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What kind of HDMI cables do I need for 4K

HDMI 2.0 cables are needed for 4K, UHD televisions, monitors and AV

When you buy a 4K television or monitor, and you have a cable box, DVD player or other device capable of outputting 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) content, make sure the HDMI 2.0 cables connecting everything can handle the data rates. Otherwise, you’ll experience a lower quality picture, image jitters or simply a blank screen during data drop-outs. We have the best cables for money that support HDMI 2.0 standards for 4K, and these cables are downward compatible to all the slower rates as well.

Quick Links

JSAUX HDMI 2.0 / 4K UHD ($8 / 6.6 ft)

JSAUX in 10-foot length ($11)

SecurOMax HDMI 2.0 / 4K UHD ($15 / 15 feet)

Atevon HDMI 2.0 Cable / 4K UHD ($12 / 6 feet)

Atevon in 10-foot length ($13)

Understanding HDMI

For quick background, the HDMI Forum specifications for HDMI are broken down into 4 categories:

  • Standard HDMI: Up to 720p or 1080i resolution at 30 Hz
  • High Speed HDMI: Up to 4K resolution (including 1080p) at 30 Hz
  • Premium High Speed HDMI: Up to 4K resolution with high dynamic range (HDR) at up to 60 Hz
  • Ultra High Speed HDMI: Up to 10K resolution with HDR at a 120 Hz refresh rate (4K video can refresh at up to 240 Hz, 8K at up to 120 Hz)

The speed of your connection, however, will depend on the types of connectors. HDMI 1.4 connectors support a 3820 x 2160-resolution at 30 frames per second (fps), while .

The cables will typically have a bandwidth rating:

  • High Speed = 10.2 Gbps (corresponds to HDMI 1.4)
  • Premium High Speed = 18 Gbps (corresponds to HDMI 2.0)
  • Ultra High Speed = 48 Gbps (corresponds to HDMI 2.1)

But you’ll mostly see them described by which types of video they support:

HDMI 1.4:

  • HD 720p (30 Hz)
  • HD 1080i (30 Hz)

HDMI 2.0:

  • UHD 4K 2160p (up to 60 Hz, 4:4:4)
  • HD 2K 1080p (up to 240 Hz)
  • QHD 1440p (up to 144 Hz)
  • HDCP 2.2
  • 48-Bit Deep Color

HDMI 2.0a:

  • HDR

HDMI 2.1:

  • 4K at 120 Hz
  • 8K at 60 Hz
  • 10K at 60 Hz

Related – What is HDR For TV – Comparing HDR10 vs 4K Television

HDMI Audio

The above descriptions focused on the video part of the signal.

Equally important to a great entertainment experience is the sound. With HDMI 2.0, audio sampling is increased to 1,536 kHz, with support for up to 4 multi-stream audio channels, to multiple users, simultaneously.

This is a total of 32 audio channels, up from the 8 available in HDMI 1.4.

These may be more familiar as their trade names: Dolby True HD 7.1, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby DTS HD and Atmos. All of these are supported.

HDMI Features

Cables are basically wires for moving electrons from point A to point B. This can be for powering devices, transmitting data or combination. HDMI cables are primarily used in your AV equipment, but these can also work for short distance Ethernet if your equipment is set-up for it.

Audio Return Channel (ARC) allows your equipped TV to create a two-way communications channel with your connected audio components (e.g., soundbar, home-theater box, AV receiver). This eliminates the need for separate audio cables or optical SPD/IF cables. With ARC, you get a much cleaner set-up, and easier control over all your equipment.

Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) is similar to ARC, except is can control more than just the audio. For example, you could control your DVD player or Roku box with just the TV remote.

Hot plugging means that you don’t have to turn off all of your equipment when you want to remove or plug in the cable. The pins inside the connector housing have staggered / un-matched lengths so there is a sequenced connection.

Passive versus Active HDMI

The cables in this review are “passive”, meaning they are made of just wires, connectors and shielding. For cable lengths of 6 or 10 feet, you can expect to get the HDMI 2.0 data rates of 18 Gbps.

