Buying Guide

Shopping for HDMI products doesn’t have to be complicated, but there are a few things you should know. Here are some quick tips to help you choose the right gear.

Shop for Features, not HDMI Versions
Choose the Right HDMI Cable for the Job
Insist on Genuine HDMI Products

Shop for Features, not HDMI Versions

Some people have the mistaken idea that they should be shopping for a particular version of the HDMI Specification, for example, HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 1.4. This has never been true. Instead, you should shop for the specific features you want, and make sure that those features are supported in all the HDMI devices you will be using.

For instance, if you want to enjoy 3D video, you need to make sure that both the TV and the source device (for instance, a game console or disc player) support 3D. If you plan to route the signal through an AV receiver, it also needs to support 3D video.

This is also true for video resolution. Your 1080p TV will only display at 1080p if it is connected to a 1080p source device, such as a Blu-ray player or Set-top box.

However, if the source device outputs at a maximum of 720p, the TV will display 720p video when that device is selected.

Other advanced features that need to be supported on both ends of the HDMI link include 4K, HDR, 120Hz refresh rates, BT.2020 colorimetry, 4:4:4 chroma sampling, up to 16 bit color, Deep Color, x.v.Color, and audio return channel (ARC). These capabilities are all optional implementations for the manufacturer, so check before you buy.

For more information on HDMI cable types and their capabilities, see “Finding the Right Cable

Look For HDMI Products from Licensed Adopter

The vast majority of HDMI products are licensed and tested for reliable performance, but counterfeits are occasionally spotted.

  •     Be Aware — learn how to recognize genuine HDMI products
  • Look for the list of current HDMI Adopters here
  • Enforcement Tool
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