When Is HDMI 2.1 Better than HDMI 2.0?

Dynamic HRD, eARC, VRR, and QMS are acronyms not often heard in everyday language. In designing home theater systems, they’re important when buying HDMI cables for your TV and gaming consoles.

Why are they important to know – let’s have a look.

Technical Jargon And What It Means

  • Let’s start with Dynamic HRD (High Dynamic Range).

For a video display, Dynamic HRD ensures that your experience on a frame-by-frame basis will have the ideal depth, detail, brightness, and contrast. In other words, you see the game or video in the way the developers designed it for you to view.

  • Now, there’s eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel).

Ever played a game or watched a video where the speech to what you see on the screen isn’t in sync? The sound from your TV’s speakers isn’t so good? eARC solves these issues by connecting the TV to a compatible AV receiver or soundbar with less cables. This makes for a much clearer sound.

  • VRR stands for ‘Variable Refresh Rate’.

Seeing 2 frames at the same time? 60 Hz, or 60FPS (Frames Per Second), is the standard viewing for monitors and TVs. HDMI 2.1 cables clock in at 48Gbps, whereas HDMI 2.0 is 18Gbps. The increase in bandwidth transfers more information at higher resolution and frame rates eliminating this lag.

  • Lastly, there’s QMS or Quick Media Switching.

Seeing a blank screen as you change from video to gaming? Your components will re-sync to match the frame rate difference from TV to video, therefore creating a blank screen in between modes. All HDMI 2.1 cables have the feature of QMS through a VRR mechanism that makes this switch seamless with no blank screens.

Should I Upgrade To HDMI 2.1?

The first question you must ask yourself is, “Do I need this to run my components?”.

Some newer gaming systems and TVs are equipped with HDMI 2.1 compliant ports. The bandwidth we talked about earlier is an important factor to consider. The higher the bandwidth the greater the resolution and frame refresh rate.

Unless you are an avid gamer with a TV with HDMI 2.1 ports already, you won’t need these HDMI 2.1 cables just yet, but eventually you will need them to experience the video content at its best.

Since HDMI 2.1 is backwards compatible, they will work with your current systems. The only disadvantage is the slower frames per second if your current devices are not HDMI 2.1 supported.

If you are seeking the best experiences in video or gaming and looking to buy into 8K TVs once available in the mainstream market, then ideally having the HDMI 2.1 cables would be of benefit as they incorporate all of the above qualities.

Shop high-quality HDMI cables and more for your home theater or gaming systems at PrimeCables.ca.

USB 3.0 and Why It Matters

USB 3.0 cables are among the most advanced on the market today. Of course, there are many types of USB cables (i.e. Type-A, Type-B, Micro-A, Micro-B, and Type-C). When mixed in along designations (2.0, 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2), it can all be a little confusing. Here’s why USB 3.0 is such an important standard.

It’s All About Speed

USB cables are used to connect devices like smartphones and tablets to your computer or charging station. They transfer power to your devices, and also data to and from. You can use USB cables for downloading files to your phone or printer, and uploading files, such as photos, to your computer from your phone or camera, and a lot more.

USB 2.0 cables are the older generation of USB cables, and are slower than the USB 3.0 SuperSpeed cables. Though 2.0 is fine, 3.0 is much, much faster. Not all devices are able to support the 3.0 series, but those that can are able to see theoretical transfer speeds of 5 Gigabits per second, approximately ten times faster than the 2.0 cables.

Types of USB Cables

Most manufacturers use the color blue on the cables and ports, and sometimes have the initials SS (SuperSpeed) printed near the port.

Currently, there are four main types of USB 3.0 cables available.

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USB Type-A

This is the standard type of USB cable, mostly used for transfer from a host such as a desktop computer to a smaller device, such as a phone or music player.

USB Type-B

The Type-B connector has a square end, and is usually used for connecting printers or hard drives to computers.

USB Micro-A

The Micro-A cable is smaller and usually used for smartphones and other portable devices.

