Cable Box HDMI May Not Talk to Receivers

Discussion in 'GENERAL AV Discussions' started by Clint DeBoer, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. Clint DeBoer Banned

    Clint DeBoer
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    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).


    The Problem
    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 Solution
    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 Workaround
    The workarounds for now include the following:

    1. 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<br>
    2. 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.<br>
    3. 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).
    An abbreviated list of HDCP-compliant HDMI/DVI switchers:


    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.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
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  2. angelo Audiophyte

    angelo
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    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.
  3. anthonymoody Audiophyte

    anthonymoody
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    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!! :mad: :mad: :mad:

    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]
  4. bobfff Audiophyte

    bobfff
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  5. duckdrool Audiophyte

    duckdrool
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    This is the greatest

    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.
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  6. steinoch Junior Audioholic

    steinoch
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    Update

    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.
  7. cthomp Junior Audioholic

    cthomp
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    Dish Network/HDMI

    Has anybody tested the new HD Dish Network receivers yet?

    Models: ViP211 or ViP622DVR
  8. goodman Full Audioholic

    goodman
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    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.
  9. Yakecan Audiophyte

    Yakecan
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    DirecTV Boxes

    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.
  10. NGL_BrSH Junior Audioholic

    NGL_BrSH
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    Comcast / motorola boxes still not fixed..

    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.
  11. JeffD2. Audioholic

    JeffD2.
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    I would advise not to put much stock in any technical advice a CSR might give. I don't have nor want a DVR from TWC in my area, but do have a SA3250HD STB. I was once told that the DVI interface does not work and is not supported while I was using it.

    I would check AVS in the Local HD Programming and Discussion Forum to see if there's one in your area (Sorry Clint, I don't know if that's available here.) Fortunatey in my area, we have the AVS and AlbanyHDTV.com which is run by couple of guys out their own pocket. Local broadcast engineers chime in regularly with updates.

    Might be worth a look for your area.
  12. NGL_BrSH Junior Audioholic

    NGL_BrSH
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    Just a thought here and i'd like some feedback if someone trys it.. i'm sure i will try it within the next week.. but all of the recievers i sell (and all that i can think of) come with Video upconversion. This is a type of Video Processing that takes a lesser signal and upconverts it (for those of you who don't know). On my Yamaha recievers (RX-V1600, V2600) They have in the setup menu to change the different types of video processing. From interlaced or progressive upconversion for both component and HDMI, also you can completely turn off the upconversion. I am wondering if you go into the setup, turn off all the upconversion for the HDMI which shoud make it basically a pass-thru.. will the box be able to broadcast through it since there will be no video processing?
    This really would only benefit the people that want to have video switching AND only have HDMI components hooked up.. other wise you would just hook all the video components to the tv directly if you had mixed cabling.

    just a thought.. easy enough and worth a shot.

    The next time i hook up a reciever i'll try it and post back if anyone hasn't tried it yet.

    ~Travis

    [Edit: This has been demonstrated to NOT fix the problem. - Admin]
  13. skipsterut Junior Audioholic

    skipsterut
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    Upconversion (some call it "upscaling") is NOT the problem.

    I have the Pio Elite VSX-72TXV which only does a pass through -- it does not attempt to change the resolution of lower level signals. But it has the same problem with the HDMI/HDCP output from a Moto DCT6412 cable box - both Series II and III.

    It is pure and simple a deficiency of the cable box's implementation of HDCP (not HDMI) in that it does not properly deal with "HDCP Repeaters" (which is what the AVR is whether or not it acts as a switch or an upconverter/upscaler) as opposed to a "HDCP Receiver" (i.e. a device at the end of an HDCP chain -- e.g., an HDTV)

    The following quote from the HDCP specifications discusses the authentication of a "and HDCP Repeater" that would enable an HDCP device that is upstream from the AVR (e.g., the cable box) to send it digital signals to pass through to HDCP receivers that are downstream.

    I believe it is that the second part of the authentication protocol which “allows an HDCP Repeater to report the KSVs of attached HDCP Receivers” to the transmitter is not working in the cable boxes.

    If any other engineering types out there are interested here's a link to the HDCP spec --
    http://www.digital-cp.com/home/HDCPSpecificationRev1_1.pdf

    I'm not sure if this is true or not -- but I have heard that Motorola has solved the problem -- and it is now up to the various cable company affiliates to implement it. Although the fix might be the same for the cable box itself, for each cable head end there are many other aspects of head end programming that are unique, so each cable head has the discretion to do what they want -- as to when and if they implement things like this.:mad:
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
  14. tes918 Enthusiast

    tes918
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    Hdmi

    It's good to see the problem out there for all to see and understand. Time Warner in Houston is as bad as any of them they also don't "support HDMI". I have a Denon AVR2807 and a Denon DVD 2910 I conect the DVD and the Time Warner box to the AVR 2807 via HDMI and I also connect the Time Warner box (Scientific Atlanta 8300HD) to the AVR 2807 via Component video and optical audio and in this way the signal from the box is transmitted via the HDMI cable (so much for eliminating wire MESS) but like most of you guys I do have all the wires available from previous generation hardware. I have a Panasonic TH42PX60U and the pictures from the 2910 and the box have been excellent so far using this hook-up (a term with more meanings than one these days).

