What is HDMI?
HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, a standard for simultaneously transmitting digital video and audio from a source, such as a computer or TV cable box, to a computer monitor, TV or projector. Originally developed by a consortium of electronics manufacturers, it has been widely adopted with almost all televisions and computer monitors supporting the interface.
The goal of the HDMI initiative back in 2002 was to improve on existing connectivity standards (e.g. DVI, component video) by creating a smaller connector, adding support for embedded audio and delivering a higher resolution video signal. Such was HDMI's success that by 2008, shipments of HDMI-enabled devices exceeded those of DVI. By the end of 2009, all HDTVs had at least one HDMI port.
The HDMI interface allows a port to send high-resolution digital video, theatre-quality sound and device commands through an HDMI connector and down a single HDMI cord, each designed to support a video resolution and features in the HDMI specification.
HDMI connectors are available in three sizes: standard, mini and micro.
There are also different types of HDMI cable (see the chart below). Not all cables use the logo but the cable specifications should indicate whether it is Standard, High Speed, Premium High Speed or Ultra High Speed. If the type is not indicated, assume Standard.
HDMI Cable Types
HDMI Ports and Connectors
The majority of HDMI connectors in use today are the Type A (Standard), Type C (Mini) and Type D (Micro) shown below. HDMI Type B (Dual Link) was developed for very high-resolution displays but was never used. Also not shown is the HDMI Type E connector which is intended for automotive and industrial applications.
The Standard HDMI connector (Type A) is the most widely used of the five HDMI connector types. These 19-pin connectors can be found on almost every brand of TV, computer monitor, game console, streaming device and desktop computer.
Mini HDMI connectors (Type C) also have 19-pins and support the same features as the full-sized Type A connector in a smaller, more compact form factor. Because of its smaller size, it is typically used on portable devices such as DSLR cameras and tablets.
The smallest HDMI connector, Micro HDMI (Type D), is about half the width of the Mini HDMI connector yet still retains the full functionality of its larger siblings. Micro HDMI connectors are used on small, portable devices such as phones.
Cables are available in male and female versions, with space-saving right-angled connectors and gripping or locking connectors.
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