How to Buy HDMI Cables

Two Methods:Weigh the Advantages of HDMI CablesShop for HDMI Cables

HDMI, short for high definition multimedia interface, has quickly become the standard for digital audio and video connection, as it is the first type of cable that can carry all digital audio and video signals uncompressed over the same interconnect. Used as the official connector for high definition television sets, HDMI cable eliminates the need for multiple cables behind your home theater system because it carries both audio and video signals. Its counterpart, DVI cabling, only supports digital video, meaning a separate audio cable is also necessary. Therefore, if you’re looking to increase quality and decrease clutter, HDMI cables are the way to go. If you want to buy one and keep up with the standard, read on.

Method 1
Weigh the Advantages of HDMI Cables

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    Buy HDMI cables when you need a top quality signal.
    • HDMI cables send an uncompressed signal, meaning you don’t lose any quality as it travels through the line. When signals go through the compression/decompression process, the signal can degrade. However, that does not happen with HDMI cables.
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    Use HDMI technology to accommodate copper cables at lengths up to 50 feet (15 meters) without requiring a repeater or an amplifier.
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    Consider HDMI cables to support all existing formats of audio and video, including 720p, 1080i, 1080p (also 2160p, 4K or Ultra HD) and up to 60Hz. HDMI cables are so advanced that there’s additional bandwidth already built into the cable for future devices that may demand more space.

Method 2
Shop for HDMI Cables

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    Determine what length you will need by measuring the distance from component to component. Keep in mind if you go too short and need to move a component farther away later on, you'll have to buy another cable.
    • Unlike cat cable, HDMI cable isn’t easily changed if you need a longer or shorter length. Cat cabling allows you to cut the cable at the appropriate length and add the appropriate end, if you have the right tools. However, HDMI cable does not allow you to do that.
    • Allow for a little slack. If you ever need to pull a component out, you want there to be enough cable to allow you to do that. Otherwise, you’ll have to disconnect your HDMI cable every time you pull out your component.
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    Find the HDMI cable you need for the length you need to run. Standard HDMI cabling can transmit a 1080i signal for at least 49 feet (15 meters). A high-speed HDMI cable transmits a 1080p signal for at least 25 feet (7.5 meters).
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    Keep in mind that there are several versions of HDMI. The later the version, the more information it can carry. Go for version 1.3 or later; it will carry the full bandwidth of picture and sound information for Blu-Ray.
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    Skip the high priced retailer. Promises of faster speeds and higher quality audio and video don’t hold much water when you compare various qualities of HDMI cables. There’s no reason to buy high quality HDMI cables from your local electronics store when you can buy virtually the same thing through discount stores or online retailers for much less.
    • By going online, you have better chances of finding and buying cheaper cables. You will not really gain anything in picture or sound quality by buying a more expensive cable. A reputable home theater magazine did some testing, and that is their conclusion. The only difference you will see is build quality. So it might be worth spending a little more if you will be frequently unplugging and plugging the cable in. Otherwise, save your cash.
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    Expect to pay no more than $10 for a standard six-foot HDMI cable.
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    Purchase an HDMI cable adaptor to connect your HDMI cables to your existing DVI equipped products.
    • Check the types of inputs and outputs available on your components. Make sure they’re compatible with HDMI. If not, you will require an HDMI adaptor.


  • Online retailers usually offer cheaper prices on HDMI cables than retail stores.
  • Some sales associates will try to talk you into a higher priced HDMI cable by telling you that cheaper brands can cut out or create static in your picture. However, numerous consumer reviews prove that is not true.

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Categories: Cabling and Wiring Connection