Nearly every gadget in your home has to be connected to something else via a cable to carry the audio, video, data or Internet information. Which cable connects which devices can be confusing, however. Here's a primer on the 10 most important cables you should be familiar with.
One cable to rule them all. HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) carries full high-definition video and complete surround sound digital audio to your HDTV and/or AV receiver from a variety of high-definition digital devices – cable/satellite box, Blu-ray player, videogame console, media streamer, even some smart phones. All AVR receivers include at least four HDMI inputs, and most HDTVs have at least two. Some companies insist their more expensive HDMI cables are somehow of higher-quality than sub-$10 HDMI cables. To use a technical term, horse petooties. But don't run an HDMI cable any longer than 50 feet. The smaller HDMI jack in the photo is a miniHDMI, used to connect some smart phones directly to an HDTV to watch movies either downloaded to the phone or shot with it.