Let’s start with saying that information about HDMI cables can be confusing. Resellers’ claims about their cables can vary widely and the terminology about the technology can be unclear. That’s why popular search terms for HDMI cables include: “what is the best HDMI cable?”, “what is the best HDMI cable for gaming?”, or “what is the best HDMI cable for my TV?”. Some websites offer objective information, but many only recommend cables from which they get a purchase commission. How to cut through the confusion?
First, you need accurate information so check the HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc. (HDMI LA) website at www.HDMI.org. It is the organization that licenses the HDMI specifications, and is the primary source of cable information plus administers the authorized cable compliance programs.
Secondly, ask the right questions such as: “what HDMI cable supports all the latest specification features”, “what HDMI cable is future-proof”, or “how do I identify the HDMI cable I need?”. The answer to the first two questions is: the Ultra High Speed HDMI® Cable. And here is an image explaining how to identify it.
HDMI 2.1 is the latest specification and major manufacturers have HDMI 2.1 enabled products in the market now with more coming for the holidays. These include TVs, audio/video receivers, soundbars, PC monitors, and the new gaming consoles Xbox Series X and Sony PS5. The Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable is the most current, future-proof, and only cable that complies with stringent specifications designed to ensure support for all HDMI 2.1 features. These features include uncompressed 8k@60, 4K@120 and 48Gbps bandwidth. And additionally, it supports dynamic HDR, Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) and advanced gaming features Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). Cables are also required to be tested and certified to ensure low EMI to reduce the possibility of interference with wireless networks, streaming media players, Bluetooth devices and mobile phones.
But this cable is not alone, it is part of a comprehensive compliance and authentication program: the Ultra High Speed HDMI® Cable Certification Program. Announced in January 2020 by the HDMI Forum, Inc. it is mandatory and designed to ensure cables are compliant with the HDMI 2.1 Specification.
The program summary:
- All Ultra High Speed HDMI Cables are to be tested and certified in compliance with the HDMI 2.1 Compliance Test Specification (CTS) for Category 3 cables. The HDMI Forum member companies that develop the HDMI 2.1 specification also develop the CTS and are the only ones qualified to develop a test program that ensures compliance to the specification.
- Cables are to be tested and certified only at HDMI Forum Authorized Test Centers (Forum ATC) which is the best way to ensure compliance to the HDMI 2.1 Specification and the CTS.
- Every length of each cable must be tested and certified. Different lengths have different electrical and performance characteristics and a single certification should not represent multiple lengths.
- All certified cables must be registered with the HDMI LA verification and authentication program.
- All cables must display an Ultra High Speed HDMI® Certification Label on each package or unit of sale. Labels enable each model to be verified and authenticated by consumers by scanning with the HDMI Cable Certification app.
- Continuing product audit testing helps ensure cables stay in compliance to the specification over the lifetime of the product.
For more information: HDMI.org
The terms HDMI, HDMI High-Definition Multimedia Interface, Ultra High Speed HDMI, Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable Certification Program, the Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable Logo and HDMI Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc.