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Ask Anything: What is HDMI?John Falcone explains the high-definition connection.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:05 >> Hey there, I'm Rich DeMuro with CNET TV and this is Ask Anything, the segment where there are no stupid questions. Joining us today John Falcone, senior editor at CNET dot com for home audio and home theater. And you're going to tell us about HDMI, the big buzz word when you're buying anything HD now a days. What does HDMI mean and why does everyone love it? >> HDMI is just an acronym, an abbreviation for high definition multimedia interface. And that's actually pretty explanatory of exactly what it is. It's a single cable solution for HD video and surround sound audio. >> So everything is contained in this one cable? Like with S video, I was always confused because you'd have that S video cable, but you'd still need two other cables for your audio. This, it's all in one. >> It's all in one, it's a nice small cable. It's kind of like USB for home theater. So it's pretty tiny. It's consolidated onto one cable and it's all digital. No analog here whatsoever. >> Now when you're shopping for a TV they say has two HDMI inputs. How many should you look for on a good HDTV and does everything have HDMI output and input? >> These days pretty everything that's high def does have HDMI. So the TVs all have HDMI inputs. The more the better. You definitely want at least one, two or more is even better. But if you only have one, or you have less than you need, you can get these really cheap and easy HDMI switchers. These are less than 100 dollars and you can just toggle between multiple inputs. So even if you don't have a nice HD receiver, you can toggle as many HDMI sources as you need. But that does mean you have to get up from your couch to actually switch it. Or I guess when you turn on the DVD player. This one for instance has a nice little remote and you can also program a universal remote right to it. So you actually don't have to, god forbid you have to get up from you couch, you're good to go. >> Let's talk about copyright protection real quick. That's why Hollywood and the manufacturers must love this because there's built in copyright protection. >> HDMI has a copy protection scheme called HDCP, high definition copy protection. And that for the user is really one of the draw backs because whenever things go a little wonky with HDMI, that's usually the case, is that there's some strange issue with the HDCP flags being out of whack or something. But the movie studios do love it because it locks down their content and you can't copy anything from it. >> And real quick finally, how much are we going to pay for an HDMI cable? Doesn't come with it. >> You really don't have to worry about paying more than 20 dollars for an HDMI cable. You see a lot of expensive and there's a lot of premium ones you can buy. But I think even the generic ones at shorter lengths are fine for 20 dollars. >> Alright, and crystal clear pictures. Again this is the Ask Anything segment where there are no stupid questions. I'm Rich DeMuro with CNET TV. Thanks a lot, John Falcone. >> Absolutely. >> See you next time. ^M00:02:55 [ Music ]