Filed under: Cables and Wires, Desks and Workstations
HDMI cables come in a range of different forms but how do you know which one is best suited to your application? Here are some helpful tips when looking to buy HDMI cables for your application.
Tips When Buying A HDMI Cable
When choosing your HDMI cable it is best to measure the length needed so you can accommodate for the gap between your devices. HDMI cables come in a variety of different lengths to choose from and these can be anywhere from 1 to 12ft or more. Purchasing one a size up from your gap size allows for room to move or improve your connection at a later date.
The next best thing to consider when choosing a HDMI cable is to check which type of cable will be needed or best suited to your application. This can be done by checking the manual of your HDTV and the devices that you will be connecting it to. Check the supported HDMI rating and if they differ, for example your HDTV supports HDMI 1.1 while your game console supports HDMI 1.2 then choose the earliest type which in this case would be HDMI 1.1. In some cases it is said that choosing a HDMI cable rated 1.3 is also a good choice as this HDMI cable is designed to support backward compatibility which means it should support HDMI 1.3, 1.2, 1.1, and 1.0.
If you are purchasing multiple HDMI cables but don’t have enough ports on your connected devices then you may need to look into a HDMI switcher. HDMI switchers allow you to easily connect multiple HDMI supported devices to the switcher which is then easily connected to your TV or the compatible devices.
Choosing a HDMI cable doesn’t have to be hard. With the advancements in technology, you can easily purchase one at an affordable price that will work with your devices delivering clear video and audio each and every time.
Video and audio cables are used in everyday multimedia applications and setups. Although how much do you really know about the cables you are installing into your home. Here is some information on the different types of video and audio cables that are used and what they are designed to do.
Types OF Audio and Video Cables
HDMI cables: HDMI cables are made to provide support of HDMI connections between 2 devices. HDMI or High Definition Multimedia Interface refers to the first and only uncompressed, industry supported all video and audio interface which is capable of supporting a connection between an audio and video source. These cables are able to support high definition and standard video along with multiple channels of digital and audio over a single HDMI cable. They are ideal for connecting computer and hardware connections and are commonly used for high definition DVR connection to televisions.
DVI Cables: DVI cables are cables which are designed to support a connection between a video source and a display device which may include a computer monitor. DVI or digital visual interface is designed to provide transmission of uncompressed digital video and is configurable with supporting DVI-I (digital and analog), DVI-A (analog only), and DVI-D (digital only). With support for analog connections the specifications of DVI allows for compatibility with the VGA interface. DVI cables are generally used by computers although they are also sometimes used with video game consoles, DVD players, television sets and more.
VGA Cables: VGA cables are designed to support high definition video of 1080p or higher. VGA or Video Graphics Array interface is designed to provide a method of transferring a basic clear image to the viewing display such as a computer. VGA cables are made to use analog signals for easy transmission and are generally connected to computer systems.
Filed under: Cables and Wires, Desks and Workstations
HDMI cables are used right across the world in home and business applications to create the perfect connection between two multimedia devices. But what exactly is HDMI? Here is some information about HDMI and what HDMI cables are used for that may help you to understand these cables better.
What is HDMI?
HDMI or as known High Definition Multimedia Interface is the only and first uncompressed, industry supported, all digital video and audio interface. HDMI delivers an interface between a video and audio source which can support standard, high definition or enhanced video along with multi-channel digital audio over a single cable. It can easily provide transmission of ATSC HDTV standards and is capable of supporting up to 8 channel digital audio while offering additional bandwidth which can accommodate for any future requirements of enhancements.
What Are HDMI Cables Used for?
A HDMI cable is a special cable which is designed to specially support HDMI connection from one device to another. This cable is generally for hardware and computer connections and is commonly used for connecting high definition DVRs to televisions. This cable is supported by most leading manufacturers of consumer electronics including, but not limited to, Toshiba, Sony, Philips, Panasonic, and Hitachi.
