Why HDMI Certification Matters

Not all cables are created equal. 

When it comes to buying the right high-quality, high-performance HDMI cable, certification is an important feature to consider. HDMI Licensing Administrator designed a certification program to give end users confidence when purchasing new HDMI cables. 

Let’s dive in and see why certification matters for 4K and 8K HDMI cables.

Premium Certified HDMI Cables

When choosing a 4K cable it should be Premium Certified by HDMI LA. The certification guarantees the cable will support all HDMI 2.0b features.


  • 18 Gpbs Bandwidth
  • 4K@60Hz
  • BT. 2020 is a set of specifications covering various aspects of video broadcasting that the ITU recommends as standards for Ultra HD projectors and televisions, along with any gear related to their broadcasting.
  • Audio Return Channel (ARC) can send and receive audio through a single HDMI cable.
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) ensures every moment of a video is displayed at its ideal values for depth, detail, brightness, contrast, and wider color gamuts.
  • Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) simplifies connectivity, provides greater ease of use, and supports the most advanced audio formats and highest audio quality.

So what's the difference?

A certified cable has to go through very rigorous testing in a lab that's independent of the manufacturer. This verifies that the manufacturer has done everything needed to meet the HDMI specifications and only then does HDMI LA allow the certification mark to be applied to each cable.

In addition, they audit to make sure that the performance of the cable continues to meet the original test spec in retail. They're constantly checking and we continually strive to make sure that we meet or exceed all of those standards.

Ultra High Speed Certified HDMI Cables

Similarly, with 8K cables, they have to conform to HDMI 2.1b standards. In addition to all of the features of 4K, 8K also adds a few others.


  • 48 Gbps Bandwidth
  • Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) reduces or eliminates lag, stutter, and frame tearing for more fluid and better-detailed gameplay.
  • Quick Frame Transport (QFT) reduces latency for smoother no-lag gaming and real-time interactive virtual reality.
  • Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) allows the ideal latency setting to automatically be set allowing for smooth, lag-free, and uninterrupted viewing and interactivity.
  • Quick Media Switching (QMS)  eliminates the delay that often occurs when a device changes from one HDMI frame rate to another.
  • Display Stream Compression (DSC)  is a form of visually lossless compression developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) for ultra-high definition displays to reduce the bandwidth demand on the links between source material.

The certification for Ultra Certification on a 2.1b cable requires testing on all these different features, in addition to the data bandwidth requirements needed. This allows devices to seamlessly interoperate with one another.

You’re only as good as your weakest link.

If you have an 8K receiver that's certified to interface with an 8K TV; the cable has to be 2.1b certified. This ensures there's a proper handshake between the two devices and everything's working smoothly. 

If you use the wrong cable or the cable provided with the hardware is not certified to the specifications, there may be signal issues that prevent you from getting the best possible sound or video experience.

Sounds confusing, right? Austere makes it simple. All Austere HDMI cables are certified to ensure a More Than Expected experience. Always.

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