The 4 Signs and Symptom of Bad HDMI Cable – With Fixes!

Before modern times, people watched black and white TV people had to twist antennas to capture a clear picture. Now is a modern age. Technology has come a long way. Now people made a theater-type environment at their own house to get the true home theater feeling. Common problems that may be signs of a bad HDMI cable include:

HDMI technology has helped to make it easy to connect multiple devices. HDMI cables are very useful for home theater systems. They can carry rich sound and beautiful images without any problem. But once if an HDMI cable goes bad or gets damaged, it can bring your entire home theater system to a screeching, blurry, and cessation.

Now you can ask that what are the most common signs, symptoms, and fixes for a bad HDMI cable.

  • Mostly, HDMI problems can be solved simply by checking the HDMI cable. Because HDMI ports are not overly tight, that’s why HDMI cables may become loose through use.
  • In case you face handshake issues, you can follow four potential ways to fix them. You can re-sequencing your turn-on process, check the selected input, check your video resolution, and check for software updates.
  • You can upgrade to high-speed cables or make sure all devices are HDR compatible, and you can also check the video resolution settings if you face HDR issues.
  • For HDMI-DVI issues, you can make sure all devices are HDCP compatible, or you can also check for conversion issues and call technical support.

The HDMI connection is very useful for your home theater system, so you should have a basic knowledge about which issues are most common and also how they can be solved as well. It can be so helpful for you and save money on not buying a new cable with every issue. You will also be able to identify possible issues quickly and have your home theater back up and running.

If you want to get rid of these problems, you should use a high-quality HDMI cable. Every cable does not come with the same quality. Using a low-quality HDMI cable can lead to problems in the future. Here’s a highly recommended best-quality HDMI cable on Amazon.

What Makes HDMI So Special?

HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface. HDMI technology has streamlined connectivity in ways often underestimated. HDMI was introduced to electronic consumers in 2004. It is doing a great job in meeting the needs of consumers till now.

HDMI 2.0 is the latest variant available on the market. It can easily support 4K technology through 12-bit colors and resolutions up to 60 frames per second. HDMI 2.1 will be more upgraded than this. It was announced in 2017 and still in development. With HDMI 2.1, you will be able to watch 10K videos, and it will also expand on 4K and 8K capabilities.

HDMI cables can transport both audio and video signals in between connected devices. There are some other devices available to assist them, such as couplers and so on. With HDMI, you will not need particular cables for sound and pictures.

HDMI also conveys what is known as “handshake” information. Let me explain a little bit, HDMI cables relay copy protection data, component types, capabilities, and restrictions between your connected devices.

HDMI and HDMI ARC (ARC stands for Audio Return Channel) also support Consumer Electronics Control technology which is also known as CES technology. It helps you to control the basic functionality of up to 15 connected devices with just a single remote.

HDMI technology helps you to minimize your home theater system’s footprint; besides, it also increases the capabilities. It is compatible with almost all platforms and devices. It is like a valuable asset in the world of technology. It is very useful for the entire home theater setup.

Testing For a Bad HDMI Cable

HDMI vs. Mini HDMI vs. Micro HDMI

Before you start to learn about the most common issues with HDMI cables, you should know how to check for a bad HDMI cable in general.

At first, you should check if your device works when connected through a different HDMI input port on your television, projector, or receiver. Some devices also have many HDMI ports, so you can also check them as well.

If you find every device is working correctly and you are on the right input, but the picture or sound still does not appear, it may be because of your bad HDMI cable. In this case, you just have to replace the HDMI cable.

Common HDMI Issues

Technologies are being upgraded day by day. HDMI technology is a great invention that can provide beautiful pictures and sounds flawless. But after all, sometimes you can face problems as well. But if you have the knowledge related to a bad HDMI cable, that can be helpful and will make it easier to find out a solution.

Some of the common HDMI issues you may face are:

  • No picture.
  • Blurry or fuzzy picture.
  • Discoloration.
  • Intermittent picture.
  • Poor resolution.
  • Lack of sound.

Your HDMI issues can be solved most of the time simply by checking to make sure your HDMI cable is entirely embedded into each connecting device. If you find out any frayed or exposed wires, then your HDMI cable may have become damaged, and you now have to replace them.

 In this article, you will find explanations about some issues you may face. But you should always check your HDMI cable first to ensure it is fully connected to both devices. It will help you to prevent the majority of fixable issues associated with an HDMI cable.

HDMI “Handshake” Issues

The Issue:

The HDMI “handshake” can cause several issues. The High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection is also known as HDCP. It helps to protect copyrighted material. The HDCP 2.2 is great for 4K technology. The HDCP was developed by Intel Corporation. It helps to prevent customers from copying harmed media, such as movies, video games, and broadcasts. Blu-ray, for example, heavily relies on HDCP technology.