    Tom
  15. sherchlojo Audioholic Intern

    sherchlojo
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    Motorola cable box HDMI conflict-My workaround

    When I connected this cable box to the HDMI input on my receiver, I could not get the video from the box. The cable box has a DVI output so I had to use a DVI-to-HDMI conversion cable. I don't know if this conversion is part of the problem or not.
    But to get around this problem and also preserve the capability of watching high definition programs through my home theatre system, I developed this workaround:

    I connected the cable box to a component video input on the receiver along with an optical cable for sound. Then I connected the component video out from the receiver to a component input on the television.

    For times when I want to watch high def programs without having to fire up the receiver, I used the DVI/HDMI cable to connect the cable box to the HDMI input on the TV. Because the DVI connection only passes video, I also connected the RCA L/R audio from the cable box to the TV.

    This way I can watch high definition programs two ways. Through the receiver and home theatre speakers or directly from the cable box without turning on the receiver.
    This may not be perfect but I guess it will have to suffice until Cox Cable fixs the problem. I won't hold my breath.

    Here is a summary of the equipment involved:
    Television: Sony KV32HS420
    Cable Box: Motorola DCT6200
    Receiver: Denon AVR-3806
  16. ajsherm Audiophyte

    ajsherm
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    Trying Workaround option #2

    I use Brighthouse Cable in Tampa florida and have the same issue. The problem I have is that workaround option 2 also does not work:

    I purchased a Gefen 2 X 1 HDMI Switcher and hooked the HDMI output of my Pioneer Elite 72 TXV to one of the inputs on the Gefen Switcher and hooked my HD-DVR (Explorer 8300HD) to the other HDMI input on the switcher and then hooked the output of the switcher directly to my Pioneer Elite plasma TV HDMI port.

    Result: Cable box works fine and allows me to see the actual difference between the picture via HDMI vs. Component inputs. However, there is no picture via HDMI for my DVD player which used to be the one that worked perfectly.

    I could just bypass my receiver completely and use the Gefen switcher for video and optical outs to my reciever for audio, the problem is my DVD player supports DVD-Audio disks whoose data passes nicely through the HDMI output and not via optical outputs. I then have to use my multichannel analog outputs but then have no video...........

    It seemed like a great workaround and that is why I purchased the HDMI Switcher but unfortunately also does not seem to work in the way we would all like it to.

    Come on Cable companys!!
  17. mmatteson Audiophyte

    mmatteson
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    Tampa BHN

    Ok, I have an SA explorer 8300HD-DVR from Tampa BHN which connects to my Yamaha RX-V2600 receiver. As per this thread, no worky via HDMI.

    I called BHN support and advised them of the issue. Joseph from BHN support was very friendly, but had not yet heard of this problem. He pushed out the latest production firmware to my box (dated November-something 2005) which did not fix it. I sent him the URL of this thread and he advised that he would forward it up the chain...no timeframe was given for a fix as the firmware testing takes place on a regional level, but at least a ticket has been opened with them. I figure the more people that call in and report the problem, the better.
  18. HiHoStevo Audiophyte

    HiHoStevo
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    I also ran into this issue last December when I had my brother buy a Yamaha 2600 to go with his SA8300HD box here in Las Vegas.

    As has been reported elsewhere of course it did not work!

    I made a special point of cornering the SA rep at last January's CES here in Las Vegas. This person admitted it was a known problem and that the failure was on SA's end. He told me that he got so few complaints about this particular issue that it was basicly shoved to the back of the table, because they had problems that they were catching a lot more flack about.

    This person also told me that SA had distributed "beta" firmware upgrade that would fix the problem... however, most all of the CableCo's are reluctant to deploy Beta Firmware so your chances of getting your local company to go along are pretty slim. If however, you can get to the right person (and it is not anyone that answers the phone for tech support or customer service) they are capable of pushing the firmware to individual accounts and boxes. So your job is to find your way to the right person... you will have to go through the administrative ranks though, not anywhere near customer service.

    I have run into a complete different, but equally distressing issue with my HD-Tivo. After connecting it to my new Denon 2807 I can switch video sources (Oppo on HDMI2 and HD-Tivo on HDMI1) with ease. Works perfectly! However, I cannot get any audio over HDMI 1 or 2 from the HD-Tivo (I have checked both connections just to be sure). For some bizarre reason the Tivo manual tells you to "disable" Dolby Digital to receive audio over HDMI if you are having problems... but this makes no difference at all.

    I have tried 4 different HD-Tivo's and all have had the same result! I have also tried 3 different cables.

    Next week I should be receving my HD-DVD player so I will see if it can send audio over the HDMI of my Denon 2807. I have read on other forums of folks that have been successful getting audio out of their HD-Tivo's over HDMI, but most of them are going straight to the TV, not through a receiver. Although one chap has a JVC 702B and he is getting audio from his HD-Tivo with no problems......:mad:
  19. audiofox Full Audioholic

    audiofox
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    SA8300HD and Denon 3806 HDMI interfaxce-TWC Los Angeles?

    Anyone have experience with this interface in the TWC LA coverage area?
  20. GlocksRock Audioholic Spartan

    GlocksRock
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    Time Warner in my area has said that they won't even be supporting HDMI right now on that unit and that all customers should be using component video. It seems silly to me to even spend money on putting HDMI outputs on these units if they aren't even gonna allow customers to use them.

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