Once you are over 15 feet it’s more likely you’ll only get the HDMI 1.4 data rates of 10.2 Gbps in a passive cable. Keep that in mind when deciding on which cables to use in your set-up.

If you need a longer cable, you’ll need an HDMI cable which has signal booster electronics built-in. This is what makes it an “active” cable, since there are embedded powered components. These chips are very low power, and get their power from the HDMI connector input. It’s completely transparent to you, and some manufacturers don’t even say if they have active cable components.

We’ll cover the active HDMI cables in another article.

Gold Plated Connectors

There is a lot of discussion about the merits and value of gold plated connectors. Most people can agree that these provide at least some benefit, but it’s hard to get an absolute quantitative number. The cables in this review are all gold-plated since we didn’t find there was any price discount for not having gold.

With that in mind, we see the possibility of improved performance with no additional cost. So just go for the gold!

Compatible Devices

This cables will work with any device that supports the standard HDMI connection, including:

  • Televisions – 4K, UHD, HD
  • Boxes – Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, etc.
  • Gaming Consoles – Xbox 360 / One, Playstation 3 / 4, Nintendo Switch / Wii U, etc.
  • Other – 4K Computer Monitors, Projectors, DVD Players, DVRs, AV Receivers, etc.

Top HDMI Cables

Let’s get to the cables already! Here are our top picks, with spot pricing and links to order on Amazon.

JSAUX HDMI 2.0 / 4K UHD ($8 / 6.6 ft), Also available in 10-foot length ($11)

4K HDMI Cable JSAUX HDMI 2.0 High Speed Gold Plated Connectors Braided CordThe gold-plated connectors are easy to slide into the HDMI ports, and fit well.

The inner housing is made from high quality aluminum, and the cable material is strong, flexible fiber weave.

The manufacturer says the cable head can withstand up to 10,000 bendings – way more than the typical user will ever do.

We especially like the bright red cable materials, which make it very easy to identify in the bundle of wires running between all the A/V components.

SecurOMax HDMI 2.0 / 4K UHD ($15 / 15 feet)

4K HDMI Cable SecruOMax Braided Cord

Connector are 24K gold-plated, with a relatively thick aluminum inner casing for good shielding against electro-magnetic-interference (EMI).

The cables are 100% pure oxygen-free bare copper, rather than twisted wire, for better electrical conductivity. This is especially important for the longer cables to maintain the data throughput.

The outer cable is a flexible wire braided in cotton for excellent flexibility and ability to easily bend. SecurOMax also uses a triple-shielding inner core to help with signal to noise (SNR) improvement.

Atevon HDMI 2.0 Cable / 4K UHD ($12 / 6 feet), Also available in 10-foot length ($13)

4K HDMI Cable Atevon High Speed 18Gbps HDMI 2.0 CableAn “Amazon Choice” for good performance at a value price.

As with the other cables, it has 24K gold plated connectors. The over-mold is a sturdy plastic, and provides an excellent mating from the connector to the cable.

Inner wire is 28 AWG thickness, surrounded by three layers of shielding, and encased in a high-quality nylon braided jacket.

Bend testing puts this cable at 10,000+ times without reducing cable flexibility or breaking.

We really like there is a Free Lifetime Replacement Guarantee. If you ever have a problem, Atevon will send you another cable.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to say which of these cables is the best of the bunch, as all of them will get the job done. It’s great to have a few quality options to choose from, and you should be happy with any on this list.

In general, you can expect to pay about $1 to $1.50 per foot for a top rated HDMI cable, which is actually pretty inexpensive when considering all the components they are connecting. Use the links below to get more details or order through Amazon:

JSAUX HDMI 2.0 / 4K UHD ($8 / 6.6 ft)

JSAUX in 10-foot length ($11)

SecurOMax HDMI 2.0 / 4K UHD ($15 / 15 feet)

Atevon HDMI 2.0 Cable / 4K UHD ($12 / 6 feet)

Atevon in 10-foot length ($13)

 

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