Prior to HDMI, these were basically limited to either DVI or component video. The former, a video-only connector, was better suited to its original use in computer monitors, The latter, although effective at transferring HD signals once hooked up, required users to route up to five separate cables if they wanted both video and audio to transfer simultaneously.
HDMI was essentially developed as a means of gathering these five separate cables into one. And, after a period of intense research and testing worldwide, HDMI first launched as a range of commercially available cable and connectors in 2002.
Sales of HDMI components began to increase exponentially over the following 3-5 years, and today it has become more or less the default option for home and workplace A/V signal transfer alike. True to the developers’ original vision, HDMI now allows extremely high-quality audio-visual signals to be carried reliably and neatly between capable wired devices via a single sturdy cable.
HDMI connectors themselves function much like any other familiar cable-based plug-and-socket system. Indeed, there’s a notable similarity in appearance between USB and HDMI, although HDMI is typically larger (we’ll look more closely at shapes and sizes in the following sections).
As with most other audio-video cable components, HDMI connectors are gendered and can be either male or female depending on which side of the interface they’re required to support in order to complete the connection. And, as is the norm with cable plugs and sockets, a male HDMI connector will generally be slightly smaller and feature a protruding pin area, while the female connector will be recessed and slightly larger.
In addition to these basic male/female characteristics, there are also a number of different HDMI connector types, sizes and layouts available to buy in the UK and worldwide.
In this guide, we’ll explore some of the more common sorts of HDMI connectors on sale in the current market, and look at which types tend to be best suited to what sorts of applications