How Many Types of HDMI Cables Are There?

HDMI cables are not uniform across the board. There are many different types of HDMI cables out there and they are classified differently.

The answer to the question “how many types of HDMI cables are there?” can be divided into two parts since HDMI cable types are divided in two ways.

Firstly, HDMI cables can be categorized in terms of their connector type. Secondly, HDMI cables can be categorized in terms of their performance or how much data they can carry.

In terms of connector type, there are 5 types of HDMI cables. On the other hand, in terms of performance type, there are 4 types of HDMI cables.

In the following text, I will aim to explain the various types of HDMI cables and their categorization.

So How Many Types of HDMI Cables Are There?

Again, the answer to this question depends upon whether you want to know the different HDMI cable connector types or the different HDMI cable performance types.

HDMI Cable Type by Different Connector Type

In terms of connector type, there are 5 types of HDMI cables:

  1. Type-A Standard HDMI Cable
  2. Type-B Dual HDMI Cable
  3. Type-C Mini HDMI Cable
  4. Type-D Micro HDMI Cable
  5. Type-E Automotive Connection System

The following graphic shows the different HDMI cable types.

HDMI Connectors
Source: Wikipedia

 

1. Type-A Standard HDMI Cable

how many types of hdmi cables are there
Standard Type-A HDMI connector

This is the most standard type of connector. We have always seen this HDMI cable at one point or another.

A typical HDMI cable that connects your PC to your monitor or your gaming console to your TV uses this Standard Type-A HDMI connector.

2. Type-B Dual HDMI Cable

Dual Link HDMI connectors are obsolete. They were introduced back in 2002 in order to cater to high bandwidth demands of displays back then.

However, since the newer HDMI 1.3 interface released in 2006 resolved the issue of catering to upto 4K @ 30Hz monitors and TVs with just the Standard Type-A connector, Type-B HDMI connector became obsolete.

Given the ever newer and improved version of the HDMI interface as well as the fact that the Type-B connector and port was just too big for portable devices, this connector type hasn’t seen a comeback.

3. Type-C Mini HDMI Cable

Type-C Mini HDMI on Nikon D7500. Source: Nikon
Type-C Mini HDMI on Nikon D7500. Source: Nikon

Type-C Mini HDMI port is also a common port that is mostly found on recording equipment such as cameras and other such portable devices.

4. Type-D Micro HDMI Cable

Type-D is the smallest iteration of the HDMI connector type.

This is found on very compact and portable recording and AV devices the most popular of which is the GoPro.

5. Type-E Automotive HDMI Connector

This is a specialized and a very uncommon connector type that is intended to be used for environments that are subjected to shocks and vibrations.

This includes cars and other industrial applications.

Also Read: What Does HDMI Cable Look Like?

HDMI Cables Can Also Be Found With Different Ends

In addition to that, HDMI cables can also have different connectors on each end. Such HDMI cables are either called adapter cables or extenders.

You can find HDMI cables with different HDMI connector types such as HDMI Type-A to HDMI Type-C cables.

Mini HDMI to Micro HDMI
Mini HDMI to Micro HDMI

You can find HDMI cables that switch HDMI interface to a different interface such as HDMI-DVI.

Read in Detail: Do HDMI Cables Have Different Ends?

HDMI Cable Type by Performance Rating

The second way HDMI cables are categorized is through their performance category.

Basically, there are different versions of the HDMI cable that are suitable for different HDMI port versions.

In order to understand this concept, you need to understand that HDMI is an ever evolving interface. Newer HDMI versions offer a higher bandwidth. Meaning, they can cater to monitors and TVs with the latest high specs of resolution and refresh rate i.e 8K resolution and 120Hz screens.

Also Read: How to Check the Version of the HDMI PORT?

The following table explains the different HDMI versions. The latest HDMI version is 2.1. Ports conforming to this version can support upto 10K resolution at 120Hz.

