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HD video vs. HDMI video connector: What's the difference?

Is there a difference between high definition (HD) video and High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) video connection technology? What do people mean when they use these two terms?

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HD is a term meaning "high definition." People use it along with other terms to mean something more specific, or it can be used loosely simply to describe something of high quality. HDTV refers to high-definition television, which has a resolution of at least 720 lines with progressive scanning (720 pixels), or 720 lines per inch, scanned progressively. HD video conferencing would feature 720p resolution or above for endpoints. HD Radio is a trademark for a modulation system allowing digital encoding of the audio signal while preserving the legacy modulation. The term HD is now also being applied to a line of makeup.

HDMI refers to a connection technology. HDMI video connector cables are commonly used to interconnect HDTVs and components, such as Blu-ray DVD players, streaming boxes and home theater audio systems. Liquid crystal display (LCD) computer monitor screens now commonly feature HDMI connectors as one option to connect to computers. HDMI interconnections pass video, audio and control information between devices -- including Ethernet connectivity. HDMI is controlled by Consumer Electronics Association specification CEA-861.

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This was first published in July 2013

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