The demand for stronger HDMI cables is growing along with the resolution and refresh rates offered by display devices like monitors and TVs.
As a result, the query “how to test HDMI cable ” is one that is increasingly important these days.
Fortunately, there are a few techniques you may use to determine the type of HDMI cable you possess.
However, before we go any further, it’s crucial to comprehend a few fundamental ideas about the HDMI interface, its version, and HDMI cables.
HDMI Cable Versions
Technically speaking, the HDMI Cable Version does not exist. HDMI cables lack controllers or ICs with updatable software and drivers.
HDMI cables are merely wires used to transfer signals from one port to another.
However, in terms of performance standards, the type of cable a certain HDMI cable is depends on the caliber of the wire inside.
Because HDMI cables’ performance standards might vary, certain HDMI cables might not be able to handle the high data rate produced by the more recent HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 ports.
A few years ago, there was just one performance category of HDMI cables when HDMI 1.4 was the sole widely used interface. Therefore, picking the appropriate HDMI cable wasn’t really a problem.
However, HDMI cables also have to be updated because of the constantly growing data rate. These days, cables are marked with performance certificates from HDMI.org.
The types of HDMI cables are listed in the following table according to their performance requirements.
While linked, the HDMI port/interface version should not be confused with the HDMI cable type, it is important to note once again.
Therefore, HDMI 2.0 cable and HDMI 2.1 cable do not exist. There is a certified Premium High-Speed cable that can support HDMI 2.0 specifications and a certified Ultra High-Speed cable that can support HDMI 2.1 specifications.
The terms HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 are frequently used interchangeably to refer to Premium High Speed and Ultra High-Speed cables, which may make sense to professionals but may be extremely confusing to beginners.
How To Test HDMI Cable?
Now that you are familiar with all the key terms, let’s get to the main point of how to test HDMI cable: determining the type of HDMI cable based on performance certification.
Unfortunately, the appearance of all HDMI cables is the same. In other words, a standard HDMI cable would be indistinguishable from an ultra-high-speed HDMI cable just by looking at it.
Also, with that said, the HDMI cable doesn’t have any controller, IC or driver. Therefore, you cannot use your PC or software to determine the type or amount of their bandwidth.
Therefore, there are not many ways to find out what type of HDMI cable you have.
Here are two possible approaches how to test HDMI cable.
1. Checking the Cable’s Performance Specifications
How to test HDMI cable? By examining the performance parameters of your HDMI cable, you may determine what kind it is.
There are three approaches you can take. You can examine its:
- Detail of Data Rate
- Specification for Resolution and Refresh Rate
- Certification for Effectiveness
You may tell what version of cable you have if any of these are highlighted on the packaging or listing of your HDMI cable.
However, you will need to have the cable’s package or technical specification sheet.
Using Data Rate to Determine Cable Type:
How to test HDMI cable? The Data Rate is given in units of Gbits per second, Gbps, or Gbits per second. Therefore, if an HDMI cable has a Gbit/s rating of 10.2, it is a high-speed HDMI cable that can support resolutions of up to 4K @ 30Hz.
Similarly to this, if the HDMI cable is rated at 18 Gbit/s, it is a Premium Ultra High-Speed cable that may be used with HDMI 2.0 ports or with displays capable of 4K @ 60Hz.
Deducing Cable Type through Resolution and Refresh Rate:
The rated resolution and refresh rate of your HDMI cable can also tell you what sort it is.
If a cable is described as supporting 4K At 30Hz, it is a High-Speed HDMI cable compatible with HDMI 1.4 ports.
Similar to this, if a cable supports 4K @ 60Hz, it qualifies as a Premium High-Speed cable compatible with HDMI 2.0 connections.
Performance Certification for Cable Type Identification:
Certain brands of HDMI cables are given performance certification by HDMI.org.
A label on the cables’ packaging serves as a means of identification. These are the certification labels that HDMI.org has issued.
There is a QR code on the label of Premium High Speed and Ultra High Speed certified cables that may be scanned to confirm their certification.
Additionally, labels may be printed directly on the cable jacket for Premium High Speed and Ultra High-Speed cables. In some cases, the connector’s top may be labeled with the standard.
Identify Your HDMI Cable Through Trial And Error
This approach leans more towards absolute force.
How to test HDMI cable? The only method to determine your HDMI cable version is trial and error if you lose or forget the packaging, which is almost certainly the case if you own an older cable.
As a general rule, almost all HDMI cables comply with HDMI 1.4 specifications. Thus, even the most basic and outdated HDMI connections can transmit 1080p at 60Hz or [email protected] without any problems.
Problems arise when connecting newer TVs and monitors with high-end specs, such as 4K at 60Hz, 4K @ 120Hz or even 8K.
You need at least one Premium High Speed to connect to a [email protected] TV. Therefore, the only method to determine if the cable you own really supports this is trial and error.
Examining Your Premium High-Speed Cable
How to test HDMI cable? To determine whether you possess a premium high-speed cable, often known as an 18 Gbit/s or HDMI 2.0 cable:
- Check the cable’s functionality on a Full HD TV or a 1080p PC display.
- Once more verify that the cable is functional in your [email protected] TV or monitor.
You DO NOT have a Premium High-Speed cable if the cable functions well in the first instance but utterly malfunctions and displays a blank screen in the second instance.
Furthermore, if the cable functions in the second scenario but the specifications are limited to 4K @ 30Hz, you do NOT have a Premium High-Speed cable.
Most likely, your HDMI cable is a high-speed 10.2 Gbit/s one.
In order to determine whether the cable is defective or not, it is crucial to check it first on a Full HD monitor or TV.
Checking Your Ultra High-Speed Cable
If you want to determine if you have an Ultra High Speed (HDMI 2.1) cable, you can use a similar trial-and-error approach.
Check the cable’s functionality on a Full HD TV or a 1080p PC display.
Check to see if the cable is compatible with your 4K @ 120Hz or 8K TV or monitor.
Again, if the cable functions in the first instance, we can infer that it is not defective.
If the second attempt fails, you either have a High Speed or a Premium High-Speed cable.
Once more, the TV or monitor needs to function at standards HIGHER than 4K @ 60 Hz in order for you to conclude that you have an Ultra High-Speed cable!
The purpose of this post is to provide thorough guidance on how to determine the HDMI cable version and how to test HDMI cable.
Essentially, since all HDMI cables are backward compatible and at least compliant with the 1.4 specifications, the identification of a High Speed or HDMI 1.4 cable should not be a problem at all.
It is difficult to tell if the HDMI cable is 2.0 or 2.1. (Special High Speed or Ultra High Speed).
In most cases, you can do this by reading the specs on the listing or box. The only other option is to check yourself if you can’t find the listing or if you lose your package.
Please let me know in the comments if you have something else to say about how to test HDMI cable or if I missed something important in this essay.