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How to Tell If Your HDMI Cable Supports 4K?

As an owner of a 4K TV, I was frustrated when I couldn’t get my picture to look as sharp and clear as I wanted it to be. After doing a bit of research, I found out that my current HDMI cable wasn’t compatible with 4K resolution and that I needed an upgraded cable.

In this blog post, I’m going to discuss the pros and cons of using a 4K HDMI cable and provide some tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way to help you figure out if your cable supports 4K resolution.

You can find out by simply checking the box or the cable itself for labels that indicate that it supports 4K. Alternatively, you can do a performance test. 

IssueSolutionTips and Considerations
Identifying 4K-compatible HDMI cableCheck the cable or packaging for High Speed, Premium High Speed, or Ultra High Speed labels.Any HDMI cable version 1.4 and above can support 4K.
Test the cable by connecting it to a 1080p device and then a 4K device.If the cable only works on the 1080p device, it likely doesn’t support 4K.
Choosing an HDMI cable for 4KConsider wire material, connector material, wire thickness and length, and user reviews.Look for pure copper wires, gold or silver-plated connectors, and an appropriate wire thickness.
Types of HDMI cablesStandard, High Speed, Premium High Speed, and Ultra High Speed cables.Choose the type of cable based on your resolution and FPS requirements.

Does My HDMI Cable Support 4K?

Because 4K files contain a lot of data, to view a video or image in 4K quality (also referred to as UHD, Ultra High Definition, and 2160p), you’ll need devices and cables that can support it.

You can check your cable’s packaging if it has a High Speed label on it. Sometimes, the cable itself will have this label as well, but it’s not as common. 

However, if you’ve lost the packaging and the cable doesn’t have a label, you can still test it by plugging it in.

First, check to see if it’s still functioning by hooking it up to a 1080p computer monitor or TV. If it works, test it out with your 4K monitor or TV. If it just shows you a blank screen, then the cable isn’t compatible with 4K.

Are There Different Kinds of HDMI Cables?

There are four main grades of HDMI cables: Standard, High Speed, Premium, and Ultra.

Standard HDMI 

Standard HDMI cables are the oldest and are almost obsolete. They can only support resolutions up to 1080p and will not be able to give you a 4K output.

High Speed HDMI 

High Speed HDMI cables can handle 4K resolution as well as 3D videos up to 30 FPS (frames per second).

Premium High Speed HDMI 

Premium High Speed HDMI cables are capable of showing 4K resolution up to 60fps. This will also give you the deeper colors that 4K videos and images provide.

Ultra High Speed HDMI 

Ultra High Speed HDMI cables can handle anything from 1080p to 4K at 120 FPS to 8K at 60 FPS. 

If you like your videos running at high FPS, this type of cable is for you. If you don’t mind 30-60 FPS, you don’t need to bother with this type, as 8K TVs and videos aren’t that common yet. 

To summarize, any HDMI cable that’s version 1.4 and above can support 4K.

What to Look for in an HDMI Cable for 4K?

You don’t have to break your bank account just to find a good-quality HDMI cable. Here are some factors to consider when buying a new cable:

Wire Material

Some cheaper HDMI cables are made with steel, which isn’t the best conductor. Even copper-plated steel won’t give you much of an improvement.

You should be looking for HDMI cables that have pure copper wires. They’re not too expensive, so they’re definitely worth the purchase.

Connector Material

Check out the inside of an HDMI cable’s connectors to see what they’re made of. Cheaper ones are usually made with materials like aluminum. Aluminum is a good enough conductor, but it’s quite a soft metal and may not hold up.

A good material for connectors is gold or silver plating. It’s a great conductor and will be able to protect the inner components from wear and tear.

Wire Thickness and Length

The thickness of HDMI cables is measured with a gauge number. The lower the number, the thicker the wire. 

Generally, you would want to get a shorter cable (about 1.5 meters) if it’s thinner (32 gauge). However, if you find a thicker cable, it’ll be safer to get it in a longer size.

This is because the longer the cable, the worse your signal can get. Thicker cables will help prevent interruptions in your signal.

Tried and Tested

If you have a more complicated setup and aren’t just connecting your computer to your TV, you may want to find an HDMI cable that’s been tested using different monitors

You may check out the brand’s website for their testing methods or look for customer reviews that have similar setups to yours.

Final Thoughts

So, how to tell if your HDMI cable supports 4K? First, you need to check the packaging’s labels as well as the labels on the cable itself. 

Lost the packaging? Don’t worry.

Another way you can check if your HDMI cable supports 4K is by testing it out. Before you test the cable out on a 4K monitor, however, try testing it out on a lower-resolution device. 

If the cable works, you can go ahead and test it on your 4K device. If you see a black screen on the device, then your cable doesn’t support 4K.

Read more: how to stream 4k to TV