to HDMI version 2.0b (cable length may affect supported features, please refer to the section below). This also includes backwards compatibility with HDMI version 1.4 and below. This means that you can use these cables with the devices you have right now without the need to upgrade your HDMI Cables again later.
With these extended features comes increased bandwidth demands. This means that the bandwidth requirement for HDMI Cables is now greater than ever. It is strongly recommended that a quality HDMI Cable is used to meet these requirements. Our range of certified High Speed HDMI Cables with Ethernet will allow you to enjoy all the available features of HDMI.
Examples of Supported Features
Below you will find a list of the most common features supported by our cables, along with a brief explanation on what benefits each feature offers. Please note that not all supported features are listed below. If a feature is not listed below and you would like confirmation that this is supported by our HDMI Cabes, please don't hesitate to Contact Us.
4K Resolution: HDMI has now paved the way for video resolutions far beyond 1080p. Also referred to as Ultra HD, 4K effectively provides four times the resolution of 1080p. This next generation technology will bring pristine video clarity into your living room, which will rival the digital cinema systems used in many commercial movie theatres.
HDR (High Dynamic Range): This increases the range of brightness and darkness on the screen. This means that the viewer will benefit from brighter whites and deeper, inky black levels. This increased range will not only improve white and black levels, but everything in between. HDR will serve to enhance both contrast and colour significantly.
Dual Video Streams: Simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen.
3D: The required infrastructure to enable support for 3D gaming and movies has been in place since HDMI version 1.4. This provides support for resolutions up to 1080p in 3D.
Additional Colour Spaces: HDMI now supports an expanded range of colour spaces. Devices such as digital still cameras require additional colour space support to ensure accurate reproduction of an image. HDMI now provides consumer level devices with support for sYCC601, Adobe®RGB, and Adobe®YCC601 colour spaces.
Up to 32 Channels of Audio (Multi-Dimensional Audio): This is the next generation of cinema quality sound that will be making its way into our living room. Formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS MDA are examples of this emerging technology.
Up to 1536 kHz Audio Sampling Frequency: Although sampling frequencies such as 192 kHz, 96 kHz or even 48 kHz can offer a level of quality that in many cases means that no perceivable difference can be heard when compared to the master audio track, this increased capability has raised the potential of audio transparency to a new level.
Audio Return Channel (ARC): Previously to deliver digital sound from your TV, an Optical Cable was required to be connected between your TV and sound system. The Audio Return Channel eliminates this as the digital audio is passed back through the common HDMI connection between your TV and sound system. This means that it is possible to enjoy high quality digital audio without the need for extra cables.
High Definition (Lossless) Audio: Last generation digital video technology (DVD) offered formats such as Dolby Digital and DTS. While these were able to deliver a cinema like audio experience, their successors, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio offer a superior level of quality and detail. This has been supported since HDMI version 1.3 (in bitstream format).
Content Type: This is the protocol in which the source device intelligently communicates to the display to determine optimum display settings. This is completely automated and requires no user intervention. The display will automatically select the optimum viewing mode according to the type of content being received from the source device (gaming, movies, photo viewing or plain text etc.).
HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC): Many TV's and various other devices now require internet connectivity to provide features such as IP TV, streaming capabilities and other network enhanced features. Having an Ethernet channel within the HDMI Cable itself means that with capable devices you will not need to connect separate Ethernet Cables or use Wi-Fi Adaptors for networking.
Dynamic Automatic Lip Synchronisation (DALS): This allows connected devices to declare latency information via EDID, which in turn allows for dynamic adjustment of video and audio synchronisation.
What About Your Wall Plates and Adaptors, Which HDMI Version are They?
Our HDMI Wall Plates and Adaptors contain all the connection pins within the HDMI Specification. As a result of this they are compatible with all existing HDMI versions (including version 2.0 and below). This should also mean that these products will also be compatible with any new HDMI revisions that are announced.
Notes Regarding DVI: As the DVI specification did not originally include audio, in some cases you may need to connect a separate audio cable to your display. However, some PC's feature non standard DVI outputs (via bridging the S/PDIF interface) which can transmit digital audio. This feature is supported by our adaptors.
As DVI (Digital Visual Interface) also does not include HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) as part of its specification, this feature cannot be supported with any of our DVI Adaptors. However, our range of HDMI Wall Plates and HDMI Adaptors most certainly can offer every HDMI feature including HEC (HDMI Ethernet Channel).
What is HDMI Certification and how Does This Relate to HDMI Cable Performance?
Our HDMI Cables have been officially tested and certified to meet or exceed HDMI Licensing standards and as a result have been issued with HDMI ATC (Authorised Testing Centre) Certification.
HDMI ATC Certification is the procedure that HDMI Licensing has in place to ensure that HDMI Cables or HDMI enabled devices meet certain standards. Our manufacturing facility is a certified HDMI Adopter. This means that we submit our HDMI Cables to a HDMI Authorised Testing Centre for compliance testing to ensure that they adhere to the strict quality guidelines.
After passing the stringent testing procedures, we receive certification to state that the HDMI Cables meet or exceed the criteria of the test performed. In this case, our HDMI Cables are certified to be labelled as High Speed with Ethernet (Category 2). This also means that these cables have been tested and certified to perform at the highest bandwidth available today. This guarantees support for features such as 4K, 1080p, 3D, Audio Return Channel (ARC), HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) and more.
Please note that the HDMI Authorised Testing Centres offer the only official internationally recognised program for licensing and compliance. For further information please visit the HDMI Testing Policies web page.