What Are The Benefits Of HDMI Cables
HDMI cables come with many benefits:
- One of the most common benefits of a HDMI cable is that it can easily provide uncompressed and superior quality of digital video and audio.
- Another benefit that a HDMI cable can deliver is that it provides a simple and single method of connecting two devices together without a large array of wiring and cables behind your devices.
- One more advantage of HDMI cables is that they provide a long life span as they don’t use up their full capacity when connected with devices, allowing for adjustments in the future.
- Lastly it provides a convenient and popular method of transmitting high definition content which is supported by many people allowing for easy sharing of audio and video.
There’s something about the word “custom” that always seems to make my heart beat a little faster, but then again, who doesn’t drool at the thought of something being made just for them? For example, I love both books and creative architectural details, and there’s this house in a historic neighborhood not far from where I live, which I’ve affectionately come to refer to as “bookshelf house” in honor of the gorgeous custom built-in bookcases (they’re even lit, mind you) that are visible to passers-by when the house is lit up at night. You’re just driving along, glancing casually at the passing homes, and then suddenly you get an eyeful of perfectly painted crimson walls set off by semi-ornate white bookshelves almost artistically loaded with a small library’s worth of reading material. I can never resist giving that sight a longing, head-turning glance, and it’s almost always inevitably followed by me returning home, walking into my guest room, and staring with disgust at the twin particleboard deals holding a hodgepodge of paperbacks and dust. I like to think that the owners of Bookshelf House must feel pretty darn smug.
While this particular example of custom lust is probably a little too old-school and tech-free for a blog that deals primarily with gadgets and cables, here’s something that’s not: Field-terminable HDMI cable from BTX Technologies. Whether you’re fed up with home theater cables that are always longer than you need them to be or are just Jonesing for something made with only you and your sweet A/V setup in mind, you’ll definitely want to take notice.
BTX’s field-terminable cables are rated to HDMI 1.3 standards, and come in either round or ribbon styles, depending on whether you’re planning on bundling them with neighboring cords (choose round), or routing them flat along the wall (that would be ribbon). The bulk cables are simply measured to the exact length you need (no more paying for or cable-managing a bunch of useless slack) and terminated with specially designed crimp-on connectors that achieve an even stronger connection than soldering.
Both the round and ribbon-style home theater cables are made to be ultra flexible, so they can take most tight bends and curves without risking breakage or attenuation. Durability is further enhanced by the connectors’ additional extended plastic boot and strain relief, which gives your HDMI cables extra support just where they need it most.
Custom is now better than ever.
Cat5e cable is generally not one of those things that makes me stop and go “Oooooh!” Personally, I use it every day without even thinking about it, kind of like lip balm or tissues. I spend 8 hours a day sitting at a laptop whose Cat5e Ethernet cable provides me with a vital Internet connection and is never more than an inch or two from my left hand, yet I never give it even a second of thought or attention unless I need to unplug it to pack up my computer. How’s that for appreciation?
I have to say, though, that my interest and admiration were piqued yesterday afternoon when I met the newest network cable to join our lineup. Cicoil® (pronounced “see-coil”) Shielded Cat5e cable is very uniquely designed for use in manufacturing facilities, labs, and anywhere else where it’s likely to be attached to moving machinery and subject to some serious EMI/RFI. What makes it so fascinating are the totally flat design and the ultra-flexible clear silicone jacket that envelopes the shielded conductors.
The silicone is extremely durable, but has a somewhat jelly-like flexibility and stretchability that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a cable jacket. It’s a big part of what makes Cicoil Cat5e resilient enough to withstand up to 10,000,000 motion cycles (perfect for use with automated machinery that’s in near-perpetual motion), and clean/non-polluting enough to use in laboratories and cleanrooms that require RoHS-compliant materials. And since silicone is great at resisting water, fire and chemicals, this shielded Cat5e is good to go in even the harshest environments.
Because it’s such a specialized cable, Cicoil is sold be the foot, so you can order just what you need, without worrying about wasting money on extra that won’t be used. While it comes unterminated in standard orders, you also have the option of paying a little extra to have it factory-terminated to your specifications. Either way, you’re get something very, very good.
