What is HDMI? Do I need it?

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If you are in the market for an LCD TV or Plasma, there's no doubt you've come across the word "HDMI" plenty of times:

- What is HDMI? Do I need it?
- If HDMI is so good, why do TVs only have one HDMI input?
- Where can I get more info on HDMI?

What is HDMI? Do I need it?

It stands for "High Definition Multimedia Interface" and it is capable of carrying both high definition video and audio through the one cable.

HDMI uses digital transmission so it ensures zero signal loss. It's also a great way to reduce the number of cables in your home entertainment setup - a typical setup would take at least 6 cables to do high definition video and audio.

HDMI is fully backward compatible with DVI which is a digital technology designed to carry only digital video. To connect a computer to an LCD panel that has HDMI input, you would use an HDMI to DVI adapter cable.

If HDMI is so good, why do TVs only have one HDMI input?

The fact remains that HDMI is still a new technology and that means it's still very expensive. Just HDMI cables alone cost about $60 at this stage. For manufacturers to produce LCD TVs with dual HDMI inputs is an expensive task and the costs would have to be carried on to the end consumer.

Within a few years, every home entertainment device in the house will use HDMI, this includes your:
- Digital Set top box
- DVD Player
- DVD Recorder
- Gaming console

A great way to expand the high definition capabilities of your LCD TV is to get an HDMI switch. The top models have a 4 port switch with a remote control so it makes managing your HDMI devices really easy.

Where can I get more info on HDMI?

A great place to get more info on HDMI technology, go to: www.hdmi.org.

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