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When you want 4K60 over HDMI, cable quality really does matter.


I just upgraded my main display to a 43" 4K screen from LG. It's a TV, yes, but I intentionally found one with good color reproduction, low latency with pc/game modes enabled, pretty decent HDR support, and 12-bit color with better than decent coverage of the RGB spectrum with proper tuning. It's not going to be good enough for someone doing actual content creation, but it's more than good enough for 90% of us. Please don't make me look up the model number again.


However I was chasing a screen flicker, difficulty syncing, dropped signal, self-resetting refresh rates, color depth changes, etc. It made no sense. I had gotten a new, "premium" HDMI cable with the TV, I had no problems with the resolution and refresh rates from my Xbox at 4K with HDR enabled and all the goodies turned on. I had no problem playing 4K blu-rays from my xbox or a dedicated player, but the PC just wouldn't work. So I did what any self respecting nerd would do, and created a spreadsheet cataloging the issues as they occured, which cable I was using, on which input, with which settings and I found a pattern, after 3 weeks.


It turns out the "premium" HDMI cable I purchased with the TV was not actually up to full HDMI2.0 spec, and was only rated at 4K30hz, and the cable actually would do 4K60, but without HDR and at only 10-bit color or lower. The other good HDMI cable I had, was supposed to be HDMI2.0, and 18gbps, but it was the one resetting refresh rates or failing to sync the signal properly. I finally said screw it, bought a GOOD HDMI cable off amazon and EVERY single problem vanished.


Moral of the story, HDMI cables are not all created equal. I was a skeptic as they are so incredibly electrically similar, and sure a high end old cable may be just fine for 4K60, but IT IS NOT WORTH THE HEADACHE TO ASSUME YOUR CURRENT CABLE IS GOOD ENOUGH WHEN YOU SWITCH TO 4k.

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