My father who is in his 60's, got the HT bug after watching my HD HT set up. The same man who still has me set the clock on his VCR, wanted to go full bore HT! I told him I would be glad to help out, but I secretly dreaded the endless phone calls on how to do this or that after it was up and running. :D
Dad was in the middle of a complete home restoration at the time, and we were able to start from scratch in his large living room. Dad also wanted as much to be hidden in the walls and ceiling as we could. The 50" plasma was wall mounted over the mantle, Polk RTi6s in cherry and on beautiful cherry stands, sub in corner. The Polk SR and SRB were put in the ceiling, with all cables, including the fronts and sub also run in the walls with speaker hookups in wall plates, so far so good. Dad also had a custom built rack system built into the wall with glass doors, now this I loved, but here is were the problem started.
The feeds for the plasma had to run from the rack to the mantle, and to get there had to go up and over a entrance door to the Florida room. Since we were down to the studs, I ordered custom made cables from (I believe) Better Cables, the run was 30'. I luckily had the foresight, to run backups even though we had planned on doing the feed with HDMI, and everything else being 'upconverted' with the HDMI feed. So I also had custom made TV audio, component, composite, and coax cable run in the walls as well.
About two months after getting everything up and running, we lost the signal with the HDMI feed. After a lot of headscratching, and experimenting with direct feeds from a short length of HDMI feeding straight from a DVD player to the back of the plasma, we figured out that the HDMI cable had gone bad, the plasma end of the cable had the connector crap out.
I called Better Cable to talk about the situation, and got a honest answer from them. It seems that while HDMI is a great way to feed digital signals, the specs for construction of the ends is really not up to snuff. The cable itself (Better Cables) is thick and very well made, but the ends are just too flimsy. I was told that this problem has been across the board, and has effected most all manufactures of this cable. He said that they have now upgraded the strength or their cable ends, but a fat lot of good it does us.
He said if we would send the old cable back, he would replace it! I told him I could cut the ends off and send them back, but we would have to rip the walls and woodwork out to send the cable back! He also said that the ends could NOT be repaired! While they would not give Dad's money back, they did send a new improved cable (about $250.00). but it is not practical to use it now.
I use HDMI for HD feed at my house, and I like it, but my set up does not run behind any walls. Why this long post? I guess it is just a word of warning for others, if you can not replace it easily, then DO NOT depend on HDMI as your only feed for your TV. We put in back ups, and I am glad we did, he is now watching his TV with the component feed.
Anyone else out there had a similar problem with HDMI cable?