Can a Bad HDMI Cable Damage the TV?


Whenever there is an audio or video problem with your TV or projector, the most difficult part is usually troubleshooting the source of the issue. 

However, if any of the devices mentioned stops working normally, it could result from a faulty HDMI cable. 

For most people in such a situation, the question typically is, can a bad HDMI cable damage the TV?

Table of Contents

What causes TV HDMI Problems?

HDMI was a revolutionary invention that allowed people to connect all their entertainment devices using one cable for audio and video. However, to achieve this, the devices in question have to be able to relay signals to each other via High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).

For those who are a bit tech-savvy, you probably know that whenever media devices can communicate with one another, it’s called an HDMI handshake.

If this fails, it will mean that the HDCP encryption in the HDMI signal was not recognized by one of the devices. You cannot play video games or stream movies in such a situation.

You may also experience sound loss or get a black screen. And You can easily determine the problem and fix it on your TV for the latter. In addition, a black screen may sometimes be a sign of a blown fuse.

TV black screen

Caption: TV black screen

How HDMI cable works on TVs

An HDMI cable is a link for an HDMI handshake. For videos recorded in HD, standard audio-video component cables will provide an output of 480 pixels per inch.

However, HDMI connectors can offer a minimum of up to 720 pixels for every inch, thereby providing richer and more lively videos that offer a more accurate recreation of actual scenes. 

There are similar enhancements that you can notice on the audio side, which is the 2.1 channel sound and beyond.

That implies that one HDMI cable can replace up to 11 analog signal cables in terms of reduced clutter, bandwidth, presentation quality, and content transmission.

What does a faulty HDMI cable do?

Although HDMI cables can provide your outdoor cinema setup with ideal sound, they do not come without issues, and below are some of them. 

1. Shooting Stars or Sparkles

Sparkles refer to white or multicolored dots that pop on a TV screen if the HDMI cable you’re using has passed or is operating at its maximum tolerance level. For instance, without seeing these sparkles, you cannot expect a lower gauge HDMI cable to carry a signal for 75 feet or more. 

On the other hand, if it is a short cable causing the sparkles, it could be because of a damaged, bent, or stressed pin within the connector. 

2. Blank Screen

The source device should display an image whenever you turn on your TV screen. However, it also depends on whether your HDMI cable is properly connected or if you have picked the correct input setting.

Also, if you have a blank screen and are unsure if you have selected the right source, you could be experiencing tell-tale signs of a bad HDMI cable.

In such a situation, switch out the cables, turn off all the devices, and then turn them back. Doing so will help in isolating the cable for you to be sure. 

3. Lack of Control

HDMI’s C.E.C (Consumer Electronics Control) allows HDMI cables to transmit signals to each other.

This option lowers or sometimes negates the need for users to have manual settings between different sources, TVs, and their receivers. As a result, once you switch on the devices, they will be aware of each other’s capacities.

If this option is enabled in your setup, you can turn all devices on and off using the power button on their remotes.

However, if your HDMI has issues like a bent pin, you will most likely be unable to do this. Some other signs you may observe include regular picture loss and a CEC-controlled device going off unexpectedly.

4. Solarization

Solarization is an issue that presents itself as peculiar-colored or ill-defined pictures on your TV. In most cases, solarization will be accompanied by sparkles already present on your display since the root cause of both problems is the same.

Also, solarization tends to have a light pink, green, and blue tinge appearance, or you may start seeing borders on items that don’t have them.

The problem becomes more noticeable when you see a screen figure with too many blended colors.

5. The “Handshake” HDCP Problem

The HDMI handshake is a feature that causes several issues. HDCP guarantees the protection of copyright material. Although 4K technology, referred to as HDCP 2.2, which Intel Corporation developed, prevents people from duplicating distributed media like broadcasts, video games, and movies. For instance, Blu-ray greatly relies on HDCP technology.

High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection technology needs HDMI cables to function properly. If the HDMI connection isn’t secure or is damaged, your home’s sound system will suffer.

Can a Faulty HDMI Cable Damage a T.V.?

As a general rule of thumb, HDMI cables normally transmit signals from one or several sources to the output (smart TV) without causing any damage to the equipment. And even the broken or faulty HDMI cable won’t cause any damage to your TV.

But, an HDMI cable can be so faulty at times that it leads to distortion of your TV video and audio. For instance, if you raise the volume too high, you may begin to hear a scratching noise from your speakers.

In addition, the damaged cable may also impact your media players and consoles. In such a situation, you should purchase a new cable to avoid any unpleasant experience.


Today, the HDMI cable has become a critical piece of home entertainment. Also, it’s a standard connection for gaming consoles, TVs, and projectors.

Understanding how they work and affect your devices has become important. For all HDMI cable needs, visit Cloom Tech.