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HDMI Cables for Connecting PlayStation and Xbox to Gaming Projectors

BenQ
2022/07/18

It’s always best to hook up your projector and game consoles with a direct HDMI connection. Here’s a quick guide to the right cables:

  1. PS4/ Xbox One/ Xbox One S can be put on an HDMI cable is 1080p 60Hz with HDR, high-speed HDMI or HDMI 1.4 is more than enough.
  2. PS4 Pro/ Xbox One X was designed with 4K 30Hz or 1080p 60Hz with HDR, it's recommended to go with a premium HDMI cable, or HDMI 2.0.
  3. PS5/ Xbox Series X|S equipped with an ultra high-speed HDMI port, or HDMI 2.1, the aims to deliver 4K 60Hz-120Hz and 1080p 120Hz. While the majority of games are 4K 60Hz or lower, means a premium HDMI cable is still just fine for a PS5.

In This Article We Cover:
HDMI Cables next to PS5 console controller

Back in the 2000s when HDMI first emerged as a leading connection standard, the thinking was that all HDMI cables were the same, because the demands put on cables by devices were nearly all identical. That’s not the case anymore. If you’re using a BenQ gaming projector that’s capable of 1080p 120Hz or even 4K 60Hz, then you want to make sure you have the right HDMI cable for the job when connecting a PlayStation or Xbox.

HDMI cables vary by generation and bandwidth. The HDMI organization has since then renamed versions for easier sorting and improved clarity. Thus, we have standard HDMI, high speed HDMI, premium HDMI, and ultra high speed HDMI. Let’s take a look at what kind of HDMI cable you need for each of the three current PlayStation consoles.

 

As a word of caution, whatever you do, do NOT purchase any cable that states “standard HDMI” on the packaging. Not only is this version quite old by now, it’s not capable of 1080p but rather 1080i, or interlaced. Similar, but not the same. 

 

 

Always Connect Directly to a Gaming Projector using HDMI

We strongly advise you to make sure that you connect your consoles directly to your gaming projector. The same advice applies if you choose to use a smaller form factor display, like a TV or monitor. Avoid routing HDMI connections via sound systems, switches, or any adapters. Any passthrough creates additional input lag, resulting in less responsive gaming and a compromised experience. Having multiple steps along the connection could also reduce image quality in subtle ways. Direct connections are by far the best for the most responsive gaming and highest image fidelity. 

What HDMI Cable does PlayStation and Xbox Need?

PlayStation4 (PS4) / Xbox One / Xbox One

As the most demanding throughput a base PS4/Xbox One can put on an HDMI cable is 1080p 60Hz with HDR, high speed HDMI or HDMI 1.4 is more than enough. You can even get 4K 30Hz with this cable, but the base PS4 and Xbox One don’t support 4K so that’s a moot point. 

PlayStation4 Pro (PS4 Pro) / Xbox One X / Xbox One S

We consider this the entry level console when considering the capabilities of high end gaming projectors. PS4 Pro and Xbox One X were designed with 4K 30Hz or 1080p 60Hz in mind, and offer better HDR implementation than the base PS4. Xbox One S outputs a 4K image, but it’s exclusively upscaled from 1080p. Also, unlike launch PS4/Xbox One, PS4 Pro/Xbox One X have lots of games running in custom resolutions between 1080p and 4K while maintaining framerates over 30Hz and often close to 60Hz. Thus, a high speed HDMI cable may not be enough. We recommend going with a premium HDMI cable, or HDMI 2.0. While HDMI 1.4 (high speed) has a bandwidth of 10Gb/s, HDMI 2.0 (premium) bumps that up to 18Gb/s, or nearly twice. 

PlayStation5 (PS5) / Xbox Series X|S

Equipped with an  ultra high speed HDMI  port, or HDMI 2.1, the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S aim to deliver 4K 60Hz-120Hz and certainly 1080p 120Hz. Almost two years after launch, only a couple of games have managed to reach 4K 120Hz, while the majority are 4K 60Hz or lower. That means a premium HDMI cable, the same one we recommend for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, is still just fine for a PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. Premium HDMI even supports 8K 30Hz, and that’s not happening on the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. Games in 4K 60Hz with HDR work perfectly on premium HDMI (HDMI 2.0), with room to spare. Note that the PS5/Xbox Series X|S ship with an ultra high speed HDMI cable (HDMI 2.1), so if you have that, use it. All HDMI versions are backward compatible. 

A Guideline to Connect Consoles with Gaming Projector

With the growing popularity of the new generation of consoles, 4K HDR gaming has finally become a commonplace living room reality. And gamers everywhere are wondering big screen size is for their PlayStation and XBox consoles connecting to gaming projectors.

If playing 4K HDR games on a gaming projector, there is a guideline you should know:

•        Make sure the output of the PlayStation is set to a resolution of 3840x2160

•        Make sure to select the correct HDMI color range (full or limited of RGB; YUV limited), and check the output of the PlayStation or XBox

•        Select a compatible HDMI cable for 4K HDR to connect your PlayStation to a gaming projector

Certification Standard

Version

Year Released

Characteristics

Remarks

Certification Standard

Standard

 

Version

Pre 1.4

Year Released

Before 2009

Characteristics

Will NOT support 4K or HDR

Remarks

 

Certification Standard

High-Speed

Version

1.4

Year Released

2009

Characteristics

Certified for

 

4K at 24/30 FPS

Remarks

 

Certification Standard

2.0

Version

2013

Year Released

Certified for 4K at 60 FPS

Characteristics

 

Certification Standard

2.0a/b

Version

2015, 2016

Year Released

Certified for 4K HDR at 60 FPS

Characteristics

*Recommended for PS4/ PS4 proXbox One/ Xbox One S/ Xbox One X

Certification Standard

Premium High-Speed

Version

N/A

Year Released

2015

Characteristics

Stricter testing for 4K HDR at 60 FPS, expanded color

Remarks

*Recommended for PS4 Pro/ PS5/Xbox One/ Xbox One S/ XBox One X/ Xbox Series X|S

Certification Standard

Ultra High-Speed

 

Version

2.1a

Year Released

2017

Characteristics

Supported maximum 4K 120FPS or 8K 60FPS

eARC for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X

Remarks

*Recommended for PS5/ Xbox Series X|S

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What Happens If I Use the Wrong Cable?

The firmware on all three consoles continues to improve and offers smart bandwidth detection. If you force a PS5/ Xbox Series X|S to connect to a fast 1080p 120Hz projector using high speed HDMI (HDMI 1.4), the console will simply not make 1080p 120Hz available and will limit you to 1080p 60Hz. If you use HDMI 1.4 to connect a PS4 Pro/ PS5 / Xbox One X / XBox Series X|S to a 4K 60Hz gaming projector, the same thing will happen. 

 

You won’t get blank screens, sparkles, or color shifts. If those occur, that’s a sign of a bad cable or that you somehow managed to force too much bandwidth on the cable, which is unlikely. Visual errors are by this point in HDMI and hardware evolution are nearly always signs of faulty cables or failing GPUs, and are very rare.

 

We hope this quick guide has helped you choose the right cable! Make sure to look at the packaging and read the specs, as those are clearly marked in nearly every case. 

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