HDMI cables are so prevalent today, because they are used for all kinds of electronics such as TVs and monitors, laptops, projectors, game consoles, and more.
HDMI is a digital interface that allows you to connect your TV or computer with an external device like DVD player, Blu-ray Disc Player, game console, etc., using only one cable.
The HDMI standard was developed by the Digital Display Working Group in 2003. The first version of this specification was released on May 31st, 2004. It has been revised several times since then.
In 2009, it became known as High-Definition Multimedia Interface. This new name reflects its ability to transmit high definition video signals over a single cable.
In addition to transmitting HDTV content, HDMI can also be used to send audio/video data from devices such as set top boxes, Blu-Ray players, games consoles, cameras, camcorders, portable media players, personal computers, smartphones, tablets, smart watches, televisions, projectors, speakers, headphones, microphones, and other electronic equipment.
Before HDMI cables, people used VGA connectors which were much larger than current ones. These older types of connections have now become obsolete. VGA cables use analog signal transmission while HDMI uses digital signal transmission.
In this article, we’ll go over the 3 different types of HDMI cables:
Standard HDMI – mainly used for TVs, home theater systems, gaming consoles, and some PCs. They usually come with either male or female ends.
Mini HDMI – these are smaller versions of Standard HDMI cables. Mini HDMI cables are mostly found in mobile phones, tablet computers, and laptop computers.
Micro HDMI – Micro HDMI cables are very small compared to regular HDMI cables. They’re often used in wearable technology, smartphones and some tablets.
HDMI Cable Sizes
|HDMI Connector Type||Dimensions|
|Standard HDMI (Type A)||13.9mm x 4.45mm|
|Mini HDMI (Type C)||10.42mm x 2.42mm|
|Micro HDMI (Type D)||6.4mm x 2.8mm|
Standard HDMI (Type A)
Let’s start off with the Standard HDMI Cable. You may have seen these connectors before if you’ve ever connected any kind of AV component to your television.
They’re usually found at the back of most flat screen displays and some home theater receivers. They’re also used to connect your laptop to an external monitor display, as well as connecting your cable box to your TV.
How Many Pins Does A Standard HDMI Cable Have?
An HDMI connector consists of 19 pins. These pins allow the signal to travel through the wire, which includes video, audio, and timing data.
When you plug something into an HDMI port, the pins must line up correctly. If they don’t match up properly, the connection won’t work.
What Is A Crossover Connector Used For?
A crossover connector is used to split the incoming signal into left and right channels. In order to do this, the input needs to be wired differently than what would normally happen.
Mini HDMI (Type C)
The Mini HDMI connector is about 60% smaller than the standard HDMI connector. It comes in very handy for smaller form-factor devices that don’t have as much port real estate on the sides or back. That’s why the Mini HDMI is used in many cameras, cellphones, and tablets.
Sometimes you will need an adapter to connect devices that only have a mini HDMI port with devices that have a standard HDMI port.
Like the standard HDMI connector, the mini HDMI also has 19 pins.
Micro HDMI (Type D)
The micro HDMI connector came after the mini HDMI, but this too has the same number of pins (19). The micro HDMI, like its name indicates, is the smallest of the three types, and has a very compact form factor.
It was used in quite a few smartphones, but that use case was mostly replaced with the new USB Type-C connector.
While many older smartphones do still have the micro HDMI port, these days it is not so prevalent in the latest phones.
However, micro HDMI still plays an integral part in action cameras, since this allows for higher quality 4K video than the standard USB Type-C port.
As you can see, the main difference between these 3 connectors is the size.
Some connectors are used more frequently in certain types of devices, while other connectors (like the micro HDMI) are sort of phased-out except for specific functions such as action cameras that have 4K video capability.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do Those 19 Pins Do?
Those 19 pins carry all kinds of information from one device to another. This includes:
Video – Video signals include things like color depth, resolution, frame rate, etc…
Audio – Audio signals include things like sampling frequency, bitrate, channel count, etc…
Timing Data – Timing data tells both devices when each piece of content should begin and end.
What About The Type-B HDMI Connector?
The Type B connector was planned but never released. This is because it was too exotic, with a planned 29 total pins that would have had higher speed capability and extra channels. It turned out that none of these extra features were very necessary, since the standard HDMI connector evolved and improved quickly.