Buy an HDMI cable. It’s not difficult, but is that more expensive cable really better than the cheaper one? We looked it up for you.
If you buy a new monitor or television, you often have to an HDMI cable take in. It costs between 5 and 250 euros. Does that big difference in price also mean a difference in quality?
When purchasing a screen, the connection cable is often optional. The choice is wide, but in many cases the seller in question will recommend a more expensive cable for better picture or sound quality. Does that kite also work for HDMI cables?
HDMI is one of the newer standards that, like DVI, uses a digital connection. Unlike analog cables such as S-video, Component and coax, the digital signal does not depend on the quality of the cable. That signal is not subject to interference or interference from other devices.
As long as there is enough data for the receiver to form images and sound, results are visible. If there is not enough information, you will simply not see anything. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether you choose an HDMI cable for 150 euros or one for 5 euros: the end result is always the same.
Compare it to watching a YouTube video on a wired network. Just because you have a better Ethernet cable doesn’t make the videos look better on the screen.
Although every HDMI cable provides the same quality, we do not recommend that you take one off the rack at random. HDMI has already made some adjustments, each time with a lot of improvements.
In the meantime, we are working on HDMI version 2.1. It offers support for 3D video, 4K and 8K resolution (about 4,000 by 2,000 pixels) with a higher resolution, Ethernet channels and audio in both directions. In addition, you can also play Dolby Atmos with 2.1. If you are looking for an HDMI cable with 8K support today, you will pay just over a hundred euros for a normal length.
They’re not bad, but they support lower bandwidth and have fewer features, which could be especially problematic in the future.
The most important aspect of an HDMI cable is the speed of the signal. A certified HDMI 2.1 cable must be able to handle at least a capacity of 10.2 Gbit/s. Top cables with high price tags can sometimes go up to 48 Gbit/s, but that excess speed is of no use. So don’t let that mislead you.
However, the cable stiffness and thickness are important. More expensive cables tend to be thicker and much stiffer, making them less flexible. So if you need a manoeuvrable cable, reach for the cheaper, thinner ones.
Another important aspect when choosing an HDMI cable is the connector strength. HDMI connectors can break quickly if you use too much force. If you are someone who regularly pulls out his cables to plug them into another device, we recommend a more expensive cable. Those connections are often a lot stronger.
But really, there is only one important reason why you should buy a more expensive cable: the distance to be covered. The greater the distance, the lower the final throughput. The committee that evaluates HDMI cables even recommends purchasing an amplifier for lengths over ten meters.
High-quality cables can go up to 20 meters or even more without an amplifier, but they cost at least 200 euros.
An expensive HDMI cable is of no use, unless you have to bridge distances of more than ten meters. Because the throughput is especially important at those greater distances, the cable quality is slightly more important here.
However, if you have your monitor or TV close to your source, there is no reason why you should go for a more expensive model. Make sure that you take a cable with the HDMI 2.1 specification, because this way you avoid having to go to the store again within a year for a more recent model.