USB Micro-B

The Micro-B cable looks just like the Micro-A and is used for the same purposes. It’s compatible with the Micro-A as well.

USB Cable Compatibilities

  • The Type-A cable is compatible only with the USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 receptors and ports.
  • Type-B cables are not compatible with older Type-B receptors and ports. However, some of the older models are compatible with USB 3.0 receptacles.
  • Micro-A and Micro-B are compatible only with USB 3.0 Micro AB receptacles.
  • USB 2.0 Micro-A plugs are compatible with USB 3.0 Micro AB receptacles.

An important note is that both devices should be compatible with USB 3.0 in the first place, to improve performance and ease of use. This is the only way for a USB 3.0 cable to do its job.

Advancements in the Technology

In 2013, manufacturers released the USB 3.1 SuperSpeed+ version, which was said to have theoretical speeds up to 10 Gigabits per second.

In 2017, manufacturers released the USB 3.2 version boasting theoretical speeds of up to 20 Gigabits per second.

Any way you look at it, the future is fast, and it is compact, and it’s coming our way. Are you prepared? Buy premium USB 3.0 cables today at PrimeCables.ca.

How Do I Know What USB Cable to Buy for My Device?

Chances are, if you have electronic devices in your home, you’ve also got a collection of USB cables of all different types cluttering up your drawers.

While USB cables were originally intended to be universal (hence the name Universal Serial Bus cables), as technology has advanced, so has the data transfer and charging needs of each new device.

What Types of USB Cables are Available?

There are a few different types of USB cables, all based on compatible ports (the parts where you plug the cords in), on the host (the power/data supply), and the receptor (the device being charged or updated).

Original USB Types

  • Type-A USB cables are the original USB cables, and they were designed to fit everything back in the day.
  • Type-B USB cables have more of a square end, and are used to plug in to peripheral devices, such as hard drives and home printers.
  • Type-A and Type-B cables also have mini and micro versions of themselves to service smaller devices.
  • There may also be adapters available for these cables to increase the versatility of your cord collection.

Newer USB Technology

Type-C USB cables are likely to be the future in USB cables. Both ends are the same, and they cannot be plugged in backwards or upside down. A bonus is that these cables are capable of transferring power and data two ways, not just one way. As more devices become compatible with Type-C, users will be able to toss a lot of their old cables and can streamline their charging areas. This has already happened in a lot of cases as USB-C has been adopted as the new standard.

Different Charging Cables

The “pin style” USB lightning charging cables are dedicated to Apple products and are only compatible with these devices.

Differences Between USB 2.0 and 3.0?

The number across USB designations refers to the amount of power or voltage and the amounts of data that the cord can transfer. USB 3.0 cables have more speed and capacity than the older 2.0 cables.

Can All USB Cables Transfer Power and Data?

Yes. These cables contain two dedicated wires: one to transfer power and the other to handle data. That being said, not all USB ports are able to transfer or receive data. Some are designed to only transfer power, in order to recharge the device attached.

Which Cords to Buy?

Once you’ve determined the type of cord required, (Type-A, Type-B or Type-C), the next step is to decide upon the speed and capacity needed for your device. With this information, you’ll be able to power up your electronics quickly and easily.

Buy premium USB cables for smartphones, tablets, and more from PrimeCables.ca.

What HDMI Cable Do I Buy For My TV?

When looking at HDMI cables, you will find a world of differences between type and function.

If you are unsure of what you need then you must look at what devices you want your TV to handle.

Since 2002, the standard of transmitting audio and video simultaneously from components to display units, such as a TV, means the use of HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cables to perform these functions.

Which Cable Should I Buy?

Don’t let the high price of a premium HDMI cable fool you into thinking that it will perform any better than an inexpensive one. Fancy packaging and words to describe the cable do nothing for the performance.

When considering which cable to buy keep in mind there are a few things to think about.

