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dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

HDMI signal dropout - how to diagnose

At home I have an audio-playback setup that basically has a Windows7 PC running media center connected to a Samsung TV (which in turn feeds an audio amp). PC-to-TV connection is via HDMI.

Every now and then, one of two things might happen: (1) the TV reports complete loss of signal, (2) the image goes into this weird striated-distorted state, and the sound may or may not 'fuzz up'.

The PC is a small Atom-based device so has no alternative connections. I've tried switching to a different HDMI input on the TV; no change. Cable changes don't fix anything either.

Source material was originally CD; ripped to WMA lossless.

Sometimes the equipment will function for hours without the problem. Other days it's annoyingly frequent.

My guesses are these:

1. HDCP handshake issue. But would that even apply to CD quality?

2. Heat problems (PC is inside a cabinet, though I think adequately ventilated). Doesn't appear to be true; outside operation does, I think, show the problem - but the intermittent nature makes it hard to be certain.

3. Mechanical issues, even motherboard conductor failure, caused by a fairly large cable hanging off a connector in a fairly cheap computer.

Unplugging and replugging the HDMI connector often restores signal, which I guess means #1 or #3. I swear I once accidentally un/replugged the wrong HDMI connector on the TV, and that fixed it too. Maybe it induced the TV firmware to do something like re-evaluate all inputs? This makes me thtink it's #1. Doing anything at all near the PC can fix it, which suggests #3.

Any diagnosis advice? Eliminating the HDCP question would be a good start. Is there any way on Windows 7 to discover that there's been a handshale failure?


Dogg
Premium
join:2003-06-11
Belleville, IL
Reviews:
·Charter
As far as I know, HDCP isn't logged by Windows. It's a hardware function of the video card, so I wouldn't expect it to be logged.

Best test would be to swap video cards (or add one if using onboard video).
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Google is your Friend

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
No such chance: no expansion capability.


Dogg
Premium
join:2003-06-11
Belleville, IL
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to dave
Then a different device on the same cable and port of the TV. And test that PC on a different TV.

With that said, it wouldn't surprise me at all if both test good with different hardware. Some devices just don't get along with HDCP.
--
Google is your Friend

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to dave
I recently bought a new AV receiver, so the meeja center PC no longer plugs directly into the TV but into the AVR.

I still get occasional dropouts (therefore I conclude the PC is to blame) but the AVR does a better job of recovering the connection after about a second.