HDMI Cable Buying Guide: Things to Consider

Are you in the market for an HDMI cable? It may seem like a simple thing to buy, but not all cables are made equal. If you're looking for an HDMI cable to get the most out of it, then you need one that is up to the job – and that can be hard to find.

In this blog post, we'll provide our top 10 tips on what features and specs you should look for when choosing an HDMI cable so that you get exactly what it is you need. Read on to learn more!

Image: Unirise HDMI A-V Cable

1. Types

One of the first things you need to consider when buying an HDMI cable is what type of cable you need. There are a few different types available, depending on how you want to use the cable and your budget:

Standard (Category 1): These basic cables provide standard HD display (1080i or 720p pixels resolution at 60 Hz) quality. They’re relatively cheap and great for basic purposes where you don't need ultra-HD quality.

High Speed (Category 2): These cables are designed to support high-speed data rates and provide 4K resolution at 30 Hz or 1080p at 60 Hz. They’re ideal for gaming consoles and devices requiring a high-performance level.

There is also a 4k HDMI cable under category 2 that supports 4K resolution at 60Hz.

Ultra High-Speed HDMI Cable (Category 3): This type of HDMI cable can support the highest data rate possible. It is designed for gaming consoles and streaming devices that require ultra-high definition quality (4K at 120 Hz or 8K at 60 Hz).

2. Versions

The version of the HDMI cable you are buying is also important. The latest version is "HDMI 2.1". This type of cable supports 8K resolution at 60 Hz and eARC audio return channels. It’s a good choice if you have the latest gadgets that require high data rates or ultra-high-definition quality.

You can go for the HDMI 2.0 variations HDMI 2.0a or HDMI 2.0b if you are looking for the latest in 4K technology but don’t need 8K resolution. They cost less than the HDMI 2.1 cable and are backwards compatible with earlier versions of HDMI.

3. Length

The length of the HDMI cable you need will depend on your device, as well as how far apart they are located or will be placed. For example, if you want to connect two devices that are close together, then a short cable (under 10 feet) should suffice. However, if the distance between them is greater, you should consider purchasing a longer cable to ensure your connection is stable.

If you are unsure how long you need, then it’s best to err on the side of caution and get a longer cable, just in case.

4. Brands

When it comes to HDMI cables, some people prefer to buy generic brands, while others prefer more well-known names. While most of the HDMI cable brands available in the market assure certain quality, it is best to buy the cable from a reputable brand that offers warranties and return policies. This will ensure that you have some recourse if something goes wrong with the product.

When you purchase a cable from a good brand, you can be sure you are getting a high-quality and reliable product. However, that doesn't mean you should overspend on a brand name. Do some research and shop around to find the best deal possible.

5. Price

It’s essential to consider your budget when buying HDMI cables, as they can vary significantly in price depending on length, type, and features. There are some budget brands available that offer good quality at an affordable price, so be sure to compare prices before making a purchase.

As we said above, it’s also important to remember that the price doesn’t always indicate quality. You can find good cables at all price points, so don’t feel like you have to break the bank in order to get a suitable cable.

6. Corrosion Resistant Connectors

When buying an HDMI cable, look for corrosion-resistant connectors, as these are more durable and less likely to degrade over time. Corrosion can cause a loss in signal quality and reliability, so these corrosion-resistant connectors are well worth the money.

Most HDMI cables offer some protection against this, but if you’re looking for extra protection, then it’s always best to spend a few dollars more on a high-quality connector cable.

7. Shielding

The shielding of an HDMI cable is also important, as it can protect against interference from nearby electromagnetic sources like power lines and radio waves. A properly shielded cable will have metal foil or braided metal around the outside that blocks out these signals, ensuring a clear and consistent connection.

Look for cables that are well-shielded, as this will help ensure your connection is reliable and free from interference. It’s also important to note that the shielding of a cable can affect its price, so be prepared to pay more for a properly shielded cable.

Finally, when buying an HDMI cable, make sure you

8. HDMI with Ethernet

If you need to connect multiple devices, it may be worth looking into HDMI cables with Ethernet. These cables have an additional connector for a network cable and allow for the transfer of data as well as video and audio.

This can be useful if you want to share an internet connection or use a device like a laptop or game console on your network. However, these cables tend to be more expensive than regular HDMI cables, so it’s important to consider whether you really need one before buying.

9. Bandwidth

The bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred through the cable per second. HDMI cables are available in standard (10 Gbps), high (18 Gbps), and ultra-high (48 Gbps) bandwidths.

For regular HD video, a standard bandwidth cable will be sufficient. However, it's best to get a high or ultra-high bandwidth cable if you want to watch 4K content or higher resolutions. A higher bandwidth cable can also help reduce connection issues and ensure that your device is connecting accurately.

10. Connector Type

It is important to ensure that the HDMI cable you buy is compatible with your devices. Most HDMI cables are compatible with all HDMI-enabled devices; however, the connector type can vary depending on the device. The most common types of connector are the standard one. There are also Mini and Micro HDMI connectors, which are used for smaller devices. 

The type of connector you choose will depend on the device you connect to, so be sure to check before buying. Some HDMI cables also come with adapters for different types of connectors, which can be a handy way to ensure your cable is compatible with all your devices.


These are the most important factors to consider when choosing an HDMI cable. Make sure you take the time to research and understand what type of cable is best for your needs, and don’t be afraid to spend a little extra for a high-quality cable. With the right cable in hand, you can enjoy a reliable and clear connection between your devices.

Good luck and happy shopping!

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