With the gingerly but inevitable transition to Ultra HD 4K happening, it’s not surprising that cable manufacturers are eagerly promoting their very own (and more expensive) “4K” HDMI cables.
The question is….. Do you actually need a new HDMI cable to be able to experience the new 4K experience???
In most cases the answer is simple. NO. Seriously. Your current HDMI cable will more than likely be suffice.
If you search the web for “are all HDMI cables the same” you will find countless videos / vlogs / blogs with quite in depth tests about the difference between high end and cheaper branded HDMI cables. In all honesty the only real difference is that of the build quality around the actual connection itself. The wires that transfer the data are very similar!!
Here’s the short version. There are only four kinds of HDMI cables:
- High-speed with Ethernet
- High-speed without Ethernet
- Standard-speed with Ethernet
- Standard-speed without Ethernet
There’s no reason to get standard-speed cables any more, as the price difference is almost identical between those and the high-speed versions. As per the current HDMI 1.4 spec, in order for an HDMI cable to be considered high-speed, it must be able to pass 3,840 x 2,160 pixels at up to 30 frames per second (and 4,096 x 2,160 at 24 frames per second).
Ok, so that was the techy bit, but what does it mean? It means that even the cheapest high speed HDMI cable can handle the max resolution possible with the new 4K Ultra HD TV’s.
How do you know if your current HDMI cable is high speed and if it will work? Simple. Plug it in and give it a go! It will either work or it wont. With HDMI the cable will either show the image or not. There’s no middle ground with sub quality imagery. Our guess is that if you bought your HDMI cable within the last 3-4 years then you will be fine. If it doesn’t work then you know you can always just get a regular High Speed HDMI cable.