If you’re in the shop for a new HDMI cable, it can be tough to decide which type to buy. Do you go with the standard HDMI cable, or one of the smaller variants: mini HDMI or micro HDMI? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the key differences between these three types of cables, and help you decide which is best for your needs.
Types of HDMI cables
The main differences between HDMI vs mini HDMI vs micro HDMI is the types of connectors used to transmit audio and video signals between devices.
Standard HDMI cables are the most common type, they are the largest of the three connectors, featuring 19 pins. They are a standard for connecting audio and video devices, such as Blu-ray players, game consoles, and set-top boxes, to HDTVs and other displays.
Mini HDMI cables, also known as Type C HDMI, is a smaller version of the standard HDMI connector that was introduced in 2006. It has the same number of pins as the standard HDMI connector but is roughly half the size. Mini HDMI is commonly used in portable devices such as cameras, camcorders, and tablets, where space is at a premium.
Micro HDMI cables, also known as Type D HDMI, is an even smaller version of the standard HDMI connector that was introduced in 2009. Micro HDMI is commonly used in ultra-compact devices such as smartphones and action cameras, where space is extremely limited.
In summary, HDMI, Mini HDMI, and Micro HDMI are three types of digital video and audio connectors that differ in size, and are commonly used in various electronic devices. Understanding the differences between these connectors can help you choose the right one for your device and use case.
- Standard HDMI port dimensions: 13.99mm x 4.45mm.
- Mini HDMI port dimensions: 10.42mm x 2.42mm.
- Micro HDMI port dimensions: 6.4mm x 2.3mm.
HDMI cable speed
HDMI cables come in different speed variations that determine their maximum bandwidth and supported features. Here are the main speed variations:
- Standard HDMI Standard HDMI cables have a bandwidth of up to 4.95 Gbps, allowing them to support video resolutions up to 1080i and basic audio formats such as stereo and 5.1 surround sound.
- High-Speed HDMI High-Speed HDMI cables have a bandwidth of up to 18 Gbps, allowing them to support higher resolutions such as 4K at 60Hz, as well as advanced features such as 3D, Ethernet connectivity, and ARC.
- Premium High-Speed HDMI Premium High-Speed HDMI cables are a newer category of cables that meet higher performance standards for supporting 4K and 8K video at high frame rates, as well as HDR, wide color gamut, and other advanced features.
- Ultra High-Speed HDMI Ultra High-Speed HDMI cables are the latest and highest performing category of HDMI cables, supporting bandwidths of up to 48 Gbps. They can support 8K video at 60Hz and 4K video at 120Hz, as well as features such as Dynamic HDR, eARC, and VRR.
It’s important to note that not all devices and content require the highest speed HDMI cable available. For example, if you have a 1080p TV and don’t plan on upgrading to 4K anytime soon, a Standard HDMI cable may be sufficient. However, if you plan on using advanced features such as 4K at 60Hz, HDR, or eARC, you’ll need a High-Speed or Premium High-Speed HDMI cable at a minimum, depending on the specific requirements of your devices and content.
The importance of the HDMI version
The HDMI version is also an important consideration when choosing an HDMI cable. Each new HDMI version introduces new features and capabilities that require higher bandwidth and more advanced cable specifications. Here’s a brief overview of the HDMI versions and their key features:
- HDMI 1.0X – Introduced in 2002, HDMI 1.0 supported basic video resolutions up to 1080i and audio formats such as stereo and 5.1 surround sound.
- HDMI 1.2 – Introduced in 2005, HDMI 1.2 added support for additional audio formats such as DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD.
- HDMI 1.3 – Introduced in 2006, HDMI 1.3 increased the maximum bandwidth to 10.2 Gbps, allowing for higher resolutions up to 1440p and additional features such as Deep Color and x.v.Color.
- HDMI 1.4 – Introduced in 2009, HDMI 1.4 added support for 3D, Ethernet connectivity, and Audio Return Channel (ARC).
- HDMI 2.0 – Introduced in 2013, HDMI 2.0 increased the maximum bandwidth to 18 Gbps, allowing for higher resolutions up to 4K at 60Hz, as well as High Dynamic Range (HDR) and expanded color gamut.
- HDMI 2.1 – Introduced in 2017, HDMI 2.1 further increased the maximum bandwidth to 48 Gbps, allowing for higher resolutions up to 8K at 60Hz, as well as advanced features such as Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Quick Media Switching (QMS), and eARC.
It’s worth noting that each HDMI version is available in mini and micro formats, in addition to the standard HDMI connector.
Ways to use a standard HDMI connector with mini, or micro inputs
There are adapters available to use standard HDMI cables with devices that have mini or micro HDMI inputs. These adapters typically have a female standard HDMI port on one end and a male mini or micro HDMI connector on the other end, allowing you to connect a standard HDMI cable to your device.
It’s important to note that not all adapters are created equal, and some may not support all of the features of the HDMI version that your device and content require. For example, if you’re using an adapter to connect a 4K HDR device to a TV, you’ll need to ensure that the adapter supports HDMI 2.0 or higher and supports the specific features you need, such as HDR and Wide Color Gamut (WCG).
Additionally, adapters may introduce additional signal noise and degradation, which can impact the quality of the audio and video signal. To ensure the best possible performance, it’s generally recommended to use a cable with the appropriate connector for your device whenever possible, rather than relying on adapters. However, if an adapter is necessary, be sure to choose one from a reputable brand and verify that it supports the features you need.