There exist HDMI speed testers like MS-TestPro from MSolutions. You can depend on such devices in order to test HDMI cables to see if they’re as fast as advertised or if they’re already damaged. Sure, you can use a multi-tester in order to check if electricity or signals can still travel in them, but in terms of raw speed that will allow you to figure out whether a cable is capable of doing 4K Ultra HD videos or only 1080p HD, you can’t go wrong with MS-TestPro and the like.
Evaluating HDMI Standards and Whatnot
When searching for end-to-end HDMI cable speed testers, you should also be aware of the different types of cable and how fast they’re capable of delivering information and signals. If you wish to play 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, you don’t only need a compatible HDTV and HDMI 2.0 and above the port. You also need an accompanying ultra high-speed HDMI cable to boot.
- Standard HDMI Cable: These standard default cables are the ones you get from stores at an affordable price. They’re commonly used for all your HDTV and HD video needs, such as HDTV broadcasts over cable or satellite TV with TV resolutions from 720p to 1080p or 720i to 1080i. These cables also feature the standard bandwidth capacity of 5 Gbps, which is optimized for HDMI versions 1.0 to 1.2a. You’ll need something a little faster for 4K Ultra HD.
- Standard Automotive HDMI Cable: This cable type has the same abilities and properties as the standard HDMI cable. However, it’s for automobiles. It’s used to connect in-car or portable DVD players and other appliances to in-car video displays exclusively. It thusly sports extra shielding for the sake of interference suppression due to its proximity to other electrical systems and wiring inside the car that could interfere with the signal.
- High-Speed HDMI Cable: This is the cable type you should use to handle 4K at 30Hz and 1080p resolution to their fullest potential, with it, optimized for HDMI 1.3 to 1.4a. If you have a 4K UltraHD kind of film that runs at 60 Fps like “The Hobbit” by Peter Jackson, then the high-speed HDMI cable is the cable for you. Most speed testing you’ll be doing is on these cables because they’re the ones you want to check and double-check as running fast enough to handle 4K video, which is many times larger than 1080p. It also provides support for Deep Color and 3D. It has 10 Gbps bandwidth transfer speeds.
- High-Speed Automotive HDMI Cable: This cable type has everything that the high-speed HDMI cable has from its ability to handle 4K video to its 10 Gbps bandwidth transfer speeds, but this time around it’s for automotive use. This means it’s the high-speed version of the standard automotive HDMI cable optimized for the automotive environment. In other words, you’ll be able to do Deep Color, 3D, 4k, 1080p, and high frame rate, the high-quality picture at 60 Fps on your in-car video displays thanks to its extra shielding.
- Premium High-Speed HDMI Cable: This is an even faster cable made for HDMI versions 2.0, 2.0a, and 2.0b. It’s yet another cable type capable of handling 4K video but this time it’s 4K at 60 Hz on top of HDR with an expanded color range. Meanwhile, the cable bandwidth support for this cable type has jumped from merely supporting 10 Gbps bandwidth transfer speeds all the way to 18 Gbps. It can also run a video that isn’t Ultra HD due to backward compatibility with the additional guarantee of fewer attenuation problems.
- Ultra High-Speed HDMI Cable: This is thus far the fastest HDMI cable known to man at this time of writing and is optimized for HDMI version 2.1 and above. It came about because ultra HD videos have now become available in dizzying 8K or even 10K. Naturally, it’s not yet available for projectors since those devices are still limited to 4K and pseudo-4K at the time of this writing. However, there are HDTVs and Blu-Rays that offer 8K quality video with HDR. It supports all the way to 48 Gbps bandwidth transfer speeds. It’s also less susceptible to electromagnetic interference or EMI from wireless devices.
- HDMI Cables with Ethernet Built-In: There are HDMI cables available with Ethernet built-in. What that means is that you can use them for Local Area Networks, Wide Area Networks, and Metro Area Networks on top of Internet connections and long-distance connections in case it’s too expensive to link up devices from across a compound or an entire neighborhood using standard HDMI cables alone. This additional HDMI Ethernet Channel is developed to enable multiple HDMI-linked devices to share a traditional Ethernet link to a broadband router at 100 Mbps speeds. However, this feature isn’t always available among devices.
