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HDMI while it is becoming a standard in the home it is new to many of us. HDMI is digital and has different limits and attributes then we have been use to in the analog world.
Standard procedure should be is to stage the system before it gets installed. Make sure all the peripherals work well with one another with the type of cabling you intend on using. Even though the system should perform with good products and installation techniques, it never beats testing the system before it gets installed...
First Rule – Before you install or run cables through your walls hook everything up. Lay it on the floor and see if everything works with your TV and operates and you get sound and a good picture before you install it.
Second Rule – Shut everything down before you plug in your cables. Then power everything up. If you did not power down and plugged in your cables this could be the problem. Power everything down and then turn everything back on.
If you still have problems see if our easy guide can help you with your symptoms.
Symptom 1: No Picture
Shut everything down, and then restart the system with all the connections in place. Watch the screen. If you see a notification of resolution (this is a function of the sink, source or both and may not be available on all equipment) chances are the DDC line has communicated between source and sink. This is good!
The problem is probably video related. If you are using an active product like a cable box or satellite box, try using a DVD player. Many times the player comes on with the brand’s logo showing. If the picture goes off when you think the program material should have started, it could be that the HDCP is not getting the proper key.
This can be a cable issue or a hardware compatibility issue. Remember that the HDCP keys are transferred using the DDC line on the cable. The most likely culprit is the cable. If this is a long cable run then you need to try to trouble shoot this.
First, try a shorter cable if possible, or try another cable brand. It might be that another brand has less capacitance in the DDC line. Another possibility is that the internal capacitance of either the source or sink is on the high side of the allowable capacitance limit. In that case, you can swap out the source and/or display to see if a different configuration solves the problem.
If it works on a short cable then you should be able to get it to work on a long cable up to 50ft without a HDMI amplifier. However if you purchased a very cheap cable you will need to rethink your purchase. A HDMI amplifier may help you. You would install it as follows. Short cable – HDMI Amplifier – Long cable. This way you have the strongest signal possible for the long run.
Symptom 2: Sparkles
Usually more noticeable on black areas, sparkles tell you that you have a video data transmission problem.
In most cases this is cable related. It could be just that the cable is not performing very well due to its length or it is picking up electrical interference. Shortening will improve the integrity greatly.
Did you run the HDMI cable near electrical wires? If so try to move them and see what happens.
You could also try to add a cable EQ to the system. Remember that, in most cases, a cable EQ has to be located at the very end before it enters the sink.
Symptom 3: Flashes, No Audio, Pink Screen
This is usually caused from a bad DDC line not communicating properly. It can be time consuming because you have to basically eliminate all the good things to find the bad.
First, power up the system while all the HDMI cables are connected. Then, if you can, try the products with shorter cables.
Here you need to see if the system works at all. Hopefully you have tried all these products before they were installed
If for some reason the system still fails to come on, start using different inputs. You may find that your cable box will work and your DVD may not or vice versa.
This can happen because of stray capacitance on the DDC line. This stray capacitance may be inherent in the hardware itself.
If you think that this is the problem, try getting a DDC line conditioner. We have seen these types of problems completely go away when conditioning is introduced.
Symptom 4: Picture Comes On, Then Goes Off
This is a common one. In most cases, it is one of two things.
If one or more of the video TMDS channels has a high bit error rate or is not working at all, you’ll have this problem.
Many times it may come back with tear lines through it. It all depends on the display and how it reacts to the lack of complete data.
The second case is the DDC line is just not quite making it and HDCP is not getting a new refresh key.
Here, replace the cable or make it shorter.
If all else fails, try conditioning or using an HDMI amplifier.