An HDMI cable is a single cable responsible for providing high quality audio and video to a television or display screen. HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface and to understand exactly what an HDMI cable does a brief lesson in the history of audio and video cables is necessary.
Before the invention of the HDMI cable, hooking up a television or display screen was quite the chore. In order to get the best viewing experience it was necessary to purchase high quality analog cables. These analog cables were known as component cables. To increase sound quality multichannel cables were used. These five multichannel cables were merged into a single digital cable that a surround system could process as a single signal. Finally the HDMI cable was born to merge the three component cables and five multichannel cables into one single cable able to broadcast high definition audio and video.
What does an HDMI cable do?
An HDMI cable is one single cable capable of sending high definition content and multichannel audio signals from a video source such as a cable box, Blu-ray player, or game system to a display monitor or television. Previously high definition content was most commonly sent through three analog cables known as component cables; audio needed to be sent through separate cables. Unlike the analog component cables, in addition to sending multichannel surround sound HDMI cable is capable of sending higher level high definition such as 1080p and above. An HDMI cable merged the three component cables and five multichannel surround sound cables into a single cable and allowed for greater audio and video quality. The previous cable options only supported content up to 1080i. HDMI cables support all quality content; HDMI cables support even the newest quality content like 4K.
Advantages to HDMI cables
The advantage to using HDMI cable over legacy component cables is the fact that signal is sent digitally, there is less of quality difference between inexpensive HDMI cables and more costly versions than the spectrum of analog cables. There are several advantages to HDMI cable such as the convenience of only purchasing one cable to connect a device to a television, less quality difference between inexpensive HDMI cables and cheap analog cables, a single cable takes out the guess work of television, and with one cable versus the previous eight cables there is less clutter in television viewing areas.