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  1. HDMI Questions Explained – Cable FAQ Guide

    What Does HDMI Stand For?

    HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface.

    What is HDMI?

    HDMI was developed as a new audio/video cable standard when the industry started manufacturing electronics with digital technology, replacing older analog machines. A coalition of major electronics manufacturers worked together to develop HDMI technology. HDMI 1.0 was first introduced to the open market in 2002.

    Does HDMI Support 4k?

    The current standard version of HDMI, HDMI 2.0, fully supports 4k video. This version of HDMI was released in September 2013. HDMI 1.4 cables, the standard from 2009 to fall 2013, have limited 4k support. Older HDMI cables do not support 4k.

    Does HDMI Carry Audio?

    Yes, HDMI is an audio/video cable. An extractor can be used to separate the audio & video signals into separate lines.

    How to Connect an HDMI Cord?

    Simply plug one end of the HDMI cable into the audio/video source and the other to the audio/video display. Make sure the display is on the correct HDMI input and the sound/images should display automatically.

    How Much Does an HDMI Cord Cost?

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  2. What are HDMI Cables?

    HDMI is the most common audio/video cable used today. Ushered in as the new standard for the digital age, HDMI was created in a joint project by numerous electronics manufacturers who wanted to set the stage as the switch from analog to digital technology was made. The development of HDMI cables began in 2002 and was completed the following year. Each following year saw more and more HDMI-ready products enter the market. Electronics equipped with HDMI ports became readily available across the world in the coming decade, with an estimated 3 billion HDMI-ready devices made by more than 1,300 companies as of HDMI’s 10-year anniversary in 2013.

    HDMI Specifications

    While HDMI has been around for some time now, the technology has continued to evolve since its invention. The current standard for HDMI is version 2.0, which was introduced in 2013. This was the first version of HDMI fully capable of supporting 4k signals, which have become increasingly popular for televisions, computer monitors, and projectors. While newer versions of HDMI do exist, they exceed the specs most televisions and other electronics are currently capable of supporting. Since version 2.0 cables are more cost-effective to produce, manufacturers have stuck with them as the standard for the time being. Version 2.0 will eventually become outdated but for the time being, they are considered more than adequate.

    While HDMI is certainly the most popular audio/video cable for electronics, it is not the only choice available. DisplayPort is HDMI’s main competitor, also being a digital audio/video cable. While DisplayPort is a little bit better than HDMI, it was designed specifically for use with computer monitors. It is very rare to see DisplayPort on other electronics like televisions or projectors. DVI is an older video-only cable that can be digital or analog, depending on the type of DVI, but cannot perform as well as HDMI. VGA is even older and analog-only, making it the weakest video cable still in use today.

    Types of HDMI Cables

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  3. How do Cables Affect my Internet Speed?

    Not being able to find a Wi-Fi connection is enough to annoy anyone these days. But worse than that, having a slow Wi-Fi connection is sure to raise anybody’s blood pressure. Even in the age of wireless technology, cables and wires are an essential part of making any machine work right. When a smartphone, computer, or any other device is connected wirelessly, the modem/router that wireless signal comes from is still using Ethernet cables. These cables may be providing the Internet signal indirectly, but they are still an integral part of the process.

    There are different categories out there and the type used will determine how fast electronics can operate online. If a page is loading slow, a better quality Ethernet cable can potentially make those connections go faster. It also helps to know how much data the average online task uses. Something simple like downloading a picture should go fast on any Ethernet cable whereas more data-heavy tasks like streaming videos can put strain on weaker connections.

    These factors ring true for both wired and wireless connections, although from a technical standpoint those can be two very different things. Speaking of things that are different, being in a building that supports fiber optic cable over Ethernet can also make a huge difference. Understanding the basics of these concepts can ensure you understand what steps can be taken to make your Internet faster.

    Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi

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  4. Connector Plating and Other Metals – Conductivity in Cables

    All cables (with the exception of fiber cables) are made using metal. Looking at any cable, users can see metal in the connectors on the end. Some connectors are entirely made of metal while others are mostly plastic and contain small metal pins. Regardless of how much metal is used in making a cable, and regardless of what exactly that cable is used for, these materials are all used for the same purpose: to conduct electricity. Any user who has handled various cables over the years, as most people have, has probably noticed that different metals can be used from one cable to the next.

    Why are Certain Metals used in Cables?

    So why are different metals used? Is there a metal that is better than the rest? There are many different factors that go into selecting what metals are used in making a cable. The first of which is conductivity. The list shows the commonly used metals in cable manufacturing, from most to least conductive (rated assuming the metals are pure).

    1. Silver
    2. Copper
    3. Gold
    4. Aluminum
    5. Zinc
    6. Nickel
    7. Brass
    8. Bronze
    9. Iron
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  5. The Do’s and Don’ts of Network Installation

    Ethernet cable has a major role anytime and anywhere the Internet is involved. Whether Internet connections are used at home or in a professional setting like an office, school, hospital, or manufacturing plant, Ethernet plays a part. Even wireless connections have to get their signals from devices like routers or wireless access points that are using Ethernet themselves. But most people who use the Internet for activities with high data usage, like video streaming, will choose Ethernet for its faster speed over Wi-Fi.