Gauging HDMI Speeds and Their Importance
A cable is a cable is a cable. What does that mean? It means that usually, you get what you pay for. You get a standard HDMI cable, it performs thusly. You pay for premium or ultra-high-speed HDMI cables so now you can do 4K to 8K videos with nary a problem. No speed test necessary. However, you might want to conduct speed tests to double-check if you’re getting the most out of your speed cables or if there’s something wrong with your other components in case the cables are working perfectly whenever you get signal loss or resolution drops. To wit:
- Testing for 4K on Game Consoles: Most HDMI cable purchasers test the speed of their cables to make sure they’ve gotten high-speed, premium high-speed, or ultra-high-speed cables that can run on 4K outputs, particularly when playing games on the PlayStation 4 Pro or PS4 Pro as well as Xbox One. The Nintendo Switch doesn’t need to run on 4K and can only handle Full HD instead of Ultra HD so it’s perfectly fine with any HDMI cable, including the slowest of the bunch that is the standard HDMI cable.
- Targeted Refresh Rate: It’s not enough that your high-speed cables can run at 4K. There are targeted refresh rates to take into consideration. Some shops have no idea the difference between high-speed, premium high-speed, or ultra-high-speed cables for HDMI cables because as long as they can run 4K they’re good to go in the eyes of many laymen customers. However, the targeted refresh rate of a high-speed cable is 30 Hz, premium high-speed is at 60 Hz, and ultra-high-speed is at 120Hz. A cable that supports 4K might not be able to support higher hertz than 30. You need to double-check.
- Cable Speed and HDMI Compliance: Take note that high-speed HDMI cables are compliant with HDMI 1.3 and above. Premium high-speed HDMI cables are compliant with HDMI 2.0 and above. Ultra-high-speed cables are compliant with HDMI 2.1 and above. Even an HDMI 1.3 compliant cable is capable of 4K at 60 Hz. However, to err on the side of caution go with HDMI 2.0 compliant HDMI cables that are premium high-speed rather than test the limits of your “standard” high-speed cable. A good quality cable can cover many of your gaming or BD requirements, such as Ultra HD resolution.
- Pushing The Cable to The Limits: You can buy something like the Amazon Basics High-Speed HDMI Cable Standard for all your 4K needs then only purchase an ultra-high-speed cable if you’ve also gotten a BD player and the right movie or a PS4 and the right game to test the resolution and refresh rate limits of your hardware. Having the MS-TestPro from MSolutions handy can assist you in making sure that your cable isn’t pushing its limits because it’s the wrong grade of cable or it’s defective even though you’ve purchased the right grade of cable. Sometimes a cable just doesn’t work or sometimes it defaults to 4K at 30Hz.
- HDR Pushes The Limits As Well and HDMI.org: Speaking of pushing the limits of your HDMI cables, HDR or high-dynamic-range imaging. HDR reproduces a greater dynamic range of brightness or luminosity. It’s used for both photographs and for digital imaging for HDTV or computer displays. It’s another standard technique to differentiate different brightness ranges better that really require high-speed information transfer. There’s also HDMI.org, which has a certification program that assists in better distinguishing top-of-the-line cables from one another. In short, you can go by those guidelines then test each cable individually with a tester.
In a Nutshell
As a rule of thumb, in order to ensure you’re guaranteed 4K and 60Hz support from your cable, buy a premium high-speed cable. Theoretically, a high-speed cable can reach those heights or speed but with a premium one you’re more assured and you can even go higher if you wish. It’s also best that you only buy HDMI 2.0 certified cables. Finally, get an HDMI cable tester like MS-TestPro from MSolutions to further err on the side of caution and ensure that the cable you bought isn’t defective.
A competent HDMI module speed checker easily evaluates cable speed, type, and compatibility with the HDMI standard, which includes metrics such as CEC support, cable wiring quality, resolutions for HD, UHD, and HDR, and bandwidths ranging from 4.5 to 9 to 18 Gbps. However, it’s also your responsibility to know what the different HDMI cable and connector types are so that you can properly evaluate each and every one of them. Here are the different types of HDMI cables you should take note of.