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    Which HDMI Cable Should I Choose?

    Which HDMI Cable Should I Choose?

    It can appear daunting with all the different specifications there are, and a lot of customers do tend to ask what is right for them.

    Generally we would say that HDMI 2.0 is quite suitable for many setups and we sell more of these now than any other cable. They are 4k/60fps compatible and run at higher supported bandwidths , up to 18Gbps, whereas even though HDMI 1.4b can support 2160p, 4K/30fps and HDR mode - to cut on a few extra pounds it is prudent to invest in a slightly more capable cable in case of any near future upgrades.

    Also, the higher up the spectrum you go in HDMI Standards, the cables need to be capable of much higher streams of data, up to 48Gbps in HDMI 2.1, so the cables can only be made shorter than their predecessors.

    All HDMI cables are backward compliant - so set a budget, and check what formats you are watching things at. If this is Ultra HD look no further than HDMI 2.0.

    If it is only HD Format, then you may start at 1.4 and work up, depending on your budget or size of the cables required which may influence your purchasing options.

    For more technical information, please refer to the charts below:

    [Chart A] HDMI Specifications Summary:

      HDMI version
    1.0–1.2a 1.3–1.3a 1.4–1.4b 2.0–2.0b 2.1
    Release date Dec 2002 (1.0) Jun 2006 (1.3) Jun 2009 (1.4) Sep 2013 (2.0) Nov-17
    May 2004 (1.1) Nov 2006 (1.3a) Mar 2010 (1.4a) Apr 2015 (2.0a)
    Aug 2005 (1.2)   Oct 2011 (1.4b) Mar 2016 (2.0b)
    Dec 2005 (1.2a)      
    Signal specifications  
    Max. transmission bit rate (Gbit/s) 4.95 10.2 10.2 18 48
    Max. data rate (Gbit/s) 3.96 8.16 8.16 14.4 42.6
    Max. TMDS character rate (MHz) 165 340 340 600 N/A
    Data channels 3 3 3 3 4
    Encoding scheme TMDS TMDS TMDS TMDS 16b/18b
    Encoding efficiency 80% 80% 80% 80% 88.90%
    Compression DSC 1.2 (optional)
    Color format support  
    RGB Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Y′CBCR 4:4:4 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Y′CBCR 4:2:2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Y′CBCR 4:2:0 No No No (*a) Yes Yes
    Color depth support  
    8 bpc (24 bit/px) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    10 bpc (30 bit/px) Yes (*b) Yes Yes Yes Yes
    12 bpc (36 bit/px) Yes (*b) Yes Yes Yes Yes
    16 bpc (48 bit/px) No Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Color space support  
    SMPTE 170M Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    ITU-R BT.601 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    ITU-R BT.709 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    sRGB No Yes Yes Yes Yes
    xvYCC No Yes Yes Yes Yes
    sYCC No No Yes Yes Yes
    Adobe No No Yes Yes Yes
    Adobe RGB (1998) No No Yes Yes Yes
    ITU-R BT.2020 No No No Yes Yes
    Audio specifications  
    Max. sample rate per channel (kHz) 192 192 192 192 192
    Max. aggregate sample rate (kHz) ? ? 768 1536 1536
    Sample size (bits) 16-24 16–24 16–24 16–24 16–24
    Maximum audio channels 8 8 8 32 32
      1.0–1.2a 1.3–1.3a 1.4–1.4b 2.0–2.0b 2.1
    HDMI version
    a) Although HDMI 1.4 does not officially allow 4:2:0 chroma subsampling, NVIDIA and AMD have added 4:2:0 support to their HDMI 1.4 graphics cards via driver updates
    b)  HDMI 1.0–1.2a permit 10 bpc and 12 bpc color depth only when Y′CBCR 4:2:2 color format is used. When using RGB or Y′CBCR 4:4:4, only 8 bpc color is permitted

    [Chart B] Refresh Rate Frequency Limits & Video Formats:

