Flat Panel TV Info Logo Flat Panel TV Info
Your information guide to everything HDTV
Common HDTV Problems FAQ's Contact Us Privacy Policy Disclaimer

How to buy a HDMI cable

Buy recommended HDMI cable for all HDTV use

Introduction taken from FAQ's:

The expensive HDMI cables are trying to sell you extra features that you most like do not need. For standard home users $10 HDMI cable is just enough. The reasons why the others are expensive is because they offer you gold and silver plated connectors and wires, with gas injected tubes, and heavy duty plating in the name of preserving the signal strength. Well unless you have your TV mounted on the top of a 1,000,000 volt transformer in the middle of a nuclear power plant you will most likely not need those additional features.

What about data transfer rates? The lowest offered bitrates on an HDMI cable is 2.3Gbps. That is gigabits per second or 2300 megabits per second. The most widely sold bitrates is 10.2Gbps, (10200Mbps) but you can pay more and get 15.6Gbps (15600Mbps). But why if the maximum data transfer rates of high definition 1080p video and audio is only up to 54Mbps? That means with having the lowest data transfer rated HDMI cable you are using only 2.4% of its full potential.

Only reason why you might consider paying for more expensive HDMI cable is if you are running it over 15 feet where you might start seeing some data loss.


So you got yourself a new HDTV and Blu-Ray player and to your surprise there is no HDMI cable included with either of them. So, you decide to go buy one, but there are so many different ones, which one should you get.

HDMI cables are divided into versions and categories. There are versions 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.2a, 1.3a, 1.3b, 1.3b1, 1.3c and newest one 1.4. So which one do you get? Simple 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and 1.2a are all old versions, stay away from them. 1.3x is the most widely used version and you can buy it in any electronic store. Version 1.4 of HDMI cable was only released in 2009 and was designed for 3D televisions, since they require more from a cable than 1.3x can provide. So, unless you have a 3D HDTV you do not have to get version 1.4 cable. HDMI cables have two categories you need to be aware of. They are Category 1 and Category 2. Category 1 was originally designed to be used with 1080i and not 1080p which is now standard for high definition. Thus you want to get Category 2 HDMI cable. Category 1 one are marked as standard while category 2 are marked a high speed. Most cables will have that information in the description. If they do not go look at other cable.

Standard length for an HDMI cable is 6feet. You can buy them in variety of sizes, but longer the cable is the greater chance of signal loss. If you want to run the cable longer than 15 feet you may consider buying higher quality cable that does have the signal lose prevention technology, like mentioned in the introduction. Make sure you also look at user review to see what experience they had with it. I would not buy a cable with less than four stars.

Amazon is selling very nice, highly rated, version 1.4, category 2, 6 feet HDMI cable for under $10 with free shipping. You can get it here.

See an error? Do not understand something? Is a link broken? Have a question? Contact us and submit a feedback.