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: Cables and HDMI connections

Cables and HDMI connections

Connecting Audio / Video for excellence

The all-digital standard created in 2002 has become the most common method of signal transfer both video and audio, with support for high definition and its compatibility with all formats.

Cables and HDMI connections

What is it

A digital interface for both audio and video in a single cable, born as an evolution of the DVI (who transferred only video), with a connector of reduced dimensions and a high data transfer capability that supports resolutions up to 4K (4096 horizontal pixels) and 32-channel audio and a bandwidth of up to 18Gbit / s (latest version 2.0 presented at IFA in Berlin a few days ago). The first version of HDMI was very similar, in terms of features, the DVI standard, and as a band and as video resolutions (in fact the connection HDMI is backward-compatible with DVI connection), but it has added support for audio and support for HDCP content protection.

Main versions of the HDMI:

Classification of cables

All cables in the market, both old and new, are compatible with any version of HDMI, because they are all very similar to each other as electronic structure, so they can operate by HDMI version 1.0 to version 2.0. Between the cables, there are of different lengths and of different standard to figure out up to that band can arrive and if it is possible to have more functions in certain cables compared to other: this means that, to connect two devices in FullHD mode is sufficient a standard HDMI cable Standard, although both have HDMI 1.4 connections.

HDMI cables Standard ("Category 1" in the first classification)
They are fine for most applications (eg DVD, SkyHD or other decoder), are tested for HD resolutions 720p or 1080i, are cheaper and can be found in various sizes (even beyond 10m)
NOTE: Standard an HDMI cable, in combination with a repeater or equalizer High Speed, can even work in high-speed mode (generally more economic solution than buying a cable High Speed for lengths above to 10mt)
High-Speed HDMI cable ("category 2" in the first classification)
This is of special cables, tested up to 1080p and beyond (advanced technologies: color deep, 4K, 3D), have a higher bandwidth and, therefore, are recommended use with Blu-Ray players or other devices latest generation.
Cables HEAC (with Ethernet Channel and Audio Return Channel)
They offer all the benefits of normal HDMI cables Standard / High Speed plus a dedicated channel for data (known as HDMI Ethernet Channel) and a dedicated channel for the return audio (Audio Return Channel); this type of solution is useful for reducing the amount of cables, but it is not mandatory to use these cables.
Channels HEC ARC or work only with equipment compatible with the HDMI 1.4 protocol, whether they have internet access or require a return audio connection (such as a home-theater connected to a TV which are both HDMI 1.4).
In the absence of these cables, you can always use the HDMI cables Standard supported by Ethernet cables and / or Optical cables for the audio, the result will be exactly the same.

Indicative table of the testing of HDMI cables with a length and section

Test HDMI Cables Standard cat1 High Speed cat2 FullHD 1080p test FullHD 1080p Eq test
22AWG 15m (12) 10m (8) 26mt 35mt
24AWG 10mt 6mt 23mt 35mt
26AWG 7m (8) 5mt 20mt 33mt
28AWG 5m (6) 4mt 15mt 23mt
30AWG 4mt 3m 5mt -
32AWG 1,5mt 1,5mt - -

How to read the table:

Note: HDMI cables from 24AWG are generally up to 25 meters, according to this table their operation would be guaranteed only up to 10m Standard (or up to 6 meters High Speed), being therefore beyond the limits, it is likely to require the use of an equalizer if the functional test should give negative results.

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