HDMI Cables And Splitter

HDMI Cables And Splitter

HDMI Cables And Splitter

HDMI Cables And Splitter

Here at Monoprice we offer a very wide variety of cables.  We have HDMI cables that cater to just about any need You may have.

While it is great to have such a wide variety of cables to choose from, it can be overwhelming, and many customers wonder if they are really getting the right cable for them.

The goal of this article is to help you better understand which cables are going to be the right cable for your set up and which cables just might not live up to your expectations.

Resolution

The first thing we want to do is determine the resolution of your display and the resolution that your source device is going to output.  Once we have these, we can try to find an HDMI cable that will be able to give both devices what they want.

Keep in mind, if the source and display are not both capable of using the same signal then the lower of the two will be the resolution that will be displayed.

This is also true for the HDMI cable we select.  If the HDMI cable we select is weaker than the display or source, then it will bottle neck the resolution to its highest resolution, despite what the source or display are capable of broadcasting.

Data Rate

Many of our cables will tell You the amount of data they are capable of pushing through.  These will be either 4.95gbps, 10.2gbps or 18gbps.

These will often determine the speed of the cable with 4.95gbps pushing 720p, 10,2gbps pushing 1080p and 18gbps pushing 4k.  10.2gbps is also capable of pushing through 4k, but only at 30hz.

Length

Our HDMI cables come in many lengths starting at 1.5ft and going up to 330ft.  While all of these cables, no matter their size, are capable of broadcasting a signal, there are some restrictions on length.

Longer HDMI cables will often require some form of extra charge or boost and will usually be thicker than shorter cables.

When determining what the length of your cable needs to be, it is best to try to find the shortest distance between source and display, but there are cables that cater to longer lengths that are still able to give us stronger resolutions.  The longest passive cable we carry capable for 4K is a 20ft length and 50ft with an active cable.

Gauge 

The gauge, or thickness, of the cable plays a large factor in how much data can be transfer back and forth.  The AWG, American Wire Gauge, of most of our cables can be found on their product page.

The higher the number, for example 36awg, the thinner the cable.  While the lower the number, for example 24awg, the thicker the cable.

A thicker cable will have a much easier time transmitting larger amounts of data than the thinner cable and will often be able to support a higher resolution without needing an amplifier or equalizer.

Generally, longer cables are going to be thicker than shorter cables, but there are exceptions to the rule.

For example, a 28awg cable will not be able to put the same resolution through at 20 feet that a 24awg cable could, and at even longer lengths the 28awg cable might not be able to broadcast at all unless it were an active cable or had an equalizer to help push that data through.

Active and Passive

By now we’ve mentioned the terms Active and Passive when speaking about our HDMI Cables And Splitter.  Passive cables are your standard HDMI cable in terms of operation.  Passive cables can be run in either direction and will often be much thicker at longer runs.

Passive cables at longer length will have problems with higher resolutions.  For a passive cable, max length for a 1080p signal is approximately 15ft for a 24awg cable.

Active cables come with more rules.  Active cables are directional and will have a label or marker on each head to tell if that end goes to a source device or a display device.  Active cables draw extra power from the display device and WILL NOT work in reverse.

There is no way to reverse their direction if installed incorrectly.  We strongly encourage double checking an active cable before it is run in wall to ensure that the proper ends are going to the device they are meant for and if the cable works.

Active cables are capable of sending signals over longer distances over passive cable.  We also do not recommend running an Active cable between two distribution devices or in conjunction with any type of extension.

We recommend running Actives cable directly to a Display device.  In a setup using switches or HDMI Cables And Splitter an active can be used on the output side of the distribution devices.

HDR

High Dynamic Range, abbreviated HDR, is a format we are seeing more and more frequently from higher end TVs.  HDR, also sometimes referred to as HDMI 2.0a, has the exact same plug in as any other HDMI, but requires more data to be drawn through the cable.

Because of this we advise the usage of our 18gbps HDMI cables, in particular our Certified Premium HDMI cables.

Can I convert my Apple TV’s HDMI output to DVI or VGA?

There are hardware converters that will convert HDMI to various other types of Video signals, however there are some issues doing so that you should be aware of.

In order to convert HDMI signal, it is highly recommended the converter be HDCP compliant. If you attempt to use a non-compliant converter, it will not allow you to watch HDCP protected content such as that from the iTunes Store or other protected video content.
DVI
Some users who have attempted to convert to DVI for their TV’s without HDMI have gotten the connection to work using a DVI-to-HDMI cable.

The only concern would be that DVI does not carry audio, so alternative connections would need to be explored to push audio out from the Apple TV. DVI doesn’t necessarily support HDCP as well as other standards used by HDMI (which may or may not be an issue depending on your specific devices)
VGA
If you wish to view any HDCP content on your Apple TV you will not be able to use it in conjunction with our analog converters. Because of the HDCP content issues it will not support a converter that does not support HDCP.

None of our HDMI to analog converters fully support HDCP, so they will not work for the Apple TV. Unfortunately, this is an issue with the Apple TV and Apple will not have any adapters or updates that would allow you to get around this issue.

Which cable is right for me?

There are many cables that can be used for many different types of audio and video devices.  The goal of this article is to help identify which cable you have, or which cable you may need.

