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Do HDMI Cables Wear Out Over Time?

Do HDMI Cables Wear Out Over Time?

Just when you thought that all new devices and accessories go bad after a few years, the humble HDMI cable will prove to you that this isn’t always the case. 

Unlike the phones and TVs of today, an HDMI cable can last decades, especially when taken care of. 

We’re not saying that it never gets bad – it does. However, it’s not like any accessory where you have to think of replacing it from time to time. 

If you still want to know more about how long an HDMI cable can last and how you can increase its lifespan, we ask you to keep reading. 

Hopefully, this will help you estimate if your HDMI is going to last for a while. 

How long do HDMI cables last?

Multi-color hdmi cables on a red wall

Unlike desktop PCs and laptops that last for 3-8 years, HDMI cables don’t have an estimate of how long they can be good for. 

This is partly because not many people pay attention to HDMI cables for them to measure how long their lifespan is.

But the main reason why there’s no estimate is that HDMI cables last for a long time

It can be useful even beyond 10 years! 

Of course, this assumes that you know how to take care of your cable and it isn’t being plugged in and out of ports regularly and you’ve bought a high-quality HDMI cable   

However, if your HDMI cable isn’t made of high-quality materials and its manufacturing does not have strict quality control, then there’s a chance that it won’t last as long. 

We’re looking at a 10-year lifespan if you’re using a low-quality HDMI cable or if it’s not taken care of properly. 

How do you know if your HDMI cable is going bad?

A close-up of a black hdmi cable

Fortunately for us, your HDMI cable will show symptoms if it’s time for a replacement

Some common symptoms include no picture or picture degradation, no sound or defective sounds, poor resolution, and weird colors on the screen.  

All or some of the signs of cable degradation may show up.

If you notice, these symptoms of a bad HDMI cable are out of the ordinary. A sudden poor video or audio quality no longer happens in our digital world unless there’s something wrong with your connections. 

So if you notice these symptoms, they may be a sign that there’s something wrong with your HDMI cable or HDMI port. 

Why did we say HDMI port?

Although we’re talking about HDMI cables here, you should know that there are cases where the cable isn’t the one that needs fixing. 

The HDMI port can also break after a long time. The needles on the port may be bent or broken when they’re used often. 

The same symptoms will show up if there’s something wrong with the port, so it’s best to check both your cable and HDMI port for any damage. 

Can HDMI cables stop working?

A man holding a head of a hdmi cable

Yes, HDMI cables can stop working only when they’re damaged. 

If they stop working, it’s either the cable or the port is faulty, or either one of them needs replacement. 

As we said in the section above, one of the symptoms could be no picture or no sound. This is a sign that your HDMI cable has stopped sending out signals or it is not being read. 

How to take care of an HDMI cable?

A long black hdmi cable on a wood table

HDMI cables are pretty low maintenance, and unlike most accessories, if you’ve set it up properly, you won’t need to check on it from time to time. 

But for the sake of explaining what “set it up properly” means, here are a few things you need to know if you want to keep your HDMI cable working for a long time. 

The first is to connect them to the right ports. 

All HDMI ports will be labeled as such and all you need to do is to connect each end of the HDMI cable to these ports. 

If you’re connecting a laptop with a TV, remember which port you plugged the cable in on the TV and go to your laptop to choose the source that your laptop will be sending data to. 

How To Connect Your Laptop To The TV Using HDMI Cable - 2021 Update | WINDOWS 10 | STEP BY STEP

If you’re connecting a soundbar, the same process will be done. However, we recommend that you avoid pulling the HDMI port out of the soundbar especially if this will be an everyday set up in your home. 

This is because frequent plugging in and out can damage both the head of the cord or the HDMI port. 

Worried that your TV doesn’t have enough ports? An HDMI switch  might be useful. 

The second is to ensure that there is nothing that is resting on the cable. 

Your HDMI cable should not be folded or looped as much as possible. These bends can eventually break the wires inside the cable. 

You should also make sure that no object is resting on the cable. The weight of these objects can deteriorate the cable’s quality in the long run. 

A white hdmi cable in front of a white wall

And lastly, be gentle with your HDMI cable. 

Sure, these cables are durable and they’re built to be almost irreplaceable, but that doesn’t mean that you should be careless about it. 

When pulling or attaching an HDMI cable to a port, make sure you do so gently and slowly. There’s no need for you to put so much force into pulling it out. 

If you’ve connected it properly in the first place, it should come off easily. 


A person plug an orange hdmi cable into a laptop

HDMI cables wear out over time, but they can last for a long time, too. 

If you know how to set it up properly and it isn’t being removed or attached frequently,  it should work well for a decade. 

But if you’re already seeing poor-quality video and audio, this could be a sign that it has to be replaced. 

There are cases when it’s not the HDMI cable that’s faulty, so make sure to check both the cable and the port. 

Hope this helped you understand HDMI cables more! 

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