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HDMI Fact Sheet

by Paul Sanders

Close-up of a coiled HDMI cable

High-definition programming for TV and films has led to a new standard in connector cables. HDMI A/V cables are one of the best ways to get high-definition video and sound from your high-quality entertainment electronics without any loss in picture or sound quality. You may have some questions about HDMI and about some of the terms you hear associated with digital picture and sound technology. To that end, here are some facts about the technology that will help you get a view of the big picture for these types of connector cables.

Facts about HDMI:

  1. HDMI transmits picture and sound. Other connector cables transmit either video or sound data. HDMI cables transmit both digital video and sound along a single cable, without losing signal quality. Keep in mind that you can still transmit HD-quality video with component cables and DVI cables, but not sound.

  2. HDMI is the standard for most new electronics. You'll find HDMI connection ports on many electronics devices, including HDTVs, computers, Blu-ray disc players and many more. Without a high-definition cable to transmit the video, your high-quality content reverts to standard definition.

  3. DVI and HDMI: Digital video interface (DVI) cables transmit HD video, but not sound. If you have a computer monitor or other device that you want to use with devices that require HDMI, you can use a DVI to HDMI adapter cable to run between them.

  4. Run HDMI up to 50 feet without signal loss. You can run the cables up to 50 feet before the signal starts to degrade. This means that HDMI cable is ideal for use in home theater systems and other applications where the distance between devices is typically shorter than 50 feet.

  5. HDMI keeps improving. The specifications of this technology continue to evolve, and devices that use it are evolving as well. Cables are usually backwards compatible with earlier HDMI devices, but the reverse is not always true. If you upgrade your HDTV, for instance, you may need to buy cables with a matching version.

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