These days, on the home entertainment cabling front, no one settles for anything less than HDMI. We’ve tossed our 3-part component and composite cables, and now only have eyes for the one-connector, all-inclusive digital wonder that is HDMI. Then why do we treat our HDMI cables so badly?
You know what I’m taking about. The way we smash and twist them to fit behind our shiny HDTVs. The way we bend them at angles that would make most contortionists shudder. Come on, people – HDMI cables have feelings, too! Well, maybe not feelings, but they do have very specific bend radius needs… needs that we, selfish entertainment hounds that we are, are constantly ignoring.
Ummmmmmm, bend radius? Yes, bend radius. It’s the term that describes how tightly you can bend a cable before it cries “Uncle!” and either starts losing signal, or just stops working completely. As far as HDMIs go, there’s no such thing as partial signal loss, like you might get with a data cable. They just quit on you altogether. Sigh. Sounds like it’s time to clean up our acts, and start treating our home theater cables with a little more respect.
If you’re worried that this self-improvement is going to mean moving your TV for the benefit of your HDMI cable, it doesn’t. No compromise there. But it is going to take a little thing called an HDMI adapter, which is designed to snap right onto the end of an HDMI cable, and into the device of your choice. Sound like no big whoop? I’m not done yet. Vanco is making a line of special HDMI adapters that bend, swivel and rotate at the connector level, so that your cable remains straight (or almost straight) no matter how you need to position it, and keeps those gorgeous audio and video signals moving right along. Okay… now I’m done…
So, you want to stretch the distance between your HDTV and a high-def source (like an HD-DVD player, Blu-Ray, or PS3 gaming console), but shudder to think of the search for, and cost of, a 100+ foot long HDMI cable? I feel your pain, but don’t worry – you won’t be in it long. Your worries, and HDMI-related budget woes, are about to melt away – at least they will as soon as you meet this Cat5e HDMI Extender from Vanco.
As you can probably tell from its name, this particular HDMI extender uses Cat5e cables (delightfully inexpensive Cat5e cables) to carry your HDMI signals from Point A to Point B. By now you’re probably wondering, “How the heck do you get a decent high-def digital signal over a type of cable that’s usually used for Ethernet connections?” Easy – it’s all in the transmitter and receiver.
While it’s called an extender, it’s actually made up of two separate components – the above-mentioned transmitter and receiver. Using 2 short HDMI cables, the transmitter is connected to the high-definition source, and the receiver is connected to the display. From there, you just need to run 2 Cat5e cables between the transmitter and receiver. The transmitter starts out by translating the HDMI signal into the proper format for Cat5e. The modified signal then travels down the Cat5e cables to the receiver, where it’s translated back into HDMI format, and fed through to the display. And there you have it, ladies and gents – long distance HDMI.
The Vanco HDMI Over Cat5e extender works for distances up to 200 feet, and the resolution can vary depending on how far you’re sending the signal. Up to 100 feet, and the final resolution delivered is 1080p; for 100-165 feet, you get 1080i. When you push it anywhere from 165-200 feet, the resolution drops to 720p, but that’s still high-def! The extender system also reduces annoying EMI and RFI, so you’ll get the clearest audio and video possible.
Gone are the days when home A/V setups were nothing more than a TV, a DVD player, and maybe some speakers. These days, we shell out for high-def Plasma and LCD screens, HD-DVD and Blu-ray players, gaming systems, and full SurroundSound. With the exception of speakers, just about every other element in our home theaters is connected to our TVs via HDMI cable. There isn’t trouble with HDMI cables, per se, because they deliver the best digital signals out there, but what do you do if your TV doesn’t have enough HDMI inputs to accommodate all of your home theater devices at once?
