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Help - HDMI Cable Installed with Input/Output Reversed
July 13, 2009 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Our HDMI cable was installed with the input/output on the wrong ends.
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Posted by IsleOfMan  on  07/13  at  02:15 PM

My first inclination would be to try it as-installed and see if you can see or hear any detrimental effects (my guess is no).  From there, if installed by a CE, I would see what services they might provide you IN LIEU of re-running the cable… there’s likely something else they can do instead that is both easier for them and more beneficial to you.  Display calibration would be something you could request that they’d probably bite on… it’s low cost to them and highly beneficial to you.

Posted by RonX  on  07/13  at  09:12 PM

Is Robert Archer being serious in their response? If the cable doesn’t have any active circuitry in it, is not directional.

Posted by Bob Archer  on  07/14  at  06:19 AM

Hi RonX, you didn’t read the post correctly. I didn’t respond about the directionality of the cable and secondly the point the installer made was that the arrow that’s printed on the cable doesn’t make a difference.

My recommendation was to pull the cable out and install a new one. HDMI cables are delicate and you can’t fix them like you could a coax-based compression fitting RCA cable.

I also noted that part of the danger of buying a cost savings cable is that those overseas manufacturers don’t have any QC (quality control) standards. They are just trying to meet their volume quotas and if you get a bad cable they are probably not going to send you a replacement because their warranties are limited.

Companies like Straight Wire, Transparent and Tributaries (I just named a few here) sell more expensive products, but they have much better QC procedures, better warranties and they back their products with much more pride. They also provide consumers with the luxury of U.S.-based offices, which means if you call them about a product issue you will speak to a real American representative of that company.

Posted by Aggrazel  on  07/14  at  10:42 AM

Are you serious? HDMI cables are digital. Digital bits don’t care in which direction they flow down a cable.

Are you someone who also recommends gold plated HDMI cables?

Posted by Todd A  on  07/14  at  01:32 PM

What is this? It’s way past April! Just because some manufacturers want us to beleive that a cable is directional, doesn’t mean that it actually is.

Come to think of it, I’m not sure what is going on here. Did they run an in wall cable and get the “direction reversed” or was something wrong in the manufacturing process? If the former, it’s no problem, if the latter, see if it works anyway. If it works then there is no problem.

Posted by bob archer  on  07/14  at  03:41 PM

I think you guys need to re-read the post and the responses from myself and AV Guys Houston.

AV Guys points out the arrows on the cables won’t make a difference in how the signal is handled by the cable.

Posted by Jim  on  07/15  at  12:18 PM

I question the credibility of this article as it stands…

Posted by bob archer  on  07/15  at  03:00 PM

Hi Jim, why do you question its credibility.

I can tell you it came in from a reader and the staff along with myself answered the question.

I recommended those manufacturers over the cheap Chinese cable because of the reasons why I stated in the comments section: better QC, better materials and real U.S. citizens that will answer questions in an effort to solve problems.

Have you ever heard you get what you pay for? How good do you think those $5 and $10 cables are if they aren’t subject to HDMI qualifications for compliance and internal manufacturing QC?

Posted by Jim  on  07/16  at  01:17 PM


First of all, your sarcasm is unwarranted and not appreciated. As your customer, you owe me more than that.

As an owner of cheap cables, I’m pleased with their quality and performance. They say they’re category 2 certified, and just like a name brand, I need to take that at face value. The certification process isn’t very rigid and I suppose that name brands also take advantage where possible to remain competitive. My supplier also has excellent customer service, they can read product documentation and specifications and would gladly replace any defective cable at their cost.  But, that’s not what this article is about.

My qualm with this article comes from primarily the lack of [included] supporting facts of Houston’s response and your half which is irrelevant to the article and can be summed up as a rant. Whether the cable is cheap or not or if the product’s company has good technical support aren’t being debated or even questioned. The question is with regards to dataflow. Is dataflow unidirectional in HDMI cables or not. According to Houston, it depends. According to you, cheap cables suck, send the wire back.

Also, I think China and the like have mastered the concepts of manufacturing and QC; after all, they’re the leaders of the manufacturing industry and they have the resources and the means.  At least, I don’t believe it’s as bad as you’d have us believe. Without personal experience, I don’t believe either of us would be qualified to pass such judgment.

Posted by Marcus Albert  on  07/20  at  02:51 PM

Why would the so-called pro’s AVGuys Houston try answering this question at all without first of all finding out what indicates the input/output are reversed? Not very professional. HDMI cable with male ends in most cases plugs into equipment female input/output at each end. The answers to the following questions # How long is the cable? # Is there a repeater involved? # Is there a different connector on each end? should have been found out before Q and A was posted. What brand of cable? I feel is irrelevant to the question. CE Pro senior editor Robert Archer comments have nothing to do with the question. The majority readers of Electronic House are not A/V novices and we know quality products from quality manufacturers.are a must. Someone needs to find the answers and then re post this Q and A. This has to be the most unprofessional answered question posted by EH’s Ask a Pro.

Posted by bob archer  on  07/21  at  12:06 PM

Hello Jim and Marcus, the post shows the entire question from the reader.

The answers are based on that entire question. My response applies; if the cable wasn’t terminated correctly there’s nothing that can be done about other than sending it back to the factory and hoping the manufacturer stands behind the product. There isn’t a single manufacturer that’s developed a procedure for in-the-field termination because of the delicateness of the connection.

My point is that you get what you pay for. I fully support the diminishing returns theory, especially when it applies to cabling, but if a company sells un-certified HDMI cable for $5 to $10 and the approved competition is selling the same lengths for $30 to $40 dollars and it breaks you shouldn’t expect anything other than that result of the cable being cheap.

Manufacturers pay Silicon Image licensing fees and support for certification if an off shore manufacturer side steps those measures to avoid those fees that should send up a red flag. 

Also the off shore manufacturing methods are well known for their limitations. Just look at the food and toy industries. 

EH’s sister publication CE Pro did a story on off shore manufacturing and it found that no matter how much an American company tries to implement quality control measures they cannot control the process completely. The factory’s bottom line mission is to make money and if it means cutting corners when no one is looking that’s what they will do.

The companies I mentioned stand behind their products. You may get lucky and buy a working cable at a low price, but of the products produced in that lot the rate of defective products are likely higher than an American company manufacturing products here in the U.S.

Posted by BobbyCanuck  on  07/30  at  07:21 PM

Wait wait wait so the directional cable was installed backwards, and it still works, so whats the big deal?

It does not work…you say check the warranty, you say quality manufactures stand behind thier cables, so now days manufactures offer a warranty to compensate incorrect installs?

You talk about QC and all that what does that have to do with a backward install?

Niomi needs to get the installer to reinstall
Makes no sense

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