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Will a Normal HDMI Cable Work With 4K?

Having recently purchased a new 4K television, I was excited to start watching my favorite shows and movies in the highest quality possible. However, I soon realized that a normal HDMI cable wasn’t going to cut it. After doing some research, I discovered that I needed a specific type of HDMI cable that could deliver the amazing 4K quality I was looking for. In this blog post, I’m going to share what I learned and offer some helpful tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your 4K TV experience.

The direct answer is yes. This should work out as long as your device is capable of producing 4K output, and if your HDMI cable is the high-speed version.

What Is a Normal HDMI Cable?

The term “normal HDMI cable” is vague because HDMI cables come in different cable types and versions.

When it comes to cable types, a normal HDMI cable can mean a standard cable or a premium high-speed cable. They have lots of differences and, the catch is, only a few types of HDMI cables can work with 4K.

On the other hand, HDMI versions are more complex because this is where you can identify their distinctions. HDMI 2.0 is commonly used by many as it’s the HDMI cable that comes with your appliances. It’s not the latest, but it’s still up to date. 

In addition, it’s still the best option when it comes to HDMI cables.

Do All HDMI Cables Work With 4K?

Most people think that all HDMI cables work with 4K but, sadly, it’s not true. It’s important to learn the different variations of HDMI cables so you’ll know if the one you have works with 4K.

The cable type and version are usually printed on the packaging and the cable itself. However, if it doesn’t have any label printed on it, you can check it by finding out the maximum supported resolution. Just connect your HDMI cable to a monitor or TV and alter the display.

The following are the different HDMI cable types and whether they work with 4K or not:

  1. Standard HDMI Cable

Unfortunately, this HDMI cable doesn’t support 4K and later resolutions. This cable is oftentimes referred to as HDMI 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, or 1.2a. 

It can only transmit 720p or 1080p resolution. Additionally, its max refresh rate is only 30Hz, and it has a cable bandwidth of 5Gbps.

  1. High-Speed HDMI Cable

The only High-Speed HDMI cable that can work with 4K is version 1.4, but its maximum refresh rate is only 30Hz. 

Unfortunately, versions 1.3, and 1.3a don’t support 4K. These versions can only transmit 1080p, while version 1.4 can transmit 4K resolution as well as 3D signals.

  1. Premium High-Speed HDMI Cable

Premium High-Speed HDMI cables can transmit 4K at 60Hz, and they also have a High Dynamic Range

This type of HDMI is one of the latest and is commonly used for gaming. Its versions are 2.0, 2.0a, and 2.0b. Furthermore, it supports expanded color spaces, chroma sampling, and even BT.2020.

  1. Ultra-High Speed HDMI Cable

The Ultra-High Speed HDMI cable works with all HDMI devices, and it supports 4K up to 10K resolution

Additionally, its max refresh rate is 60Hz for 8K, and 120Hz for 4K. It can even reach up to 240Hz when connected to an HDR TV.

What Is the Best HDMI Cable That Can Work With 4K?

The best HDMI cable that can work with 4K is an Ultra-High Speed HDMI cable or HDMI 2.1. This is because said cable supports up to 10K resolution and even 120Hz. 

Moreover, this HDMI cable will definitely stand the test of time due to it being more advanced than others. 

How to Recognize a High-Speed HDMI Cable?

With the vast choices of HDMI cable available in the market, it’s hard to recognize which type of cable you have. However, to identify a High-Speed HDMI cable, you should inspect its packaging and the appearance of the cable itself.

Of course, its packaging should have the name “High-Speed HDMI cable” or “Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable.” 

Additionally, there should be a certification label printed on the packaging. Most of the time, it has a holographic image that is only scannable through the HDMI cable certification app.

Moving on to the appearance of the HDMI cable, it should have “High-Speed” written on the plug. Some cables have the text printed on the cable jack itself.

Moreover, a High-Speed HDMI cable should be thick—at least 7 mm in width.

Takeaways

Now you know that a normal HDMI cable works with 4K, as long as it’s the 1.4 version and above.

Just keep in mind that even though your HDMI cable supports 4K, it won’t work if your device doesn’t support it. The device you’re using is still the basis of whether or not it can produce your desired video resolution.