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface)

High Definition Multimedia Interface, abbreviated HDMI Cables And Splitter, cables are among the most common video cables used today.

You will find these cables used for most cable boxes, televisions, DVRs, computers, monitors, and Blu-ray Players.  They are identified by a long flat side on the top of the head with two indented corners leading to a shorter flat bottom.

HDMI cables can come in several sizes, though the smaller sizes are often only found on portable devices such as Cameras or Tablets.

These are often referred to as Mini HDMI or Micro HDMI.  HDMI Mini will be the same size as a standard HDMI but much thinner, while the Micro HDMI will look will be both thinner and smaller than a standard HDMI.

Displayport

Displayport cables are a newer form of video cable that are most often used by Apple and high-end Graphics Cards.  We most commonly see these on iMacs, graphic cards, laptops, and computer monitors.

Displayport comes in two varieties, standard and Mini.  The standard Displayport will look very similar to an HDMI Cables And SplitterI head, however only one of its corners will be indented.

A Mini Displayport Head will look like a smaller square with two indented corners.  We are more likely to see Mini Displayport cables on modern iMacs sometimes called Thuderbolt cables by Apple.

Although it is not very common some of the older iMac devices did use a port called Mini DVI.  This port is not seen on any current Apple products and has been slated of obsolescence, meaning that no future Apple products will use this port.

DVI (Digital Visual Interface)

Digital Visual Interface, abbreviated DVI, is a common video connector used in many computer monitors, televisions, laptops and graphics cards.

It is often described as a trapezoid with numerous pins and is often accompanied by a screw on each side of the connector head.  DVI is a little older than HDMI or Displayport and comes in several forms.

While all of DVI’s forms look similar, the number of pins will often tell us just what kind of DVI cable we are using.  Now, something to keep in mind with DVI is that it is used for both Digital and Analog video.

These are considered DVI-A (Analog) and DVI-D (Digital), though we often also see DVI-I (Integrated) which is capable of doing either Digital or Analog signal.

On a final note, DVI can be either single or dual link.  This will determine how much data the cable is able to push through and define what resolutions that DVI cable or port will be able to output.

VGA (Video Graphics Array)

Video Graphics Array, abbreviated VGA, is an older video cable that is often seen on projectors, computer monitors, computers, laptops, and older iMac computers.  These are often described as a small trapezoid with 15 small pins on the inside and a screw on each side of the head.

VGA cables are sometimes confused with DB9 cables, as they both have the same shape and similar size, but have different pin outs with the DB9 having 9 pins and the VGA having 15 pins.  VGA cables use an analog signal and are therefore difficult to convert into digital formats such as HDMI.

 What are the differences between a HDMI Splitter, a Switch, and a Matrix?

Are you looking to create a specific setup and possibly have multiple HDMI components or perhaps multiple displays you want to send an HDMI signal to and aren’t quite sure what device to use? We at Monoprice can assist with that.

You will most likely need one of three devices; an HDMI splitter, HDMI switch, or an HDMI Matrix. The following article will help you narrow down which one of the three devices will be the right one for your specific set up.

HDMI Splitter

A HDMI splitter is going to be the simplest of the three. This type of device will have a single input and multiple outputs on it.

This would be used to connect a single source and output it to multiple displays. (Please refer to the image below for example.) One thing to take into consideration when it comes to HDMI Cables And Splitter is the resolution.

For example, if a source supports 1080p at the most, then the displays must be able to support that or lower resolutions that both the displays and the source can commonly adjust to.

If there is an issue with a splitter in which any display after the first one is having issues displaying the source signal, then the lowest common resolution display must be connected to output 1 on a splitter and then if there is still no signal coming on the displays, a power cycle must be done to rest it and tried again.

HDMI Switch

A HDMI switch will have multiple inputs and a single output on it. In other words, multiple sources would connect to a single display. (Please refer to the image below for example.) This does not mean that all the source signals will appear on the display at the same time.

The device will allow you to switch between sources and display each signal at a time, individually on the one display. Some HDMI switches also include the option to set a certain resolution to have the switch work with through an EDID (Extended Display Identification Data) dip switch.

The dip switch can set to a specific pattern that matches a specific chosen resolution. The patterns should be explained in the device’s manual.

When the specific resolution is set on the EDID dip switch, it is highly recommended to set it to a resolution that all the sources and the display support.

Some switches will also have an RS-232 port, which is used to connect to a computer or a central control system to control the switch. They may also include IR (Infrared radiation) ports for IR signal control of a source or display if they are out of sight. There are also some instances when the switch may include audio outputs to connect out to a home theater receiver or a soundbar.

HDMI Matrix

An HDMI Matrix offers the best of both worlds in the sense that multiple sources can be connected to multiple displays simultaneously and also be able to switch to any specific pattern.

Those patterns can include, but limited to, multiple sources to one display, like a switch, or one source to multiple displays, like a HDMI Cables And Splitter, or multiple sources to multiple displays, each one showing a different thing.

HDMI matrices, much like HDMI switches, also have the option for an EDID dip switch, RS-232 port, and some, if not most, will also include IR ports. There are some HDMI matrices, as well, that support audio outputs to use with a home theater system or a soundbar.

 

 

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