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Everything you need to know about HDMI

Introduction

HDMI, or High-Definition Multimedia Interface, is generally seen as a cable that either connects your PC to a monitor or your TV to a game console. People use an HDMI cable to connect different types of video input/output and audio input/output devices together to get a seamless experience. The HDMI Cable is always compatible. You must wonder why this single cable can do all this and why this cable seems to connect many devices, while one year ago, USB-C couldn’t connect to an iPhone.

To understand the above questions, we shall first understand what HDMI is. Just like other cables, the HDMI Cable also uses an industry specification, which specifies the interface mechanism, communication protocols, physical features, etc. This industry specification was originally designed by seven electronic manufacturers back in 2002, due to the growing need for high-definition content and the need to connect different types of devices.

With 20 years of development, HDMI now has five different types of connectors (Type A, B, C, D, and E) for different sizes and usages, and seven different types of cables for different usages and bandwidth. Except for the automobile HDMI cable, all other types of cables have an Ethernet version.

Different types of HDMI Cables

  • Ultra High-Speed HDMI supports 8K 60hz and 4K 120hz with HDR, maximum bandwidth 48 Gbps.
  • Premium High-Speed HDMI supports 4K 60hz with HDR, maximum bandwidth 18 Gbps.
  • High-Speed HDMI supports 4K 30hz, maximum bandwidth 10.2 Gbps, performed the best with a 1080p display.
  • High-Speed Automotive HDMI for automotive usage, with type E connector and specific physical design for automotive connection, have same bandwidth and quality as the high speed cable.
  • Standard HDMI for older consumer electronics, design to work with 720p and 1080i display, maximum bandwidth 5 Gbps. 
  • Standard Automotive HDMI for automotive usage, specifically designed for car usage with same transfer quality and bandwidth of the standard cable.

HDMI 2.1 VS Display port 1.4

HDMI 2.1 is the newest specification added by the HDMI forum in 2017, and the latest update, HDMI 2.1a, includes the new Ultra High-Speed Cable, offers 8K at 60Hz HDR and 4K at 120Hz HDR. With the correct graphics cards, this cable can even support 4K at 144Hz and offers a maximum bandwidth of 48 Gbps.

HDMI 2.1 VS Display port 1.4

DisplayPort 1.4, on the other hand, as one of the recent generation DisplayPort protocols, offers 8K at 30Hz, 5K at 60Hz, and 4K at 120Hz with a maximum bandwidth of 32.4 Gbps, except the oblivious design differences from HDMI. HDMI 2.1 has better bandwidth, broader application scenarios, and Ethernet support.

HDMI 2.1DisplayPort 1.4
Resolution8K 60Hz HDR, 4K 120Hz HDR8K 30Hz, 5K 60Hz, 4K 120Hz
Maximum Band Width48 Gbps32.4 Gbps
EthernetSupportNot support
Application ScenariosBroader scenarios  Mostly PC related

Difference between HDMI and USB

HDMI and USB are two device connecting methods. HDMI and USB are different in many perspective, including appearances, physical designs and application scenarios. But the most significant difference is their primary function.

From USB 1.0 to USB 3.1, from 1.5Mbps to 10 Gbps, USB has primarily been used as a data transmission method. On the other hand, HDMI since their begin, has mainly been used for high-quality video and audio signal transmission. Although, under USB-C and USB 3.0, USB can use the DisplayPort Protocol to work as a video and audio transmission tool, HDMI still performs better in audio and video signal transmission.

HDMIUSB
Full nameHigh-Definition Multimedia InterfaceUniversal Serial Bus
Primary functionVideo and audio signal transmission Data transmission
Cable typeType- A/B/CStandard, Mini, Micro
CompatibilityVarious different devicesMultimedia devices primarily

Accsoon SeeMo and SeeMo pro

Accsoon SeeMo and SeeMo Pro, as iOS video capture terminals, leverage HDMI for camera connections. This ensures users can enjoy high-quality transfers with minimal latency. By integrating a high-quality iOS screen with a camera, they provide an affordable, professional-grade iOS monitor solution.

FAQs

1. What is a HDMI used for?

HDMI is primarily used for high-quality audio and video signal transmission between devices, such as transferring a high definition 4K movie clip’s audio and video signal from your laptop on to a 4K monitor.

2. Is HDMI the same as HD?

HDMI, or High-Definition Multimedia Interface, is a specification set up by the HDMI Forum, regulating what an HDMI Cable should be like and how HDMI signal communication should work. HD, or High Definition, refers to videos that have a resolution above 720p, which is the signal that an HDMI cable transmits. HDMI does not equal HD; they are not the same.

Conclusion

HDMI, as a specific video and audio transmission tool, has existed for over 20 years. From the first generation to the newest HDMI 2.1, despite challenges from old rivals and new competitors, HDMI has always been a trustworthy connection builder between different devices. No matter whether you are trying to connect your game console to your TV or connect a monitor to your laptop, when it comes to audio and video signal transmission, HDMI is and will be one of your first options due to its powerful performance compatibility.

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