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What Is an HDMI Cable Used For(1)?
Nov 08, 2018

What Is an HDMI Cable Used For?

With so many TVs, cable boxes, media streamers, DVD players, and other electronic components out there, your home can become covered in a web of wires. Thankfully, most AV devices are converging on a single standard cable to move audio and video: HDMI.

What Does HDMI Mean?

HDMI stands for "High-Definition Media Interface." But, it's not just a type of cable, cord, or connector. It's a technology standard that's designed to transmit high-definition audio and video signals.

It's also a pretty big deal. First of all, HDMI is the best possible way to transmit those signals. This technology can deliver a pure, uncompressed digital signal with crystal-clear images and multi-channel audio. Also, one HDMI cable can transmit both audio and video signals, which means you only need one cable to complete the entire setup—cutting down on some of that cord clutter that's amassed behind your entertainment cabinet.

HDMI Inputs and Outputs

HDMI inputs and outputs look exactly the same. These multi-pin ports can be found on the back, sides, and sometimes front of newer consumer electronics.

Not all devices have inputs and outputs, so it's important to know what you need before you buy. An HDMI output feeds high-definition audio and video into an HDMI compatible display via HDMI inputs. For instance, the back of your Apple TV has an HDMI output that connects to the HDMI input on your HDTV or home theater receiver.

HDMI inputs are typically found on HDTVs, projectors, and AV receivers. These can accept the HD signal that's coming out of your cable box, game console, Blu-ray player, or media streamer and display it.

Some devices have just one HDMI input, while others have more. Whether you're plugging devices into a TV or receiver, it's important to have enough inputs to accommodate all of your electronic essentials. Of course, electronics manufacturers know that upgrades and other purchases do happen. If you have four inputs and five devices, considering picking up an HDMI switch, which is a little box that can add extra inputs into the mix.


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