Are you incorporating audio components that are ARC-compatible? ARC is the acronym for Audio Return Channel. If your TV has an HDMI (ARC) port on it along with your audio system having the same port, this will return the audio to the transmitter.

Choosing The Suitable Length For HDMI Cables

The optimal length of any HDMI cable is 20 feet. If you want to be able to move your components around with ease then a 20-foot length is ideal, however, you may have to wrap cables in a cable organizer to save having the unsightly look of cables.

Most home theater HDMI cables are 6 feet in length and adequate for just about any configuration. With distances of over 20 feet then it’s best to invest in an HDMI Signal Converter or a wireless kit. More than 20 feet of HDMI cable can have a negative effect on signal quality.

What Are The Different HDMI Cables And What They Do

HDMI Cables come in 4 different guidelines. They are:

  • Standard HDMI: gives a refresh rate of 30Hzwith a resolution of 720p or 1080i; otherwise known as Widescreen HDTV.
  • High Speed HDMI: a 30Hz refresh but resolution up to 4k; a notable difference in audio and video quality.
  • Premium High Speed HDMI: refresh rate of 60Hz; generally known as 4K.
  • Ultra High Speed HDMI: 10K resolution and a refresh rate of up to 240Hz.

What Devices I Use With My TV

You have a gaming system, speakers, DVD, and laptop configured to your TV, so what kind of cable should I be using?

You need an HDMI cable that can handle the transfer of all that data. The refresh rate and color depth are what you need to take into consideration. The higher that you go with the refresh rate and color depth, more data is transmitted to the TV. Having a cable that has adequate bandwidth is what you need to look for. For example:

  • A resolution of HD 720p with a color depth of 8 requiring 0.81 Gbps will need a Standard HDMI cable.
  • Whereas a resolution rate of UDH 4K with a color depth of 12 requiring 40.1Gbps will need an Ultra High Speed HDMI cable.

These are just 2 examples, there are many variances, so checking with your TV manufacturers’ guidebook, look at the specifications of your TV before investing in a cable that may not perform as it should.

Something to keep in mind with Ultra High Speed HDMI cables, they are backwards compatible. This means that you may have a cable already that will work with your system as they are compatible with some older HDMI devices. Plug in the HDMI cable that you already have and if everything works as it should, then you have no need to purchase a new cable.

Shop premium HDMI cables 4K, 8K, and more at PrimeCables.ca and always have the cables needed to get the picture you want.

Do I Need A New HDMI Cable For A 4K TV?

HDMI cables do not come with your purchase of a 4K TV, all manufacturers assume you will have an existing HDMI cable that you will attach to their brand of TV.

How will you know if what you currently have is going to be an efficient HDMI cable for your 4K TV? Read on to find out.

What To Consider When Buying Cables

When looking for an HDMI cable, there are a vast array of choices, both in-store shopping and online.

If you are not familiar with the technology, it is best to do some research. This way not only are you going to be able to make an informed decision but will be able to obtain exactly what you need at a price point you are comfortable with. Expensive does not necessarily mean the best quality.

What Specifications Should I Follow?

Your 4K TV will have technological specifications that allow it to function with the greatest resolution.

Should your TV require 48Gbps then an Ultra High Speed HDMI cable is what you will need. Check your manufacturers’ guidebook for what is required. Standard HDMI cables can support your 4K TV, but you need to look at what you are expecting from your TV. Following the manufacturers’ guidelines will help to keep your 4K TV under warranty.

How to choose the Right HDMI Cables

Regular or Ultra High HDMI Cables?

You can use a standard HDMI cable to hook up all HD devices to your 4K TV. Something important to remember is that with some gaming systems and 4K TVs you will not experience the 120Hz that brings the game to life with such incredible clarity. The game can still be played, but the intense streaming will not be as high.

Not usually visible to the naked eye during play, this will not interfere with the game as such, but if you are looking to upgrade to an 8K TV soon, having a 4K HDMI Cable would be beneficial.

