How To Check the HDMI Cable Version? An HDMI cable is crucial when it comes to connecting two multimedia devices and transmitting high-definition audio and video signals.
However, these cables do not come with their versions printed on them.
Besides, there are no physical differences between various HDMI cables, making it hard to differentiate by just looking at them.
Nonetheless, knowing your HDMI version will ensure your cable is compatible with your multimedia device.
So, here is how to check the HDMI cable version.
Table of Contents
- HDMI interface version Vs. HDMI cable type/version
- Then, how do I tell my type of HDMI cable?
- Check your cable’s performance specifications
- Check your HDMI cable type through the trial and error method/ how to test your HDMI cable speed
- How to choose an HDMI cable Version?
HDMI interface version Vs. HDMI cable type/version
It is essential to understand the differences between the HDMI interface version and the HDMI cable type.
HDMI interface version
The input and output HDMI port located on the display device (projector, television, monitor) and the source device (gaming console, PC, etc.) define the HDMI features you can enjoy.
For example, HDMI 1.4 port can provide a resolution of up to 4K at a refresh rate of 30Hz. Similarly, HDMI 2.0 port version offers a resolution of 4K at 60Hz.
Therefore, the HDMI interface version determines if your connectivity will support specific refresh rates, resolution and so on.
The table below displays the different versions of HDMI ports and the maximum features they can support.
|HDMI cable version
|8 audio channels
|Watch Blue-ray DVDs, Standard HDTV, and media streamers (1080p at 60Hz)
|HDMI 1.1/ HDMI 1.2
|One-Bit Audio, DVD-Audio
|Watch Blue-ray DVDs, Standard HDTV, and media streamers (1440p at 30Hz)
|HDMI 1.3/ HDMI 1.4
|DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD, ARC
|Enjoy 3D graphics and Deep Color ( 4K at 60Hz)
|DRA, HE-AAC, 32 audio channels
|Use design software (5K at 30Hz) and play video games up to 30fps
|Leverage all HDR television features (8K at 30Hz) and play video games over 30fps
HDMI cable version/type
Technically, there is nothing like an HDMI cable version. Because an HDMI cable does not have ICs or controllers with drivers and software that can be updated.
HDMI cables generally transmit signals and data from one port to the other. However, the wiring quality inside your HDMI cable determines the type of HDMI cable in terms of performance standards.
Therefore, there is nothing like HDMI 2.1 cable or HDMI 2.0 cable.
Instead, an Ultra High-Speed certified cable can support HDMI 2.1 specifications, while a Premium High-Speed certified HDMI cable can support HDMI 2.0 specifications.
So, some people usually refer to Ultra High-Speed and Premium High-Speed cables as HDMI 2.1 and HDMI 2.0 cables, respectively. While this can be confusing for newbies, it makes sense to HDMI cable experts.
The HDMI cable’s performance standard can differ. Certain HDMI cables can’t carry a high data rate produced by the latest HDMI 2.1 and 2.0 ports.
The table below shows the HDMI cable types defined by their performance standards;
|HDMI cable type
|Standard HDMI cable (category 1)
|1.0 to 1.2a
|Standard HDMI with Ethernet
|1.0 to 1.2a
|1080i/720p, and a dedicated HDMI ethernet channel
|High-Speed HDMI cable (category 1)
|1.3 to 1.4a
|1080p and 4K
|High-Speed HDMI with Ethernet
|1.3 to 1.4a
|1080p and 4K, and a dedicated HDMI ethernet channel
|Premium High-Speed HDMI cable (category 3)
|2.0a and b
|Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable (category 4)
|120 Hz with an HDR television
|8K or 10K with an HDR television
Then, how do I tell my type of HDMI cable?
Unfortunately, all types of HDMI cables appear the same visually. So, you can not distinguish between an Ultra High-Speed and a Standard HDMI cable.
Besides, as mentioned above, HDMI cables do not have controllers, ICs, or drivers. Therefore, you can not check how much bandwidth they can carry through software or from within your PC.
Then, how to check the HDMI cable version?
Check your cable’s performance specifications
You can tell the type of HDMI cable by checking its performance specification standard.
However, you will require the HDMI cable packaging or the technical specification sheet to get the related information.
Data rate Specification
Likewise, if it is 18 Gbps-rated, it is a Premium Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable capable of supporting 4K or HDMI 2.0 ports at 60Hz.
Refresh Rate and Resolution Specification
If your HDMI cable supports 4K at 30Hz, it is a High-Speed cable capable of supporting HDMI 1.4.
