Published on 12th April, 2017 by Cable Chick

HDMI Buyers' Guide 2017

HDMI Buyers' Guide 2017


HDMI Buyers\' Guide 2017

Flat. Thin. Braided. Coiled. HDMI can now provide solutions to just about every cabling quandary imaginable. Come on in and meet the team!

Variety is the spice of life

HDMI has come a long way since our last buyers' guide back in 2015 - we're not only dealing with HDMI 2.0 hardware pushing 4K and HDR content; we also have a range of cable varieties which can help avoid or solve common cabling problems in the home theatre, office or even commercial applications.

In this guide, we'll touch on the best application for each cabling type, and put each option in context. You'll never again wonder what a specialty HDMI cable is for or why you'd choose one over the other!

Standard HDMI

Standard HDMI Cables

Standard HDMI cables are still a great option for general purpose use when budget is important. Quality materials and construction offer 1080p support up to 20m, and 4K@30Hz support up to 5m. They may not look as pretty as some of our other cables, but once hidden behind a TV or cabinet they'll do a great job.

Best used for:

  • Home theatre, computer and office equipment
  • Games consoles and other content up to 1080p / 3D
  • 1440p@60Hz Computer monitors up to 5m
  • Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD up to 5m
Shop Standard HDMI

 

Braided HDMI

Braided HDMI Cables

A hard-wearing nylon braid makes these premium cables much stronger, and last longer when subjected to abuse such as frequent handling or permanent installation. Our braided cables have metal plug shells and moulded joints to prevent any part of the cable from coming apart. A favourite among installers and tradespeople looking for a reliable, long-term solution.

Best used for:

  • Heavy wear environments
  • In-wall or in-cavity installations
  • Extra-reliable 1080p & 3D up to 20m
  • 1440p@60Hz Computer monitors up to 7.5m
  • 4K@60Hz and HDR up to 5m
Shop Braided HDMI

 

Thin HDMI

Thin HDMI Cables

Thin HDMI cables don't have the same bandwidth handling of full-size HDMI, but with smaller plugs and lightweight cabling they can be handy for travel, frequently moved hardware and running through conduit or narrow cavities. Expect 1080p/3D up to 5m, and 4K@30Hz up to about 2m.

Best used for:

  • Lightweight or fragile hardware
  • Travel / Mobile peripherals (eg; cameras)
  • Easy re-coiling
  • Tight spaces
  • Articulated TV wall brackets
Shop Thin HDMI

 

Coiled HDMI

Coiled HDMI Cables

Coiled HDMI doubles down on the benefits of Thin HDMI by curling the cable into a smaller package, making it even easier to store by eliminating the need to coil it manually. Our 2m coiled extension rests at about 50cm in length, but stretches to just over 1 meter. 1080p and 3D

Best used for:

  • Lightweight or fragile hardware
  • Travel / Mobile peripherals
  • Public access usage
  • Making hard-to-reach HDMI sockets accessible
  • Articulated TV wall brackets
Shop Coiled HDMI

 

Flat HDMI

Flat HDMI Cables

Flat HDMI is another variation of the Thin type, but the key difference is how the cable slack behaves. Flat HDMI won't tangle, and once it gets through a narrow gap, it has a tighter bend radius than other options. Our Flat HDMI cables are not the thinnest on the market, but make up for that by being 4K@60Hz & HDR compatible.

Best used for:

  • Tight bends and small gaps
  • Behind furniture
  • Neat cable slack
  • 4K@60Hz & HDR
Shop Flat HDMI

 

Boosted HDMI

Boosted HDMI Cables

HDMI cables with built-in repeaters allow 1080p and 4K@30Hz signals to go up to 40 metres, making them great for large rooms or when obstacles prevent a direct route. Boosted cables are directional, so ARC and Ethernet are not supported, but they're a great option for most content (excluding 4K gaming).

Best used for:

  • Long cable runs
  • When unboosted cables suffer interruptions or drop-outs
  • Blu-ray Ultra HD 4K@30Hz up to 40m
Shop Boosted HDMI

 

Optical HDMI

Active Optical HDMI Cables

Good copper HDMI cables can only support 4K@60Hz up to about 5 metres. Our hybrid optical HDMI cables remove this limitation and can carry those signals up to 100m without loss, supporting 4K and HDR to their fullest without any external power supply! This thin, lightweight cable is unparalleled for reliable 1080p, 3D, 4K and HDR content. As with Boosted HDMI, Active Optical HDMI is directional and doesn't support ARC or Ethernet.

Best used for:

  • Any time you need 4K@60Hz or HDR to go over 5m
  • Extra-long cable runs up to 100m
  • When powered boosters are not practical
  • The ultimate in home theatre HDMI
Shop Optical HDMI

 

Locking HDMI

Locking HDMI Cables

Locking HDMI cables prevent accidental disconnection. Rather than an anti-theft device, the locking tabs simply prevent the HDMI plug from falling out of the socket due to vibration (such as inside a vehicle) or remind users of critical connections by requiring an extra step to unlock them. The sliding tab shows red or green to let you know if its locked or not.

Best used for:

  • Inside vehicles
  • Critical Systems
  • Public Access Protection
  • Ultra-HD Blu-ray 4K@30Hz
Shop Locking HDMI

 

Extension HDMI

HDMI Extension Cables

Finally, no guide would be complete without mentioning HDMI extension cables. They are built like the Standard HDMI range, but with a female socket on one end. They come to the rescue any time you need to bridge a gap in cable length when you move equipment, and can also be used to relocate hard-to-reach sockets on the backs of displays or computers.

Best used for:

  • Extending hard to reach sockets or short cables
  • Quick fixes when you don't want to buy a new longer cable
  • Adding range to VR kits
Shop HDMI Extension

Runners-up.

HDMI also has other specialty cables, but these are generally aimed at very specific hardware, such as Mini-HDMI on a tablet PC or Micro-HDMI on a camcorder, and we stock these variants in a range of lengths, too. Cable Chick also carries a good collection of HDMI adapters, from right-angle plugs to couplers and converters. Again, these products generally have a very specific application and you'll know when you need one.

Still unclear?

We like to think there is a HDMI cable for any application. If you don't see what you need above, why not contact us and we'll see what we can come up with?