Considering that you’ve placed a pretty heavy investment into all of those fine electronics, you probably want to be able to use any device whenever you want, without the hassle of crawling behind your entertainment center to unplug your DVD player so you can free up an HDMI port for the PS3 system. Luckily, there’s a way to kiss the old device-juggling routine goodbye: just work an Xtreme Cables 4×1 HDMI Switch Box into the mix.
Built to the latest HDMI standard (HDMI 1.3), this extremely compact switch (it’s only 7″ x 3″ x 1″) packs quite a punch – it lets you connect up to four HDMI components to your HDTV using just a single cable. You just plug 4 HDMI devices into the switch, and then run the switch’s cable up to one of your high-def screen’s HDMI ports. Once that’s done, you just use the included remote control to switch back and forth between devices as often as you want. And one of the really nice features of this product is that it’s incredibly easy to install and use, even for home theater fans who aren’t completely tech-savvy. There’s no software or special programming required to get started – just plug and play.
The 4X1 HDMI Switch Box by Xtreme Cables supports resolutions that range from 480 to 1080, in both interlaced (i) and progressive scan (p) formats.
Sorry, this product has been discontinued.
Want to get a terrible HDMI connection? First, make sure that your home theater components are squeezed into a very tight space; the closer to the wall or the back of your entertainment center, the better. Next, twist and bend your HDMI cable into tight angles to get it plugged into your DVD or Blu-Ray™ player. And finally, start your movie or video game and wait for the signal to eventually cut out on you – it’s inevitable after all, since you’ve done everything in your power to damage your HDMI cable’s conductor. There you have it, folks: the perfect recipe for home theater disaster.
Okay, I’m being facetious here – first of all, no one wants a failed high-def connection, and secondly, I would never encourage you to make that happen. The main idea here was to point out a common practice that can have you burning through an unending succession of HDMI cables. While you can’t always avoid positioning A/V equipment against the wall or in the close quarters of an entertainment center, you can take steps to ensure that tight spaces don’t become the death of your HDMI connection. Meet the VANCO Swivel HDMI Cable.
Perfect for plugging into a wall-mounted Plasma or LCD screen or home theater components stored in the aforementioned short-on-space cabinet, this HDMI cable is equipped with a 180° swiveling connector at each end, which means that the cable can flex and bend to make just about any difficult connection without putting undue stress on the conductor. This design feature lets the conductor do its job (transmitting clear signals) instead of squishing it into oblivion and rendering it useless. Can you see how this unique cable can save you both money and frustration?
For all of you who have ever suffered sticker shock at the sight of an HDMI cable price tag, there’s good news: you don’t have to pay that much for a fantastic high-definition connection. Society has become superficial in so many ways, and now we’re actually letting it spill over into the realm of cables – can you believe it? Well, I think it’s time to restore a little common sense to the electronics-buying experience, and one of the best ways to do that is to say NO to boutique cables in fancy packaging.
I’ll admit that some things are worth paying more for; for instance, a Lamborghini will justifiably run you more than a Hyundai. Both vehicles will get you from Point A to Point B, but one’s going to do the job with infinitely more power and style than the other ever could. But here’s the catch: the same rules don’t apply to HDMI cables. They’re first and foremost a utilitarian product. While in the automotive world it’s not unusual for the hottest cars to also perform the best, cables just don’t work that way. When you’re shopping for an HDMI cable, always remember that looks have nothing to do with performance.
The key to a quality HDMI connection doesn’t lie in great style or expensive-looking packaging. Rather, it all has to do with certification. As long as a cable is HDMI certified, it doesn’t matter if it costs $15 or $150 – it’s going to do the job. Who cares if it doesn’t have a brand name? The only thing that matters is that the cable effectively transports high definition signals from your A/V equipment to your high-def screen.
If you’re ready to jump off the brand-name bandwagon and find happiness with an HDMI cable that won’t drain your bank account, you’ll find ATC certified HDMI 1.3a (the latest standard) cables, complete with 24K gold-plated connectors, at CableOrganizer.com. Get ready for a new, improved, and much happier version of sticker shock: they start at around $6.99!
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