Can HDMI Cables be Repaired?

HDMI Cable with wires showing

HDMI Cable with the HDMI head removed showing the 19 wires for hookup

Update: This article was originally intended to be an overview about repairing a damaged HDMI Cable.  Because of the great interest we’ve had in this article, we wrote a more updated and detailed version, “Repairing a Broken HDMI Cable – Part II.”

We’ve mentioned in several articles how fragile the Physical HDMI Connector is, and that one of the results of this is a damaged HDMI Cable.  We’ve read many forum posts, and we’ve received emails from our clients asking if it’s possible to repair an HDMI Cable once it has been damaged. While it is possible, it can be very difficult to pull off.

Before reaching this point, there are things you can do to prevent damage to your HDMI Cable. Make sure you have plenty of room behind your HDMI Components so that you’re not pushing the HDMI Cables into the back of your Cabinet. Don’t place excessive stress on your HDMI Input. If you’re using a longer length HDMI Cable, most likely it’s a pretty heavy and stiff cable. Use hd EZ lock to eliminate the stress and keep your HDMI Cable in place, or consider a “port saver” to go between your HDMI Cable and your component. Prevention is the best medicine, and taking these steps can save you a lot of frustration and money in the long run.

Why would you want to repair an HDMI Cable instead of just replacing it? In most cases, it’s much easier to just replace the HDMI Cable with a new one. If you purchased your HDMI Cable from a reputable source, you might find that they will replace the HDMI Cable for you under warranty.

But you may have invested a lot of money in your HDMI Cable and it’s not covered, or you’ve gone through the trouble to install the HDMI Cable in-wall.  Replacing an in-wall HDMI Cable can be a very labor intensive job, which is costly in both time and money. In some cases, it may be worth trying to repair the HDMI Connector.

What makes repairing/replacing the HDMI Connector so difficult? HDMI is passing so much bandwidth that there is very little room for error.  The image above shows an HDMI Cable that has had the connector removed and the outer cable stripped back.

HDMI Cable with outer case removed

HDMI Cable with outer case removed showing the small solder connections required

There are 19 wires inside the HDMI Cable (including drain wires) that all have to be precisely soldered to a very small connector. The 19 wires must also maintain a very precise tolerance in length, which is important if you’re cutting off the entire HDMI Connector and replacing it with a new connector. In a best case scenario you may have one wire that has become disconnected from the HDMI Connector. In a worst case scenario, the entire HDMI Connector is damaged and will need to be replaced.

The image to the left shows an example of a single wire (the red wire) that has broken away.

This could be caused by workmanship, or maybe excess stress was place on the HDMI Cable, causing it to break the solder connection. In this case we’re lucky because the HDMI Cable head is a metal casing that is screwed together over the HDMI Connector, and can be easily removed to access the wires underneath.

With a bit of precise soldering the broken wire can be reattached and the metal housing replaced and we’re in business.

In many cases, though, the HDMI Connector is hidden behind the plastic overmold and is not accessible without cutting away the plastic. If not done carefully, you may cause additional damage when trying to remove the Plastic. Also, if you have to cut away the plastic, you may not be able to replace it when completed.  The end result will most likely be cosmetically less than desirable, but otherwise should be okay.

The image below shows a HDMI connector which has been damaged beyond repair.   When the HDMI Connector is damaged beyond repair, the only option would be to attempt to replace the connector.  The entire HDMI connector will have to be cut off and replaced with a new connector.  This is the tough part.

Broken HDMI Cable connector

Broken HDMI cable connector

HDMI Connector kits are available from various sources such as Pacific Cable or Toby Electronics:

HDMI Cable repair kits

Example of HDMI Cable repair kits that are available

As mentioned, replacing the HDMI connector requires very precise soldering with no room for error. Of course, it’s also necessary to make sure that you match the correct wire with the correct pin on the HDMI Connector.

Another product, an HDMI to Screw Terminal Connector, attaches the HDMI Connector to a circuit board with screw terminals, so that you don’t have to solder the wires but instead screw them into the terminal. The overall size is much larger than a standard HDMI Connector, and more expensive, but it removes the need to solder.

HDMI Screw-terminal Connector

HDMI Screw-terminal connector

Audioquest, a well-known cable manufacturer showed a very promising HDMI Field Terminating kit which allows the HDMI Cable to be attached to their proprietary HDMI Connector using a crimp style connection, and no need for soldering. It’s also designed to work without stripping the out jacket away from the individual wires. Although we’re not sure, it seems that you have to use Audioquest HDMI Cables as well, so this may not be an option for replacing the HDMI Connector on an existing HDMI Cable. As of this writing, it does not seem that this is available for purchase.

