HDMI cables are widely used to connect different devices like computers, gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, and even TVs. An HDMI cable supports different resolutions and refreshes rates depending on its version. Among all versions, HDMI 2.0 is supported by a wide range of devices across the globe. But with a variety of HDMI cables on the market, it’s a bit confusing for beginners to identify which one is HDMI 2.0 and which isn’t. And this guide is to help you understand in the simplest way possible.
What is HDMI Cable?
HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) is the type of cable used to transmit audio and video signals between devices. These types of advanced cables are widely supported by graphics cards, gaming consoles, TVs, laptops, and even tablets.
The HDMI technology (HDMI 1.0) was first introduced in December 2002 as an improvement over the VGA technology. Before the arrival of HDMI, every device had a separate port for audio and video connections. But things drastically changed with the arrival of HDMI technology which uses a signal cable to transfer both audio and video signals.
The first version of HDMI was limited to 1080p resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. Since the time of its release, HDMI cable has gone through many upgrades, until in 2013, HDMI 2.0 was launched.
The HDMI 2.0 cables show added support for 4K resolution (3840×2160) at 60 Hz and expanded audio options. Similarly, in the year 2017, HDMI 2.1 was introduced that supported up to 8K resolution (7680×4320) at 60 Hz and higher refresh rates of up to 120 Hz.
Different HDMI Versions & Supported Resolution, Bandwidth, Refresh Rate
|Refresh Rate (Hz)
|60 Hz / 120 Hz
|60 Hz / 120 Hz
How to Identify HDMI 2.0 from HDMI 1.0
Physically, it’s hard to pick out HDMI 2.0 from the rest of the HDMI versions. It’s because all seven versions from 2002 to 2018 have the same shape and they share a similar interface. The only difference between all HDMI versions lies in their capabilities. However, you can look out for a UHD or 4K logo on the cable connectors or packing to find out if you are interacting with an HDMI 2.0 cable.
An HDMI 2.0 cable supports resolutions up to 4K (3840×2160) at 60 Hz and 8Kresolution. Whereas the older HDMI 1.0 cable is only capable of supporting resolutions up to 1080p.
For example, if you have a 4K graphics card that supports HDMI 2.0, but you are unable to achieve a resolution over 1080p, then it could be due to the fact that you are using an HDMI 1.0 cable.
The older versions of HDMI from 1.0 to 1.4 are limited to a 60 Hz refresh rate. Whereas HDMI 2.0 and later versions are capable of breaking the 60 Hz refresh rate barrier. With HDMI 2.0, you can get a higher refresh of up to 120 Hz refresh rate if your monitor supports it.
HDR is an advanced technology used to enhance the colours and contrasts of images and videos for an immersive visual experience. HDMI 2.0 and later versions support HDR whereas HDMI 1.0 does not support this technology.
One way to identify whether you have an HDMI 2.0 cable is to know the supported bandwidth. The HDMI 2.0 cable can support bandwidth up to 18.0 Gbps whereas the HDMI 1.0 cannot exceed over 10.2 Gbps.
HDMI 2.0 cable supports a variety of sound formats, the most popular ones are Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. The HDMI 1.0 on another side only favours the basic audio formats.
All in all, HDMI 2.0 cable supports a wide range of devices and offers you improved audio and video performance over HDMI 1.0 cable. An HDMI 2.0 cable supports 4K and even 8K resolution, which makes it a great choice for hardcore gamers and professional content creators.
Hi, this is Masab, the owner and founder of the PC Wire. I’m a PC enthusiast who loves to talk about computers. I have been testing PC hardware for several years now, and I hope my knowledge would answer your queries thoroughly.