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!

About Tom Markworth

Director of Product Management, Roku
This entry was posted in Roku tips and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Crassh76

    Good to know, thanks.

  • Anonymous

    The big name cables are a huge ripoff. Unfortunately, Monster sells a 3-foot cable for $80, so everyone else sees an opportunity to sell theirs for $30, rather than the $5 it should sell for.

  • Blurp

    i’ve had great luck with HDMI cables from monoprice.com, cheap and great quality!

    • Skifiend2000

      Thanks for the website. One question, I’m seeing the same HDMI cable, but in different colors. Is there a difference between the colors?

      • http://twitter.com/totaro Elliot Marshall

        Color doesn’t mean anything – just for preference or if you are running many cables and need to easily organize by color.

        • Skifiend2000

          Thanks

    • Covarr

      Gotta give another recommendation for Monoprice. Their products are inexpensive and well-built, a combination that is rarely seen together.

      Although, if you’re stringing HDMI over long distances, it may be worth it to invest in a HDMI repeater, which basically serves to receive the signal and send it fresh. A digital signal may not degrade over distance, but in some circumstances it can fail entirely, and putting a repeater in between can prevent this.

  • http://twitter.com/AbPow Steve Ferra

    Even the gold-plated ones aren’t worth it. In the corrosion example above, you’d have to go through something like 10 inexpensive non-gold-plated cables to recoup the cost of a gold-plated one. Same thing applies to wear and tear from constantly unplugging/plugging back in.

  • Skifiend2000

    What’s the difference between the color? I see red, green yellow?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1450487296 Bill Mecca

    I use an inexpensive HDMI cable, which works fine, but sometimes when I start the Roku I get a green screen. Disconnecting and reconnecting the cable fixes it, but is a pain. I wonder if it’s the cable or something else?

  • Dhanarose

    *Like*

  • Ride525

    I’ve used Amazon Basic cables with great success.

    And you comment about using your electronics elsewhere was right on. Gosh, for the price of an expensive Monster HDMI cable, you could buy a new ROKU!

  • Jason

    Another thumbs up for monoprice.com. Their prices are very competitive and the quality is good. I also have an HDMI repeater from them which has worked out great.

  • Copperman1425

    Is Roku and Netflix having a spat? I skip through so, so, movies to get to the good parts, and it seems it takes so long streaming. I have broadband internet. Roku blames it on Netflix and vice-versa. Is Roku really having as many problems with their units, that I’m reading about?

  • JustCommenting

    I use cables from Amazon, not the basics, but still works fine. My cable cost around $3, can’t beat the deal. Of course, my highest definition is 720p, thigh use an older 1080i TV as SD (nothing but component connections).

  • Steve Burzynski

    I’ve been using the 10′ HDMI cables from Fry’s electronics that are sold for $4.99 each and they work perfectly.

  • Lee

    I am in Australia and found that http://www.spacehifi.com.au/ had a good range of HDMI Cables to choose from, great prices and excellent quality.

    These Roku devices look great. Are these available here in Australia?

  • Ord67a

    I just found and registered at this site. I am planning to buy a Samsung LN37D550 LCD HD television which includes 4 HDMI inputs. On a friend’s recommendation, I would also probably buy a ROKU2 XD to stream video once I get wireless.

    SAMSUNG sales will not specifically endorse any product or say if the ROKU will work with this television. I believe it will. Can anyone confirm that it will? Thanks

  • Hauk66

    can you hook this up to more than 1 tv

  • Tommyboy

    cool beans

  • Ejr_rice

    Thanks you definitely make sence.

  • Markgrant

    Recently had a problem with my Roku box. After a couple/few years of use, with NO problems, it suddenly wouldn’t connect with my wireless network. Tried EVERYTHING that Netflix and Roku
    recommended to fix the problem. Didn’t work. I figured the box had gone bad and bought a new
    Roku box. Guess what… still the same problem with the new box. After doing a lot of testing I
    found the problem. The HDMI cable had somehow gone bad. How in hell does a cable go bad?
    A cable either works or it doesn’t. But that was the case. I bought a new HDMI cable and that
    solved the problem.
    A note, my opinion, about buying HDMI cables. Buying HDMI cables in retail stores can be
    hugely expensive. Anywhere from $25 to $150. Going on the net you can get HDMI cables for
    a fraction of the cost. The cable I bought which went bad I got off the net for $4.99. It was cheap
    and worked well, for as long as it lasted. I should have gotten a better cable. I have since done
    so. I researched the item, on the net, and have found a hugely better quality cable. Cost me all
    of $9.99, on the net. Cost a LITTLE more, but according to the “expert” and user reviews this
    cable has lived up to all the hype.
    Just in case, when I ordered this cable, I ordered two. Just want a backup… just in case.
    The cable I bought I got from Amazon, it’s the Mediabridge Ultra Series – High Speed HDMI
    Cable with Ethernet. Well worth the investment.

  • hohum41

    I am new to the roku box and what it is supposed to do for viewing. I was watching GBTV for the first time on laptop and nticedafter a while we lost connection w/ the program. Can roku help to improve receiving signals. And, is Roku used for replacing my Dish Network. I just do not understand how it is supposed to work to bring me tv programs thru my pc. Can someone help?

  • http://www.facebook.com/hohum41 Mike Slack

    can you receive live tv shows or events thru the internet, or will everything be a delayed recording of that event? I don’t understand any part of electronic talk, and not even sure if I can hook the darn thing up.

  • http://billig-hdmi.dk/ Mikkel

    I’ve tried cables from asia, 50$ cables from US and other cheap cables and I CANT see any difference.

  • James

    eh with roku 4 it doesnt seem to matter the hdmi cable. after watching some video, i switch to netflix and sometimes get the infamous “hdmi unauthorized” psod (purple screen of death) trying to watch a show. the solution every time is to go into home-settings-display settings and toggle the display setting from 720 to 1080 or 1080 to 720. it doesnt matter what the resolution is, just changing the display setting to something else serves to kick roku in the seat to wake up to rendering hdmi properly. after doing this, roku hdmi renders the show fine. hth!

  • bucky

    I have a 2006 hd sony tv top of line, i have dish network so i can get local tv, i have only one hdmi connection on my tv — is therre away I can have both?

  • John Karter

    i have used SF Cable HDMI Cable and it is best in price and high quality!

  • Neha Malik

    I have found one HDMI cables – deals15.com- Best deals on christmas – btw happy christmas to all of you , there i bought one high quality 20 Meter HDMI 1.4 Version Cable Gold Plated for my Full HD LED TV. I’m satisfied with that cable.

  • mitchofcanada
  • Rose

    I was wondering how difficult is it to complete the process to install this player?

  • Nan

    I can’t seem to find HDMI outlet on my early model plasma t.v…any suggestions

    • HopeEyeHelped

      probably doesn’t have one. Back in the day there was another type of connection used in competition with HDMI, DVI. DVI is still used in computers and some other applications but no longer used for TVs. If your tv has a DVI connection it is likely to not have a HDMI connection at all. They make adapters to convert HDMI over to DVI that would solve the problem. DVI is a type of serial cable like a monitor hookup on a computer.

  • graceful

    Have Roku hooked up to TV and it works great, however the color on regular Cable stations are not bright and clear (like before without Roku setup. What is the problem??