HDMI contains 19 wires (see diagram above) all of which are encased in a single cable of various styles (round, flat, transparent) for ease of installation. The HDMI component cable is capable of carrying a bandwidth of some 5Gbps (gigabytes per second) which is about double the requirement of a signal needed for audio visual useage thus having future capability for further expansion in the ever evolving digital electronics market. The future proofing of the HDMI component standard clearly make this cable stand head and shoulders above any another type of audio visual interface on the market today.
There are now 2 types of standard HDMI, the first being Type (A) which as described has 19 wires and Type (B) which in fact has 29 wires and is used in the professional picture industries. However, both of these cable configurations are classed as intelligent HDMI thus enabling equipment to talk to one another automatically through the HDMI component interface which was not available with previous cabling setups or standards.
Prior cabling interfaces are classified as analogue where HDMI is a true and uncompressed digital signal interface which gives a precise output in digital format. When a signal is converted from analog to digital, as in previous cable configurations other than HDMI their is a signal loss from the digital to analog conversion thus reducing the sound and picture quality on each digital to analog conversion process. This is another reason why HDMI is far superior to to other cable configurations such as DVI, SCART or Phono RCA connections where their signals need to be converted. The HDMI cable keeps the original signal source intact and therefore the integrity and quality of the original signal offering the highest quality sound and picture quality from component to component.
Cat 1 HDMI Component Cables are classified as a standard HDMI and these are more than capable of projecting a signal to a 720p or 1080i television or audio visual component. The newer and higher specification Cat 2 cables, specified as high speed HDMI cables, can carry an optimised digital signal to all of 720p, 1080i & the new 1600p video and audio interfaces on high specification equipment. However Cat 2 cabling is said to only apply to electronic equipment that incorporates the HDMI version 1.3 interface.
Category one HDMI Component cables are labelled as standard HDMI cable and are ideal for transmitting 720p or 1080i audio and video signals. Category two HDMI cables are also called high speed HDMI cable, and are able to carry 720p, 1080i and 1600p audio and video signals. Only category two cables are guaranteed to perform with a cable length greater than 16 feet (4.8 meters).
A standard HDMI component cable should not exceed a length of 15 feet or 5 meters as signal degradation can occur but to solve this problem there are HDMI extenders, repeaters, equalizers and boosters now available to allow you to run longer lengths of HDMI cable for installations and these can extend HDMI cable runs without any loss of signal strength. However, as far as signal strength is concerned it is widely accepted that Cat 2 cables are the only type of cable suitable to work at a greater cable length of 5 meters whereas Cat 1 cables are designed to work up to 5 meters. Take a look at some of the best HDMI cables available on the market today.
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We have seen, since 2005, audio visual equipment including televisions, receivers and computer hardware being made available with at least 1 HDMI cable and later with 2 or even 3 or more HDMI interfaces available for multiple equipment configurations.
PAGE TOPIC: HDMI Component Cables and HDMI Standard Specifications