HDCP technology work through HDMI cables. So if your HDMI connection is not secure or has become damaged, your home theater will suffer from it.

Potential Fixes:

  • Re-Sequence Your Turn On Process. You should know that some of the particular devices need to be turned on in a particular way. This can happen because of the order through which your connections are made, your universal remote’s capabilities, or something else. After all, if your device does not power on or displays a “No Signal” text, then you should try turning your devices on in a different way.
  • Check the input you are using. And make sure that all the input is connected with the right port of the connected device. You can scroll by your input options to try another HDMI or component connection to make sure you have selected the right one. If your television has been moved or hit recently, a port may have become damaged. So check that, and you can move your HDMI connection to another port in order to fix that problem.
  • Check the Resolution Settings of your video. Some of the devices (such as Blu-ray players) may have the option to change output settings. They can automatically change resolutions to match your television or home theater projector’s capabilities but not every time they choose the correct one. So you should match your device’s output setting to your television or projector to see if this makes a difference in picture quality.
  • You should also check for Software Updates. Software updates come so that you do not face a bad connection. If recent updates are made to either of the connected devices, it may cause the “handshake” to fail. So we recommend you to check online for complaints regarding “handshake” issues if you have experienced a recent device update or you are now having connectivity issues.


The Issue:

As we have mentioned above that HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. HDR can provide you with images that are subjected to a much broader color range which is far beyond the 4K technology. It can deliver images with much more detail as the expanded color potential offers them a larger scale, and you can even notice the smallest details as well.

HDR is quite a newer technology. That’s why not all devices are capable of supporting it. You can do a few things if your HDR video fed is not coming through as clearly as you would expect.

Potential Fixes:

You can use High-Speed HDMI Cables. HDR technology needs a minimum of 10.2 gigabytes per second (Gbps) connection. And an 18 Gbps connection is ideal. So it would be best if you used an HDMI cable that has the ability of this. You can find the best quality HDMI cables on Amazon.

Make sure that your devices are compatible with HDR. Home theater systems have different parts. If you connect an HDR-capable device through a receiver to a television or projector, you should make sure that the receiver is also compatible with HDR as well. If your television or projector is not compatible with HDR, then, unfortunately, you will not be able to enjoy the beauty of HDR.

You should also check Your Video Resolution Settings. The “handshake” issues here also your device’s video resolution settings may be selected to auto. But HDR technology is only compatible with 4K devices. So you should make sure you have selected this option on your devices.


The Issue:

Digital Visual Interface (also known as DVI) technology was invented and used before HDMI. Many older televisions and devices that people are still using today have DVI technology instead of HDMI. DVI can only transfer video signals. They are unable to transfer audio signals. So if you need to transfer the audio signal, you have to use either RCA or 3.5mm audio cables instead.

But your HDMI device can still be connected to your DVI devices with just a use of a conversion cable or a specially-made adapter.

Potential Fixes:

  • Make sure that your devices are compatible with HDCP. Because if you want to use a device that requires an HDMI cable, then you have to be sure first about your DVI device capable of supporting HDCP. All because of the HDMI “handshake” can happen through DVI conversions. And it can be rejected if the older gadget is not capable of accepting the copyright data.  
  • You should also check for Conversion Issues. HDMI to DVI conversion cables and adapters sometimes will not work perfectly. So it would be best if you read reviews on the cables or adapters before you buy that so that you can easily find out the most reliable one.
  • You should check for software updates as well. Just because your older device is HDCP compliant, the current software on it may not be able to recognize the HDMI device you are trying to connect. If you experience this type of problem, you can call your DVI device’s tech support.

Related Questions

You want to connect your laptop to your home theater system, but the screen stays blank; what can you do?

Answer: You should make sure that your laptop or desktop has HDMI selected as the default output connection. If still, you face the problem, you can try to troubleshoot it simply by following the following steps:

  • At first, boot up your computer with the HDMI cable connected to both the computer and a TV that is on already.
  • Turn the TV on after booting up the connected computer
  • Boot up the computer and television individually, then connect the two with an HDMI cable. However, you should remember that in some cases, you will need to use a VGA cable in place of an HDMI cable.

What can I do about my Wireless HDMI issues?

The Wireless HDMI technology is also known as WHDI and/ or WiHD (it actually depends on the format). It is pretty new, though. They help you to give your home a minimalistic look and free you from the hassle of cables. It is a great thing for the people who have devices that are spaced far apart.

Whatever they also come with their own disadvantages. If you have already experienced issues with your wireless HDMI, you should try to moving it around to help prevent interference often caused by line-of-sight and distance. If still, it does not help, we recommend you call tech support for your particular device.

-our editorial board has reviewed this article and has been approved for publication according to our editorial policy.

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Last update on 2022-01-27

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