The rapid evolution of home entertainment technology in the digital age gives rise to a host of new tools and terminology. Many of these terms constitute acronyms, abbreviations or portmanteaus of other technological terms, serving to further confuse the everyday consumer. The term “HDMI In-Wall” qualifies as one such term. Understanding HDMI in-wall requires an understanding of HDMI cables and a precursory knowledge of high definition televisions.
HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface. HDMI cables present a way of transmitting high definition video and audio information in a single cable. These cables use digital technology. Analog systems require at least one cable for video and one for audio. HDMI cables connect DVD players, Blu-Ray players, DVRs and other platforms like video game consoles to high-definition televisions, transmitting all audio and visual information from the player to the television. HDMI cables only work with high-definition televisions.
High definition video information comes in various formats, including 780p and 1080p. The number in each format refers to the number of vertical lines of information appearing in each image – a 1080p image, for instance, contains 1080 vertical lines of information. HD visual and audio contains enough information to require special types of cables. According to online technology resources CNET, HDMI presents the best solution for transmitting HD video and audio because it can handle more information in a more sensitive manner than any competing products.
HDMI in-wall constitutes HDMI cables approved to run through a wall. The National Electric Code suggests strict regulations for cables running through walls to prevent potential hazards like electrical fires. Municipalities throughout the United States maintain laws on in-wall cable installation using the National Electric Code as a basic guide, though sometimes impose stricter regulations. A number of companies produce commercially available cables for in-wall installation. In-wall cables allow for mounting HD televisions on walls, among other things.
Various types of HDMI cables exist, including HDMI 1.3, HDMI 1.3a and HDMI 1.3b. According to online resource HDMI.org, little difference exists between these cable types from a consumer perspective. However, HDMI cables may possess alternate input types – always check the input type on your HDTV before purchasing an HDMI cable. Wireless HDMI technology poses a competitive threat to in-wall HDMI cables. Wireless transmitters allow for the transmission of HD information from sources such as a cable box to a remote television. This permits for wall mounting without the need for running cables through a wall.
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