HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface and is capable of transmitting uncompressed digital audio and video. The HDMI interface allows various audio and video sources to be connected to other HDMI-ready devices and can be used to connect computers, laptops, set-top boxes, DVD players, HD DVD players, gaming consoles, Blu-ray Disc players, and some camcorders (using mini-HDMI cables) to projectors, computer screens, or TVs.
The HDMI cables can carry the signal to approximately 10 to 15 meters without any quality loss and without using a repeater and this makes setting up a home theater so much easier. As long as the two devices are HDMI ready, you can simply connect them with the cable and have audio and video, instead of running separate cables for each channel. The latest generation HDMI cables, HDMI 1.4 also come with an Ethernet channel, 3D over HDMI support, 4K × 2K Resolution Support, and Audio Return Channel (ARC). In most cases, you do not have to worry about the cable version and as long as you make the connection and have picture and sound, you do not need to buy newer or more expensive cable. There are a few exceptions though when you might want to spend a few more pounds on high quality HDMI cable and these are the cases when you require lengthier cable or in-wall cabling. Then, you would want a higher-grade cable, with better insulation and one that is likely to last for a long time. For setups that require more than 10 or 15 meters cable length, you should consider purchasing equalizer, amplifier, or repeater, which can give you up to 30 meters of excellent quality signal and for ultra-long distances, a fiber HDMI cable is capable of extending up to 300 meters.
The HDMI technology is constantly evolving and there are various types and models of HDMI devices and cables on the market today, which could get quite confusing for most consumers. On the plus side, these cables are surprisingly inexpensive and in most cases, a middle-of-the-road cable would work just fine. This technology is highly popular and virtually all latest electronic devices such as TVs, laptops, high-end PC video cards, and gaming consoles have HDMI sockets. In conclusion, even though the High-Definition Multimedia Interface suggests that only high definition video is delivered, the cables supports all PC and TV standards, and carry up to eight channels of compressed and uncompressed audio as well.