Can HDMI Cables Go Bad? Here’s How To Tell

Can HDMI Cables Go Bad

The High-definition Multimedia Interface also known as the HDMI is a cable used to transmit audio and video signals or information from one device to another. Basically transferring video and audio from one source to another.

Modern AV devices usually come with an HDMI port and your need an HDMI cable to connect them either to a screen or soundbar or whatever you wish to connect them to that also has an HDMI port.

HDMI cables can go bad if not properly handled. Since these cables are made up of copper or glass wires made from silica, careless handling, folding, excessive pulling or coiling can result in cutting or breaking of these wires inside them which causes them to go bad.

The HDMI cable can be used to connect devices like TVs, monitors, home theatres, soundbars, projectors, laptops, game consoles, etc. There are two types of HDMI cables.

The standard HDMI cable, which is made up of copper and is also the most common, and the fiber optic HDMI cable, which is the newer and better version and it’s made up of tiny glass wires that are made from silica.

Because these cables are used to transfer audio and video signals, once there’s a cut inside them, signals won’t be transferred properly or there won’t be transferred at all.

One of the signs of a bad cable is that flickering dots or sparkles begin to appear on your screen. It might not be too obvious at first but with time, it gets worse and might even appear all over your screen eventually.

Another sign your cable is bad and needs to be changed is when your screen starts displaying blurred, fuzzy, discolored images or poor resolution images. At first, you might just need to touch the cable and it’ll go back to normal but bear in mind that you might have to change your cable as soon as possible.

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Just imagine you’re watching one of your best shows or playing a game and your TV or monitor starts giving you an awful display. It’s not something anyone would want. It might even get to a point where nothing is being displayed on your screen.

Also, if you connect a device to a sound system or maybe it’s connected to your TV or monitor and you start experiencing breaks in the sound or poor quality sound coming from your soundbar or TV speakers, then it might be because of a faulty HDMI cable. If it’s completely bad, no sound will be projected.

How Do I Know If My HDMI Cable Is Bad?

The HDMI cable helps to carry audio and video signals across two devices. Therefore, once you start getting unstable signals or no signal at all, it means your cable is faulty.

Whenever the image being displayed on your screen is fuzzy, blurred, discolored, fading pictures, poor resolution pictures, or if no picture is being displayed, then you know your HDMI cable is bad and needs to be changed.

Or if you notice something like sparkles, dots, or lines appearing on your screen from time to time, It might be a sign your cable is faulty.

Another way to know your HDMI cable is bad is through the sound coming from your TV, monitor, speaker, home theatre, or whatever you have connected. When your HDMI cable is faulty, you might get poor sounds, breaking sounds, or no sound at all.

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Image: @kinek00 via Twenty20

How Long Should HDMI Cables Last?

Well, an HDMI cable should last for as long as it’s working fine and isn’t giving any issues. There’s really no fixed time or period for HDMI cables to last. Proper care and handling of your HDMI will allow it to work for as long as possible.

However, anytime you notice your HDMI cable is having issues or maybe you’re getting faulty audio and video signals, discolored pictures, blurred, fuzzy, or no signal at all, then you might need to get a new HDMI cable.

Sometimes, you might want to change your cable if you want an upgrade.

For example, if you have an HDMI 1.0 or 1.2 which has a maximum resolution of 1080p and 1440p respectively and also has a maximum transmission rate of 4.95Gb/s and you want something with a higher resolution and faster transmission rate, you might want to upgrade to the HDMI 2.0 or 2.1.

What Happens When Your HDMI Cable Goes Bad?

When your HDMI cable goes bad, your screen begins to display low-quality or low-resolution images, blurred images, fuzzy images, sparkles, dots, or lines appear on your screen.

Sometimes, depending on how bad your cable has gotten, nothing will be displayed on your screen.

You should get a new one then, here’s one we recommend.

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