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Ask a Pro
Q. What’s the Best Way to Keep HDMI Cables from Popping Out?
April 14, 2009 | by Simon Scotland
Simon Scotland has three options for anyone frustrated with loose HDMI cables.
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Posted by IsleOfMan  on  04/14  at  11:22 AM

The best way is thoughtful cable routing and not trying to stretch every last inch of reach out of a cable… adjust the slack so there’s not a lot of pull.  Outward/backward pull causes the plug to slide out and sidewards pull (usually from routing the cable parallel to the back of the equipment then trying to make a right angle too close to the connector) is even worse and can damage the cable, connector, or the receptacle.

Think about how you route your cables and buy cables that are long enough and it quickly becomes a non-issue.

Posted by JO  on  04/14  at  01:15 PM

Mountain out of mole hill springs to mind. I concur with IsleOfMan. You are a dying breed


Quote Man “It hurts everytime i touch my leg!”
Smarter Man “then stop touching your leg”.

Posted by te  on  04/14  at  01:57 PM

What if someone else touches your leg?  Many integrators may not have this problem with their personal system, but the problem comes when their customers call them and they’re upset that their system cut out in the middle of their party, or that their HDMI Input was damaged somehow by their cable coming out.  Usually those service calls are not a money making event for the integrator.

Maybe it’s not a mountain, but it’s certainly a big hill.

Posted by IsleOfMan  on  04/14  at  02:09 PM

If the integrator/installer routed the cables properly to begin with stress relief in mind it shouldn’t have happened in the first place… but I do see your point concerning service calls for simple fixes.  If you’re doing a multi-thousand dollar install for a customer then adding some active stress relief or locking mechanism may be a relatively low cost addition to prevent service calls down the road. 

If you’re piecing together a system yourself and/or are effectively your own CI, then there are free ways of effectively preventing cable stress.  The latter instance was the mindset my original comment came from.

Posted by te  on  04/14  at  02:41 PM

I totally agree with you that there are things you can/should do.  My comments were more directed to JO.

I personally have not had this problem in my system, but I also know that things don’t seem to go so smoothly with customers’ systems, and many people seem to find a way to break things that I could never imagine.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  04/14  at  03:03 PM

You can do a lot of things to mitigate the HDMI connector problem but in the end, consumers love to rearrange components, move furniture, reroute cable, etc. It certainly doesn’t hurt to take precautions…

Posted by IsleOfMan  on  04/14  at  03:06 PM

What are the odds they end up breaking a cable, connector, or receptacle when they don’t notice the locking device that is installed?  I can see that happening, especially with designs like the PPC Locking Cable listed in the slide-show.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  04/14  at  03:18 PM

Isle… This is the main reason why mfrs of these products actually limit the pull strength of these cables—so you don’t end up yanking the connnector out of the component.

Posted by Mike  on  04/14  at  03:25 PM

My Marantz equipment had a lock screw hole above the HDMI connectors. I found some great cables at Dalco for under $20 that have the lock mount on them.
http://www.dalco.com/ProductDetails2.aspx?sku=74068

Posted by te  on  04/14  at  03:53 PM

I understand the concern about damaging the components because of the cable being locked, but I think more damage can be done by it not being locked…I’ve heard many stories of HDMI ports being damaged (and/or HDMI Cables) while the HDMI Cable comes unplugged.

If you think back, components have always used locking connectors, from coaxial cables to rcas (not technically a locking connector, but may as well be the way some of them hold the barrel), to professional use BNC connectors (which have been a favorite of many).

Maybe more of a concern where people can trip over cords, like laptops, game consoles, etc, but I just don’t see it as a concern in a rack where there’s enough slack in the cable and things are installed properly.

Posted by IsleOfMan  on  04/14  at  03:58 PM

My point on a locking cable causing more damage than good was directly primarily at the PPC Locking Cable style designs where it’s pretty easy to overlook that there’s a locking mechanism there at all (similar to a lot of older cell-phone charger plugs).

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  04/14  at  04:01 PM

Remember that PPC can only withstand 10 pounds of pressure. After that, the locking mechanism “fails” and the cable comes out.

Posted by JO  on  04/14  at  05:21 PM

For te, my appologies for looking so closed book at that particular aspect. I come from a cable company where if YOU break it then you pay for the service call. I am a little suprised that an integrator would just eat the cost of someone who either causes the issue themself, or allows others to cause it regardless of the cost of original install unless there is a warranty inwhich the warranty would be paying for that srv call.  (when someone calls to say their grandchild has put SAP mode on their TV, if they can’t be guided over the phone, then they will pay for the tech to fix the self made problem).

Posted by te  on  04/14  at  06:03 PM

JO, no need to apologize…Just a friendly discussion :)  I’m sure most integrators do charge, but I don’t think they’re making much money, or maybe even breaking even…and I think they’d rather spend their time on profitable jobs.  That’s not mentioning phone calls which can also consume valuable time spent elsewhere.

I’m sure there are plenty of clients that will blame the installer, so if you can avoid that situation altogether, I think it’s better for everyone involved.

There’s a lot of good options here, and even though they’re not for everyone, I think integrators would be wise to use one or more of these options on their installs.

From a business point of view, it’s additional profit margin (every bit helps and it adds up over a year’s time), less time on service calls (which means more time for profitable jobs), and a better reputation with your clients (less problems means more repeat business and referrals).  It seems like a win-win using one of these options and avoiding the risks involved.

Posted by j0hnny  on  04/14  at  07:08 PM

That’s an easy question to answer Lew… 

Use Crazy Glue to glue the connector into place.  Then use Crazy Glue to glue your hand to your genitalia as well.

Posted by Simon Scotland  on  04/15  at  02:01 AM

Good comments on this.  I do like it when we start a discussion.

I agree that running cables with a little slack is the best procedure.  There is always a risk that screwing down a cable will cause damage if it is strained too much.

But it is difficult to say if a cable falls out or is pulled out.  So charging a customer for a cable out experience is difficult.  I’m with te on this one, as integrators we’d much rather spend the time on the ‘phone dealing with new enquiries and upgrades than with service calls - no matter who caused the initial problem

Posted by Tom  on  04/15  at  08:18 PM

HDMI cables popping out?

What the hell…. are you serious.

Unless your equipment is hanging upside down, or your in the middleeast with bombs going off everyother day, or even in a earthquake zone.. i dont see how the cable can “pop” out.

Maybe people are using crappy monster cables.

Posted by te  on  04/22  at  09:07 PM

Tom, take just a few minutes to EDUCATE yourself (for example, look on google…or if that’s too difficult, read the article above where the expert says they do pop out) and you’ll see it is legitimate a concern for many people.

No one says it happens to everyone, but just because it doesn’t happen to everyone, and it hasn’t happened to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

Posted by DSM  on  04/30  at  02:22 PM

Q. What’s the Best Way to Keep HDMI Cables from Popping Out?

A. Shorter strokes

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