What is HDMI? Chances are that if you’ve ever set up some type of component of your entertainment system at home, then you have seen an HDMI cable. But what is an HDMI cable and what does it do? Let’s take a look!

What Is HDMI? Everything You Need to Know

HDMI

Let’s begin by talking about what HDMI stands for – High Definition Multimedia Interface. Simply translated this means that HDMI is an interface used for transmitting audiovisual digital multimedia signals. You may not be sure what an HDMI cable looks like if you aren’t familiar with technology. Many people get confused between the different types of cables, so here’s how we explain it…have you ever looked at a chocolate bar with individual pieces? Break off one of those pieces and you get a beveled trapezoidal shape like the pieces of the chocolate bar in the image below.

Chocolate Bar

Flip this piece upside down and you get the same shape as an HDMI cable connector…

What is HDMI?

It may sound silly, but it’s an easier way to recognize an HDMI cable when you’re faced with a handful of cables all with different tips.

What Is HDMI For?

So, what does an HDMI cable do?

This cable is designed to transmit audio and visual digital signals between devices. Connecting two devices with this cable allows you to transmit those audio and video signals between the two devices.

What Kind of Signal Does An HDMI Cable Support?

When it comes to audio signals, an HDMI cable is capable of transmitting all uncompressed and compressed stereo and surround sound audio formats. The type of audio/video format your cable carries is determined by the hardware you are using. So, for example, if you have a DVD player that defaults to Dolby Atmos surround sound format, your cable will stream a Dolby Atmos audio signal.

Now, when it comes to video signals, a modern HDMI cable is capable of transmitting standard definition video signals, high-definition video signals, and ultra-high-definition video signals. Like audio signals, your hardware dictates your video signal. So, if you have a gaming system that is able to play a 4K video signal and your HDMI cable can support that signal, but you plug your gaming system into a TV that does not support a 4K picture…you will not get video playback in 4k.

HDMI Versions

As technology has developed, so too has the HDMI version. Let’s take a quick look at the different version categories:

  • HDMI 1.0 – 1.1
  • HDMI 1.2 – 1.2A
  • HDMI 1.3 – 1.4B
  • HDMI 2.0 – 2.0B
  • HDMI 2.1

Version 1.0 – 1.1

This early HDMI version that is capable of supporting the following video formats:

  • Resolution 720p 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 720p 50/60 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 50/60 Hz refresh rate

Version 1.2 – 1.2A

This version is capable of supporting the following video formats:

  • Resolution 720p 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 720p 50/60 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 720p 100/120 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 50/60 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1440p 25/30 Hz refresh rate

Version 1.3 – 1.4B

This version is capable of supporting the following video formats:

  • Resolution 720p 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 720p 50/60 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 720p 100/120 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 50/60 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 100/120 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1440p 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1440p 50/60 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 4K 25/30 Hz refresh rate

Version 2.0 – 2.0B

This version is capable of supporting the following video formats:

  • Resolution 720p 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 720p 50/60 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 720p 100/120 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 50/60 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 100/120 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 240 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1440p 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1440p 50/60 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1440p 100/120 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 4K 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 4K 50/60 Hz refresh rate

Version 2.1

This version is capable of supporting the following video formats:

  • Resolution 720p 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 720p 50/60 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 720p 100/120 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 50/60 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 100/120 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1080p 240 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1440p 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1440p 50/60 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1440p 100/120 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 1440p 240 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 4K 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 4K 50/60 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 4K 100/120 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 8K 25/30 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 8K 50/60 Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution 8K 100/120 Hz refresh rate

Need Help Setting Up Your Entertainment Center?

If you live in or around Southwest Florida and need assistance setting up your television or entertainment center, our team of professionals here at Gulf Coast Installations can help! Just give us a call today at 239-682-1077 and set up an appointment at a time that’s convenient for you and we’ll get our team out to you in no time at all!

Leave a Reply