HDMI connectors are an important I/O (input-output) hardware component in many modern pieces of entertainment or communications equipment. They enable HDMI cables to transmit uncompressed digital signals from any suitable audio-video (A/V) source to the receiver or display device into which they are plugged.
In a large number of modern homes and workplaces, it is likely to find HDMI connectors connecting desktop computers to monitors, TVs to set-top boxes, game consoles to projectors, and so on. In fact, in all areas of home entertainment and workplace communication technology, HDMI is now one of the most popular and widely used formats for transmitting high-quality A/V signals between sources and displays. In this guide, AIKE Electronics will explore some of the more common types of HDMI connectors currently on the market and learn about their features.
Prior to HDMI, these were largely limited to DVI or component video. The former was a video-only connector more suited to its original use in computer monitors, while the latter, while effective in transmitting HD signals when connected, required up to five separate cables to be arranged for simultaneous transfer if the user wanted video and audio to be transmitted simultaneously.
HDMI was essentially developed as a way to bring these five separate cables together. And, after a period of intensive worldwide research and testing, HDMI was first introduced in 2002 as a series of commercial cables and connectors.
Over the next 3-5 years, sales of HDMI components began to grow exponentially, and today it is more or less the default option for A/V signal transmission in the home and workplace. True to the original vision of the developers, HDMI now allows reliable and neat transmission of extremely high quality audio and video signals between capable wired devices over a single rugged cable.
Like most other audio-video cable assemblies, HDMI connectors are gender-specific and can be either male or female, depending on which side of the interface they need to support in order to complete the connection. Also, as is standard for cable plugs and receptacles, male HDMI connectors will typically be slightly smaller and have a protruding pin area, while female connectors will be recessed and slightly larger.
The standard type of HDMI is 19PIN DIP Type connetcor: applied to HDMI version 1.0, has a total of 19 pins with a specification of 4.45mm x 13.9mm. In addition to these basic male/female characteristics, there are many different HDMI connector types, sizes and layouts available for purchase in the UK and worldwide.
HDMI female connectors are typically built into the source and receiver devices as a receptacle for connecting the male end of the cable. In the most common arrangement, a cable with two male ends plugs into both female sockets, providing a direct wired connection between the source and display devices.
Because female HDMI connectors are typically embedded in the bodies of TVs, game consoles, projectors, computers, and monitors - and because they tend to deform more easily under excessive strain than male connectors - they are more widely sold as standalone replacement parts.
Male HDMI connectors, on the other hand, are often supplied as fixed components on the ends of almost all commercially available HDMI cables, so in many cases it is easier and cheaper to replace a damaged male connector with just a new cable. However, this is not always practical: some high-end HDMI cables can be relatively expensive (especially the longer and more robust types), so in many cases it is much cheaper to wire in a new male connector than to replace it.
In addition, many people choose to route HDMI cables behind walls or between floors of a building, and if someone happens to step on one of the male connectors and damage it, removing and re-routing those cables can be a complicated process. For this reason, the most reliable suppliers of female HDMI sockets will also offer a range of equivalent male components.
Today's HDMI connectors offer a rich selection for transmitting very high quality, high bandwidth audio-video signals between a variety of modern entertainment and communication devices. And, because of their design backward compatibility with earlier audio-video transmission formats, they can also provide a useful link between devices lacking the same HDMI port if the right adapter is selected.
If you would like more information or advice on HDMI cables and connectors, or setting up your devices for optimal results and device performance using this popular connectivity standard, please feel free to contact us.