Will A New HDMI Cable Enhance The Image On My 4K TV?

The oldest upsell, “You need to buy this XYZ Brand cable, and you will receive better sound, quality and picture.” High-end stores, retailers and commissioned salespeople are famous for upselling you items you don’t need.

An expensive HDMI cable will not give you anything more than a less expensive cable will. There is absolutely no difference of the quality of the picture your 4K TV will obtain with an expensive cable. The only difference is the price that you will pay.

Look at your budget, determine what the manufacturer recommends, what components you are attaching to your 4K TV and this will guide you in what to purchase. A new 4K TV does not necessarily mean you have to purchase new HDMI cables. Shop high-quality HDMI cables at PrimeCables.ca.

Best Deals On Camping Tech and Must-Have Summer Travel Accessories 2021

You have a choice. Go prepared. Or don’t. We all want to be enjoying our summer travel and camping trips but when we don’t bring at least a few important accessories or tech with us, challenges come up awfully quick.

Here is your 2021 summer and fall guide to the best deals in Canada on camping tech and accessories for travel.

Magnetic Car Mount

You’re driving and you know where you’re going. You just don’t entirely know the way there. A magnetic smartphone car mount puts your phone’s GPS front and center, allowing you to understand where to turn and how much longer it’ll be until you’ve arrived.

Power Bank Battery Charger

Eventually, when camping, your phone will need a charge. You won’t be somewhere to give it one. That is, unless you have a 5,000mAh power bank to pull out of your pocket with a USB smartphone cable.

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AirTag Silicone Case

If you are concerned about losing something of a high value to you, use an AirTag and silicone case to set a tracker on it. So long as you are within 30 feet of what’s missing and you own an iPhone, you can locate it.

Breathable Mesh Heat Dissipation Case

Ensure your iPhone never overheats while it’s in use, no matter how hot the temperature. This breathable mesh heat dissipation case is the perfect container for your smartphone, with air circulating around and away from it.

Portable Car Jump Starter

A portable car jump starter you can charge beforehand and toss in your car on the trip to your camping destination. Especially if you’ve had car battery issues in the past, a way to jump-start everything may be the difference between getting you back on the road and being totally stranded and waiting.

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USB Metal Braided Cable

They don’t make them more heavy-duty than a metal-braided USB cable. Always have a spare ready.

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Selfie Bluetooth Wireless Remote

A selfie Bluetooth wireless remote allows you to document your travel in photos and video more easily. Just position your camera and use the remote to take the picture. There’s no struggling with a selfie stick or nothing. It’s easy.

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

If you want to have fun and put on some music while setting up the campfire or cooking in the backyard, try a waterproof Bluetooth speaker. Feel free to bring it by a pool, river, or stream, or even to the beach.

A little bit of tech never hurt no one. As much as you want to get away on a camping trip, be ready for anything. Visit PrimeCables.ca today to look at Canada-only deals on camping accessories for summer travel. For a limited time only.

Do All USB Cables Sync And Charge?

While it is commonly believed all USB cables are the same, it’s not true.

There are two types of USB cables; one that is charge-only, and the other is one that both charges and syncs data. The second type is sometimes referred to as a data cable or a USB sync-and-charge cable.

It is important to recognize the difference between these two USB cables and to choose the USB cable that will best fit your needs.

Differences Between Charge-Only USB Cables And Sync-And-Charge Cables

Looking at USB cables that strictly charge and those that can sync data as well, the difference is simply the number of wires within the cable casing. The number of wires determines the capabilities of the USB cable.

USB charging cables only have two wires, a positive and a negative. Sync-and-charge USB data cables have four.

There are positive and negative wires in both charger and data cables. These wires are responsible for carrying power to the connected device. Data cables add two more wires with the positive and negative wires. These wires are called ‘data transfer’ and ‘data receive’. They are responsible for the transfer and reception of data from the connected device.

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How Do I Tell From Appearances What Kind Of USB Cable I Have?

