Today there is a lot of confusion regarding the use of existing HDMI cables with new 4K technologies and which cables have the bandwidth to support native 4K @ 60 Hz.
Let’s take a real world scenario where you might have just bought the latest and greatest in televisions and on the box it’s written 4K with HDR. What the box doesn’t tell you is your television won’t simply give you amazing 4K picture quality without the right source and the correct cables connecting that source to your Television.
To put it as a metaphor, buying components which support Native 4K resolutions but connecting them with HDMI cables which don’t have sufficient bandwidth is like having your kitchen sink clogged. There is a just not enough space in the pipe for everything to move through and you end up with a backlog. Your image starts getting compressed, and eventually buffers. Leaving you with expensive technology which just can’t give you the results your looking for.
So how do you ensure that the cables you purchase now are going to be ready for the full requirements of HDMI 2.0 and 4K? You have to buy cables that are spec’d with support for the bandwidth needs you have. Any reputable cable manufacturer like Tributaries should be able to supply you with a printout of the test report for a purchased cable type. This, plus good quality control, will ensure that you’re buying a product that will meet the demands of your future 4K-enabled electronics. Right now the maximum bandwidth support is 18 Gbps (gigabit per second), so any cable that is rated for that speed will work for the length of cable that meets that criteria.
Looking forward, remember to always future proof yourselves and run the latest in cabling technologies during your pre-wiring stage. This will save you a lot of headache in trying to rip out cables for new ones in case your existing cables don’t meet the latest standards.