HDMI Questions Answered

What is this HDMI I keep hearing about?

HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface. With the release of more HD content, traditional connections (such as DVI) fall short of delivering the ultimate high-definition home theater experience. HDMI is a connection technology capable of carrying both high-definition video AND multi-channel digital audio on one slim cable.

Does this make HDMI the best connection?

With HDMI, the audio and video signals remain in their purest digital state from source to display. There is no signal degradation because there is no conversion from digital to analog and back again, like you get with component, composite and s-video cables. This makes HDMI the best way to connect your home theater components.

Does HDMI require multiple cables?

Home theater systems currently can use over a dozen cables. HDMI drastically reduces cable clutter and cost while easing the complexity of setup by using a single slim cable for both audio and video.

Is HDMI compatible with my PC?

HDMI-enabled devices are backwards compatible with DVI-based PCs, allowing you to display gaming, Internet or entertainment content on your HDTV.

What are some of the extras HDMI can do?

One cool feature of HDMI is Automatic Format Adjustment. If television content jumps from widescreen 16:9 format to standard 4:3, an HDMI-enabled TV automatically adjusts itself to the appropriate format.
Another feature you're sure to love is Intelligent Communication. HDMI allows consumer electronics manufacturers to build two-way communication into their devices, enabling new functionality such as automatic configuration and one-touch play. With one-touch play, all you do is hit one button to watch TV, and both your HDTV and surround system power up!

What resolutions does HDMI support?

HDMI has the capacity to support both existing enhanced and high-definition video resolutions: 480p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p. In addition, the newest version of HDMI is able to display next-generation resolutions such as 1440p and beyond.

Do I need the newest version of HMDI?

Not all features supported by newer versions of HDMI necessarily will be built into newer products by manufacturers. When shopping for a new display or component, do not look for a particular version of HDMI, but rather look for the functionality you want the device to support, such as DVD Audio, SACD, 1080p/24, etc.
Be sure to check out our If you have questions about the latest HDMI 1.4 standard, be sure to check out our HDMI cable buying guide. for more information about HDMI cables.