Whenever an audio-visual problem arises with a television or a projector, the hardest part is troubleshooting the source of the problem.
If your TV stops working the way it usually does, a faulty HDMI cable can be the perpetrator.
But the question is, can a faulty HDMI cable damage a T.V.?
Read on as we answer this problem.
How Can I Tell if an HDMI Cable Is Faulty?
Even though HDMI cables can provide your outdoor cinema setup with excellent sound, they don’t come without their share of problems.
Listed below are some common issues that HDMI cables can cause:
1. Shooting Stars or Sparkles
Sparkles are multi-colored or white dots that start appearing on a TV if the HDMI cable is above or at its tolerance level.
If you’re asking for a lower gauge HDMI cable to carry a signal for more than 75 feet, you can see this happening.
That said, if a short cable is creating sparkles, it may be because of any of the following:
- Damaged or bent pin inside the connector or
- A stressed connector.
This is the most common way of knowing if you have a faulty HDMI cable.
2. Blank Screen
Turning on the television and the source device should produce an image.
However, this depends on whether your HDMI cable is connected the way it should be and whether you’ve selected the right input setting.
If you’re sure you’ve selected the correct source, you’re probably experiencing another tell-tale sign of a faulty HDMI cable.
If this happens, swap the cable, turn off all devices, and turn them back on. This will help you isolate the cable, so you can be sure.
3. Lack of Control
HDMI’s consumer electronics control (C.E.C.) is a feature that lets HDMI cables communicate with each other.
This option reduces or sometimes negates the need for you to make manual settings between different sources, televisions, and receivers you use.
Once the devices are turned on, they’ll be aware of each other’s capabilities.
If this option is enabled in your setup, you should be able to turn all devices on and off with the power button on their respective remotes.
But if your HDMI cable isn’t working properly (perhaps due to a bent pin), you may not be able to do this. Some other signs you may see can be:
- Frequent picture losses
- A CEC-controlled device turning off unexpectedly
This problem often presents itself as ill-defined or an odd coloring of pictures on your TV.
Usually, this can couple with sparkles you already see on your display since the cause for both these problems is the same.
Usually, solarization looks like light green, pink, and blue tinge or seeing borders on things that don’t have them.
This problem becomes more obvious when you see a screen figure with a wide range of blended colors.
5. The “Handshake” HDCP Problem
High Bandwidth Digital Protection or HDCP (HDCP 2.2 for 4K) helps in protecting copyrighted material.
Intel Corporation created this feature to prevent consumers from making copies of digital media such as:
- Video games
Blu-ray, for instance, relies heavily on HDCP technology.
However, if your HDMI cable is damaged, your television will suffer because of this.
Can a Faulty HDMI Cable Damage a T.V.?
A broken or faulty HDMI cable usually transmits no information if it’s damaged.
That said, an HDMI cable can be so faulty that it may distort your television’s audio and video in some cases.
For example, if you increase the volume too much, you may hear a scratching noise from the speakers.
Moreover, the damaged cable can also affect your console systems or media players.
You should get a new HDMI cable ASAP to avoid damage to your equipment.
In most cases, you can’t be sure if the faulty HDMI cable will only cause problems in the signal or damage your television.
So while a bad HDMI cable won’t necessarily render your TV useless, it can cause severe damage to individual components.
Do HDMI Ports Wear Out?
Yes, HDMI ports wear out over time.
An HDMI’s connecting port has 19 pins. If any of these pins or the lanes in the cable gets damaged, you may face a few problems.
These pins transmit vital information, such as the audio, video, communication data, and information needed for syncing.
Physical damage to these ports causes problems for the HDMI connection, whether it’s a pinched cable or damage to the cable’s connector.
Moreover, suppose you’re using a device like a monitor that always has an HDMI cable plugged in while the other end is disconnected.
In that case, you may experience additional wear and tear problems.
Most devices come with substandard pack-in cables that may not be at the same standard as third-party quality HDMI cables.
A bad cable can wear out quickly under little stress. Sudden changes in humidity or temperature can also cause this.
How Long Does an HDMI Cable Last?
If you’re using an HDMI cable while undertaking all the necessary precautions, it won’t go bad with time, but you may feel the need to replace them one day.
Physical damage like extreme force shearing or damage to the internal wiring can be some of the problems you start to see.
Wear and tear in specific environments can also lead to the soldering wearing out, the cable head detaching from the body, or the wire getting loose.
That said, even if your HDMI cable does stand well against the test of time, you should consider getting an upgrade.
Since the inception of HDMI technology in 2002, different versions of HDMI (1.0, 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3) only made the cable compatible with an increasing number of devices.
However, HDMI 2.1 proved to be a game-changer.
The latest generation of HDMI cables improves your connection’s bandwidth, giving you increased support for refresh rates and higher resolutions.
Moreover, you can also utilize the benefits of high dynamic range (HDR), and display stream compression (D.S.C.) more effectively now.