How Can You Tell If an HDMI Cable Is Good? (Checked)

A great HDMI cable should seamlessly transfer a high-definition signal to your television set with just the use of one cable.

This has not only helped to clear some of the serious wire clutter than happens in everyone’s home, but it also allows you to watch your favorite shows in high definition.

However, not all HDMI cables are created equal when it comes to paying for what you will get. So, how can you tell if an HDMI cable is a good one or not? Here is what we learned:

Photo of red colored hdmi cables close-up.

1. Your Video Should Be Crystal Clear

The first sign that you have an HDMI cable that will not only function the way it is meant to but will also be considered high-quality, is to check your video quality.

Installing an HDMI cable takes little to no time at all and you should be able to tell pretty instantaneously whether or not it will be the quality you expect. So, once your HDMI cable has been plugged in and installed, simply turn on your TV and see what you are working with.

The quality of the video will be a huge indicator of whether or not your HDMI is a good one.

Most commonly, a poor HDMI cable will transfer the high-definition video but it won’t be a smooth signal. This will make the video appear to be static and blurry with lots of cutouts. There is nothing more frustrating than setting into a TV show only to have the signal constantly cut out.

Chances are if your video signal is cutting in and out as well as producing a low-quality image, your HDMI is a bad one. However, before you give up on it, make sure that the connection at the back is all the way engaged.

If you’ve checked your connection and still are not getting the quality you want, it is time to invest in a better cable.

2. Your Video Will Have a Weird Tint

While the most common way to tell if your HDMI cable is not a good one is in the quality of the video, there are a lot of more subtle problems that could be harder to spot.

More specifically, pay attention to the specific coloring of the video you are watching. This is not as obvious as fuzzy static or an image cutting in and out but is a huge indicator that the HDMI cable you are using just isn’t up to par.

The most common color tint you will see with a bad HDMI cable is either a green or yellow casting over the program you are watching. It can be kind of difficult to spot, but if you look closely enough, it will appear like the show you are watching has a color filter over the top.

While there are plenty of shows that make the creative choice of adding a color filter, most of the time when you see this greenish hue washed over the screen, it means you have a fairly poor HDMI cable.

3. The HDMI Connectors Don’t Line Up Correctly

Many times, when you are using a high-quality HDMI cable, problems can be easily fixed by making sure the cable is connected properly to your television set. However, when you have a bad HDMI cable, no matter how many times you connect and re-connect, it still won’t line up.

This is because the HDMI connector is made with cheap materials that are not meant to be flexible. High-quality HDMI cables are meant to bend so that the connection is always on point.

This is because not everyone has their television set out in the open with plenty of room to run cables. This is especially true for people who choose to mount their television set on the wall. It can be difficult to reach around to make sure that everything is properly connected.

This is one of the easiest ways to spot a good HDMI cable from a bad one. With a bad HDMI cable, it is far more difficult to get the cable to bend and be flexible so that you can connect it to your TV no matter where it is.

So, if you find that you just can’t get the HDMI to connect tightly to your set no matter what, chances are you have a bad HDMI cable.

4. What Materials Are Your HDMI Connectors Made From?

A huge sign that you have a high-quality HDMI cable that will be good is checking to see what the connectors are made from. The HDMI connector is found on the end of the cable and is what you will actually be plugging in. But, did you know that there are different types of connectors?

A standard HDMI cable will feature a connector that is made from a cheaper type of metal like aluminum. While aluminum is great for conducting energy and making a connection, it is one of the softest metals and doesn’t always hold up.

The best HDMI cables have a connector that is plated with gold or silver. Finding an HDMI with a gold-plated connector is one of the best ones that you can use.

Gold-plated HDMI cables are considered to be the best of the best for many reasons. However, the main reason why an HDMI with a gold connector is considered to be elite is that gold is one of the best conductors of energy.

Gold not only will make the connection and signal stronger, but it also does a better job of shielding the cable. Shielding is an important aspect of using an HDMI cable because this will be the layer of protection to keep the inner wires in the cable free from damage.

Read our blog here about is bending an HDMI cable okay?

5. The Length Of the HDMI Cable

A very simple way to distinguish between a good HDMI cable and a bad one can be seen easily in the length of the cable itself. 

The same theory can be applied to most wires and cables. Think about it – when you buy a cheap phone charging cable from the gas station, it won’t be much longer than a foot or so. This not only will make it difficult to charge your phone at any length but will also mean your cable will burn out faster.

The same thing can be said for an HDMI cable. Length is really important when it comes to finding a good HDMI cable because everyone will have a different setup for their entertainment system.

An HDMI that is too short will bring a lot of challenges when it comes to trying to set up that high-definition transmission in your home.

While it may seem like a trivial problem, having to work with a short HDMI to provide high-quality video to your home is actually quite hard to do. This is the main reason why HDMI cables that are considered to be “good” or “high-quality” are always longer than the cheaper ones.

6. HDMI Cable Provides Great Sound Quality

While having a poor picture while watching TV is a real letdown, having the sound also be poor quality can be super frustrating as well. Not only do HDMI cables have a direct impact on the quality of your video, but they can affect the quality of sound as well.

However, if your HDMI is a bad one, you will have a few hints that it might be dying out before it actually stops working.

The first thing you may see if your HDMI cable is not a great one is that the sound will slowly start to become fuzzy. It can be something as small as a light hum that remains on in the background of the show you are watching.

If left ignored, the background noise will only become more prominent and will get worse over time. Eventually, the sound will completely cut off from your high-definition feed rendering your HDMI cable unusable.

If you have a good HDMI cable, you shouldn’t notice any of these sound quality annoyances. This is because a good HDMI cable is meant to continuously have a strong connection by using high-quality connectors and have a faster transition speed.

So, if you don’t notice any little sound annoyances or are able to watch your TV without any audio pauses, you have a good HDMI on your hands.

Final Thoughts

It is crazy to think that something as small as an HDMI can completely change your entertainment experience, however, that is exactly the case. A great HDMI cable should not only deliver the best when it comes to picture and audio quality, but it should also last you for a long time.

Our advice is to always do a little research into the specific HDMI you want to use and make sure it checks all the boxes we’ve listed above. The quality of the shows you watch will thank you for it. Take care.

Read our blog here about can cheap HDMI cable cause problems?

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