High Definition Multimedia Interface cables carry HD video, audio -- and on specified models, an Ethernet connection -- from devices such as Blu-ray players and game consoles to HDTVs. Unlike many other video connections, HDMI works in two directions, so compatible TVs can send signals back to the output device. As with most types of electronic connections, every HDMI cable connects a "male" plug to a "female" input or output.
Male Cables, Female Ports
All HDMI ports on devices -- both outputs on media devices and inputs on TVs -- are designated as female. Meanwhile, both ends of a standard HDMI cable have male tips that fit into the female ports. Extension cables, however, have a male tip on one end and a female port on the other, allowing you to connect a standard cable to the end of the extension cable.
Mini and Micro HDMI Cables
Small devices, such as smartphones, often have a smaller female HDMI port, either Mini HDMI or Micro HDMI. These devices require a cable with one male tip of a matching size. The other end of the cable has a full-size male tip for connecting to a TV. You can also buy converters with a Mini or Micro male tip on one end and a full-size female port on the other, allowing you to use a standard HDMI cable.