HDMI cables are not uniform across the board. There are many different types of HDMI cables and they are labeled differently.
The answer to the question “How many types of HDMI cables are there?” It can be divided into two parts as HDMI cable types are divided in two ways.
First, HDMI cables can be categorized by the type of connector. Secondly, HDMI cables can be categorized in terms of their performance or the amount of data they can carry.
In terms of connector type, there are 5 types of HDMI cables. On the other hand, in terms of the type of performance, there are 4 types of HDMI cables.
In the following text, I will aim to explain and classify the different types of HDMI cables.
So how many types of HDMI cables are there?
Again, the answer to this question depends on whether you want to know the different types of HDMI cable connector or the different types of performance of HDMI cables.
HDMI cable type according to different connector type
In terms of connector type, there are 5 types of HDMI cables:
A standard HDMI cable
B dual HDMI cable
C mini HDMI cable
Micro HDMI Type D cable
Type E auto delivery system
The following graphic shows the different types of HDMI cables.
- Standard HDMI Type A cable
This is the most standard type of connector. We’ve always seen this HDMI cable at one point or another.
The typical HDMI cable that connects your computer to your monitor or game console to this TV uses the standard Type A HDMI connector.
- Type B Dual HDMI Cable
Dual-link HDMI connectors are obsolete. They were introduced back in 2002 in order to meet the higher bandwidth requirements of monitors at the time.
However, since the newer HDMI 1.3 interface released in 2006 solved the problem of catering to 4K @ 30Hz monitors and TVs with only a standard Type A connector, the HDMI Type B connector became obsolete.
Due to the newer and improved version of the HDMI interface as well as the fact that the Type B connector and port were too large for mobile devices, this connector type has not seen a comeback.
- Type C mini HDMI cable
The Type-C Mini HDMI port is also a common port often found on recording equipment such as cameras and other mobile devices.
- Micro HDMI Type D Cable
Type D is the smallest iteration of the HDMI connector type.
This is found in compact and portable recorders and AV devices, most notably the GoPro.
- Type-E automotive HDMI connector
This is a very unusual and specialized type of connector intended for use in environments subject to shock and vibration.
This includes automotive and other industrial applications.
HDMI cables can also be found with different ends
In addition, HDMI cables can also have different connectors on each end. These HDMI cables are either called adapter cables or extenders.
You can find HDMI cables with different types of HDMI connectors such as HDMI Type A cables to HDMI Type C cables.
You can find HDMI cables that convert the HDMI interface to a different interface such as HDMI-DVI.
HDMI cable Type as per performance rating
The second way to classify HDMI cables is by their performance class.
Basically, there are different versions of HDMI cable that are suitable for different versions of HDMI ports.
To understand this concept, you need to understand that HDMI is an ever-evolving interface. Newer HDMI versions provide higher bandwidth. That is, they can meet monitors and TVs with the latest high specifications of resolution and refresh rate, i.e. 8K resolution and 120Hz screens.
The following table shows the different HDMI versions. The latest HDMI version is 2.1. Ports compatible with this version can support resolutions up to 10K at 120Hz.
Now the newer the HDMI interface version, the more powerful the HDMI cable you need. Thus, not all HDMI cables are the same.
As such, there are four types of HDMI cables based on their performance:
The high speed
Excellent high speed
The following table shows the types of HDMI cables based on their performance class.
So, basically, to support average Full HD TVs and monitors with a 60Hz refresh rate, any HDMI cable can work.
To support 4K @ 60Hz via the HDMI 2.0 ports, you’ll need a Premium High Speed cable.
To support resolutions higher than 4K with refresh rates above 60Hz, you’ll need an Ultra High Speed cable and two HDMI 2.1 ports.
In terms of their physical appearance, Ultra High-Speed cables look no different than a standard HDMI cable.
Ultra High Speed, or High Speed, cables have the same types of connectors as a standard HDMI cable.
Also note that colloquially, these cables are also referred to as:
HDMI cable standard is also known as HDMI 1.4
High-Speed HDMI 1.4 Cable
High-Speed HDMI 2.0 Cable
Ultra High Speed HDMI 2.1 Cable
Are all HDMI cables the same?
No, not all HDMI cables are the same.
As discussed in the article, HDMI cables are differentiated by the type of connector as well as by their performance specifications.
You have HDMI cable types A, B, C, D, and E and then you have Standard, High Speed, High Speed, and High Speed HDMI cable performance type.
Are HDMI 1.4 and 2.0 cables the same?
No they are not the same.
While they may look similar on the surface, HDMI 1.4 (aka High-Speed HDMI Cable) and HDMI 2.0 (aka Premium High-Speed Cable) are different.
HDMI 1.4 cable can support the maximum resolution and refresh rate of 4K @ 30 Hz. HDMI 2.0 cable can support the maximum resolution and refresh rate of 4K@60Hz.
How do I know what type of HDMI cable I have?
You can find out from the specifications of the HDMI cable or through trial and error.
Did I write a comprehensive guide about this here: How to Check HDMI Cable Version?
In this article I have talked comprehensively about how many types of HDMI cables there are. Again, HDMI cables are rated for their connector type and performance rating.
If you’ve just bought a shiny new 4K TV and if the old HDMI cable you’re using doesn’t seem to be working properly, it might be time to upgrade your cable.
Fortunately, even super-strong Ultra-Speed HDMI cables are very affordable.