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To Buy Or Not To Buy: The Hdmi Cable Dilemma!

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By Author: Jennifer Truong
Total Articles: 22
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“Do you think I need a new HDMI Cable?” if you ask this question and you always hear a “Yes” from cable vendors; there’s bad news. They are taking you on a ride. The truth is that you do not always need a new HDMI cable. Several companies force sell HDMI cables under the pretext that the customers need to buy latest versions, new features etc. We are here to save you from falling into traps and help you understand when to buy and not to buy HDMI cables.

When Not to Buy HDMI Cables?

1. Every time a new version comes up

Each time a new HDMI version comes up, customers ask questions like “I have a 1.3 version. Can it handle 1.4?” Here is an answer for them. Up through version 2.0, all the traditional HDMI cables have a similar inner structure. It is possible that its construction may change based on the company that makes it. But just so that you know; until now there has been only one update with the architecture – which is 1.4’s addition of Ethernet over HDMI feature. When this happened, it became a huge point of discussion amongst different users.

However, it is important to remember that there isn’t anything drastically different about cables that were introduced after 1.3. The construction of all cables is the same and you can also connect the pins in the same way. Remember… that HDMI Licensing – the body that provides licenses and creates policies for HDMI specification, forbids HDMI Adopters to designate cables by spec version.

2. When vendors entice you with different features

“This HDMI cable has Dolby surround standards.” “It can handle 4K video and color spaces of later spec versions.” When you go for buying HDMI cord, you will often hear such things from the vendors. They will glorify different features and get you into buying one. Well, for your knowledge, spec version isn’t a reason enough for you to need a new HDMI cables. Their potential to support different set of features remains the same irrespective of the version you buy. In fact, the way in which they work depends on the source or devices that you connect them with.

3. When There Are Bandwidth Confusions

See the package of HDMI cables and you will read different bandwidth standards including 15, 20, 24, 33.6 and 36 Gbps. Now, the question is, are these standards important? Yes, they are. They depict the bandwidth of the HDMI cables. But that is all they do. They do not mean anything. This might come as a shock to you as you might have thought that it is an electrical measurement and it holds some significance. To understand this better, you need to understand what exactly Bandwidth is.

Bandwidth is cable’s ability to transmit the signal over frequency range within the spectrum of signals. This frequency range, when measured in units, is known as bandwidth. So, do the vendors know that the bandwidth measurements stand of little or no importance? Well, sometimes they do and sometimes they do not. Whatever the reason may be, do not let the bandwidth influence your purchase of cables.

So, Do I Even Need HDMI Cables?

Yes, of course you do. And there are ways in which you can check that. If you make some changes to your configurations and need more bandwidth for your cable, you can plug the cable, change the settings to the highest supported resolution and color depth combination. After doing this, if your picture looks good, you are sorted. And if your cable fails to handle fast signals, you will experience the following:

Sparkles
You will observe these pixel dropouts when the pixel data does not go through. Mostly, they are in white color but also show in colors. During the old analog TV days, they were known as “snow.”

Horizontal Streaks
These are a lot like sparkles. Once the dropout begins if the pixels fail to load, you will observe a horizontal streak.

Frequent flashes
This happens when you lose too much data for the receiving circuit to sync up with the signal.

No picture
Just as the name suggests, you will observe a black screen.

We hope that the above explanations are enough to solve your dilemma of buying/not buying HDMI cables. Do you have any questions about them? Feel free to share with us or comment down below.

More About the Author

Jennifer Truong is the owner of SF Cable, a California based online retailer of all kind of cables, wires, cords, and other related accessories for computers and other consumer electronics. SF Cable is well known in the market for providing high-quality products at low prices by sourcing them directly from manufacturers. Jennifer has extensive experience in the cable industry and has been instrumental in the growth of SF Cable and in establishing it as one of the leading providers of cables online.

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