Flat HDMI cable: Is it better than a round one


Both a flat HDMI cable and round one designs have excellent signal transmission of video and audio files. 

Still, you might wonder, what are the functions of the flat HDMI cable, and is it better than the round one? 

Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more. 

Table of Contents

An HDMI cable

An HDMI cable

What’s Inside An HDMI Cable

Usually, a typical HDMI cable, one that meets all the set standards, tends to have at least 19 different wires in it to perform its functions well.

 On this account, you’ll notice 19 pins at the end of the cable’s connectors.   

The small wires have two general classifications based on their functionality.

 Nine carry video and audio signals, while the rest deal with control signals, such as synchronizing the video and audio files, transmitting power, and providing relevant commands between the connected devices. 

Thus, they use transmission-minimized differential signaling (TMDS) to transfer information between the two linked points. 

A type B HDMI differs from a typical HDMI cable. It uses type B connectors, and instead of 19, it contains 29 pins for the same function.

Round Cable Design vs. Flat Cable Design

While the performance of the HDMI cable is not based on the shape, there are two distinct types of HDMI cables. These are the round and flat cable designs. 

On the one hand, the round cable design is made so that the arrangement of conductors in the cable is circular. 

Then these are later covered with an insulator that gives the cable a cylindrical shape. 

The conductors may contain individual conductors or twisted pairs, which, as a whole, form a helix structure around the cable’s axis.

 And these helical features depend on the pitch angle.  Thus, you’re likely to find various cables of different angles, which in turn determine flexibility. 

Also, a round HDMI cable has shielding material to prevent interference from electromagnetic waves.

 Further, it has a jacket, which provides the outer lining. The jacket also protects the internal components from any environmental and weather-related damage. 

On the other hand, flat HDMI cables are flat in their design. What differentiates it from the round cable is the straight encapsulation of the conductors in it. 

The spacing of the conductors is precise, which gives an equal covering of the insulating material. 

Additionally, the design of flat HDMI cables makes the need for filler and shielding redundant.

 And this decreases the cable’s ability to deal with electromagnetic wave interferences. But, the lack of shielding and filler makes the cables easy to bend and stack.    

Functions and Advantages of Flat HDMI Cables

Compared to round cables, flat HDMI cables are easier to use because you can bend them easily around objects. 

For this reason, you don’t have to worry about sharp turns when using these cables. 

You can easily install the cable inside a wall or fix it behind your HDTV with minimal bulging of the cable. 

Sometimes, you want to hide cables running around your entertainment system, be it a home theater or plasma screen. 

Here, a flat HDMI comes in handy as it will remain perfectly hidden behind your baseboards. 

Also, due to its flat shape, you can easily paint the cable a color that resembles your wall. 

Alternatively, you can run it under your carpet without any bumps forming. No one will notice it’s there. 

All in all, this cable not only eases the installation process but is also convenient. 

Are There Drawbacks to Flat HDMI Cables?

As far as performance goes, there’s no signal limitation with the flat HDMI cable. After all, manufacturers build the cable in a way that works well with your equipment. 

That said, it’s important that you purchase your cable from a reputable brand. 

That way, you avoid experiencing issues related to substandard cables, such as electromagnetic interferences. 

However, the pricing is the main drawback we can associate with flat HDMI cables. 

Typically, they’re relatively more expensive than round HDMI cables because of their convenience. 

Although flat HDMI cables are perfect for fitting in hiding places, there’s a caveat to this advantage. 

You need to avoid installing it in areas with high foot traffic. 

Constant stepping on the cable will quickly damage it due to its slimness, minimal insulation, and lack of filling material. 

That said, there are generally more positive features with flat HDMI cables than the presumed drawbacks you’ll hear people say. 

So, Flat HDMI Cable VS Round One: Which to choose

Both round and flat HDMI cables provide the opportunity to enjoy high-quality pictures. You can make your choice according to your special needs. 


Typically, both round and flat cables provide adequate quality in terms of performance. 

However, the design of round HDMI cables, such as the built-in protective material, makes them last a little longer than flat cables.

 Thus, they’re more applicable in harsh environments, such as industries.  


Undoubtedly, reliability goes hand in hand with quality. And round HDMI cables are generally more reliable in stressful settings. 

In a typical industrial setup, the common stressors that the cable has to deal with include but are not limited to rolling, flexing, S-bend, and torsion.

 And a round cable can adequately handle these stressors due to its many axes. 

In contrast, if you have to use an HDMI cable in a well-organized setup, the flat cable is the better option because of its simple construction. 


Without a doubt, both cables have excellent performance. However, as mentioned earlier, round cables can handle stress in a heavy-duty setup.

 Also, a round cable has more ability to handle electromagnetic interference around it. Thus, it can maintain the quality of its transmitting electrical signal. 

On the other hand, flat cables have limited electrical characteristics and applications primarily because of the design of their connectors. 

The alignment of the connectors must be precise, as any change in position will cause their performance to deteriorate. 


Flat cables can manage skewness better than round cables can. 

Because of the alignment of the wires in the cable, they can transmit the signal at the same speed. 

This is a problem for round cables because of their twisted form. 

Also, flat cables have perfect dielectric continuity, which makes them handle signal speeds equally.    

Current-Carrying Capacity

Flat cables have better heat dissipation ability than round cables due to their flat design. 

And this makes them have a larger surface area to volume ratio.

 Thus, they can handle high temperatures, characteristic of high currents, more than round HDMI cables. 


Generally, flat cables are relatively less costly than round ones in terms of the intensity of labor involved. 

One reason for this is that they allow for mass termination as the alignment of all the wires in a connector is straight. 

Thus, it requires less labor to manufacture flat cables. 


Now the flexibility of flat HDMI cables makes them more versatile than round cables. 

Thus, you can use them in setups of varying shapes and configurations with less strain.

However, unlike flare cables that can only bend in one direction, a round cable can do so in all directions. 

Thus, they’re applicable in complex spaces where a flat cable would not fit.    

Space Efficiency

The flat cable’s ability to bend and twist easily makes it space efficient. 

In contrast, round cables leave air spaces behind, compromising their ability to fit in small and compact areas. 


Round cables have extra materials due to the filling and shielding material they have. For this reason, they’re heavier than flat cables. 


The fact that flat cables are more prone to damage than round cables makes them demand regular and expensive maintenance. 

Additionally, the complex design of flat cables makes replacing them more time-consuming. 


That’s it on flat HDMI cables. As we’ve seen, each type of HDMI cable has pros and drawbacks. 

However, both cables are efficient signal transmitters, and your needs will determine your choice of cable.

 You’ll likely lean towards the round cable if you’re working in a heavy-duty setup. But an organized small space works well with a flat cable. 

For more information or in case you have any queries, don’t hesitate to contact Cloom Tech.