Why do HDMI cables have different connectors, and which should I use?

When you begin browsing online for new HDMI cables for your home entertainment system, you will soon see that there are many different types to choose from. One of the main differences between HDMI cables is in connector types, of which there are five main options.

The different HDMI cable connectors available are:

Type A, the standard nineteen pin connector
Type B, a type with 29 pins that can carry twice the video bandwidth of Type A
Type C, a mini-connector used with portable devices
Type D, a micro-connector which looks like a Type A but smaller, resembling a micro USB connector
Type E, an Automotive Connection System designed for use in vehicles

The reason there are so many different types of connector is that technology is advancing all the time, resulting in products being released and in turn, new ways that HDMI can be incorporated and used in all of them. For example, the Type C connector was not needed until the home electronics market became flooded with smart phones, digital cameras, mp3 players and tablet computers.

To work out which HDMI cable connector you need, think about what you will be using it for. Standard home entertainment setups (i.e. connecting a Blu-ray player to a TV) will only need a Type A connector, whilst a connection between a digital camera and a TV may require a Type C mini-connector.

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