Our users often ask us if it matters what type of HDMI cable they use with their Roku player. After all, some HDMI cables cost only a few dollars, while others cost as much as a new Roku player itself.
Our opinion: It’s unlikely you’ll notice any benefit from using an expensive HDMI cable.
HDMI carries a digital signal. Unlike signals from analog standards, such as component or composite video, HDMI signals don’t degrade or become fuzzy. In general, an HDMI cable either works or it doesn’t work.
There are two different categories of HDMI cables. Standard (or Category 1) HDMI cables have been tested to perform at speeds equivalent to 720p/1080i. Meanwhile, High Speed (Category 2) HDMI cables have been tested to perform at speeds equivalent to 1080p and above.
We, at Roku recommend you use a High Speed HDMI cable with your Roku player if your Roku player supports 1080p. That way, you’ll ensure you’ll never have an issue as more 1080p content is added by Roku partners. Buying a High Speed cable, however, doesn’t mean spending a lot of money. We sell a 6-foot HDMI cable for $10 here that works great.
There are some minor exceptions to the guidance above. For example, gold-plated connectors, a common feature of more expensive HDMI cables, may resist corrosion better than standard connectors and can be good for very damp environments—like porches in Florida. Also, higher-quality cables may better resist wear from constant plugging/unplugging and may be more successful at sending HDMI signals over long distances—such as those longer than 30 feet.
If you are like most Roku owners, and connect your Roku player to your TV over a short distance inside your home, resist the urge to overspend on an HDMI cable. Instead, spend your electronics budget dollars on new devices, like a second Roku player!