    Getting hardline connections ready may sound easy, but there is a bit of a planning process that goes into it. Firstly, think about what type of Ethernet cables you will need. Ethernet is divided into different categories. The current default cable is Cat5e, although newer and faster versions are also available. Consider what kind of data speeds the cable should be expected to handle and make a decision from there. Also, ask yourself where the cable will be located. If it is sitting on a desk in a room-temperature climate, any Ethernet cable will do. But if it will be exposed to extreme temperatures, sunlight, water, oil, chemicals, or any other harsh conditions, make sure to select a cable

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  6. Debunking Cable Myths

    Cables are a specialized market where it can be difficult for new or unfamiliar users to separate fact from fiction. Between urban legends on the Internet and all the different options out there, there is misinformation that many people think is true. To clear up these misconceptions and ensure users can make educated purchases, this article will address a few of the fictions that people commonly mistake for facts.

    Only Expensive HDMI Cables are 4k – False

    Once upon a time, this was true. HDMI has changed over the years as the technology has been upgraded. HDMI cables supporting 4k video became standard back in late 2013. Any HDMI cable on the market today should be more than capable of handling 4k video. If you need a cable with a stronger jacket, then there are better options than a basic cable. But as far as getting a 4k signal goes, a basic HDMI cable will run just as well as an elite one.

    Different Color Ethernet Cables Work Differently – False

    Ethernet cables can come in any color. Most manufacturers go with simple dark colors like black or blue but some devices like modems might come with a y

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  7. USB Car Chargers

    Keeping a full battery on phones and other electronics can be a hassle when you are on-the-go. Busy schedules do not always keep a wall outlet or computer port nearby for easy recharging. When you spend as much time in a vehicle as anywhere else, a car charger is the best way to keep those battery bars green. While car chargers may look simple at a glance, there are some differences between different models. Knowing which charger to pick helps ensure that your device(s) get their batteries back to 100% as quickly as possible.

    What Kind of Car Charger Do I Need?

    To find the best USB car charger out there, look for a unit with a variety of amperage options. Each USB port on a car charger will be rated for a different number of amps (abbreviated as “A” on chargers). This number determines the maximum amount of electricity that can be used while a device is recharging. The next obvious question here is “how many amps does my car charger need?” That answer will depend on what kind of electronics you plan on recharging.

    The rule of thumb here is that larger batteries will need more amps. Bigger devices use bigger batteries, so the number of amps you need will go up as your electronics get larger. For example, cell phones only need 1.0 amps while something larger like a tablet uses 2.1 amps. Any car charger should have the ports labeled so users can tell which is which.

    A two-port charger with 2.1A on the top por

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  8. Cable & Connector Terminology

    There are many different terms and acronyms that get thrown around within the cable industry. While most of these terms are not necessarily need-to-know, the information can be useful to have. In some cases, the information is need-to-know, like when someone is trying to figure out what type of power cord they need. This article will highlight some of the more common industry terms while providing quick, easy to understand definitions.

    The list below is provided in alphabetical order.

    #

    ¼”: A thicker audio connector commonly used on heavy equipment such as amplifiers and instruments. Available in a few different versions, additional details here.

    1-15: A two-prong power cord connector used on a standard wall outlet.

    10-32: A screw thread commonly used with racks, cabinets, and related equipment requiring ¾” screws.

    12-24: A screw thread commonly used with racks, cabinets, and related equipment requiring ⅝” screws.

    2.5mm: An audio connector formerly used on cell phones that still sees some use on other smaller devices. Available in a few different versions, additional details here

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  9. Cables to Keep Around the Office

    Any modern business is going to be networked with Internet connections. Whether a business is in a small home office with a single computer and printer or an enormous building with hundreds of machines, a nervous system of cables and wiring will be essential to keep things running smoothly. When cables go missing or start to fail, losses in both productivity and profitability are sure to follow. Most homes have a drawer filled with spare cables and there is no reason that an office should not do the same thing, albeit with better organization than a junk drawer.

    Ethernet

    Every electronic device connected to the Internet uses Ethernet. Even if a device uses WiFi, the equipment generating that WiFi signal is connected via Ethernet. There are different types of Ethernet cable on the market. Newer types (called categories) of Ethernet are faster than older versions, but some are so fast that they can be overkill. Exactly how fast an Ethernet cable should be will depend on how much data is being used. No matter where it is located, an Ethernet cable going out is always sure to cause Internet outages. Keeping at least a few spares around is always a good idea.

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  10. Power over Ethernet (PoE)

    Power over Ethernet (abbreviated PoE) is a term that gets thrown around a lot. Most Ethernet cables today are made PoE ready, but what exactly does that mean? What can PoE be used for and how is it different from other options used to accomplish those same tasks? This article will examine what PoE is, its uses, and how well it holds up compared to other modern-day technology.

    What is Power over Ethernet (PoE)?

    To understand PoE, start by thinking about how Ethernet cables work. At the core of every Ethernet cable, there is are lines of copper that run down the length of the entire cable. Ethernet cables transmit electrical signals that are interpreted by computers and other electronics as the 1’s and 0’s that make up binary code. The takeaway here is that Ethernet cables have always been capable of transmitting electricity since their invention. PoE just takes that function and moves it in a similar but slightly different direction.

    PoE was first developed by the company Cisco. Up until this point, every electronic with Ethernet needed two cables: the Ethernet cable itself and another cable for power. A lot of IT workers were annoyed by this since not every electronic they worked with was near an outlet or another power source. Cisco’s solution to this issue was supplying power through the Ethernet cable, making PoE cables an all-in-one solution. In 2003, PoE was standardized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and started to see widespread use across the IT industry shortly thereafter.

    What uses Power over

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