HDMI VersionMax ResolutionMax Refresh RateMax Bandwidth
(Gbit/s)
Effective Bandwidth
(Gbit/s)
HDR?Audio Technology
Supported
HDMI 1.01080p1080p @ 60 Hz4.953.96No- 8 Audio Channels
HDMI 1.1/1.21440p1440p @ 30 Hz4.953.96No- 8 Audio Channels
-Super Audio CDs
HDMI 1.3/1.44096 x 2160 (4K)120 Hz @ FHD Resolution
30 Hz @ 4k Resolution
24 Hz @ 4k Resolution
10.28.16No- 8 Audio Channels
- ARC
- Dolby TrueHD
- DTS-HD
HDMI 2.04096 x 2160 (4K)60 Hz @ 4K Resolution1814.40Yes- 32 audio channels,
- Dynamic Resolution Adaptation (DRA)
- High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE-AAC)
HDMI 2.1Upto 10240 x 4320 (10K)Upto 120Hz @ 10K4842.67Yes- 32 audio channels
- eARC

Now the newer the HDMI interface version, the more robust an HDMI cable you need. Hence, not all HDMI cables are the same.

As such, there are four types of HDMI cable types based on their performance:

  1. Standard HDMI
  2. High Speed
  3. Premium High Speed
  4. Ultra High Speed

The following table shows the HDMI cable types based on their performance category.

HDMI Standard
Certification
Max Data Rate
Supported
Specs SupportedBest Port
Standard4.95 Gb/s720 or 1080P @ 60Hz<1.4
High Speed10.2 Gb/sFHD @ 60Hz
QHD @ 60Hz
4K @ 30Hz
1.4
Premium High Speed18 Gb/s4k @ 60Hz2.0
Ultra High Speed48 Gb/s4K @ 60Hz
8K @ 120Hz
10K @ 120hz
2.1

So basically, for supporting your average full HD TVs and monitors at 60Hz refresh rate, any HDMI cable can work.

For supporting 4K @ 60Hz over the HDMI 2.0 ports, you will need a Premium High Speed cable.

For supporting resolution higher than 4K with refresh rates higher than 60Hz, you will need to have the Ultra High Speed cable and HDMI 2.1 ports.

As far as their physical looks, an Ultra High Speed cables looks no different than a Standard HDMI cable.

Ultra High Speed or Premium High Speed cables have the same connector types as a standard HDMI cable.

Also note that colloquially, these cables are also referred to as follows:

  • Standard HDMI aka HDMI 1.4 cable
  • High Speed aka HDMI 1.4 cable
  • Premium High Speed aka HDMI 2.0 cable
  • Ultra High Speed aka HDMI 2.1 cable

Also Read: How to Check HDMI Cable Version?

FAQ

Are HDMI Cables All The Same?

No, not all HDMI cables are the same.

As discussed in the article, HDMI cables are differentiated in terms of the their connector type as well as by their performance specifications.

You have Type-A, B, C, D, E HDMI cable types and then you have Standard, High Speed, Premium High Speed and Ultra High Speed HDMI cable performance type.

Also Read: Are All HDMI Cables 4K?

Are HDMI 1.4 and 2.0 Cables the Same?

No they are not the same.

While they may look the same 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 max resolution and refresh rate of 4K @ 30 Hz. HDMI 2.0 cable can support max resolution and refresh rate of 4K @ 60Hz.

How Do I Know What Type HDMI Cable I Have?

You can either tell by the HDMI cable’s specifications or through trial and error.

I have written a comprehensive guide on this here: How to Check HDMI Cable Version?

Final Words

In this article I comprehensively talked about how many types of HDMI cables are there. Again, HDMI cables are categorized in terms of their connector type AND by their performance rating.

If you have just bought a shiny new 4K TV and if the current old HDMI cable you have just doesn’t seem to work properly, then it may be a time for a cable upgrade.

Fortunately even the most robust Ultra High Speed HDMI cables are highly affordable.

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Author:

Atif Qazi
Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101. He is a digital nomad who loves everything PC. He is a PC builder, tech enthusiast, engineer, and a lover of single player lore-rich RPG games.

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