HDMI cable compatibility is confusing thanks to HDMI forum’s standards and how they proposed the communication is to the end-user. As a result, how to do you know if you need new cables for your brand new 4k HDR capable TV?
So here is a little background before we delve into what you really care about. HDMI specifications and cable connector types determine where the cables can be used and if it’s good enough for your connected devices. However, manufacturers have stopped labeling cable versions and are not required to disclose important information that ultimately determines if you need new cables or not. Instead, you will see marketing fluff that justifies you paying way more than you should for HDMI cables. Don’t pay more than $10 for a 6 feet HDMI cable. More on that later.
What you really care about is how much bandwidth a HDMI cable can handle. For it to transmit 4K resolution and HDR video data, you need to use what’s specified as HDMI 2.0 which can pass 18Gbps of data. However, HDMI cables don’t have numbers. There is no such thing as a HDMI 2.0 cable. Many manufacturers will label the cable as high speed but doesn’t tell you what it’s capable of. The previous version 1.4 was also called high speed but can only pass 10Gbps. That won’t be good enough for 4K resolution videos. Some will specifically call out 4K and HDR at 60hz and charge you $20-$40 for it. In reality, if it can handle the bandwidth, then that’s all you need.
It’s worth upgrading your cables if you’re not sure. Why pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for your 4K HDTV without seeing the full benefits you can get from it. Again, you don’t need to pay for expensive HDMI cables as it either works or it doesn’t. More expensive doesn’t equate to better video quality. They cost less than $10! They work perfectly. Certified labeling is always better as that guarantees data transfer at the proposed speed. You can chose to buy online on Amazon or in store at Walmart. All of them are perfect for today’s 4K HDR world.
Here are some cable options for you.
AmazonBasics HL-007306 High-Speed HDMI Cable 6 ft $6.99
Monoprice Certified Premium High Speed HDMI Cable 6 ft $4.49, $5.49 on Amazon
Walmart Blackweb Premium 4K HDMI Cable (Certified) 4 ft $8.32
Walmart Blackweb Premium 4K HDMI Cable (Certified) 6 ft $9.88