There are no rules implemented by the USB Implementers Forum that require manufacturers to label USB cables to identify one type from the other. A USB cable will not be labelled with any sort of symbol or icon. Of course, this makes it difficult to tell the two cable types apart.

There are a few steps you can take to distinguish between the two types. One way to determine the USB cable type is to physically examine the thickness of the cable. A data cable is noticeably thicker than a charge-only cable, as there are two extra wires within the casing. It might be possible to analyze the number of pins in the connecting end of the USB cable as well. A sync-and-charge USB cable will have one pin per wire; two would indicate a charge-only cable.

It may also be a good idea to contact customer support for the cable you are considering purchasing if there is any uncertainty about what type of USB cable it is.

You will be able to obtain more information and ensure the cable is the proper USB cable type for your needs. If purchasing in a store, consult with an attendant to confirm the product is what you need. Most USB cables are sync-and-charge and will be labelled as such on the packaging. However, if you aren’t sure, you have a way to find out.
The final option, if you still aren’t sure, is to test the cable to discern its capabilities. Connect the USB cable to your computer. If there are problems accessing your connected data but your device appears to be charging, it is likely a charge-only cable.

Shop data cables, sync-and-charge USB cables, and more at PrimeCables.ca today.

The Benefits Of HDMI Splitters

For those who wish to divide a video signal in their home theater system and send it out to multiple outputs throughout your home, HDMI splitters come with plenty of benefits. They can be used with gaming consoles, computers, and other devices.

HDMI splitters come in handy in a variety of situations and not only for home use. They can be used in business or formal presentations, as the splitter is able to send signal from a laptop to larger monitors.

Reduce Clutter

For starters, one of the most obvious benefits is an HDMI splitter’s ability to reduce clutter. A splitter is able to provide a variety of functions, without needing multiple hookups. This means there’s no need for multiple cables. You only need the splitter. This is helpful for offices and homes anywhere as multiple cords often get in the way and can become annoying.

Send Signals Easily

A dual HDMI splitter is also useful in situations where one is using multiple monitors. The signal can be easily sent through one main connection. As mentioned above, this is a great tool for business presentations, during gaming, when doing graphic or video editing, or when you’re doing anything requiring more area than your screen allows. As long as everything is compatible between devices, it is a great tool to use.

Protected Information

Another great benefit to HDMI splitters is they will not allow copyrighted material to pass through. This can protect your personal information from theft and also protect you from potential copyright infringement. While some may see this as a problem, it really is a benefit. It ensures there is no unauthorized transfer of information if that information has an existing claim on it from a copyright holder.

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Active Splitters

There are different types of HDMI splitters. There’s “active” and “passive”. An active HDMI splitter is a type that has its own energy source which helps to boost the original signal so all displays get a great signal. This is important so the quality of picture or video or whatever you are sending through the splitter will be good. No one likes to see a weak signal or low-quality picture.

Extend Signal Over Longer Distances

Active HDMI splitters allow signals to go further than normal (further than fifty feet). Generally, a signal degrades after travelling so far. This can be troublesome, especially in larger locations. However, an active HDMI splitter boosts the signal so that it can travel further.

Passive Splitters

Passive HDMI splitters provide a power-efficient way to send through multiple signals. It makes multiple copies then sends them through the outputs which is not only power-efficient, but also straightforward. Though not as involved as active HDMI splitters, what you get with a passive splitter is ease of use.

Shop high-quality HDMI splitters, HDMI cables, and other home theater essentials on sale at PrimeCables.ca today.

Summer 2021 Tech Accessories On Sale To Make Your Days More Fun

You don’t have to wait for Black Friday in November for some sweet deals on high-tech accessories. This summer 2021, see below for some of the best sales on tech that’ll let you appreciate the season in all its glory.

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

A waterproof Bluetooth speaker is to be taken with you as you depart on a road trip, drive into wilderness, or when you’re off to the beach.

Put on your favourite summer playlist and take in relaxation, fun, and heat the way you like.

