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HDMI FAQ

What is HDMI?
HDMI is an audio/video interface which carries an uncompressed digital video and audio signal from a source, such as a DVD player, to a display, such as a plasma TV.

What kind of resolutions does HDMI support?
HDMI can support all HDTV resolutions (720p, 1080i, 1080p,1440p+) EDTV (480p) and standard definition TV.

What audio does HDMI support?
Currently, HDMI supports up to 8 channels of 24-bit audio, including Dolby TRUE-HD and DTS Master digital audio. 

Are your cables compatible with 1080p?
All of our cables will display 1080p. In fact most of our cables will display resolutions higher than 1080p, such as 1440p.

How does dCables test their HDMI cables?
Most importantly we buy our cables from factories which are HDMI adopters and each of our cable designs are certified by an Authorized Test Center (ATC). We test our cables in several different ways. First, we do an engineering test to verify the cables are built to spec; this includes testing the pins to make sure they are functional and connected correctly and dissecting the cable to verify its construction.  Second, we test all our cables on many different consumer electronics in a variety of installation environments to make sure that they will work in the 'real world'.

What is HDMI 1.4?
HDMI 1.4b is the latest specification by HDMI.org. HDMI 1.4 added 3D, Ethernet channel, audio return channel and 4K x 2K reolution support. It also changed the way cables may be labelled. HDMI cables must now be labelled Standard HDMI Cable, Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet, High Speed HDMI Cable, or High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet. All of our cables at this time are either High Speed or High Speed with Ethernet.

What cable is best for 3D?
The best cable for #D is either High Speed HDMI Cable or High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet, depending on whether you need Ethernet.

How did HDMI 1.3 effect cable design and what is Category 2?
HDMI 1.3 was the last spec to alter the maximum clock rate and the maximum throughput a cable would have. It is important to note that most of the HDMI 1.3 changes affected devices, not cables. But allowing devices to show higher resolutions, with more colors, at higher refresh rates and with more channels of audio takes more and more data and that data must be transmitted over a cable. HDMI 1.3 did specify Category 1 cables and Category 2 cables. Category 1 certified cables must be able to transmit data @ 2.25Gbps. This is the old HDMI cable spec before there were different categories of cable. Category 2 certified cables must be able to transmit data @ 10 Gbps. One thing to be aware of is the term 'HDMI 1.3 compatible'. All HDMI cables are HDMI 1.3 compatible but not every HDMI cable is certified by an ATC and not every HDMI certified cable is certified as a Category 2. An HDMI 1.3 compatible cable will work with HDMI 1.3 devices but may not be able to display the highest resolutions/color depths/refresh rates.

What does CL2 or CL3 mean?
CL2 and CL3 are designations that describe how a cable performs in a fire. CL2 and CL3 rated cables are flame retardant and low smoke so are safer for people if they are exposed to heat or flame. Before installing any cables behind a wall please consult your local building code. CL2 & CL3 Rated HDMI Cables

What types of HDMI connectors are there?
Type A HDMI has 19 pins. Type B HDMI has 29 pins. As of May 2007, all mass produced devices use the 19 pin type A connector. There is also a Type C connector (again with 19 pins) that is used on cameras, camcorders and other portable electronics.

Is HDMI compatible with DVI?
Yes. HDMI currently uses the 'single-link' channel of DVI-D. However, when you convert from HDMI to DVI, there will be no audio because DVI does not carry an audio signal.  Shop for HDMI to DVI cables. For more on DVI, please see our DVI FAQ.

Can I convert HDMI to VGA?
Yes, but not with a cable or adapter. You need a HDMI to VGA converter box which we do not sell at this time. Some AV receivers have this converting capability built in.

What if I have a cable but need a different plug to fit my device?
You may be able to use an HDMI adapter. HDMI adapters

What is HDCP and are your HDMI cables HDCP compatible?
HDMI is compatible with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) Specification 1.10.  HDCP is a digital rights management protocol to control content that travels across DVI and HDMI. In the future high definition content may be 'downscaled' or not displayed at all if it is not displayed in a HDCP compliant manner. For instance, component cables are not HDCP compliant.

What's the deal with the expensive Monster HDMI cables?
There is no difference in picture quality between a Monster cable and a Premium dCables HDMI cable. When you spend hundreds of dollars on a Monster HDMI cable, you are paying for the brand name and the fancy packaging. Our engineers tested dCables and Monster HDMI cables side by side and did not report any difference in picture or audio quality.

What does CL2 and CL3 Rated mean?
CL2 and CL3 rated HDMI cables are for in-wall use and are certified by the National Electric Code.  These cables are made with flame retardant, low-smoke materials to minimize risk if a fire should start.  Please check your local fire code to verify if you need CL rated cables.  Requirements differ from locale to locale.

What is an HDMI switch, and why do I need one?
If your TV or monitor only has 1 HDMI input and you have more than one HDMI compatible device, you can use a switch to connect all devices. Our 3 port switch allows you to connect 3 HDMI compatible devices, and our 4 port switch allows you to connect up to 4 devices. Our switches come with a remote control and are HDCP compliant.

What is an HDMI extender, and why do I need one?
An HDMI extender is also known as an HDMI equalizer or HDMI booster and can boost an HDMI signal.  Sometimes when running a long HDMI cable, the device powering the signal is not strong enough to supply the monitor with a proper signal. This could result in signal degradation and/or loss of picture. We recommend using cables with a built-in HDMI equalizer if you are running an HDMI cable longer than 50 feet or for Category 2 applications longer than 30 feet.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please call 800-278-4002 or email us at support@dcables.com.

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