One of the traditional weaknesses of the video connectors on most consumer electronics is that there’s no way to keep them from becoming disconnected when under tension. So it’s great to see some innovation on this front with a company launching a new locking version of HDMI – the connector that has become the mainstay of the HD video world.
You may have had this happen before: after hours of carefully planning your rats-nest of cable connections going in and out of your home theatre receiver, cable box, TV and who-knows-what-else, you push everything back in place, turn it all on, only to find out that something isn’t right.
Odds are good that one of those cables which typically use the ancient yet still popular RCA connector – you know the one with the outer ring and the inner stem – has come unplugged because it was loose to begin with or the cable got tugged by one of the other pieces of equipment that you just slid into place.
I’ve always been frustrated by the lack of a locking mechanism on RCA, HDMI, USB, mini-plugs and many other consumer-oriented connectors. More so because as anyone who has worked in professional audio and video will tell you, it doesn’t have to be this way.
For years, the pros have had locking connectors such as BNC for video and XLR for audio. They’re chunkier and much less appealing to look at than those other connectors, but when they’re connected, they stay connected… you’d virtually have to yank on these things with all your strength to get them to release unintentionally.
That’s why I was so delighted to read the recent press release from a company called PPC. I’d never heard of them before, and I can’t vouch for the quality of their cables – but their new locking HDMI connector is huge step in the right direction.
Able to fit into any standard HDMI port, these connectors use a simple tension mechanism that the company claims will offer 3 times the connected resistance of non-locking HDMI connectors.
While this won’t give you the kind of confidence that the pro connectors offer, it’s a big improvement over the status quo.
The locking HDMI cable is available now, for $48.99 USD for a 3 foot cable, which is more expensive than many other HDMI cables on the market. But for some folks, it’s well worth the extra cash for added convenience.