NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, August 2009
PPC Locking HDMI Cable
A Hardware Review by Bob Clyne,
Member-at-Large, SEMCO (Southeastern Michigan Computer Organization, Inc.)

SEMCO Data Bus, June 2009 Issue
clyne(at)mich.com (click to email author)

This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).

For those of you not familiar with it, HDMI is the current cable standard for carrying digital audio and video signals between pieces of equipment such as TV sets, DVD players, Blu-Ray players, AV receivers etc. Some computers also have a HDMI output so that you can feed the audio and video from the computer to your TV set. HDMI combines both the audio and video signals in one multi-conductor cable, which makes it much more convenient than other types of connections that use separate cables for audio and video. If you would like more information about HDMI, visit http://www.hdmi.org.

One of the few problems with HDMI cables is that they are prone to fall out of the sockets. PPC http://www.ppc-online.com has a solution to that problem with the PPC Locking HDMI cable.

The cable comes in the ubiquitous heavy plastic blister pack. Manufacturers love this packaging, but consumers hate it. The advantage of this packaging is that it makes the product visible while protecting the contents from damage or tampering. The disadvantage of this packaging is that it is extremely consumer resistant. Getting the product out of the package requires a sturdy cutting implement. A knife will work, but there is considerable risk of injuring yourself or damaging the product due to the force required. A sturdy pair of scissors will also work and gives your hand considerable exercise in the process.

The cable is a HDMI Category II cable, which means that it can carry the highest definition signals for which there is a current standard. It is capable of handling not only 1080p signals but also 1440p. The cable has both foil and braided shielding to shield the signal from outside interference. The cable appears well made, with a braided outer covering on the cable and a plastic covering over the connectors. The cable is quite flexible.

The locking connectors are what sets the PPC cable apart. The connectors just push onto the HDMI sockets on your equipment. No special sockets or adapters are needed. You may hear a slight click when it seats. Once seated in the socket, the cable is quite resistant to being pulled out. I did not test to see just how much strain they could take, but I pulled fairly hard on the connector and it remained firmly seated in the socket. I think the amount of tension that I applied would be more than would be encountered in normal use.

To remove the cable, you press on the tab on the side of the connector while pulling it out. I found that with some sockets, quite a bit of pressure was required on the release button but you, presumably, won’t be removing your HDMI cables every day. One possible problem that I can foresee is if you had a series of HDMI connectors closely spaced in a row, you might not be able to get your fingers between them to press the release button. In this case, you would have to start removing them at one end until you got to the one you wanted to remove. But this is a small price to pay for not having to re-plug cables that have fallen out. There is also the danger that a cable pulling out while live could cause electronic damage to your equipment.

PPC Locking HDMI Cables are available in 3’, 6’, and 9’ lengths for $48.99, $59.99, and $72.99 respectively directly from PPC at http://connect2ppc.myshopify.com/products/locking-hdmi-jumper-1 and you may find them for lower prices from resellers.

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