Do I Need an HDMI Cable For My Smart TV?

Smart TVs don’t necessarily need an HDMI cable, but if you want to take advantage of the highest-quality picture, video, and audio signals there are, then yes, you need an HDMI cable which is designed to connect your TV to other devices for better entertainment.

If you’ve recently purchased a smart TV, you might be wondering what type of cable best supports your TV’s capabilities. Various cables can be used with smart TVs such as composite and component cables, VGA, and Optical/TOSLINK. However, many recommend using HDMI cables. But do you actually need one?

Let’s take a closer look at HDMI cables – how they work, what they can do for smart TVs, and the advantages of using them in general. Let’s get started!

HDMI Cables: What Are They and How Do They Work?

What Are hdmi cables and how They Work

HDMI, which stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, is one of the most commonly used cables to transmit high-definition audio and video between devices. It typically connects devices such as smartphones, laptops, and computers to display devices like monitors and smart TVs.

These cables have small connectors on both ends – one for both devices that you want to connect.

When you plug the cable to a device, it immediately transfers HDMI signals, enabling the device to display high-quality audio and video.  

What Can HDMI Cables Do For My Smart TV?

HDMI Cables and Smart TV

The truth is that smart TVs can function without any cabling because they can connect to the internet wirelessly. However, if you want to maximize your TV’s function and capabilities, an HDMI cable can help you do that.

HDMI cables can provide high-quality audio and video, making them an efficient and convenient choice for connecting your smart TV to various devices. They support resolutions up to 4K Ultra HD which means you can enjoy sharp and vivid pictures on your screen whether you’re watching your favorite TV show or playing a game.

Not only that, these cables can also transmit high-quality audio signals to complete your entertainment –  you can enjoy an immersive surround sound for a cinematic audio experience.

Here are the most common devices that you can connect to your smart TV using an HDMI cable:

  • Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers for content display, display extension, and screen mirroring
  • Digital or portable cameras for viewing pictures and videos on a larger screen
  • Gaming consoles like PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch
  • Home theater systems like soundbars and AV receivers for audio and video connectivity
  • Streaming devices like Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire Stick
  • Set-top boxes like cable or satellite receivers for TV channels
  • Blu-ray and DVD players for high-definition movie playback
  • DVRs (Digital Video Recorders) for those who want to record and play back TV shows
  • Media players
  • Other AV equipment like microphones, speakers, and connectors

Standard HDMI cables also support all common audio formats, including both common stereo and multichannel formats. These include:

  • Dolby Digital
  • Dolby Digital Plus
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Dolby TrueHD
  • DTS
  • DTS Express
  • DTS-ES
  • DTS 96/24
  • DTS:X
  • DTS-HD Master Audio
  • DTS-HD High Resolution
  • DSD
  • DVD-A
  • LPCM (2-channel to 8-channel)

For 8K TVs, you should buy Ultra High Speed cables as they have 48Gbps bandwidth and also allow uncompressed 8K video with all the trimmings.

Smart TV Features and Various Connectivity Options

Smart TV FeaturesHDMI CableAlternative Connections
Quality of Image and SoundHigh-QualityVaries
Transmission of Audio and VideoHigh-QualityVaries
Support for Refresh RatesYesLimited
Compatibility with Different DevicesExtensiveLimited
Security and Reliability of ConnectionHighVaries
Support for CEC (Consumer Electronics Control)YesNot Universally Supported
Support for Advanced FeaturesYesNo or Limited
Plug-and-Play FeatureYesVaries

What Are the Advantages of Using HDMI Cables With a Smart TV?

Advantages of Using HDMI Cables

You can enjoy plenty of benefits when you use an HDMI cable with your smart TV. Apart from getting high-definition picture and sound, it has many advantages over alternative connectivity options, such as:


Just by using a single cable, you can connect to a wide range of devices – no need for any adapters or connectors. This simplifies your entertainment setup and reduces clutter!


HDMI cables are readily compatible with many devices like mobile phones, laptops, computers, cameras, gaming consoles, and many more. They are also available in various lengths so you can choose one that fits your setup perfectly.

Ease of Use

HDMI cables are plug-and-play, which means all you have to do is connect devices to your smart TV – no need for complicated configurations or settings.

Stable Connection

Once you connect a device to your smart TV using HDMI, you can expect a secure and reliable connection between the two devices.

High Bandwidth

HDMI cables offer high bandwidth which enables them to transfer large amounts of data very quickly. This is especially helpful when you want to play high-resolution and high-frame-rate videos as wll as 3D content.

HDR Support

If you’re going to watch a movie or a show on your TV, you might as well enjoy the best viewing experience. HDMI cables support 3D video formats and High Dynamic Range (HDR) content, providing you with an enhanced picture quality that has better colors, depth, and contrast.

CEC Support

These cables support Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) which allows you to control multiple devices connected to the cable using one remote control. With this feature, you can enjoy the convenience of switching multiple devices on and off simultaneously.

Technology Support

As technology advances, so do HDMI cables. You can be sure that the newest HDMI versions support the latest technology of smart TVs, providing better resolution, refresh rates, and improved compatibility with the newest and upcoming devices.


Imagine all that you can get and do with your smart TV just by using a single cable. Considering all the benefits they offer, HDMI cables are one of the best (if not the best) and most cost-effective ways to connect your TV to various devices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a Smart TV Work Without HDMI Cable?

Yes, a smart TV can work without an HDMI cable, but the availability of certain features and connectivity options may be limited.

Do TVs Come With HDMI Cables?

Yes, in most cases, a new smart TV typically comes with an HDMI cable included in the package. HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cables are commonly used to connect external devices such as Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, soundbars, and streaming devices to your smart TV.

TV manufacturers often include one or more HDMI cables with the TV to ensure users have the necessary connectivity options right out of the box.

You can also purchase HDMI cables separately from electronics retailers, and they are widely available in various lengths and specifications to suit your needs.

Can I Use Other Cables Other Than HDMI to Connect My Devices to the Smart TV?

While HDMI is a common and versatile option, there are other ports that can be used for different purposes.

Here are some alternative connections that you can use:

  1. RCA (Composite) Cables: These are the classic red, white, and yellow cables. While they do not support high-definition video like HDMI, they can be used for basic audio and video connections.
  2. Component Cables: These cables have three video cables (red, green, blue) and two audio cables (red, white). They can support higher resolutions than composite cables but are still not as advanced as HDMI.
  3. VGA (Video Graphics Array) Cable: If your smart TV and external device both support VGA, you can use this cable for video connections. However, VGA doesn’t transmit audio, so a separate audio connection would be needed.
  4. Ethernet Cable: While an Ethernet cable is not a video connection, it’s essential for connecting your smart TV to the internet. Many smart TVs also support Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity.
  5. USB Cable: Some smart TVs have USB ports that can be used for connecting external devices such as USB drives, cameras, or keyboards. However, this is not a typical method for connecting video sources.


You can use any cable (or no cable at all) for your smart TV. But we recommend that you try connecting your TV to other devices using an HDMI cable so that you can enjoy the highest-quality picture and sound without a hassle.

Keshav Krishnan

I am an Engineer and passionate about Smart Homes and Home Improvements and spent years using, designing & working with Smart Home devices. I am on a mission to make Home Automation easy and affordable for everyone.

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