How do wire gauges impact HDMI cable performance?

American Wire Gauge ratings are fairly straightforward, but understanding precisely how the AWG figure will impact performance can be difficult. Let's look at this issue piece by piece to unravel how wire gauge configurations impact HDMI performance.
What wire gauges do HDMI cables come in?
HDMI cables are delivered in a variety of formats based on the AWG rating. Some of the most popular ratings for HDMI cables include:
  • 22 AWG
  • 24 AWG
  • 26 AWG
  • 28 AWG
The lower the rating, the thicker and less bend-resistant the cable will be. AWG is a rating of how many times a cable could be wound around a wire spool. A thicker cable is like a pipe that has a larger diameter - it is capable of carrying more without running into problems. As such, an HDMI cable rated at 22 AWG is going to be able to carry more data over a longer distance than a wire rated at 26 AWG.
How do wire gauges impacted HDMI performance
Wire gauge will not matter for many users. Generally speaking, a cable rating at 28 AWG can support high-speed HDMI functionality, but with significant length limitations. A 28 AWG cable will be adequate for the vast majority of consumer HDMI deployments and many office installations. However, many people do need longer HDMI cables and, in these situations, 22 AWG wires can extend signal to more than double the length of 28 AWG cables. Both 24 AWG and 26 AWG cables serve as a middle ground.
Dealing with HDMI gauge ratings
Ultimately, the gauge rating of an HDMI cable will either be irrelevant because your project doesn't need to extend over a significant difference, or end up playing a key role in figuring out the best price-to-performance ratio before purchasing a wire. With that in mind, it is important to look closely at project needs and consider what specific HDMI features you need and how long the cable needs to go before dealing with AWG ratings.

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