How to Select HDMI Cables? What is HDMI 2.1?

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

What are the various HDMI versions? And what should you check before investing your money in HDMI Cables?


I know many of you, do not pay attention while buying HDMI Cables. All we are concerned about is the price. But does it really come to price when we talk about investing in cables which can handle future technology?

Guessing your answer as NO! I am sharing some details on HDMI Cables so that you can make better decisions while buying these cables.


HDMI 1.0 cables were invented in 2002 and became popular since 2004 in the electronic devices. Each HDMI Cable, has a version and that version depicts what to expect from these cables in terms of Video and Audio Outputs. The most popular versions of HDMI have been 1.4, 2.0 and the latest being 2.1


HDMI 1.4 launched in the year 2009, is a 10.2 Gbps cable which supports 4K resolution at 30Hz, 3D formats for video and Audio Return Channel for 5.1 Home Theaters and Soundbars. This cable was widely used to connect Full HD set top boxes to TVs, Blurays to AV Receivers and Office applications where laptop had to be connected to business projectors.


The next version 2.0 saw two launches –

  • 2.0 in 2013 is a 18 Gbps with 4K Resolution at 60Hz, Rec. 2020 color space and an extra support to 2.35:1

  • 2.0a in 2015 with an additional support for Static HDR or High Dynamic Range and HLG or High Log Gamma

Before, I go to the last version of HDMI, let me inform you about a big bluff the industry started noticing. HDMI Cable packaging got some rebranding with no version mentioned on it. All one could see was High Speed with Ethernet HDMI Cables. These cables are till date very popular and often misused for their ideal applications. These High-Speed Cables are nothing but 2.0 cables with a limited bandwidth of 18Gbps.


But with technology progressing at a rapid pace in video and audio, HDMI.org ramped up with their research and development too. We saw some amazing technologies like Dolby Atmos, DTS-X, Dolby Vision, Dynamic HDR, 8K resolutions etc. becoming more and more popular in most of the new devices. That’s why, in 2017 a new version of HDMI 2.1 also referred as ULTRA High Speed with Ethernet was launched to address to all these requirements. They have the highest bandwidth so far of 48Gbps and they support 4K at 120Hz, 8K at 60Hz with Dynamic HDR and Dolby Vision. The eARC feature that comes along with this version provides an additional support for object-based sound experiences like Atmos and DTS-X. These 2.1 versions are also most compatible for gaming consoles and virtual reality headsets which require variable refresh rate and quick frame transport for a smoother experience.


With most of the high-end televisions like OLEDs, QLEDS, 8K Receivers and Atmos Soundbars launched post 2019 saw HDMI 2.1 version ports; and the question you now need to ask yourself is whether you’re using the right HDMI Cable for your devices and enjoying the true performance in terms of video and audio.


You can buy reliable 2.1 version HDMI Cables for your latest Home Cinema Setups here -

Feel free to share your views and experience with various HDMI Cables and why you feel that they are very important part of your system!


And if you have got more queries or need a consultation with me or my team then do not hesitate to click here