Likewise, if your cable provides 4K at 60Hz, it is a Premium High-Speed HDMI cable ideal for HDMI 2.0.
HDMI.org offers performance certification to some HDMI cable brands.
You can identify these cables via a label on their packaging. Ultra High-Speed and Premium High-Speed certified HDMI cables have QR codes on their labels. You can scan it to verify the cable’s certification.
The Ultra High-Speed and Premium High-Speed certified HDMI cable can also have the labels printed on their cable jacket.
You may also find the cable’s performance specification labeled on top of the cable’s connector.
Check your HDMI cable type through the trial and error method/ how to test your HDMI cable speed
If you have lost your HDMI cable packaging, the only method to check the type is through trial and error.
As a general rule, almost all HDMI cables are compatible with the specifications of HDMI 1.4. So, carrying 4K at 30Hz or 1080p at 60Hz is not a problem for old or most basic HDMI cables.
However, an issue can arise when you connect newer monitors or televisions with powerful specifications, such as 4K at 120Hz, 4K at 60Hz, or even 8K.
You require a minimum of a Premium High-Speed Cable to connect to a 4K at 60Hz. Therefore, the only method to check if your HDMI cable supports this is via doing some trial and error.
Check if you have a Premium High-Speed HDMI cable
A Premium High-Speed HDMI cable also called an 18 Gbps cable or HDMI 2.0 cable.
- Confirm if your HDMI cable functions on a Full Digh-Definition television or Full HD (1080) PC monitor.
- Confirm again if your HDMI cable functions on your 4K at 60Hz monitor or television.
If your HDMI cable works in case 1 but fails and displays a blank screen in case 2, then your HDMI cable is not a Premium High-Speed cable.
Furthermore, if it functions in case 2 but the specifications are capped at 4K at 30Hz, your cable is not a Premium High-Speed HDMI cable.
Check if you have an Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable
For an Ultra High-Speed cable or HDMI 2.1 cable.
- Confirm if your HDMI cable functions on a Full High-Definition television or Full HD (1080) PC monitor.
- Confirm again if your HDMI cable functions on your 4K at 60Hz, or 8K monitor or television.
Again, if your HDMI cable works in case 1, you can conclude it is not faulty. If it fails to work in case 2, it is a Premium High-Speed HDMI cable.
For you to deduce that you have an Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable, not only does your monitor or TV have to run, it must run at performance specifications higher than 4K at 60Hz.
How to choose an HDMI cable Version?
You should choose an HDMI cable compatible with not only the connector on your display or source device but also their features.
The currently available HDMI cables on the market accommodate video resolutions of 8K, 4K, 1080p, or 1080i/720p.
A standard HDMI cable will serve the purpose if you are only replacing an HDMI cable to connect 1080i/720p components.
Since HDMI cables are backward-compatible, upgrading to a high-speed cable capable of supporting future HDMI cable needs is highly recommended.
Today, most HDMI components and displays support UHD 4K digital content up to 3840 by 2160p.
Therefore, you should always choose an HDMI cable type that can at least transmit the highest resolution supported by your display or video source.
Besides, we recommend buying an HDMI cable with the highest resolution possible.
For example, if your television supports 4K/60fps, get an HDMI cable rated for 8K/60fps.
If you face problems, you can disconnect your HDMI cable, knowing it is the cause of the issue.
Digital content is displayed at the level of the component with the lowest resolution in your setup.
When you power on or connect your HDMI devices, they will use a process called HDMI Handshake to find out the lowest common denominator for audio and video.
For example, if a 4K television is connected to a 1080p video source, the result will be a 1080p video.
The next-generation HDMI 2.1 version for 8K (7680 by 420) multimedia content has arrived.
The initial HDMI sources supporting 8K videos are gaming consoles, such as Xbox Series X and PS5.
And 8K televisions are increasingly becoming available. But still, the actual 8K multimedia content is rare.
The console’s firmware will be needed for 8K multimedia content when this content becomes available.
Therefore, if transmitting to 8K, you should choose an 8K/60fps-compatible HDMI 2.1 cable.
High-bandwidth digital content protection
You should often choose an HDMI cable that supports high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP).
High-resolution digital audio and video content producers use this anti-privacy copy protection to eliminate unauthorized copying of their digital content.
If your HDMI cable does not support HDCP, you will get an error. Or digital content at a lower resolution will be transmitted.
It is straightforward to check the version of your HDMI cable. You only need to follow the ways discussed in this article.
If you need any HDMI cable version, Clooms Tech offers a variety of cable assemblies and wiring harnesses to cater to your needs.