With HD equipment, there are several different connection options, but choosing the right one is easy. Only HDMI is made specifically with high definition in mind. HDMI means High-Definition Multimedia Interface. What separates HDMI from other cable options?
First, HDMI transmits a purely digital signal. This eliminates the signal loss that can occur with analog conversion or external line interference. Second, HDMI has an outstanding bandwidth, pushing up to 10.2 Gbps. A single HDMI 1.3 cable can transmit digital video and eight channels of audio. The analog equivalent to an HDMI connection would require a component video cable, which is three lines bundled together to separate out the red, green, and blue video signals, and four pairs of stereo cables for the audio. In other words, one HDMI cable is equal to eleven RCA cables. Considering that most HD consumers are running multiple devices, including HD cable or satellite boxes, HD tuners, HD-DVD or Blu-ray players, game systems, home theater systems, digital video recorders, televisions, and more, it's easy to see how eleven cables per device can quickly make the back of an entertainment center look like a color-coded pile of spaghetti.
With the newest HDMI 1.4 technology, scheduled to reach the market in 2010, manufacturers will soon be pushing HDMI capabilities even further. Among the features of HDMI 1.4 are 3D video, Ethernet connectivity, and higher resolutions, all on the same single connection. With all the great features HDMI already has to offer and all the future possibilities of what it can become when the 1.4 technology is fully implemented, the question is not 'What cable should you use to connect your HD equipment?' but 'What HDMI cable should you use?'
Not all HDMI cables are created equal. Consumers will find 6.5 foot HDMI cables selling for as little as $5 each to as high as $200 each. Despite what other websites may claim, there is a difference between these cables that goes well beyond the price. With HDMI cables, you may just get what you pay for.
First, as was already mentioned, HDMI technology is available in several different versions from 1.0 to 1.3b and will soon become available in version...