In the days of old, CRT standard definition television sets, audio and video connections were made via a series of cables that connected your display (meaning your TV) to another device (like a VCR, DVD player or cable box). This usually required at least one dedicated audio cable (though likely two or more) and three separate video cables - red, yellow and white.
With the advent of high definition came HDMI cables - an option for condensing all of these cables into a single wire that could send video and audio signals at the exact same time. HDMI cables are what makes things like Blu-ray players possible and make no mistake - if you've purchased an HDTV, you need to make sure every device is connected to your set with its own HDMI cable to receive the full effect of what you're paying for.
High Speed HDMI Cable vs Standard: What You Need to Know
The problem with standard HDMI cables is that they're exactly that - standard. They're only intended to reliably transmit video signals in resolutions like 1080i or 720p that, while both are certainly better than traditional standard definition, are woefully inadequate by today's standards. Unless your HDTV is around 10 years old, it probably supports full 1080p high definition - meaning that you're not getting the most out of your investment from a visual sense if you're still relying on standard HDMI cables.
One of the major benefits of high speed HDMI cables can be summed up in one simple term: future proofing. Though you might not have a 4K TV or UHD disc player today, the chances are high that you're going to buy one in the not too distant future. This is simply the direction that consumer electronics are headed in. To enjoy 4K resolution video and advanced display technologies like 3D, you need a high speed HDMI cable. Likewise, a high speed HDMI cable with Ethernet functionality allows for a dedicated Internet connection to your connected device - meaning that you also get to enjoy features like downloadable updates and other special features that you wouldn't have access to with a standard cable.