There was an era not too long ago where hooking up a new piece of consumer electronics equipment to your home theater or other setup was... well, pretty much a nightmare. There were so many different types of cables that you had to think about - not only in terms of the device that you were connecting, but how you would unlock the maximum value from the entire infrastructure. Were you dealing with component or composite cables? If you had a DVD player and wanted to get the best possible sound, you would need a digital optical cable - if your receiver actually supported it. For video you had traditional cables but also more advanced options like S-Video... the list goes on and on.
These days, thankfully, HDMI is pretty much the only game in town. Short for high definition multimedia interface, it's by far the best way to send HD audio AND video over a single cable. Suddenly the huge bundles of cables that you needed to worry about for each device had been condensed into one and everything was nice and easy again.
The Benefits of HDMI Cables
But the major advantage that HDMI cables bring to the table - even going beyond a digital signal - is one of versatility. You can suddenly connect a wide range of different types of devices to your TV or receiver so long as both devices support HDMI connection technology.
Did you just bring a fancy new 4K UHD player home from the store and want to hook it up as quickly as possible? Just pop in the HDMI cable and you're good to go. Do you have a brand new laptop computer that you want to be able to "mirror" to your television screen so that your friends and family members can enjoy all your photos from your last vacation? HDMI can help make that happen.
Along the same lines, HDMI as an audio and video standard naturally supports a wide range of different audio and video options - meaning that you're always extracting maximum value from the home media that you're buying. You don't need a special type of cable to enjoy that 7.1 surround sound on that new Hollywood blockbuster you just brought home on Blu-ray. The same HDMI cable you've been using for years already gives you everything you need.
The same is true of different types of video resolutions. While most of today's content is available in 1080p high definition (which itself will soon give way to 4K), others are not. If you're a big importer, for example, that Blu-ray you just bought from the United Kingdom of your favorite British sitcom probably only supports 1080i. Luckily your HDMI cable does, too, so this is just one less thing that you have to worry about.
But HDMI still brings with it a certain number of considerations - particularly when it comes to length. One of the major benefits of HDMI over analog cables comes by way of signal integrity. If you tried to run a very long component cable, you had to concern yourself with a loss of quality over such a long distance. This isn't the case with HDMI, which converts everything into a digital signal of 1s and 0s. They either make it from one device to the other, or they don't.
But sometimes you may need to rearrange the equipment in your room to make space for new additions. Or, you've moved and the environment that you're now working with is significantly larger than your old one. Either way, male to female HDMI cable extension options are absolutely something that you'll want to think about for a number of different reasons.
HDMI Extension Cables
HDMI extension cables, at their core, are precisely that - a way to increase the length of your existing cables without buying brand new ones. Options like the Vanco Male to female HDMI Cable are the perfect way to take an existing cable, connect it together with your extension cable and connect something like a Blu-ray player or a gaming console to your home theater receiver or HDTV with relative ease.
Another benefit off this is that most of these cables serve as both a traditional HDMI cable and an extension cable in one fell swoop. The Super Flex Flat HDMI Cable from Vanco, for example, offers both male and female ends for you to use as you see fit. The female part of the connector attaches securely to ANY standard HDMI plug to extend a cable or to just use on its own.
But again - this does require you to keep a few key things in mind. First, if you're using extension cables as actual extenders, you'll want to make sure your new purchase is compatible with your old one. If you're plugging a Super Flex Flat HDMI Cable with Ethernet into an older HDMI cable that does not support Ethernet connectivity, for example, you're missing out on some of the features that you're already paying for.
The same is true for additional features like 3D or 4K compatibility - certain older HDMI standards do not support these features while others do, so you would definitely want to compare technical specifications to make sure that everything is the appropriate "fit" (pun absolutely intended).
But even if you had to purchase a newer, more advanced HDMI cable to use with your extender (in the case of special circumstances), you're likely saving money over just purchasing one new long cable. Long HDMI cables are still relatively expensive, while both short HDMI cables and HDMI extension cables are decidedly not. Likewise, relying on HDMI extension cables allows you to essentially "future proof" your equipment setup by guaranteeing that you still have that distance flexibility baked in.
As you can see, the world of audio and video cables for consumer grade equipment has certainly come a long way in a short amount of time. We no longer have to worry about many different types of cables in a rainbow of colors ("is the yellow one the video, or is that the white one? And what on Earth does green do?!"). One cable, audio and video, two devices - it doesn't get much more straightforward than that.
HDMI extension cables therefore become one of the major ways to extend that value even further, offering freedom and flexibility to work in and around tight spaces with endless possibilities for you to enjoy.