How-To Geek

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a digital cabling standard for audio/video transmission that replaced previously used analog cabling standards such as Component video cables. HDMI is commonly used for digital televisions, projectors, and included on many modern computer monitors.

HDMI cables are composed of 19 wires terminated in USB-like connector; the cables are capable of 5Gbps data transmission which is currently twice the bandwidth needed to carry uncompressed HD video and audio streams. In addition to carrying a single video stream, HDMI can also carry up to eight audio channels. When paired with devices that support the functionality, HDMI cables can also transmit control commands between devices (turning off your Blu-ray player automatically, for example, when you turn off your television set).

Production of HDMI-compatible consumer products began in late 2003; by 2007 over 90% of televisions produced world wide included an HDMI port. The HDMI standard continued to gain momentum and by 2011 over one billion HDMI-compatible consumer products had been purchased.

One of principle controversies surrounding the introduction of the HDMI standard was the exorbitant price of HDMI cables. Retailers took advantage of consumer confusion and charged upwards of $100 for premium HDMI cables (and routinely $30-40 for “standard” cables). Since HDMI is a completely digital standard cables either transmit the single or they fail to transmit the signal and in test after test it has been shown that there is no difference between a $2 HDMI cable and a $200 HDMI cable.

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