Home : Hardware Terms : HDMI Definition


Stands for "High-Definition Multimedia Interface." HDMI is a trademark and brand name for a digital interface used to transmit audio and video data in a single cable. It is supported by modern audio/video equipment, such as 4K televisions, HDTVs, audio receivers, DVD and Blu-ray players, cable boxes, and video game consoles.

While other types of A/V connections require separate cables for audio and video data, a single HDMI cable carries the audio and video streams together, eliminating cable clutter. For example, an analog component cable connection requires three cables for video and two for audio, totaling five cables in all. The same information can be transmitted digitally using one HDMI cable.

Because HDMI is a digital connection, HDMI cables are less prone to interference and signal noise than analog cables. Also, since most components, such as DVD players and digital cable boxes process information digitally, HDMI eliminates the digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversion other interfaces require. Therefore, HDMI typically produces the best quality picture and sound compared to other types of connections.

HDMI cables are often more expensive than analog cables since they cost more to manufacture. But it is important to remember that a single HDMI cable can replace multiple analog cables. The single all-purpose connection simplifies setup and makes it easy to connect and disconnect devices. It also supports digital commands, allowing devices to communicate with each other. For example, if your TV is connected via HDMI to a receiver, the TV can automatically turn the receiver on and off when the TV is turned on and off. It can also synchronize the volume between the TV and receiver. Modern HDMI receivers allow you to visually configure the receiver settings using your TV as the interface.

NOTE: HDMI is a trademark owned by HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc. (HDMI LA) that serves as an indicator of source for HDMI LA’s brand of digital interfaces used to connect high-definition equipment. More information is available at HDMI.org.

Updated: August 17, 2018

Cite this definition:


TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

This page contains a technical definition of HDMI. It explains in computing terminology what HDMI means and is one of many hardware terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this HDMI definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!

Subscribe to the TechTerms Newsletter to get featured terms and quizzes right in your inbox. You can choose to receive either a daily or weekly email.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe at any time.
Questions? Please contact us.