    Video format HDMI version / maximum data rate
    Short  Des. Resolution Refresh rate (Hz/Fps) Data rate required (*a) 1.0–1.1 1.2–1.2a 1.3–1.4b 2.0–2.0b 2.1
    3.96 Gbit/s 3.96 Gbit/s 8.16 Gbit/s 14.4 Gbit/s 42.6 Gbit/s
    720p 1280x×720 30 720 Mbit/s Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    60 1.45 Gbit/s Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    120 2.99 Gbit/s No Yes Yes Yes Yes
    1080p 1920x1080 30 1.58 Gbit/s Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    60 3.20 Gbit/s Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    120 6.59 Gbit/s No No Yes Yes Yes
    144 8.00 Gbit/s No No Yes Yes Yes
    240 14.00 Gbit/s No No 4:2:0 (*b) Yes Yes
    1440p 2560x1440 30 2.78 Gbit/s No Yes Yes Yes Yes
    60 5.63 Gbit/s No No Yes Yes Yes
    75 7.09 Gbit/s No No Yes Yes Yes
    120 11.59 Gbit/s No No 4:2:0 (*b) Yes Yes
    144 14.08 Gbit/s No No 4:2:0 (*b) Yes Yes
    240 24.62 Gbit/s No No No 4:2:0 (*b) Yes
    2160p
    or 4K
    3840x2160 30 6.18 Gbit/s No No Yes Yes Yes
    60 12.54 Gbit/s No No 4:2:0 (*b) Yes Yes
    75 15.79 Gbit/s No No 4:2:0 (*b) 4:2:0 (*b) Yes
    120 25.82 Gbit/s No No No 4:2:0 (*b) Yes
    144 31.35 Gbit/s No No No No Yes
    240 54.84 Gbit/s No No No No DSC (*c)
    5K 5120x2880 30 10.94 Gbit/s No No 4:2:0 (*b) Yes Yes
    60 22.18 Gbit/s No No No 4:2:0 (*b) Yes
    120 45.66 Gbit/s No No No No DSC (*c)
    8K 7680x4320 30 24.48 Gbit/s No No No 4:2:0 (*b) Yes
    60 49.65 Gbit/s No No No No DSC (*c)
    120 102.2 Gbit/s No No No No DSC (*c)
      1.0–1.1 1.2–1.2a 1.3–1.4b 2.0–2.0b 2.1
    HDMI version
    a)  Uncompressed 8 bpc (24 bit/px) color depth with RGB or Y′CBCR 4:4:4 color format and CVT-R2 timing are used to calculate these data rates. Uncompressed data rate for RGB images in bits per second is calculated as bits per pixel × pixels per frame × frames per second. Pixels per frame includes blanking intervals as defined by CVT-R2.
    b) Possible by using Y′CBCR with 4:2:0 subsampling (as noted).
    c) Possible by using Display Stream Compression (DSC).

    [Chart C] Advanced Supported Features:

      HDMI version
    1 1.1 1.2–1.2a 1.3–1.3a 1.4–1.4b 2.0–2.0b 2.1
    Full HD Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD video (*a) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) (*b) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    DVD-Audio No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Super Audio CD (DSD) (*c) No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Auto lip-sync No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Dolby TrueHD / DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream capable No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Updated list of CEC commands (*d) No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
    3D video No No No No Yes Yes Yes
    Ethernet channel (100 Mbit/s) No No No No Yes Yes Yes
    Audio return channel (ARC) No No No No Yes Yes Yes
    4 audio streams No No No No No Yes Yes
    2 video streams (Dual View) No No No No No Yes Yes
    Perceptual quantizer (PQ) HDR OETF (SMPTE ST 2084) No No No No No Yes Yes
    Hybrid log–gamma (HLG) HDR OETF No No No No No Yes Yes
    Static HDR metadata (SMPTE ST 2086) No No No No No Yes Yes
    Dynamic HDR metadata (SMPTE ST 2094) No No No No No No Yes
    Enhanced audio return channel (eARC) No No No No No No Yes
    Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) No No No No No No Yes
    Quick Media Switching (QMS) No No No No No No Yes
    Quick Frame Transport (QFT) No No No No No No Yes
    Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) No No No No No No Yes
    Display Stream Compression (DSC) No No No No No No Yes
      1 1.1 1.2–1.2a 1.3–1.3a 1.4–1.4b 2.0–2.0b 2.1
    HDMI version
    a) Even for a compressed audio codec that a given HDMI version cannot transport, the source device may be able to decode the audio codec and transmit the audio as uncompressed LPCM.
    b) CEC has been in the HDMI specification since version 1.0, but only began appear in consumer electronics products with HDMI version 1.3a.
    c) Playback of SACD may be possible for older HDMI versions if the source device (such as the Oppo 970) converts to LPCM.
    d)  Large number of additions and clarifications for CEC commands. One addition is CEC command, allowing for volume control of an AV receiver.
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