Portable Power Bank

An external battery charger or power bank ensures you always have some place to charge smartphones and other devices so long as you have their cable.

It doesn’t hurt to charge your power bank and throw it in your bag for when you need it. You never know what sort of adventures you might stumble upon.

3-Axis Handheld Smartphone Camera Stabilizer

A modern smartphone has all the tech you need to shoot professional-level film. The lack of stability, however, can be problematic.

For Hollywood-style footage that isn’t shaky, try a 3-axis smartphone camera stabilizer with zoom.

Selfie Bluetooth Wireless Remote Control For Smartphones

A selfie Bluetooth wireless remote for your smartphone allows you to get better pictures from almost any angle.

Set your camera up. Connect the wireless remote. Press the button. That’s that! It’s a great opportunity to get family photos, panoramic landscapes, and all sorts of photographs that may not be otherwise possible.

Indoor HDTV Antenna

An indoor HDTV antenna costs less than $7 and gets you free over-the-air TV you can watch on any television set.

Enjoy local news, sports, and more at no cost. What channels you get vary region to region but what’s sure is it’s a lot cheaper than paying a massive cable bill for lots of channels that are never getting a watch.

Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds With Mic

A set of wireless Bluetooth earbuds are there for you when you want to set out on a jog, hit your local fitness centre, or just want to spend time on your own without being attached to your smartphone.

They’re easily rechargeable and also come with a mic for phone calls so a nice bonus.

Summer has officially arrived! As you spend time with family and friends, supply yourself with everything you need to get up in the morning and feel excited about the day ahead. Check out all sorts of summer tech at PrimeCables.ca today.

Where To Find The Best Deals In Canada On USB Cables, TVs, Wall Mounts, And More

We’re always looking for the best price. The best deal. The best sale. Anything that will nab us products we want but without paying so much.

This bargain-bin hunting by Canadians has led to the rise of online giants like PrimeCables.ca. Sorting through their catalogue, you can find great deals on everything from USB cables to mounts, home theater accessories, work-from-home Ethernet cables, and more.

This summer, if you’re looking for the best price on tech in Canada or office accessories, PrimeCables.ca is offering discounts you won’t find anywhere else. Check out some of the products on offer this month!

1080P TVs

Are you looking to upgrade your home theater in 2021 – before you go spending $1,000s, see PrimeCables.ca for deals that could easily save you hundreds. This 43” 1080P flat-screen is a premier example of that. And with fast, free shipping to anywhere in Canada.

TV Wall Mounts

TV wall mounts attach to the studs in your wall and craft a more theater-like presentation for watching sports, movies, and more. You don’t want a cheap mount or one that risks tearing through your wall. Buy them on sale this summer online and have a strong, reliable model.

Ethernet Cables

If you work from home, you know how important a stable, fast Internet connection is. WiFi sometimes doesn’t get the job done. Ethernet cables always will. Get one for as little as under $2.

Sit-Stand Height-Adjustable Desk

Speaking of work-from-home setups, if you find you’ve gained some weight in the pandemic, adjusting how you work can help burn more calories and engage the body in new ways. Try ergonomic height-adjustable desks. You can get them manual or electric and for a fraction of what you’d pay at a Staples or similar corporate retailer.

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Curved Gaming Monitors

Curved TVs never caught. Curved gaming monitors though are on fire! If you like to turn down the blinds and turn up the volume and game away, there’s nothing as immersive as being sat before a curved monitor.

USB Cables

USB cables are the most used consumer cable in the world. Don’t go overpaying on a USB or lightning cable when you need it. Buy ahead of time. Get the best deal. Save a few bucks and buy yourself with that a coffee, a tea, or a beverage to cool you off during the summer months.

Shopping online is easy, fast, and gets you the products you want delivered to your front door. You don’t even have to leave your seat! There is nothing better. Shop at PrimeCables.ca in summer 2021 and see why Canadians are flocking in record numbers to eCommerce.