Knowing When You Have a Faulty HDMI Cable

An HDMI cable.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 15.00
What You'll Need
HDMI cable
What You'll Need
HDMI cable

A faulty HDMI cable can cause serious audio or video problems (or both) to your video and gaming systems. While a faulty cable will not cause any damage to the individual components, it can render a system inoperable. Most people never even consider the fact that the HDMI cable itself can cause problems. Instead, they spend hours or days troubleshooting the components of their system.

If you are experiencing difficulties with your audiovisual systems connected via HDMI cables, you should consider the possibility of a faulty cable.

Common Problems

HDMI cables can often cause a number of different problems. The most common problems are no picture, a fuzzy picture, a discolored picture, an intermittent picture, and poor screen resolution, or even no sound. But these symptoms can result from other problems present in their game consoles, televisions, and receivers as well. However, if you have a spare cable or can borrow one from elsewhere... this is the place of choice and the easiest way where to start your troubleshooting.

What to Check For

Before actually testing the cables, you should check for a few things that could be causing the problems with the cable. If the cable is looped into tight coils or bends, you might be able to solve the problems by simply unraveling the HDMI cable.

If that isn’t the problem, search for bent pins in the back of any of the components that you have connected with the HDMI cable. Your picture will suffer if one of the pins is not properly connecting to the cable. You want to also be sure that the connector hood on the end of the HDMI cable is not so large that it restricts the cable from properly connecting.

Due to the fact that every television, video game console, and HDMI receiver is different, you may have a cable that is slightly too large for your component. It may take a bit of maneuvering for you to be able to properly see whether or not your connection is properly secured.

How to Test the Cable

Once you’ve determined that the HDMI cable is more than likely causing your audiovisual problems, you will need to test your theory. Testing cables is easy. Here are two ways you can test it:

If you have another audiovisual setup similar to the one in question, you can swap the HDMI cables to see if they work. You will know the original cable is faulty if the system starts working with the newly installed cables. One thing to keep in mind is that a defective cable in one system may work fine in another, due sometimes to impedance matching, for example.

If you don’t have a similar setup, you can use a new HDMI cable in the existing setup. You will know that the originals cables were faulty if the equipment begins to work properly.

Buying HDMI Cables

When you set out to buy HDMI cables, you should always purchase ones that have been individually tested. Many small electronic stores will do this, and most cables purchased from big-box stores will work just fine. Make sure that you review the store’s return policy, however, so that you can return any faulty equipment you purchased there.

Like many things in life, you get what you pay for. It will pay off, in the long run, to invest in a good HDMI cable.