Mini HDMI vs. HDMI vs. Micro HDMI - 3 connections in comparison

Mini HDMI and Micro HDMI are used where every millimeter counts. More and more smartphones, tablets and digital cameras use these special HDMI connector types, which offer full performance in the smallest space.

In everyday life, the HDMI digital signal standard already plays an important role for many people. In particular, the original connector type A (pictured below) is widely used. But technical development is leading to ever more powerful devices that require ever smaller HDMI connector types due to their more compact design.

Thus, HDMI version 1.3 introduced connector type C (Mini HDMI) and HDMI 1.4 introduced connector type D (Micro HDMI, pictured below right).

Basically, connector types A, C and D can transmit the same audio and video signals, only the dimensions of the connector types differ from each other.

Comparison: Standard HDMI, Mini HDMI, Micro HDMI
Technically, the connector types A (Standard HDMI), C (Mini HDMI) and D (Micro HDMI) are identical. All these HDMI cables have 19 pins that can transmit the same information. Each pin has a specific function or is not assigned and is used for future expansion. With so much in common, it's easy to lose track of what's going on. And so in everyday language Mini HDMI and Micro HDMI are often confused or mistaken for the same thing. But one look is enough to recognize the difference:

Difference 1: Dimensions
Comparison: Standard HDMI (Type A), Mini HDMI (Type C), Micro HDMI (Type D) from left to right.
Don't lose the overview! Especially HDMI plug type C (mini) and plug type D (micro) are often confused.

Plug type A measures 5.55 millimeters, plug type C (Mini HMDI) 3.2 millimeters and plug type D (Micro HDMI) 2.8 millimeters in its height and 15, 11.2 and 6.4 millimeters in its width, respectively. The horizontal distance between the individual pins is 0.5 millimeters for connector type A, and only 0.4 millimeters for Mini HMDI and Micro HDMI respectively. The Micro HDMI connector is therefore once again about 50% smaller than the Mini HDMI connector! Otherwise, the number of pin rows still differs, which is two for HDMI Type A and D and one for Type C.

Difference 2: Durability
The expected durability also differs. This is 10,000 mating cycles for HDMI Type A, and 5,000 mating cycles for Mini HMDI and Micro HDMI respectively. By way of comparison, the Micro USB standard, which is also popular but is only used for power supply and data transmission with a significantly lower bandwidth, measures 2.94 millimeters in height, 7.8 millimeters in width and has a row of five pins (horizontal spacing: 0.65 mm) with a service life of 10,000 mating cycles. So, smaller HDMI connectors are a bit more vulnerable than their larger relatives, but with 5,000 mating cycles, they are still robust enough for everyday use.

Examples of use of different HDMI connector types
HDMI connector type A (standard) has been available since HDMI 1.0 and is probably the most common. Typical examples of use for HDMI type A include HDTV receivers, Bluray players, game consoles (Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360), notebooks, and televisions.

Connector type C (Mini HDMI) has been available since the introduction of HDMI 1.3 and is often used with tablet PCs or modern graphics cards (in addition to DVI), after all, there is significantly less space available here.

Connector type D (Micro HDMI) has been available since HDMI 1.4 and is popular for even smaller devices, such as 7-inch tablet PCs or digital cameras. HDMI type E is designed for use in vehicles.

The right adapter: Mini/Micro HDMI to standard HDMI
Appropriate HDMI adapters allow communication between devices with different connector types

Mini HDMI to Standard HDMI adapter cable

Micro HDMI to Standard HDMI adapter cable

An HDMI adapter is required so that devices with different HDMI connector types can communicate with each other. It must be ensured that the two connector types of the adapter are also present on the devices. Care should be taken when distinguishing between Mini HDMI and Micro HDMI, laymen could quickly confuse them.

HDMI adapters are necessary, for example, if you want to connect a tablet PC, a smartphone, a digital camera or a graphics card with the TV or a PC monitor. Always provided that these devices also have an HDMI interface.

Mini HDMI and Micro HDMI - Frequently asked questions
Does Mini HDMI provide a worse picture than the standard HDMI connector?
No, all connector types deliver the same brilliant picture quality. There is no picture or sound degradation compared to standard HDMI.

Do cables with Mini HDMI or Micro HDMI connectors support high-speed features like 3D or Deep Color?
Basically, it's not the connector type that matters, but the performance of the HDMI cable. All HDMI cables are subject to the same specifications of the HDMI standard. However, whether features like 3D or Deep Color are supported does not depend on the connector, but on the respective cable manufacturer. When buying a corresponding HDMI cable, you should therefore make sure that the required feature is explicitly mentioned in the product description. Tip: Buy a high-speed cable! This way you are on the safe side.

Is there a loss of quality when using a Mini HDMI / Micro HDMI adapter?
No, neither the picture nor the sound quality is negatively affected by a Mini HDMI to Standard HDMI or Micro HDMI to Standard HDMI adapter. The signal is only looped through and not scaled up or down.

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