What is an HDMI cable and do I need one?

By combatantdrip
Jan 19, 2013
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  1. I have absolutely no idea about it...can anyone please tell me what it is (in brief) and also will it improve my graphic visuals in my monitor??
  2. Dhakos

    Dhakos TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 109

    HDMI stands for high definition media interface, basically it's a 2 in one cable that carries the display signal as well as a sound signal. If you use a HDMI cable to connect your laptop to your tv for example, you'll be able to use the TV as another monitor, and you'll also be able to play music through your tv speakers.
    With computer monitors, unless they have built in speakers that you plan to use, there's no real advantage of using a HDMI cable to connect from your computer, a standard DVI or VGA connection is just as good (Though go with DVI (White) over VGA (Blue) if possible there)
  3. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,446   +619

    VGA (the old blue monitor cable) is analogue, whereas DVI (the white connector) and HDMI (usually black) are digital. This means that if you have a flat-panel monitor (it's 2013, I assume you do) you need to use a digital connector to get the best possible picture.

    tl;dr don't use the blue cable.
  4. combatantdrip

    combatantdrip Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 76

    Which part of the cable will be blue?
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,351   +122

    Usually the connectors will be blue, not specifically the cable.
  6. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,446   +619

  7. combatantdrip

    combatantdrip Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 76

    Yes,I have the blue cable,now what should I do?
  8. penn919

    penn919 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 152   +12

    If you want the best possible picture you're supposed to buy either a HDMI or DVI cable, but you have to make sure that your computer supports them. If you don't have a Graphics Card, then you're computer probably doesn't support either of the cables. You'd have to find a Graphics Card with HDMI or DVI outputs.

    You can check to see if your computer currently supports the outputs by looking behind it.

    If your computer supports DVI, then you should see something like this:
    http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/pictures/20000/velka/dvi-11299780447tnJ.jpg

    If your Computer Supports HDMI, then you should see something like this:
    http://thegadgetsquare.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/hdmi-female-connector.jpg

    If you don't see those connectors, that means you'll need to buy a Graphics Card and install it inside your PC. You might want to ask your techie son/nephew to help you with that.
  9. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,446   +619

  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,572   +862

    When you're connecting a computer to a computer monitor, in general, there is no need to use an HDMI port. This is because an HDMI interface includes the SOUND signal. Accordingly, you'd need to have a separate 7 channel receiver to make use of the signal. HDMI is basically for home theater use. Most modern DVD and all Blu-Ray standalone players have HDMI outputs for flat panel TVS.

    Many new computer tasked monitors don't have HDMI inputs. They have what is called "Display Port". This carries a digital signal equivalent to HDMI, but without the sound.

    DVI ("Digital Video Interface") will also yield the picture quality of HDMI, with some exceptions.

    At this point, you need to crack out the instructions to your computer and your monitor. Without having absorbed the material within, you don't really seem to be grasping the information we're communicating to you.

    So, look up the terms we're kicking around, look at the back of your computer, post pictures if you can, and/or post links to the equipment, so we can see what you're talking about.
  11. combatantdrip

    combatantdrip Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 76

    Captaincranky- u are absolutely correct,I have no idea what u guys are talking about
    as per ur suggestion I have listed my specs-
    monitor- samsung syncmaster 2233
    cabinet-Cm elite 431
    motherboard- gigabyte b75d3h
    gpu- gtx 660

    Anything more u need to know??
     
  12. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,446   +619

  13. combatantdrip

    combatantdrip Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 76

    St1ckM4n- whats the diff bw DVI and HDMI?
  14. penn919

    penn919 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 152   +12

    Please re-read Cranky's post if you wish to understand the technical differences, but the bottom-line is that you'll need to get yourself a DVI cable if you want better picture quality. Newegg has one listed for $8.99. Just buy it then use it to connect your computer to your monitor. Problem solved.

    Link:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812816012
  15. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,810   +884

    I personally like HDMI because there arent pins like with VGA or DVI.
  16. TheHawk

    TheHawk TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 191   +7

    Hey combatandtrip. Since you mentioned monitor and not a hi-def TV, I assume you are talking about a pc monitor. With current pc monitors, you are mostly dealing with DVI type cables/ connectors as opposed to the older VGA cables/connector. HDMI is another type of cable/connector used on hi-def tv's and blu-ray players and the video output on some newer pc's which you can connect to a bigger monitor (like a hi-def tv which all have HDMI connectors). DVI and HDMI cables carry digital signals, and since the computer uses digital signals,these 2 types of cables are best for the best picture quality since they don't have to use AD/DA (Analog to Digital/Digital to Analog) converters like the old VGA cables required with older monitors.VGA cables only carried analog signals. Converting from A to D or vice versa causes some picture degradation. See the link below for a clearer understanding of DVI cables and also the link for the DVI Cable Guide which also covers HDMI cables.

    http://www.datapro.net/techinfo/dvi_info.html


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