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Best HDMI cable 2024: Get the fastest connection to your TV

Two HDMI cables with connectors

Want to be sure that you get the highest resolutions and frame rates? Buying a great HDMI cable could make all the difference

HDMI has become the standard connection for hooking up your TV or projector to Blu-ray players, media streamers, set-top-boxes, gaming consoles and home cinema systems. And while it’s now been around for nearly 20 years, it keeps evolving to cover new resolutions and features.

Up to a point, you can connect any TV to any source using a working HDMI cable, but while you will get sound and a picture, it might not be the sound and picture that you’re hoping for. That’s why it’s crucial to buy an HDMI cable that supports the same HDMI standards as your TV, not to mention anything that you plan to plug into it. This won’t cost as much as you might think, and we’re here to point you in the right direction.

Best HDMI cable: At a glance

  • Best budget HDMI 2.0 cable: AmazonBasics Braided HDMI | Buy now
  • Best HDMI for wall-mounted TVs: UGreen 4K HDMI Cable, 90 Degree | Buy now
  • Best future-proof 8K HDMI cable: KabelDirekt 8K HDMI 2.1 Cable | Buy now

Amazon Basics braided HDMI cable now less than a FIVER for Black Friday

You can now pick up an Amazon Basics nylon-braided HDMI cable for a mere £4.59 for 0.9m. Reliable and sturdy, this cable is perfect for any AV setup. All lengths are discounted this week, right up to 7.6m. For more info, read our mini review below.

Amazon £6.69 £4.59 View deal at Amazon

How to choose the best HDMI cable for you

What should you look for in an HDMI cable?

First things first. HDMI cables carry a digital signal, which means that – barring any disastrous level of data loss – any HDMI cable of a given specification should match the performance of any other HDMI cable of the same specification. Don’t get hoodwinked by talk of special cable materials, gold-plated contacts or proprietary shielding technology. We’re not in the realms of analogue speaker cables or component video cables where a high-end cable was audibly or visibly better than a cheapie. HDMI cables tend to either work or not. Read our HDMI mythbuster for more.

However, not all HDMI cables are the same. Instead, they fit into a series of standards that cover the data bandwidth the cable is designed to carry and, in turn, the resolutions and features that the cable can support.

The original Standard or Category 1 cables were certified to handle 1080i or 720p video. The later High Speed or Category 2 cables took the bandwidth up from 4.95Gbit/sec to 10.2Gbit/sec, which meant they could transport 1080p video at 60 frames per second or 60Hz, or 4K video at 30fps or 30Hz. Category 3 or HDMI Premium cable reaches 18Gbits/sec and supports 4K video at 60Hz, while the highest spec Category 3 (8K) or Ultra cable can do 4K at 120Hz or 8K at 60Hz.

These specs tie into the HDMI connection standards, which is why you might see some Category 3 cables listed as HDMI 2.0 cables and some Category 3 (8K) cables listed as HDMI 2.1. Basically, if you have a 4K console with an HDMI 2.0 output and a 4K HDR TV with an HDMI 2.0 input, then you’re going to need a Category 3 cable running between them, or you run the risk of only getting 4K at 30Hz.

Similarly, if you’ve got, say, a new Xbox Series X or PS5 along with a 4K HDR TV with an HDMI 2.1 input and support for 4K at 120Hz, then you’re going to need that Category 3 8K cable to get it all up and running. It’s the same story if you’re planning to make use of advanced AV and gaming features like Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), eARC lossless audio connectivity and Dynamic HDR at the highest resolutions or frame rates.

Colour can also be affected, as Category 1 and Category 2 cables haven’t got the bandwidth to convey the enhanced 10-bit colour depths, or Deep Colour, output by 4K Blu-ray players and 4K HDR consoles, let alone the 12-bit colour depth used by some Dolby Vision screens and 4K Blu-ray players.

READ NEXT: The best 1080p, 1440p, 4K and ultrawide monitors

Does the physical construction of the cable matter?

While the design and construction of the cable might not make any difference to your image or sound quality (as long as it works properly), it will make it more robust and reliable, or affect how easy it is to connect your screen and source devices.

Again, there’s no need to go crazy. You’ll see some manufacturers touting how tough and resilient their cable is, but most HDMI cables spend their entire lifespan tucked behind a TV or AV setup, getting plugged out and back in occasionally. Most do not, strangely enough, get regularly run over by a monster truck. What’s more, some of the bulkiest cables with the biggest, toughest connectors can be a nightmare to work with when you’re setting things up, or expose your sockets to unnecessary tension once you have it all plugged in.

Is there anything else worth looking out for?

Certified or tested cables have been tested to make sure they work reliably, and that they’ll support the resolutions and gaming/AV features that they should based on their category. Otherwise, there are a few cables with different swivelling or 90-degree connectors that might make it easier to use them with a screen that’s in a constrained space or mounted on a wall.

READ NEXT: The best soundbars for improving your TV’s audio

The best HDMI cables for 2024

1. AmazonBasics Braided HDMI: The best budget HDMI 2.0 cable

Price: From £6.69 (0.9m) | Buy now from Amazon

As with so many AmazonBasics products, this braided HDMI cable covers all your basic HDMI needs at a wallet-friendly price. The cable feels tough, with a braided sleeve and well-reinforced connectors, and provides a reliable connection between HDMI 2.0 screens and sources, not to mention 4K AV Receivers and soundbars using ARC. Thanks to its flexibility and relatively compact connectors, it’s one of the easier HDMI cables to work with, particularly if you’re using side-facing ports, and it even looks a little more premium than your average budget effort. You’re not getting anything in terms of HDMI 2.1 ready future-proofing, but as a cable for the here and now it’s great.