Field terminating HDMI Cable

Field terminating HDMI Cable shown by Audioquest

BTX Technologies has since released a very similar field-terminating HDMI kit, but it’s very cost prohibitive (expensive), and it appears to only be available in bulk quantities.

As you can see, it is possible to repair a damaged HDMI Cable in some cases, but you have to ask yourself if it’s worth the effort. It’s not an easy task to take on, and there will be some expense along with no guarantees that it will be successful. If you can easily replace your damaged HDMI Cable with a new one, that’s a much easier and safer way to go. If you must repair it, keep in mind that you’re working with expensive Audio/Video components and if you’re not careful, you risk damaging more than just your HDMI Cable. If you decide to repair it, we recommend hiring a professional.

Disclaimer: This article is meant for informative purposes only. We do not recommend performing any type of electrical repair yourself, but rather contacting a professional to perform these repairs.

 
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24 Responses to Can HDMI Cables be Repaired?

  1. Pingback: HDMI cables by Empirion - TribalWar Forums

  2. Pingback: Repairing a broken HDMI Cable - Part II | Blue Echo Solutions

  3. pat says:

    I have 3 component wires going through my walls fro TV 20′ to reciever. I want to put a hdmi through this same passage, replacing the other wires. Is there a way to thread the new HDMI cable without tearing appart the wall?

    • admin says:

      Hello Pat,

      Usually when longer wires are ran in-wall, it’s tough to just pull new wires in their place unless you have conduit ran in-wall. You might be able to attach an HDMI cable to the end of the component cable and pull the component cable through the wall, which would bring the HDMI cable through, but most likely it will get hung up on something and not be possible. The only way to know is to try.

      Also, there are HDMI to Cat 5/6 converters that would allow you to run a cat 5/6 cable in wall. This might be easier to pull, but even with this, it’s likely that you won’t just be able to pull it through.

      If your only option is to open the walls anyway, it might be worth a try.

  4. any updates with this? Any new connectors on the market that an untrained person can use to replace an HDMI connector? Thanks!

  5. Brandon says:

    Hi guys. I am a AV Installer. And many of my clients want their HD picture on other flat screen panels without visible cables. 95% of the time the hdmi connector can’t fit through the conduit. In this case i cut the hdmi cable, pull it through and then join it again.
    I have done this with more than 50 cables and no problems.
    If the cable length is more than 30m, I use the raw cable and solder new connectors on when done.

    • James Saunders says:

      Brandon,
      Where do you work? I need to repair a cut HDMI cable and my AV guy says it’s not possible. I’m in London. I would greatly appreciate your help and advice.

      Kind Regards

      James – 07713099724

    • Lee says:

      Hey Brandon, I’d also be interested in your services following a “minor” cable incident…
      Give me a call on 07984553423
      Cheers
      Lee

    • Matt says:

      Brandon I could also use your help mate , but where do you live , I’m in Melbourne

    • Hamish Douglas says:

      Brandon,

      Are you available to fix a cable in London, or know of someone that can help?

      Cheers

      Hamish
      07500133386

  6. bongani mondlane says:

    Hi Pat i just saw your question regarding the hdmi cable for future use ,i have learnt in the av field to always use a bigger conduit pipe for future upgrades i normally use the 50mm plumbing pipe this really helps and saves all the worries when someone wants to upgrade their system.In your situation i am not sure how thick is your current conduit pipe here is a suggestion below:

    Attach your hdmi cable to a contractor’s draw wire tape with an insulation tape and lubricate the pipe with some Q20 spray and try to pull the cable and when you are done resolder the other end or use a screw terminal connector if available.If you have some pictures of the room your can post them to me and i will be able to give you some suggestions.

    • admin says:

      Good advice indeed…it’s always a great idea to “future proof” your HDMI installation if possible. Using conduit (large enough size) is a great idea if you can do it.

      Unfortunately, many people don’t have conduits and experience these issues after the walls are closed up. For those people, it’s good to know there are some options worth considering, other than re-opening the walls.

  7. MR.BAMM-BAMM says:

    I just finished soldering some HDMI cables in which a home owner broke the tip off. He gave me a call and i flush cut the end off and soldered wire by wire the same brand of HDMI male tip onto the existing cable. It’s a 75 Foot run with finished walls so cutting holes in the walls is out of the question. Some tips…be patient, use the same brand of HDMI, match wire color to wire color, when putting the two wires and ground lead back to its corresponding two wires and ground lead, you must rewrap the foil shield to your best ability and use black electrical HEAT SHRINKABLE tape to replace the mylar material that covers the foil because it becomes too flimsy and does not stay in place. Other than that you can also you liquid electrical tape to cover your shields.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for the great tips, Mr.BAMM-BAMM!!! I think ‘patience’ is very key here.

