Features of HDMI Cables
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cables transmit uncompressed digital data between two devices, normally between computers, laptops, and gaming consoles and PC monitors, HDMI-enabled TV sets, and video projectors. If you want to play games on your Xbox or PS3, "hook" the console to your home theater, and enjoy superb audio and video quality, then using HDMI cables is one of the options that you can use. The latest generation HDMI cables also support the highest HD resolution, which will make your video watching or gaming experience nothing short of amazing.
The HDMI cables also come in versions, starting from 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 to the latest, 1.4, where each subsequent version is likely to support more features that your home theater offers. There is no difference in the quality of the video or audio, which any of these cables delivers, but their version rather refers to the ability of these cables to work with the corresponding components - for instance, a 1.2 HDMI cable should work well with all 1.2 components. If you want to see the difference between the different versions, then look up an HDMI version comparison chart online. In a nutshell, the versions differ in terms of maximum clock rate, maximum TMDS throughput per channel, maximum color depth, and maximum resolution over single link at 24-bit, and maximum resolution over single link at 30, 36, and 48-bit (applies only to 1.3 and 1.4).
All HDMI cables have the same maximum audio throughput - 36.86 Mbit/s. Only the 1.4 and 1.4a HDMI cables support 4K × 2K Resolution, 3D over HDMI, Audio return channel (ARC), and Ethernet channel, while the 1.3 series differ from their predecessors by the fact that they are DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream capable, Dolby TrueHD bitstream capable, and support Auto lip-sync, Deep Color, xvYCC, and have updated list of CEC commands.
When shopping for an HDMI cable, then the compliance and the cable's length (more on that in a bit) are actually the two elements that you need to take into account. In order to determine the complicate, simply look at the packaging, or ask the sales clerk to show you the vendor's compliance certificate. When it comes to the length, unless you need a very long cable, you will not have to worry about any signal loss or distortion; most sources consider even 10m long cable capable of delivering excellent video and audio, without using an HDMI repeater. If you need a cable longer than that, then simply purchase an HDMI repeater or look for cables with a built-in signal amplifier, which cables are called boosted or amplified.