4 Effective Approaches that Eliminate Video/Audio Ground Loop Interference

4 Effective Ways to Eliminate Ground Loop Hums

Ground loops can cause video/audio hums and interference. With this tutorial, you might not necessarily need a ground loop isolator to fix the irritating ground loop noise. We will show you how to fix the noise by inspecting the devices, rearranging your set-up, or using a ground loop isolator to eliminate interference.

What Causes a Ground Loop? What is a Ground Loop?

What is a ground loop? Diagram of how potential difference causes hums and interference

In an ideal electrical system, the ground potentials between the devices are zero. However, electronic devices always have different potentials as the connections get complicated. When enough current is flowing in the connection between two ground points that have different resistances, the ground loop is formed. Therefore, the noise will be produced and carried along with the signal transmitted to the receiver devices.

Types of Grounding

Grounding plays a crucial role in electricity, so we need to figure out that before solving the problem. The ground is a reference point in an electrical circuit and is used as a reference point for voltage measurements. Generally, there're 3 types of grounds: earth ground, signal ground, and chassis ground.

Types of electrical device grounding: signal ground, earth ground, and chassis ground

Earth Ground

It refers to the physical connection between an electrical body and the earth (typically using a metal rod fixed under the earth). When an electrical device connects to artificial or natural ground, the connection provides the path for extraneous and unwanted current to circulate through the circuit and add interference to the video/ audio signal.

Signal Ground

Signal ground is the ground transmitted along with an analog or digital signal between electrical devices in a system. Since the devices are powered separately, they're more likely to have ground potential differences and thus produce currents to interfere. Moreover, when there're multiple paths for electricity to flow to the ground, the ground paths will carry interference currents and turn them into voltage fluctuations. This will make the ground reference in the system no longer a stable potential, and eventually, noise becomes a part of the signal.

Chassis Ground

A chassis ground is a point that connects to the metal enclosure of an electrical device. Its use may vary by electronics manufacturers but it's typically used for shielding and grounding. By connecting the chassis with earth ground at one point, currents will be prevented from circulating through the chassis. Otherwise, the current can flow through the chassis and cause unwanted results like ground loops.

Diagnose Audio/Video Interference

There're many reasons to cause interference. But how can we identify it is caused by ground loops? Fortunately, we can tell if it's ground loop interference by some traits, so let's look into it!

Ground Loop Audio Noise

When interference happens in an audio system, you can hear a buzz or hum sound in the background. It's annoying when it comes out in your favorite songs, but it may sound weirdly satisfying when listening to it alone, right?

Ground Loop Video Interference

In a video system, ground loops may distort picture rolling, and horizontal bars or syncing problems, which is also a common CCTV camera interference. The result may differ by how bad the interference is.

CCTV camera interference; interference in a video monitoring system

Troubleshoot—Eliminate Ground Loops

When ground loops happen in different scenarios, the solutions can be different too. Following are 4 ways to respond to different applications.

Solution #1: Have the Same Ground Reference Potential

We often see ground loop interference happen when electrical devices use different power sockets that have distinct resistances. To improve it, we recommend all A/V devices connect at the same ground point to avoid potential differences. This method is effective but too ideal to implement in some A/V systems due to complicated wiring.

Laying earthing grounding cable in building construction

Solution #2: Separate from Metal Conductors

When AV equipment directly contacts with a metal conductor that acts as a ground point, the likelihood of getting interfered with will be greatly increased. In this case, it's recommended to place a wooden or plastic object between the equipment and the conductor to isolate the ground loop.

How to eliminate ground loops by separating security cameras from the metal conductor

Solution #3: Check All Connected Devices

Devices that interconnect in a system can make interferences as well. Try to remove the connections between all devices and replug them respectively to find the problem. Or, you can bring all equipment to another space (like a building, house). By doing so, you can check whether the interference is on the equipment. If the interference remains, try to consult an electrician to ensure that your system is properly grounded.

Check all devices to identify where the interference comes from

Solution #4: Use a Ground Loop Noise Isolator

Sometimes, it's hard to identify what causes the ground loop, due to complicated cabling and connection. If this is the case, using a ground loop isolator can be a quick solution to the issue. It can effectively isolate the current from circulating through the circuit by cutting the loop path. It's quick, but also causes small signal loss that might compromise a little video/audio quality.

Diagram of how ground loop isolators eliminate interference

Warning: Remove the Ground

Removing the grounding of equipment is a misunderstanding and dangerous way to solve the issue. The main purpose of grounding is to lead the extraneous currents to the ground, avoiding surges and current leakage. If equipment is not properly grounded, the currents could flow from the conductive parts to the ground via a conductive path which can be a human body.

A grounding prong is used to avoid surges and current leakage

How Does a Ground Loop Isolator Work?

A ground loop isolator typically uses an inductor that stores energy in a magnetic field when electric current flows through it. When the current flowing through the inductor changes, the inductor opposes any changes in current through them. Therefore, the current won't fluctuate and not lead to potential differences.

Ground loop isolator circuit wiring diagram

Other Causes of Ground Loops

If you've tried everything mentioned above, maybe, the problem is not ground loops. Installation and cables can also be a major cause. Here are two things you can put your effort into.

Improper Connections

Improper cable connection causes video/audio interference

Most of the time, signals are transmitted from one device to another via physical connections. If there is a problem with the connection, the audio and video can be also compromised. Therefore, we recommend that you check whether the cable is damaged, the connector is loose, or not matched.

Causes of Electrical Interference

A short distance between cables may cause video/audio interference

Generally, a professional A/V system has a lot of cables laying together. Because of the short distance between cables, such as power lines, telephone wires, and audio/ video cables, they have a higher likelihood of interfering with one another. In this situation, we recommend keeping at least 30cm between cables to avoid interference.

Need More Help from Engineering Specialists and Pro AV Manufacturer?

We have been in the professional A/V and CCTV industries for 20 years. From our experience, there is no one particular way that applies to all circumstances. Audio/Video noise may result from various kinds of problems. If you've tried all the methods mentioned above but cannot troubleshoot, don't hesitate to contact professionalists who can provide effective solutions to different situations. You're also welcome to give us a message if there's anything we can help with!

2022-02-22 4:35 pm

Cable Used

Product Name


Power Source



1080p Distance

4K Distance

Optical Fiber Cable

HDMI Fiber Cable


(Reflection of Light)

Power From Source

Video/ Audio




HDMI Fiber Dongle Extender

Mini USB


300M/ 1KM

300M/ 1KM

Network Cable

HDMI CAT5e Dongle Extender


Power From Source

Video/ Audio




HDMI CAT5e Extender

External Power Supply

Video/ Audio




HDMI over IP Extender

Internet Protocol

External Power Supply

Video/ Audio




HDMI KVM over IP Extender*

Video/ Audio/ Keyboard/ Mouse



HDMI Cable

HDMI Repeater


External Power Supply

Video/ Audio




Related Products

Audio/Video Ground Loop Isolator Series

Ground loops can appear in different devices and the effect can vary. Therefore, it's important to figure out what solution is suitable for the situation and what's not. In this section, we're listing 3 major types of isolators that can solve the problem differently.

BNC Video Ground Loop Isolators, CCTV

Audio Ground Loop Isolators

Power Ground Loop Isolators

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