Which HDMI Cable Should I Use to Hitch My 4K Player to a 1080p HDTV?

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Q Can I use an HDMI 1.3b cable to connect an Ultra HD Blu-Ray player to my regular HDTV? Will the cable downscale the 4K image to 1080p, or do I need to use an HDMI 2.0 cable for it to work? —Charles Kuforiji, via email

A Before I get to your questions, let’s review the basics of HDMI cables and their capabilities. First, there’s no such thing as an HDMI 1.3b or HDMI 2.0 cable. Instead of being linked with a particular version of the HDMI specification (e.g., HDMI 1.4), an HDMI cable is instead labeled by its capabilities.

A Standard HDMI cable will support up to 1080i/720p high-definition video and multichannel audio. A High Speed HDMI cable can support 4K video with high dynamic range and multichannel audio. Both Standard and High Speed HDMI cables are also available in a separate versions with Ethernet support. Oh, there are also Premium High Speed HDMI Cables, but that’s something of a marketing gimmick to sell pricey cables.

Since you’re using an Ultra HD Blu-ray player in your system, I recommend buying a High Speed HDMI cable. The cable itself won’t perform any downscaling of the 4K video on Ultra HD Blu-ray to 1080p resolution; the player does that. To set things up properly, simply select the 1080p output option in the player’s video setup menu and signals in the correct format will be sent to the TV.


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