HDMI vs. Mini HDMI vs. Micro HDMI: these are the differences

HDMI has established itself as the most pervasive audio-visual connectivity standard. Although new versions have appeared and speeds have increased, the connectors have remained the same since their initial introduction.

hdmi means High definition multimedia interface. It is a digital standard designed to transport video and audio from a source (such as a Blu-Ray player or game console) to a screen or recorder.

The HDMI standard had several iterations, each of which increased bandwidth to allow for higher resolutions and higher frequencies. frames. The latest standard is the HDMI 2.1, which allows a total transfer rate of 48 Gbps, sufficient for an uncompressed 12-bit HDR 4K signal at 120 Hz.

Regardless of whether a full HDMI (also known as Type A) or a smaller variant is used, the standard uses 19 pins to carry multiple signals, including video and audio, clocks to keep everything in sync, 5V of power and even Ethernet data.

The beauty of HDMI is that each new iteration maintains backward compatibility. You can take an HDMI connection from an old laptop or Xbox 360 console and display it perfectly on a new 8K TV.

This contrasts with older analog standards, which often require intermediate devices to convert Scart, component, S-video or similar connections to digital HDMI.

What is the HDMI connector?

AN Type A HDMI cable Standard, like the one found on the back of any modern television or console, uses a relatively large 14 x 4.55 mm connector that can only be inserted one way.

A standard HDMI cable, like the one pictured, has the same full-size HDMI connector (Type A) on both ends.

You can find one of these cables for less than €10 in stores like Amazon.

 

What is the Mini HDMI connector?

The mini HDMI, also known as Type C, is a smaller version of the digital interface. The connector measures just 10.42 x 2.42 mm and also has 19 pins, although the layout is slightly different from the larger Type A connector.

It is not uncommon to find HDMI cables with a Type-A and a Mini HDMI (Type-C) connector, like the one in the picture, which generally cost less than €10 on sites like Amazon.

While there is a lot of interface space on larger devices such as game consoles and televisions, smaller devices often need to save space. This is where the Mini HDMI comes in, offering all the benefits of the HDMI interface in a much smaller form factor.

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The most common devices that use Mini HDMI are digital cameras and camcorders. Some laptops also use the smaller form factor, as do some smaller computers like the Raspberry Pi Zero.

What is the Micro HDMI connector?

The Micro HDMI, also known as Type-D, reduces the interface to an even higher degree. The connector is only 6.4 x 2.8 mm, but all 19 pins are present, although the layout is different from the standard and Mini connectors.

Micro HDMI is less widespread than the other two variants and has lost popularity in recent years, but you can find it for less than €10 on sites like Amazon.

Some older Android phones used these connectorsBut now most Android phones use USB-C connection, which can support HDMI output using a USB-C to HDMI adapter.

Probably the most common devices that still use Micro HDMI are the GoPro Action Cameras.

What is the future of HDMI?

The Type-A connector is ubiquitous and cables are easy to find. If the HDMI had to be replaced, USB-C would likely be the top candidate. HDMI over USB-C is now possible, although HDCP 2.2 support is currently limited to HDMI.

The only other technology that can bring HDMI down is some sort of wireless standard. While wireless display technology is useful for portable devices (and technologies like AirPlay already allow it), wireless technologies are vulnerable to interference.

So it doesn’t make much sense for static devices such as game consoles or Blu-Ray players to use a wireless connection, even if cable clutter is reduced.

Which HDMI cable should I buy?

If you are purchasing an HDMI 2.1 cable, you can use a mobile app to verify that your cables have passed certification. New consoles, such as the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, come with HDMI 2.1 cables.

If you have to buy a cable, don’t get carried away by the marketing charms of “premium” HDMI cables. While they promise superior shielding and high data performance, they are no better than cheap certified cables.

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