Although at first glance all HDMI cables look similar, what they include inside, both in terms of construction and quality, means that there are notable differences between them. Some differences that, in the most complex cases, can lead to loss of image quality, sound interference or loss of functions compared to what the HDMI standard offers, as long as it is connected as it should.
To avoid this, we are going to learn about some of the aspects that usually cause the most problems when moving this data and connecting devices. A reference list that will be very useful when buying the exact cable for your needs (in this link you will find some options), saving you a few headaches and wasted time in finding where the error is.
Connectivity between devices
The main problem we find when connecting different products to each other has to do with the ports or interfaces used by these devices. It is the biggest inconvenience that we find and that can have serious consequences on the transfer of video or audio.
An example can be found in modern video consoles, such as the Xbox One X or the PS4 Pro. These products have the ability to send video to our television with a 4K resolution of 60 hertz. However, to make the most of this transfer speed, it is essential that the television to which we connect the signal has an HDMI 2.0 or higher port, since it is from this interface that we have sufficient bandwidth to transfer this signal..
Another element that usually causes failures is ARC connectivity. This system is used to obtain high quality audio output through systems such as Dolby True HD or Dolby Atmos, to name a few. A system that is already used by many streaming sites such as Netflix, for example. This sound requires ARC or eARC connectivity, the new standard established in HDMI 2.0 ports, to achieve this audio quality. If we have a computer or a sound bar that does not pass HDMI 1.4, we will also have problems when connecting the devices.
This leads us to a prior need: to know what we have and what we can connect to it, as a preliminary step before updating our devices. In the case of consoles, for example, it is of little use to buy a PS4 Pro if we cannot take advantage of its high image quality by having a 4K television with an HDMI 2.0 port. The same goes for the ARC issue that we discussed earlier. So unless we plan to update other devices, with the investment that this entails, those elements that we incorporate must be compatible with the technology that we already have available in our digital entertainment center.
Identify the ports
Another problem we have when connecting devices is not so much to do with cables, but rather with the ports available on the products that we intend to connect. More and more Smart TVs and other devices include several HDMI ports. The problem is that just like the USB ports on our computer, sometimes these HDMI ports have different functions. Specifically, it is common for the Smart TV to include an HDMI port that works with one type of interface, while another uses a different connectivity or interface.
This problem has been increased with the arrival of the HDMI interface, since there are some differences between what an HDMI 1.4 port can do and a 2.0 port, so it is even more important to detect which is which, in order to use the cables and corresponding connections, as we have commented previously.
The importance of cables
This last section leads us to talk about cables and the importance of using the correct models regarding the HDMI interface or connectivity that we have in hand. Among other things, because if we use an HDMI cable that has an interface inferior to that of the two devices that we are connecting, it is very likely that we will lose image quality, sound or have some other problem in this regard.
Therefore, whenever we have to use HDMI cables, it is necessary that these are of the interface used by the ports to which they are going to be connected or superior, since if we use an inferior one, we are sure of problems when transferring that image or sound.
one last tip
Although we have talked about cables, options and standards, there is one last piece of advice that we do not want to stop giving you and that is related to what computer scientists call “the problem between the computer and the chair”: the user. And it is that some failures caused during the use of this type of cables have to do with the way of connecting them.
It is common, and also recommended, that when connecting an HDMI cable we do it carefully. That is, it is not about putting the cable through the port and taking it out the other side of the screen. But it is also important to check that the cable is securely in place and that all pins make contact. Something that sometimes does not happen because the HDMI cable tends to make a double connection. The first is when the connector rubs against the internal connection element, which generates resistance, while to connect it completely it is necessary to tighten a little more, until the connector is almost completely inside the space.
In case we stay on this first contact, it is very likely that the cable has not been connected correctly and that the data transfer is not carried out properly. So it is essential to push the cable well inside the connector, verify that it is well attached to the port and that it does not move, since it is the only way to take advantage of its full potential.