Key specs – Category: 3; Max Bandwidth: 18Gbits/sec; Max supported resolution: 4K@60Hz; Cable type: Nylon braided; Lengths available: 0.9m to 7.6m

2. Lindy Black Line High Speed Cable: The best HDMI 2.0 cable for short runs

Price: From £3.60 (0.5m) | Buy now from Amazon

With its slimline PVC jacketed cable and compact Nickel-plated connectors, the Lindy Black Line isn’t much to look at, but it’s a very handy 4K-capable cable in the right circumstances. Basically, it’s cheap, cheerful and really flexible. It also comes in convenient 0.5m and 1m lengths that won’t leave a trail of cabling dangling behind your TV cabinet. These shorter lengths are ideal for connecting consoles, media streamers, set-top-boxes and AV receivers in TV racks and cabinets where space gets pretty tight, and in long-term use it’s proved reliable and hassle-free. You might want something higher-specced or more robust for longer stretches, not to mention something with more bandwidth if you’re purchasing a new mid-range or high-end telly, but for older kit and budget HDMI 2.0-only gear, this cable will be more than fine.

Key specs – Category: 3; Max Bandwidth: 18Gbits/sec; Max supported resolution: 4K@60Hz; Cable type: Triple-shielded PVC; Lengths available: 0.5m to 5m

3. Ugreen 4K HDMI Cable, 90 Degree: The best HDMI cable for tricky wall-mounted TVs

Price: From £7.99 (1m) | Buy now from Amazon

Chunky plugs with heavy-duty reinforcement are often seen as a sign of AV cable quality, but those same connectors can also cause trouble when there’s not much space behind your AV gear or TV screen. This is where UGreen’s 4K cable comes into its own. While one end houses a standard HDMI connector, the other has one mounted inside a 90-degree angled plug, which won’t stick out anywhere near as far. You have to be careful about which way up your HDMI sockets sit on the TV or source device in question – those with the wider edge at the bottom may need a variant with a 270-degree plug. And while the cable itself is fine, it doesn’t quite have the premium feel of some other options. All the same, if you have a wall mounted TV or, say, a monitor pressed up against a wall, then this cable might just bag you some crucial breathing room.

Key specs – Category: 3; Max Bandwidth: 18Gbits/sec; Max supported resolution: 4K@60Hz; Cable type: Triple-shielded PVC; Lengths available: 1m to 3m

4. LinkUp HDMI 4K Cable Ultra HD 360°: The best HDMI cable for flexibility

Price: From £17.96 (1.8m) | Buy now from Amazon

It’s a bit more expensive than other cables of a similar spec, but this LinkUp option has a useful party piece. Not only does the top section of the plug swivel inwards to give you a right-angled connection, but it also rotates through 180 degrees. This makes it perfect for tight spaces, side-facing sockets, wall-mounted screens and anywhere where you might be worried about an awkward connection putting tension on the cable and the sockets. On top of this, it’s a good, high-quality cable, with a thick PVC jacket, ample shielding and high-quality connectors. LinkUp also sells a Category 3 (8K) Ultra version, if you’re happy to pay a little more for a future-proof option.

Key specs – Category: 3; Max Bandwidth: 18Gbits/sec; Max supported resolution: 4K@60Hz; Cable type: Triple-shielded, double braided; Lengths available: 1.8m to 7.6m

5. KabelDirekt 8K HDMI 2.1 Cable: The best future-proof 8K cable

Price: From £5.89 (1m) | Buy now from Amazon

Looking for a future-proof cable for your high-end TV or 4K projector? This KabelDirekt cable has all the specs you need and doesn’t cost the earth. It comes in 1m to 3m lengths. Even if you don’t have an 8K screen to run it with, it will support 120Hz gaming on your Xbox Series X or PS5. KabelDirekt has even had it tested and certified to prove it. What’s more, it’s an extremely solid cable, with a robust PVC jacket, gold-plated connectors and plenty of reinforcement where the cable meets the chunky plug. That can make it a little more difficult to work with in tight spaces than some of the other cables in this line-up, but it gives you confidence that it’s built to last.

Key specs – Category: 3 (8K); Max Bandwidth: 48Gbits/sec; Max supported resolution: 8K@60Hz, 4K@120Hz; Cable type: Triple-shielded PVC; Lengths available: 0.5m to 5m

6. TrueHQ Ultra High Speed: The best value 8K cable

Price: From £13.49 (2m) | Buy now from Amazon

While you can easily find more expensive 8K-ready, HDMI 2.1 cables from bigger brands, it’s hard not to be impressed by the quality of TrueHQ’s effort, especially given the price. It comes in 2m and 3m lengths and is tested and certified for Category 3/Ultra applications, meaning it should cover your 4K/120Hz consoles now and your 8K screen in the future. The moulded alloy plugs and gold-plated connectors seem robust, and the braided cable stays flexible without feeling insubstantial, making it relatively easy to get in and out of place. As a bonus, it also comes packaged with two Velcro cable ties. For sheer value alone, this 8K cable is hard to beat.

Key specs – Category: 3 (8K); Max Bandwidth: 48Gbits/sec; Max supported resolution: 8K@60Hz, 4K@120Hz; Cable type: Triple-shielded, double braided; Lengths available: 2m, 3m

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