Buying an HDMI cable is not an everyday occurrence. Chances are you’re here because one you had before is faulty, you need a longer one, or because you want to hook up your laptop to your TV to watch films.
These are three of the most common reasons to buy an HDMI cable, and the search can be confusing and, frankly, boring. But there are some things to bear in mind.
With the popularity of home console gaming, the rise of streaming and more TVs and monitors supporting high resolution 4K, there are more variables to consider than you might think when buying an HDMI cable.
Things to consider when buying an HDMI cable
It’s likely that you’ll need HMDI-A to HDMI-A as the type of connection between source and output but check first – sometimes the source in particular might have a mini HDMI connection, in which case you’ll need a different cable.
You probably already own the correct cable if you bought a Blu-ray player or video game console, so just use the one that came with it. But if you just upgraded your TV and have a media streamer like an Apple TV 4K, an older cable might not support the newer 4K resolution. The best thing to do is plug them in and see if they work.
If the cable can’t handle the stream your TV will struggle to display the image properly by flickering or simply not looking sharp enough.
Essentially an HDMI cable is a simple link between the source of the image and sound and your TV or monitor. Although new TVs might have HDMI 2.0 or 2.1 in order to support Ultra HD, 4K or 8K formats on Blu-ray or when streaming on some services, this is simply a new standard – there isn’t such thing as an HDMI 2.0 or 2.1 cable.
No two HDMI cables that can display the same resolution will outperform one another – a cable is a cable is a cable. It’s your TV and media source that produce the improved resolution when correctly linked by the correct HMDI cable.
Bear in mind that you will have to specifically get a High Speed HMDI cable that supports 18Gbps speeds specifically for 4K at 60 frames per second if you have a 4K or HDR TV. There are also Premium High Speed (4K and other hi-res standards) and Ultra High Speed (8K, you probably don’t need this).
We recommend High Speed HDMI cables as they’ll work at a lower resolution, will work on future TV upgrades you might buy later and are very cheap anyway.
Perhaps it goes without saying but don’t just buy the very cheapest thing you can find. Chances are it’s cheap for a reason and won’t work properly with the kit you want it to.
Also, the shorter cable the better, if you can make it work with your set up. They tend to produce more constant and stable connections compared to signals travelling along a lengthy cable.
There’s not much reason to shop around for HDMI cables online in Australia as the two popular brands we recommend are both easily available. Here are the three best HDMI cables you can get hold of in Australia.
AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable
You can’t go wrong with Amazon’s Basic range HMDI-A to A cable as even though it hasn’t been officially HDMI Licensing certified, it works perfectly. It comes in a range of lengths from 6 feet to 25 feet and as a single, two or three pack. There is even a more durable braided version available.
The cables are High Speed, so will support 18GBps, 4K at up to 60fps, and will work with popular sources like Blu-ray, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, PS4 and Xbox One.
If you need an HDMI-A to mini HDMI cable, AmazoBasics has that too.
Monoprice Certified Premium HDMI Cable
Monoprice HDMI cables are recognised as the most affordable, officially certified cables out there. Available on Amazon for around the same price as Amazon’s own range, this standard HMDI-A to A cable comes in either 6 feet or 20 feet lengths at the time of writing from Amazon Australia.
Monoprice claims these High Speed 18Gbps 4K cables are the only cable to be tested and certified by HDMI Authorized Test Centres, so it’s a good peace of mind that they’re going to work just fine.
Monoprice Ultra Slim High Speed HDMI Cable
The two cables above are a little thick and tough to bend despite their durability. If you need something with more flexibility, then this Ultra Slim series cable from Monoprice should do the trick.
It’s just as compatible with every device as the Amazon and other Monoprice option but might be a better fit if your set up is in a confined space, or if a long cable needs to bend along a skirting board or behind a stand.