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What Are Directional HDMI Cables? Should You Use Them?

High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cables have become a standard for electronic equipment. They are used in almost every modern device in a home theater, from televisions and game consoles to computers. However, not all HDMI cables are the same. One type that stands out is the directional HDMI cable.

What Are Directional HDMI Cables?

Directional HDMI cables are more advanced than regular HDMI cables. They include built-in equalizers, amplification, and filtering. These cables are designed to carry signals over longer distances, but they relay signals in only one direction. This is why they are called “directional.”

The Unique Features of Directional HDMI Cables

Directional HDMI cables are typically manufactured to meet high-speed cable standards. They are one of the four types of HDMI cables available today. The other three types are high-speed with Ethernet, high-speed without Ethernet, standard-speed with Ethernet, and standard-speed without Ethernet.

The directional HDMI cables fall into the high-speed categories. They are designed to support up to 1080p and 4K technologies. However, the next generation of HDMI cables, known as HDMI 2.1, will support faster signal speeds in keeping with ever-increasing bandwidth needs.

The Importance of Correct Installation

Directional HDMI cables need to be properly installed to work. One end should be inserted into the source device, like your Blu-ray player, stereo, or PlayStation 4. The other end should then be connected to your display, such as your television or computer monitor, or speaker. If these ends are mixed up, the result will be a blank screen as the signals are being relayed in the wrong order.

Identifying Directional HDMI Cables

Most directional HDMI cable manufacturers include an arrow icon directly printed on the cable itself. This is considered an industry standard. However, this is optional, so make sure you check the specifications before you purchase any HDMI cable.

The Role of Active HDMI Cables

Active HDMI cables are those that have an “active” digital equalizer built directly into the cable. These equalizers help to strengthen the signal flowing through the HDMI cable and enhance capabilities. Improvements in technology, such as RedMere technology, enable stronger signals to flow through your HDMI cable, making it possible to reach farther distances.

The Challenge of Reversing a Directional HDMI Cable

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to reverse a directional HDMI cable if it is already run through a wall or conduit. The best solution is to simply run another HDMI cable in the correct direction.

Why People Use Directional HDMI Cables

Most people opt for a directional HDMI cable because they are spanning a distance of more than ten feet. Thanks to enhancements, like RedMere technology, you can span up to 60 feet or more without issues!

Other Types of HDMI Cables

Apart from directional HDMI cables, there are currently four main types of HDMI cables for use with your home theater. These include high-speed with Ethernet; high-speed without Ethernet; standard-speed with Ethernet; and standard-speed without Ethernet.

Directional HDMI cables tend to fall in the high-speed categories. The real difference here is what these cables support. Standard-speed cables can support up to 1080i. High-speed cables, on the other hand, can support 1080p and 4K technologies.

The Future of HDMI Cables

The next generation of HDMI cables are being announced. That includes models that are considered ultra-high-speed. While not yet being sold, the capabilities are supposed to be even more advanced than those available today. Known as HDMI 2.1, these cables will support faster signal speeds in keeping with ever-increasing bandwidth needs.

In conclusion, directional HDMI cables are a significant advancement in HDMI technology. They offer superior signal quality over longer distances, making them an excellent choice for large home theater setups. However, they require careful installation due to their one-way signal transmission. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more improvements in HDMI cables, offering even better performance and versatility.

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