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HDMI cable version numbers

Posted on 14 December 2012 by Dean There have been 8 comment(s)

There is a lot of confusion about HDMI versions. Which HDMI cable do you need? v1.3, v1.3c, v1.4, v1.4a? What about for 3D?

Over the years, as HDMI has developed, many different version numbers have been available. Naturally, the latest version has always been the most expensive for consumers -- and the most profitable for retailers, so the retailers will generally push these latest versions as a "must have" or, in the case of cables, "the only way to get your new TV/projector/blu-ray/etc to work properly". Most of the time this is simply untrue.

The HDMI Licensing organisation have recognised this issue and the amount of confusion it causes consumers, so they have released new guidelines for the naming of HDMI versions to make things less confusing for consumers. It is now against HDMI licensing terms to refer to the version number of HDMI-compatible products.

The new names for HDMI types:
- High Speed with Ethernet
- High Speed
- Standard with Ethernet
- Standard Automotive

If you were to go out today and buy a brand new Full HD 3D TV, receiver and blu-ray player, they will probably all be v1.4a. If you want to use all of the features of your new equipment (such as Ethernet channel / internet sharing, audio return channel, 4k x 2k support, etc) then you will need a "High Speed with Ethernet" HDMI cable.

However, if you simply want to connect a blu-ray player to a TV or projector you can use a "High Speed" HDMI cable (even though retailers might tell you something different). Note that in this situation a "High Speed with Ethernet" HDMI cable will also do the job, but you might be able to save a few dollars by purchasing a "High Speed" HDMI cable instead.

What about 3D? If you have a 3D blu-ray player and a 3D TV or 3D projector, you will need at least a "High Speed" HDMI cable. Standard HDMI cables are not suitable for 3D.

At Selby, we stock both "High Speed" and "High Speed with Ethernet" HDMI cables. However, the difference in production costs is marginal so we are phasing out the non-ethernet HDMI cables. "Standard with Ethernet" HDMI cables are not capable of 1080p or 3D, so they are pretty rare in the marketplace and are generally not reordered by most suppliers due to lack of demand from consumers. Automotive HDMI cables are a specialist product which are not currently a part of the Selby product range.

See our full range in the HDMI cables section of our store.

If you have any questions about HDMI, please don't hesitate to contact our helpful staff or visit one of our stores.

This post was posted in Explain this...

8 Responses to HDMI cable version numbers

  • Dean, Thanks for the explanation, I had heard that the 'simplified' explanation was coming but hadn't kept up with progress. One point you didn't cover was the testing & policing of the standards. As was the circumstances with the original licensing and specifications, and still is, the problem is the quantity of unlicensed product out there from manufacturers who simply don't care and even reputable retaillers are caught with suspect and or incorrectly described product, and price is not always a true indicator of quality - disreputable manufacturers / distributers do print misleading and even outright lies on their packaging. Not sure if you have seen the US based Blue Jeans Cable site but is is a very good read for the terminally & technically curious regarding this issue. Thanks again. Col Lopes

    Posted on 4 January 2013 at 3:14 pm

  • monique says:

    Thanks for the feedback Colin. :)

    Posted on 9 January 2013 at 7:21 pm

  • John says:

    No mention of 1.4, 1.4 a or 1.4 b specifications; are we to assume all high speed cables are compliant with these specs, mainly worried about 3D content?

    Posted on 15 February 2013 at 10:34 pm

  • John says:

    OK, so upon reading again, it is sinking in, they have all been renamed, thanks

    Posted on 15 February 2013 at 10:35 pm

  • Monique says:

    Hey John,
    Glad it makes sense.

    Posted on 18 February 2013 at 7:33 pm

  • Thanks for the info mate. I am chasing up a 10 metre canoe for my projector.
    More than helpful. Cheers.

    Posted on 5 April 2013 at 9:11 pm

  • alister says:

    could you explain the different colours on the hdmi cables
    also I need a 10 metre hdmi cable for my 3D tv so need a good one,can you tell me what one I need.


    Posted on 22 May 2013 at 10:32 pm

  • Monique says:

    Hi Alister,
    Thanks for your questions. It certainly can be confusing with all the colours out there.
    Keep in mind that the coloured badges on the HDMI cables are not indicative of different types of cables or quality.
    They are essentially decorative, or a way of helping you trace cables. For example, you may use a blue badge for your DVD player, and green one from your receiver etc.
    The most important thing to keep in mind is the quality of the cable. For your 3D Smart TV, we recommend the SHD110E. It is the installers choice of cable from Selby and we sell many of these to trades because of their quality and very low failure rate. Installers certainly don't want to have to go back to replace a cable, especially if they've had to bring it through a wall.
    Here is the link to them so they're easy to find:

    I hope this helps answer your questions
    Cheers - Monique

    Posted on 23 May 2013 at 8:53 pm


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