How to identify a good HDMI lead?

HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface and is the most common form of cable used to transfer high definition audio and video. HDMI cables use up to 19 wires connected to 19 pins, each designed for a specific purpose. The signal transferred through these pins is made using a digital code of ones and zeros. Unlike previous cable types where quality could affect performance, HDMI cables will either work or not work.

Are expensive cables better?

Provided that your cable meets the standards set for HDMI cables, there will be no difference to the picture or sound provided. This means that a good quality HDMI lead doesn't have to be expensive. If you need a new HDMI cable, you may want to pay more for a cable with better build quality, as this will last longer. When looking for new cables you do not need to look for a specific HDMI version. HDMI versions depend on the HDMI ports on your device, not on the HDMI cable itself.


Sometimes an HDMI cable will be supplied with an external device such as a games console or set top box.  Where an HDMI cable has been supplied, we recommend using it. This cable will have been tested by the device manufacturer to meet all the requirements of that connected device. A more expensive HDMI cable will not improve picture or sound quality, and may not work correctly if it does not fully meet the specifications of the connected device.


You can check the specifications required for HDMI cables on the HDMI website.

How should I care for my HDMI cable?

The best way to ensure that you are getting high definition audio and video is to keep your HDMI cable in good condition.


How to care for HDMI cables:


  • if you are not using the cable, loosely coil it and store it in a safe place
  • avoid any sharp bends in the cable
  • be careful when removing the cable. You should remove your cable by pulling gently on the connector. Do not pull on the wire
  • check your cable regularly. If you notice any signs of damage to the connectors or the cable, you should stop using it immediately

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