As technology has continued to evolve, so have HDMI cables. Newer versions have come out into the market to support better and faster computers and games.
These HDMI cables can be used for multiple purposes, that includes either gaming consoles, laptops, projectors, etc. These cables are handy in offices, schools, for gaming, or even home use as they can connect your laptop and other devices to larger screens where you can enjoy an immersive experience.
The main point of an HDMI cable is to support whatever visuals you are trying to access and in that case, you need to make sure you have the correct version of HDMI cable that you can use.
Do not fret as this article is exactly what you need. We are going to go in depth on how you can check your HDMI cable’s version, or even your laptop’s HDMI cable port and how each cable differs from each other.
How To Check The Type Of HDMI Cable Through Technical Details:
The easiest way would have been to just check the label on your HDM cable’s box but if you have lost that, unfortunately it might be more difficult to get its name. Unfortunately, the HDMI standard does not mandate that the cable’s version number be printed on it.
Furthermore, you can’t tell the cables apart because they have no physical differences. While figuring out this whole thing is going to take a chunk out of your time, it is still the easiest way to figure out which HDMI cable you are using.
From the number of HDMI cables currently available on the market, your HDMI cable is either a 1.4, 2.0, or 2.1 HDMI cable.
The oldest HDMI cable is a 1.4 HDMI one. So if you know it is indeed old, you could only make the assumption that it’s 1.4.
To make a correct evaluation of what exactly is your HDMI cable, here is a way to understand:
The only way to tell if your HDMI cable is 2.0 or 1.4 is to connect it to your TV or computer and change the display settings.Set the resolution to 4K, the refresh rate to 60 Hz, and the colouring to full RGB if your system supports it.
It’s a 2.0 HDMI if the cable can transmit files.
If you suspect the cable is HDMI 2.1, increase the resolution to something a 2.0 cable can’t handle, such as 4K at 120 Hz.
Using this you can figure out what exact version is your HDMI cable and if it is indeed suitable for your needs.
Types Of HDMI cables:
You may have guessed that the number evaluates the sort of technology but also what type the port is, so let’s look at the oldest form of HDMI port, HDMI 1.4.
It can support a maximum resolution of 2560×1600 and deliver frame rates of up to 75hertz, but if you lower the resolution to 1080p, it can even deliver frame rates of up to 144hertz, which is ideal for gamers who want to play fast-paced competitive games.
However, the only defect in HDMI 1.4 is the lack of 60hz support in 4k resolutions, so don’t expect to stretch over the higher resolution with a fantastic frame rate if your laptop is older and does not really support it, as you’ll only be able to watch videos or still visuals at 30hz.
Furthermore, HDMI 1.4 is frowned upon because it lacks 21:9 ultra-wide video and 3D stereoscopic format, making it almost obsolete in terms of projector use.
Despite being the middle child in the HDMI editions, it still has a lot to offer. The HDMI 2.0 not only supports 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, but it can also stretch to 240 frames per second in 1080p, which is a significant improvement over its predecessor.
Furthermore, if you can settle for 144hz on 1440p resolution, you’ll be able to enjoy fantastic gameplay with super crisp details, as HDMI 2.0 has a wider range of colours than HDMI 1.4.
Moreover, it can easily support technologies like the 21:9 aspect ratio and 3D stereoscopic format with little to no problem at all.
HDMI 2.0a is the first HDMI 2.0 subcategory that includes HDR support (High Dynamic Range).
This is the second sub-category of HDMI 2.0 that goes a little over HDMI 2.0a by also supporting technology like HDR10 format and HLG( Hybrid Log-Gamma format in preparation) standard support.
HDMI 2.1: As the most recent edition of HDMI, it supports every one of the technologies discussed above, such as HDR10 and HLG, and only has one advantage: it supports higher resolutions like 4k and 8k with frame rates up to 120hz, which is fantastic, but you’ll need specialised 48G HDMI cables to use the 120hz in 8k.
It also supports free sync 2, a technology that restricts screen tearing when playing games with higher refresh rates.
What Are The Difference That HDMI Cables Have?
Now that we have discussed how different HDMI cables work and what functions they have, you might be curious as to which one works the best for you. In order to understand their exact differences, here is a comprehensive guide to how they add to your experience:
Frame Rate: With 4K resolution, HDMI 1.4 supports a frame rate of up to 30 Hz, whereas HDMI 2.0 supports up to 60 frames per second. While 30 Hz may still be sufficient for most movies and TV shows, the industry is moving toward higher frame rates. The reason for this is that at higher frame rates, a 4K video will appear much more vivid and sharp. Low frame rates will cause some scenes, especially fast-moving ones, to appear choppy and blurry. As a result, when gaming or watching sports, HDMI 2.0 is a must-have.
Color Palettes: HDMI 2.0 can support a more profound and richer colour palette with 4K resolution. It comes with ten or 12-bit colour palettes, allowing for 68.7 billion different colour combinations. In comparison to HDMI 1.4’s 8-bit colour palette, this makes a significant difference. There are only 16.7 colour combinations available.
Audio: The 1.4 version can handle up to eight audio channels, which came in handy when we used unidirectional speakers in the room’s sides, back, and front. The 2.0 version, on the other hand, uses immersive surround sound technology to support up to 32 virtual sound channels. The sound is delivered through omnidirectional speakers that you can install in your home.
HDMI 2.0 can support up to 18 Gbps, as previously stated.Still, the 2.1 version offers a significant upgrade, with support for up to 48 Gbps, allowing it to transfer significantly more data in a second.
Gamers can currently take advantage of this feature because they can play games in 4K at 120 frames per second.
Currently, only a few TV models with HDMI 2.1-compliant ports support 8K content. HDMI 2.1 is available on both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. To take advantage of the supporting hardware, we should wait for 8K content to become available.
How To Check HDMI Version of Laptop
If you have found out what type of HDMI cable you have and it is time to plugin to your laptop, you might be confused as to what exact version of HDMI cable works for your laptop. Here is a comprehensive guide to check:
Through User Manual:
This is the easiest option to check what version of HDMI port your laptop has.
Now you might be thinking about all of these different multimedia interfaces and wondering which one your laptop has, but fear not, we have a solution for you that is much easier than you might think. All you have to do is check your laptop’s user manual and go to the connectivity section, where all of the ports available on your laptop model will be labeled.
This is why it is handy to always keep your laptop’s user manual in case you might need to check some information later on.
Through Display Options Settings (Technical Option)
If you do not have your laptop’s user manual on hand, there is another way you can find out. While this may be considered to be trickier, you can follow the steps below in order to find out:
- Hold “Control+ X” or type “Device manager” into the search bar.
- It will take some time for all of the components to load onto your laptop; look for the ports with in list.
- Hover over the display adapter and select the drop-down list to see a list of ports and versions available on your laptop.
- Navigate the exact HDMI port you were looking for and check the version.
And that’s it! This is how you can find out what HDMI port your laptop has.
While this whole thing can be a bit time consuming, it is also necessary to find out in order to use the HDMI cable you require. These cables come in handy a lot of times which is worth it!