      Also, great recommendation to use the same cable if possible.

  8. Dan says:

    I will be having an application using a 4047 timer to a 4017 Johnson counter for displaying 9 consecutive ring leds in a vertical led array. 2 cat 5 cables would have been used, though using 1 hdmi will,and wire to spare. 12v at 20ma .24w 10ft max, is within wire spec, and if you don’t mind waiting for a fleabay purchase, you can defiantly get your moneys worth. I purchased several this way up 20 25ft, never gad a problem with any cable.

    ps, for the computer tower users, a new low end video card with hdmi for $70 will perk up older computers, and allow 1 cable to tv with sound.

  9. chris says:

    i have just spent the last 3 weeks decorating in my lounge i put tv on wall plastered cables in wall hung the paper when i went to put tv on it became aparent that i had splitt through my hdmi cable anyone give advice aggggghhhhhhh

  10. mitesh says:

    hi brandon
    i need a cable repaired would you be able to call me on 07904617189 im in w4

  11. Nigel packer says:

    hi brandon please can you repair HDMI cable i live in bristol
    many thanks nigel

  12. selvan says:

    Hi
    I have issues with HDMI cable run from rack to projector the image is having flicking we have chacked with other HDMI cable image is fine please help me that how check the cable

  13. Buzz says:

    I finally got up the nerve to splice an HDMI cable and it worked! Most of the damaged cable was behind drywall, so replacing it was going to be a big deal. The connector had come off the original. I bought the same cable with the same stock number to use as the new end to splice. Even with same manufacturer and stock number, NONE of the colored wires matched the wires in my original cable!! I used a 6 volt battery and voltmeter to check continuity between pins and wires, and made a key chart to show what had to be soldered to what. The probes on my voltmeter were too large to fit in the holes in the connector, so I used the wire from a twist-tie to insert into the pin holes and touched my voltmeter probe to the twist tie. I used heat shrink tubes for insulation. This is better than trying to tape everything with electrical tape. I am happy that this worked out, but it did take several hours to do the work. I kept asking myself if tearing up the drywall and pulling new cable would have been worth it in the long run! It might be depending on your situation.

  14. Buzz says:

    Another alternative to fixing a broken HDMI cable is to go wireless. During the two years my in-wall HDMI cable was broken, I was using a wireless receiver/transmitter between my components and Flat screen (50 foot separation–components in closet at back of the room). This worked pretty good, but sometimes the receiver/transmitter would not sync up very quickly, and would require troubleshooting. For family members who are not very tech savvy, this was a source of great frustration! In order to make it easy on everyone, I finally got around to fixing the HDMI cable (previous post)

  15. CP says:

    While doing constuction of my house, I had run an HDMI cable in-wall that ran from the outlet to where the projector will be for my home theater system. However, when I was away, the painters sprayed/painted all over the HDMI connectors, and the tiny connector holes are all clogged up. There is no physical damage, but they are just clogged up with white ceiling paint and other powedery stuff. Is there a way to clean the HDMI connectors? Such as dipping them in a solution or something like that? Thanks!

  16. On pulling one cable through the wall/conduit with the other: As stated, it is unlikely that you can pull it off, because of cramped spaces and high friction of the rubber or plastic insulation. However, there is one thing you can do to help your case. Get wide package sealing tape, the clear kind or the tan very thin kind. Put your old cable and the new one end to end and wrap tape from the old one (already in the wall), around and around the cable, moving across the gap between and continuing on to the new cable (to be pulled). By now you see it in your mind’s eye probably: You are making a snag-reducing, friction-reducing sheath to join the two cables and prevent or reduce corners sticking out to snag, etc. If necessary, to provide a smoother contour, don’t hesitate to wrap and wrap and wrap, for instance if there is a pronounced “shoulder” on the cable already in the wall. But don’t just wrap in place, because all you do is substitute a lump for a shoulder. Wrap back and forth along the in-wall cable to try to provide a slowly increasing diameter from the original cable size to the shoulder you are trying to contour. Wrap ahead of the shoulder, not on it, because you don’t want any additional thickness there.

    Hope this helps someone get it done when it looked like maybe it couldn’t get done. That’s the fun part.

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