The short answer to the question “Do HDMI cables have different ends?” is a yes. HDMI cables CAN have different ends. For instance, you can find standard HDMI to Mini HDMI cables.
You can also find cables with HDMI connector on one end and the connector of another interface on the other end such as HDMI to DisplayPort, HDMI to USB Type-C etc.
And finally, you can find HDMI cables with female and male connectors.
In the following text, I will talk in detail about different interfaces, connectors and how you can have different connectors on an HDMI cable.
Different HDMI Connectors
For starters, it is worth it to understand that HDMI interface itself has different connectors.
The following graphic explains the different HDMI connectors the interface uses.
Type-A Standard HDMI Connectors
Type-A HDMI connectors, also know as standard HDMI connectors, are the most common connectors you can find on a typical HDMI cable.
Type-B Dual-Link HDMI Connectors
This connector was suggested in 2002, however, it never caught up and hence it is more or less obsolete.
The intention of this connector was to increase the maximum bandwidth that the interface can carry. However, with the introduction of HDMI 1.3 in 2006, the data rate exceeded that of the Dual-Link HDMI.
Since this connector came long before HDMI became the staple connector in all devices, it never caught on once HDMI 1.3 and the subsequent HDMI 1.4 became prevalent.
Type-C Mini HDMI Connectors
Mini HDMI, aka Type-C HDMI, has a much smaller form factor as compared to standard HDMI. These are common on portable devices such as cameras and camcorders.
The following Nikon D7500 DSLR Camera, for instance, has the mini-HDMI port.
Type-D Micro HDMI Connectors
Type-D or mini HDMI connector is used in even smaller devices. This port is smaller than even the standard USB port.
This port is also found on portable devices such as recording devices i.e DSLR camera, camcorders, and other popular devices such as GoPro.
Also Read: Does it Matter Which HDMI Port I Use?
So Do HDMI Cables Have Different Ends?
As stated earlier, yes, you can find HDMI cables with different ends. You can find various different ends on an HDMI cable. You can find:
- HDMI Cables with Different HDMI-Type Ends
- HDMI Cables with Ends of Different Interfaces
- HDMI Cables with Female / Male Ends
I will explain each of these in detail below:
1. HDMI Cables with Different HDMI-Type Ends
As mentioned earlier, there are different HDMI end types i.e Standard, Mini and Micro. And thus you can find HDMI cables in various configuration such as:
- Standard HDMI to Mini HDMI
- Standard HDMI to Micro HDMI
- Mini HDMI to Micro HDMI
You can use these to connect various devices with each other. For instance, you can use standard HDMI to mini HDMI for connector your camcorder with your PC.
2. HDMI Cables with Ends of Different Interfaces
The different ends of an HDMI cable are not just limited to the HDMI interface itself, you can find HDMI cables with ends conforming to different interface as well.
Hence you can find:
- HDMI to VGA
- HDMI to DVI
- HDMI to DisplayPort
- HDMI to USB Type-C
And many more.
These are excellent for connecting devices that do not have the same interfaces. For instance, if you have a monitor with a DisplayPort only and a laptop with an HDMI port, then you can use HDMI to DisplayPort cable.
The following image shows the different Display interfaces (Input ports):
The ports are to scale and thus show the relevant size of each port compared to the other.
Also Read: What is HDMI Input Used For?
HDMI Adapter Cables Work at the Specs of the Inferior Interface
HDMI cables with different interface ends are also called adapter cables.
When using these HDMI adapter cables with a different interface type on the other end such as VGA, DVI, DP, note that the entire connection will work at the performance of the inferior interface.
In other words, if you connect an HDMI-to-DVI cable to your laptop’s HDMI 2.0 port that has the potential to support upto 4K resolution @ 60Hz refresh rate on one end TO your monitor’s DVI port that has the potential to support ONLY 2560×1440 @ 60Hz on the other end, the entire interface will work at 2560×1440 @ 60Hz at max.
In other words, you will not get the benefits of the HDMI 2.0 output port on your laptop.
Similarly, If you have an HDMI to a DP cable and you connect to an HDMI 1.4 port on one end with the max supported resolution and refresh rate of 4K @ 30Hz to DP 1.4 on the other, which supports 8K @ 60Hz, then your entire interface will be bottlenecked by the HDMI 1.4.
HDMI to USB-C – A Unique Cable for Connecting Mobile Devices
One of the most peculiar is the HDMI to USB Type C cable.
HDMI to USB Type CThis isn’t a cable that can be used to send data in the form of files and folders over a cable just as you would with a normal USB cable.
It is instead mostly used for display devices that use the Type-C form factor for video/audio output. This include Thunderbolt 3 (or newer) enabled monitors as well.
It is also commonly used for connecting your phone or tablet with your TV i.e for mirroring and for apps such as Miracast.
So, if you have an Android device particularly, and if you want to turn your monitor or your TV literally into a computer, you can use this able to connect your smartphone to your monitor/TV and turn it into a Chromebook. This is a profound feature that many miss out – this feature is NOT compatible with all Android devices though.
3. HDMI Cables with Female / Male Ends
And finally, you can find HDMI cables with male and female ends. Hence you can find the following cables:
- Male-to-Male cables
- Male-to-Female cables
- Female-to-Female cables
The most common of these cables is the male-to-male cable which we use to connect our devices such as PC to monitors, blu-ray player to TV etc.
You can find male-to-male and female-to-female connectors for HDMI types which include standard HDMI, Micro HDMI and Mini HDMI.
Male-to-Female and Female-to-Female cables are often used as extenders.
Also Read: Do HDMI Cables Go Bad?
So, do HDMI cables have different ends? Well from the discussion above it should be very clear that HDMI cables can be found with myriad of different end types.
You just have to take your pick!
Also Read: Does HDMI Cable Cause Lags?