In response to numerous threads about this issue we have developed this ongoing sticky to address the issue and let everyone know of productive workarounds and the status of various cable company fixes...
The Problem (typical email/post)
I am having difficulties with the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD (cableTV) box's HDMI output when used in conjunction with an HDMI-switching/upconverting receiver.
When plugging the cable box directly into the HDMI display - the signal is transmitted correctly... When going through the receiver via HDMI, the TV does not get the signal and instead an error message is displayed (or nothing).
When pursuing the topic with Yamaha Electronics' product engineers, they reported that this is a known issue and is on the Cable box end (Denon's engineers also concurred):
This Problem lays with the Cable box. It is not an HDCP issue. It has to do with HDMI 1.0 compliance. Neither Scientific Atlanta or Motorola boxes were originally designed to recognize a "REPEATER" (a repeater is a switching device in the HDMI format). Among other things it is able to pick off the audio bitstream from the HDMI signal. [These receivers are] much more than just a switch!
Conversations with S/A revealed that they have an upgrade algorithm that is available to local cable companies. However, the typical cable company takes 60 to 90 days [more like 6 months in our experience - Admin] to issue a firmware update blasts to their customers.
They are continually sending updates to their boxes but only after rigorous compatibilty testing with all other software being used in their systems.
According to [Scientific Atlanta] we should [have started seeing] boxes being updated by late November 2005 - but again they stress that it's totally up to the local cable companies to decide how urgently to attack this issue.
Please note that this is not a Yamaha/Denon/Pioneer/etc issue. Currently all HDMI switching receivers will produce the same results. (The only exceptions are certain products that act as a simple switch, not performing HDMI 1.1-specific functions with regards to scaling and audio processing).
The ultimate solution is a firmware fix by the manufacturer. This part has been completed - however, the cable companies have not yet finished testing this firmware fix (and some have not yet started). From what I am hearing, many of the cable companies may not be equipped to fully test HDMI issues as they may not have HDMI-upconverting receivers in their headend. Audioholics is actually working with one of the local cable companies now to see if we can help them test a new firmware fix for this problem. Since we have two different setups with different upconverting HDMI receivers this should be very productive.
The workarounds for now include the following:
An abbreviated list of HDCP-compliant HDMI/DVI switchers:
- Route video from the digital cable box directly to your television. This may not a good solution for those who have displays without multiple digital inputs as it will leave your DVD player's HDMI/DVI output with nowhere to go and defeats all of the convenient features of having a receiver with HDMI upconversion, or
- Purchase an HDMI switcher and route the output of the receiver to one input, and the output of the cable box directly to another input. Feed the output of the switcher directly to your digital display. This gives you a direct connection for the cable box that bypasses the receiver, but also allows you to use the receiver's output to upconvert your other sources.
- BY ALL MEANS contact your local CableTV company and get ahold of a supervisor (customer service phone representatives typically won't understand or care about your problem). Make sure they are directed to this thread and begin the process of implementing this firmware fix immediately since it could take some time to release to the general public. Remember that regardless of what they say this is NOT an HDCP-related issue or anything having to do with the receiver. This is important as the typical troubleshooting steps will lead them to think it is a compatibility problem with the receiver. Until demand for a fix is increased, they will be very content to not implement any additional firmware updates that could create additional problems and drain resources (this isn't evil, it's actually good business).
There are many more, but we thought we'd provide a shameless plug of some of our advertisers' products here.
Follow-up Posting Guidelines
We want this thread to be productive and helpful, so here are the posting rules for this thread... We'll keep it open to the general public but Admins will edit any/every post as we see fit - just expect this and you won't be disappointed. Posts that are not helpful or productive in pointing out workarounds will be deleted leaving a nice breadcrumb trail of solutions, updates and workarounds. Thanks for understanding.
Editor in Chief
the cable company that I use has told me use component video to tv and optical to receiver for now until they fix the problem they had no date set but sometime in the near future.
Better late than never I guess. This issue has been discussed in myriad threads in forums all over the internet, especially AVS.
ANYWAY, the bigger issue is not the firmware update to the STBs, the bigger issue is getting the cable MSO the push the firmware update out at all.
TWC uses the SA8300HD and its HDMI output has this problem, but TWC here in NYC simply refuses to push the fw update to the boxes in the field!!
Repeated calls and emails (not only to CSRs but "higher ups" as well) yield effectively no response.
[Edit: We have to keep pushing. The problem is most people are not using this technology so the cable companies are avoiding the additional work required when a major update is made. - Admin]
is described at another forum. See
Yuh yuh yuh...I figured there would be something about all this on here eventually...I am an installer for Tweeter and I see this problem almost everyday. Cable boxes are the worst with HDMI. They are always an issue, so if the problem arises, we end up using component for the cable box and HDMI for the upconverting DVD player. It's not the best way to do things, but it makes service calls and reliability much better. The satelite boxes tend to work better with HDMI, but there are the occasional issues.
I contacted the supervisor at BrightHouse. She not only took me serious--with little argument--but she called me back twice with in an hour to get additional information. Let me recommend that you do reference this link and or website. No matter how willing the super is, he/she may not translate the appropriate information. In my case the engineers at BrightHouse went down the HDCP incompatibility path before getting to what I had explained to the supervisor. The intro to this thread should get them rolling in the correct direction.
Has anybody tested the new HD Dish Network receivers yet?
Models: ViP211 or ViP622DVR
A Time Warner CSR simply stated to me that "Time Warner does not support the HDMI output". This is the same indifference to the customer with HDMI as they exhibited a few years ago when I tried to get information on when high definition would be available in my area. My requests were ignored by Time Warner, both locally and nationally.
I recently spoke with DirecTV regarding this HDMI issue with their current HD boxes and here is what I found out:
1) Much like many other companies their boxes are suffering from the problem and they have no estimate of a release date for the firmware update being distributed.
2) The firmware update may never happen due to the fact that DirecTV is in the process of releasing a new set of HD boxes and HD DVRs with MPEG4 technology compatability in them. Note: anyone wanting to receive their local HD networks via DirecTV will need to have one of these receivers. The currently available HD boxes in most markets are not MPEG4 compatable. Only the 12-14 markets with HD locals already available have the new boxes.
I work on a large retails sales floor for home audio/video in Portsmouth New Hampshire. I would like to add to the list of incompatible boxes and recievers.
We sell mainly Yamaha, Marantz, NAD, Integra recievers.. and Comcast is our service provider in this area. All of our HDMI recievers are incompatible with Comcast and their Motorola boxes versions DCT3412 I, + II. We have consistently called to complain with Comcast and rarely do you get someone that knows the problem.
Seems like it'll be a while.