Video and Audio Center Blog



Thursday, December 31, 2015

CHECK THE HDMI CABLES TO ENSURE A GREAT PICTURE



The end of the year is a great time to check on that favorite friend who has given you so much enjoyment over the last 12 months — your TV. But that also means checking that there hasn’t been any problems developed over the course of the year that has caused, or could cause problems or degrade the quality of the picture that you’ve been watching. And if you’ve gotten yourself a new TV — 4K or Curved or OLED or HDTV — it might seem a simple matter to just use the existing cables as they are to connect everything. But that might not be such a good idea because it’s the little things that can make the most impact.

So it’s time to take a good, hard look at the HDMI cables that are being used or you will be using. We all know  how great these cables are — they combine a picture and audio together so there’s no need for two separate cables — and they all look the same on the outside. They also all fit into their receptacles (ports) in the same manner; relying on friction to hold them in place because there’s no secure locking mechanism in place on them. So there’s no guarantee that the HDMI cable will stay in the device it’s been attached to. And since these cables fit into the back of the TV or Blu-ray player or cable box, etc. — that also means they can be easily pulled out inadvertently by the owner moving some equipment around or even just over time.

So lets look at what can be done to ensure that the HDMI cables are doing the best job they can.

HDMI CABLES AREN’T ALL THE SAME

HDMI first became a choice to use when HDTVs appeared. But since then there’s been 3D added to the mix and of course now 4K high-resolution. Using a current HDMI cable is necessary because it will be valid to use with all that is now going on and will be going on moving forward. Using old HDMI cables, even if they were originally given as free, can mean that the video signal traveling through isn’t as stable or intense as needed. Better to get new cables — high-speed cables are easily available and in various sizes from as minimal as 3 feet on up to 12 feet. The cables even offer some color styling as well, and in varying colors too.

ANGLING FOR A BETTER CONNECTION

The one thing that is guaranteed with a HDMI cable is that it will eventually be pulled out of the port it’s been put into should there be any tension brought against it. That’s because of the lack of a locking mechanism as noted above (and the effect of gravity bearing down on the cable). A simple and very effective solution is to use gravity to your advantage by changing the orientation of the HDMI cable. This can be done with an adapter that goes into the port that the HDMI cable normally would, with the HDMI cable going then into the adapter. But the adapter isn’t straightforward and that is its charm: it’s made on a right angle principle so that the HDMI cable that’s connected to it is pointed straight down. There’s that use of gravity. This also makes it far easier to remove or insert an HDMI cable and protects the port on the TV or device (for example, an A/V Receiver) from getting damaged from being overworked.


Sometimes the easiest solutions are the best and when it comes to watching on one of today’s new TVs, the HDMI cable is just a pittance of the cost but can affect the picture without one even knowing it. Short of having a professional installer, for example Just One Touch, coming in to set up everything for you (an excellent choice when deciding to build a home theater around your new purchase), making sure the HDMI cables are good is something that anyone can do.

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