HDMI 1 vs 2: What’s the Difference?

HDMI cables have come to provide us with a smooth connection. What makes them unique is their ability to transmit audio and video signals. Hence when you use an HDMI cable, you do not need an extra cable for audio unless you intend to connect an external speaker. In modern devices like TVs, you will mostly find more than one HDMI port. This sometimes confuses users and makes them wonder whether there is a difference between HDMI 1 and 2.

There is no difference between HDMI 1 and 2, so do not confuse yourself. However, in high-quality devices, HDMI 1 might have a slightly lower version than HDMI 2 or vice versa. The only way to find out is to refer to the device’s user manual. If the ports have a different version, each will give you a different viewing experience.

In addition, by knowing more about HDMI 1 and 2, you will also learn the differences between HDMI 1.4 and 2.0 and which one to use to get the best results.

HDMI 1 vs 2

Difference Between HDMI 1 And 2

The current industry standard for digital signal transmission in media devices is HDMI. Since different source devices require different HDMI connections, many offer several HDMI ports.

Any HDMI port on your device may connect to your HDMI source devices; depending on which port your preferred source is linked to, set your input source to HDMI 1 or HDMI 2.

Your device’s HDMI ports 1 and 2 are identical. Any HDMI device may be connected using these. However, both ports’ HDMI versions may differ in high-end devices, especially TVs.

Special features like ARC and eARC are frequently supported by the connector port with the higher HDMI version. To distinguish between the two ports, use the manufacturer’s handbook or port labeling. 

Should My TV Be On HDMI 1 or 2?

The HDMI port your device is linked to should be where your TV is. Two or three HDMI ports with the labels “HDMI 1,” “HDMI 2,” and “HDMI 3” can be seen on high-end TVs. If you’re not clear on how the HDMI connector works, you may believe each HDMI port is reserved for a particular gadget. Contrary to popular belief, you may use any of them for any device.

The labels are provided so you can identify the port corresponding to your preferred source while switching between input sources. If your input device is on the HDMI 1 port, set your TV to HDMI 1. Set your TV to HDMI 2 if the input device is on HDMI 2.

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The screen will stay blank if your input device is connected to HDMI 2 and your TV is connected to HDMI 1 input source since the TV is not getting any signals from that source. If you wish to employ a specific feature, you’ll need to pay more attention to your HDMI connections. On HD and 4K TVs, one or two HDMI connections frequently provide extra features.

Is The Type Of HDMI Port I Use Important?

Yes, it is important. Your choice of HDMI port can influence whether you get high-speed data transmission and high-quality audio. It matters whether your media hub is an AV receiver or a soundbar.

Different HDMI versions, including HDMI 1.4 (standard ports), HDMI 2.0, and HDMI 2.1, are frequently available on high-end TVs with HDMI ports.

ARC and eARC functionalities are supported by HDMI 2.0 and 2.1, respectively. Thanks to these HDMI features, you can broadcast and receive audio on a single HDMI connection. However, you must connect your HDMI cable to two ARC-enabled ports before activating the ARC (or eARC) feature.

How To Switch HDMI Source From 1 To 2 On A TV?

Before connecting a device, you must adjust your TV to the appropriate input source. TV, HDMI, Components, and AV are all common possibilities. Even though some TVs automatically switch between sources, you still need to manually change between HDMI ports when attached to source devices.

You may use the buttons on the TV panel or the remote control for your TV to go from HDMI 1 to HDMI 2. The sequential steps are described in the following sections.


  • Your source device (such as a Roku streaming stick) has to be connected to the HDMI 2 port on your TV.
  • To see the name of the currently selected input source, press the “Input” or “Source” button on the TV remote.
  • To transition from one source to another, keep pressing the button.
  • HDMI 2 will appear on the screen once HDMI 1 has been displayed.

On certain TVs, pressing the “Input” button will trigger a selection screen. Choose HDMI 2 by navigating the screen’s input choices using the arrow buttons. Ensure your remote’s batteries are functional and properly positioned; otherwise, your commands won’t work.

Without Remote

You can change input sources using your TV’s control panel if you can’t use the remote control. The TV’s control panel is typically located at the front or on one of its sides. Key controls for the device’s operation, such as power, volume, channel, and input source, are also included.

  • Your source device should be connected to the HDMI 2 port on your TV.
  • The current input source will be shown when you press the “Input” button on the TV’s control panel. The input button frequently depicts an arrow inside of a box or square.
  • Press the button repeatedly until HDMI 1, and then HDMI 2 appear. When you release the button, the home page of the source device will appear on your TV in a short while.

How to Know Which HDMI Port Supports ARC Or eARC?

Usually, your TV’s ARC port may be identified by its “ARC” or “eARC” designation. Sometimes they’ll have generic HDMI 1, 2, or 3 labelings, which can leave you in the dark. Look in the device’s manual if you’re wondering which HDMI ports offer the ARC or eARC features.

High transmission speeds for 4K and 8K movies are supported via HDMI 2.0 and 2.1. New gaming capabilities, including VRR, ALLM, and QMS, are also supported by HDMI 2.1. The HDMI 1.4 standard version falls short in comparison. Therefore, the HDMI port you select matters whether you’re fussy about HDMI ARC, eARC, or good audio quality.

Difference Between HDMI 1.4 and 2.0

Late in 2013, HDMI 2.0 was released, increasing bandwidth possibilities while maintaining device compatibility. Let’s examine some of the main distinctions between HDMI 2.0 and 1.4. 

Frames per Second

The 10.2Gbps level of the HDMI 1.4 system with the 18Gbps data flow in the HDMI 2.0 system. While HDMI 1.4 was designed to support 4K video, HDMI 2.0 offers a staggering 50 to 60 frames as opposed to the 24 offered by HDMI 1.4.

Pixel Quality

The difference between the two is not limited to the 4K frames per second rate; the pixel quality also influences the overall quality of your watching experience.

The term “12-bit color” refers to the amount of data packed into a pixel, affecting visual quality. According to the color specificity, a staggering 68.7 billion different color combinations are conceivable! The disparity between that number and the 16.7 million 8-bit color resolution offered by HDMI 1.4 is startling.

There is little doubt that HDMI 2.0 outperforms HDMI 1.4 in terms of picture quality if you want the best for your home theatre. Frame rates and greater bit of color will vastly improve your experience whether you’re viewing a movie, playing a game, or watching sports or other live-action events. If you compare the two, you might find it impossible to return to HDMI 1.4 after all.

Ultimately, the image quality and color definition are the main improvements viewers will perceive while watching content on compatible televisions and other devices. All of these improvements are present on devices that are compatible with HDMI 2.0. HDMI 2.0 offers visual quality significantly better than HDMI 1.4 due to its quicker frame rate transmission.

This sharpness is particularly noticeable in games and other programs that use Ultra HD 4K. The visual improvements of HDMI 2.0 will have a greater impact when more television content is produced this way. Viewers who prefer Ultra HD’s sharp appearance will probably enjoy the wide-angle 21:9 video aspect.

Final Thoughts

Please remember that there is no distinct difference between HDMI 1 and 2 unless specified otherwise by the manufacturer in the device’s manual. If there is a difference, though, it will be that the port versions are different.

Additionally, as stated in the article, using a port with a high version like HDMI 2.0 will have greater benefits, especially when you are playing a video game. HDMI 1.4 has many limitations.


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