For many consumers buying their first high definition device, one of the most overlooked aspects of picture quality is the use of proper cabling. While many people will just assume that it’s fine to use the same old RCA, SCART, or composite cables that they have been using for years, this is simply not the case with the newest generation of TVs and projectors. To obtain the best picture quality possible, it is absolutely imperative to use HDMI cables.
Because HDMI cables are a digital interface, they provide the best possible video quality since there is not data being lost in analog to digital conversions, which is not possible in older analog style cables like composite, SCART, or RCA cables. One of the biggest advantages to using HDMI cords is that they are incredibly easy to plug in, as there is only one cable with one plug that needs to be connected. Because of their simplicity, HDMI cords don’t cause the same amount of clutter that many older style cables do, especially when run from a wall plate. An HDMI Wall plate is a metal or plastic cover that installs over walls so that the majority of an HDMI cord can stay out of sight, reducing the clutter around a home theater.
When shopping for HDMI cords, it’s important to buy from a trusted brand name, as many of the generic manufacturers tend to skimp on insulation, which can lead to signal degradation. Two of the better brand names to keep an eye out for are Belkin and Gefen, although there are many other reputable brands to choose from. It’s also important to note that HDMI cables come in several versions, the newest of which being HDMI 1.4. The HDMI 1.4 format brings several significant capabilities, such as the ability to stream 3D video and an HDMI Ethernet channel. Another important feature of the 1.4 format cable is that they support much higher resolution video than previous versions, going as high as 4,000 by 2,000 resolution support.
Even though HDMI is typically associated with TVs and projectors, they can also be used in conjunction with PCs by using a micro HDMI to USB cable. These allow a multitude of devices such as smartphones, digital cameras, and media players to be connected to a desktop PC with the benefit of the high speed transfer rates of USB. As its name implies, one of the benefits of micro HDMI ports are their extremely compact size, which allows them to be integrated unobtrusively into pocket sized devices without adding to their size. As with standard HDMI cords, Belkin and Gefen offer some of the best micro HDMI cords.