What You Want In A Cable
If you are here looking for an HDMI cable and you aren’t entirely sure of everything they do, take a look at our article, What Is an HDMI Cable?
For those of you that know perfectly well what an HDMI cable is, let’s talk about the features and quality you should look for.
Which Cables Can Play 4k?
To transfer 4k content, all you need is HDMI 2.0 and it will play at 60 FPS (frames per second). The problem lies in the future.
When you want to upgrade the rest of your equipment to the newly released 8k standard, HDMI 2.0 will only allow for 30 frames per second.
So, what should you buy?
HDMI 2.1 Is The Best HDMI Cable for 4K Content
HDMI 2.1 not only plays 4k at an incredible 120 FPS but will also support 10k up to 120 FPS.
Added to this, HDMI 2.0a and 2.0b only really added HDR (What is HDR?) compatibility.
The jump from 2.0b to 2.1 increased the signal speed from 18 Gbps to 48 Gbps.
This allowed for the addition of many amazing technology advancements, such as:
- Dynamic HDR
- eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)
- Variable Refresh Rate
- Auto Low Latency Mode
- Quick Frame Transport
- Quick Media Switching
While most of these technologies focus on a faster image display and interface, dynamic HDR is a very important advancement for the quality of the picture. You may know it better as Dolby Vision or HDR10+. Dolby Vision provides a minimum of 12-bit color depth, where HDR10+ gives a minimum 10-bit color depth. The main difference between HDR10 and HDR10+ is that dynamic metadata, which makes the image change more efficiently, giving higher range of “moving” color.
The Best Value HDMI 2.1 Cable
This review splits slightly in its recommendation depending on location. Most of the time, quality products available in the US are extremely expensive or not available in Canada. Because of this, we will start with our recommendation for our American readers, then continue on to our Canadian recommendation.
Best HDMI 2.1 Available to the US
We tested a few of the higher rated cable both for signal and durability and found one cable that stood head and shoulders above the rest in every category.
Boasting braided exterior and high end connections, and silver coated copper connections mixed with an incredibly low price, we gave 5 stars out of 5 for:
Best HDMI 2.1 Available to Canada
The cable available to Canada for approximately the same price (taking into account the currency exchange rate at the time of writing this). It also has the high quality braided exterior, but has a small change for the connectors.
This cable includes gold-plated copper connectors. Gold is tied for the best commercially available substance for conducting electrical signals. Silver and gold both have one valence electron, which is what determines conductivity. Copper has two valence electrons, making it slightly less conductive, but costs much less, which is why it is used in most commercially available electronics as the main conductor material.
This cable also got an easy 5 out of 5 stars: