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HDMI/HDTV Help thread

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by Mussels, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    I've been a regular user of HDMI on my PC's for HTPC use for some time, and theres a lot of little oddities and quirks that arent easily searchable online.


    Figured what the hell, lets make a community guide to help beginners set it all up


    So without much ado, here be some advisories.

    Start by reading this link for details on the various versions of HDMI
    http://www.audioholics.com/hdtv-formats/understanding-difference-hdmi-versions

    The technology:

    HDMI as a standard, is basically DVI + audio, with a few limitations.

    1. The video resolution can limited compared to dual link DVI, many devices limited to 1920x1080 60Hz (aka 1080p)
    2. The Audio is often limited to stereo, unless its a pre-encoded dolby digital or DTS source (DVD/BD). This can be bypassed with a high end receiver that supports uncompressed LPCM audio.
    2a. 99% of the time, if you use an audio output from your HDTV, you'll be stuck with stereo only. Receiver has to be before the TV for 5.1/7.1 sound. I've got three HDTV's with SPDIF output and you only get 5.1 from TV tuner sources - HDMI needs a seperate receiver.

    Might as well mention MHL (the mobile phone/tablet standard, micro USB to HDMI)
    This ones pretty simple, as at present there is only two standards, 1.0 and 2.0

    1.0 can only do 720p, 1080i (30Hz interlaced) or 1080p/24 (24Hz/FPS) - on a 1080p HDTV, it often prefers 1080p/24, which looks stuttery and garbage. using an MHL 2.0 cable will fix that issue.

    a TV with built in MHL 2.0 will charge the device from the TV, most adaptors have external power input so they charge anyway.

    If you have a 16:10 tablet and not 16:9, you're screwed for HDMI output except with the stock media player - everything will output a 16:10 signal squished to 16:9, so expect blur and black bars. stock media player can fix it on samsungs, but in general its a flaw of android tablets.

    Quirks:

    1. HDMI has no 'standby' function, so telling windows to turn screen off after X minutes just results in a black screen
    No fix to this one, unless your TV has a motion sensor like mine does to turn itself off.

    2. When you turn your TV on/off or change channel, the image flickers and windows get resized, possibly crashing programs.

    This one is a pest with a few solutions, each with their own flaws. Whats happening is that modern HDTV's can tell devices the TV is off, so that a bluray player or game console can power down to an idle state. Unfortunately to a PC, this means windows thinks the HDMI cable was disconnected, and tries to look for another monitor that may not exist, so it drops to 1280x1024 while it scans for a monitor to be detected.

    Solution A: Connect a secondary monitor over DVI or VGA, at the same resolution and tell windows to duplicate the screens. This is the cheap option as TV's have a second connection and you're likely to have a spare cable.
    The downside is that many gaming level graphics cards up their idle clocks in dual monitor, which can kick up the power consumption and heat of your PC.

    Solution B: If you get a HDMI switch/splitter or audio receiver, the PC will detect that and maintain the connection.
    The downside is that a cheap splitter may not work (one of mine only works with 8 bit colour when i have 12 bit deep colour HDMI), and that it of course, costs money. This was my solution, and it works well for me.
    (not the unit i have)
    [​IMG]

    3. the image is too large or too small for the screen
    Multiple causes and solutions here. if you have an AMD graphics card, there is a slider in the catalyst control center that may help

    [​IMG]

    Otherwise the problem can be caused by overscan settings on your HDTV, incorrect resolution (not all TV's are 720p or 1080p, I personally own a 1366x768 HDTV and have seen a 19" 1440x900 HDTV)

    Try every HDMI port as well, as some TV's (my 768p samsung for example) only work properly on one HDMI port. On my samsung, HDMI2 is 768p, while HDMI 1 and HDMI 3 only support 720p and 1080i - fine for game consoles, terrible for PC.

    The above two problems are caused by dodgy TV makers doing something annoying - HDMI standards require a 720p input as a minimum with 1080i/1080p added on top, but they dont require the *panel* to actually be that resolution. Cheap HDTV's use a cheap panel, and shrink or stretch to fit at an obvious image quality loss to a PC/HTPC user.

    4. Image quality varies/solid black images have a weird pattern

    This ones common on HDTV's, and is quite simple to fix: turn off all the fancy settings in your TV. Name the connection to "PC" set it to "Game mode" if it supports it, and disable all edge enhancement and 'quality improvement' options. They're there to cover up crappy television feeds, but ruin a high quality HDMI signal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
    rtwjunkie, HammerON and AsRock say thanks.
  2. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    My years of HDMI troubles and advice packed into one post, if you want something covered let me know and i'll edit it in.
     
  3. FR@NK

    FR@NK

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    I was having tons of audio issues when I had my video card connected to my receiver then my receiver connected to my TV. Sometimes my PC would see the receiver and other times it would just think it was connected to the TV. It was like it didnt understand that the receiver was just the middleman and both devices were connected.

    Finally I fixed the problem by using a older video card and connecting that just to the receiver with HDMI, then connecting my TV directly to my main video card. Its weird that even connected this way all the protected formats(like dtsma and truehd) still play correctly when watching blurays.
     
  4. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    at a guess your receiver was doing passthrough, and you'd need the TV powered on and on the correct channel when the PC was powered on/HDMI was connected.
     
  5. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    Yes there has been a few just lately with issue's and good idea :)..

    Always remember to set the scaling up and res up before setting the HDTV up as they have there own settings which can make users think it's not working right or even it's as good as it gets.
     
  6. JunkBear

    JunkBear

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    I have a cheap ass Irico brancd TV and never had this problem over HDMI computer.
     
  7. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    "this problem"

    which one?
     
  8. JunkBear

    JunkBear

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    Image flickering or resizing when changing channel. TV even cheap also have an auto standby mode.
     
  9. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    that would be because your cheap TV doesnt support any of the newer features.
     
  10. JunkBear

    JunkBear

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    It does but the frquency is 60hz so there is no flickering and stuff like that. it fit with graphic cards.
     
  11. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    yeah, my sony HDTV's had all of the above issues, where my samsung only had one due to its odd resolution, which was needing to use HDMI 2 for a PC.

    dumb TV's can be better than smart TV's that try too hard.
     
  12. FR@NK

    FR@NK

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    You would think this would solve my problem by letting the PC see that the TV is connected, but in fact I needed the PC to see the receiver and not the TV. This is because the TV would report that it doesnt accept 8 channel PCM and windows would revert back to stereo.

    Anyways the reason I posted my original reply was to show a 3rd solution to your quirk number 2. Instead of using a HDMI splitter, using an old spare video card can work as long as it supports the audio formats you need over HDMI.
     
  13. Liquid Cool

    Liquid Cool

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    "dumb TV's can be better than smart TV's that try too hard."

    This is a serious dose of common sense Mussels. I have a new 40" Samsung Smart TV(6300 series) that replaced my 1080i Sony Bravia(KLV-40U100M) from 2007. It had no tuner and the menu is pathetic but the screen was excellent. While the Samsung is really nice, it has too many gadgets for me...I wish I would have kept it simple, because while it does about everything I need and more...it doesn't do it all that well. The built in browser blows chunks etc....overall I'm disappointed, but the main reason for purchasing this new unit is that it does actually have a tuner and menu for our local broadcasts...we use OTA only...so the Bravia had to have a tuner to work with OTA...and I was blowing through them repeatedly. Got expensive and we cut the cable for a reason...:).

    In our home we use just a broadband connection, it run's 39.99 a month(50d/20u), then we use Ooma for phones and OTA for television plus a Roku. Works well for us.

    I'm also now trying to use the Sony for a pc monitor until I get some money together to get the monitor I'd like to purchase(Samsung S27C450D), and it's not doing a very good job(ultra fuzzy/grainy picture) at that...I'm almost tempted to switch roles for my tv's, but then I'd need to purchase another tuner...so, for now I'm just putting up with the grainy screen.

    I'm currently also putting together an extremely cheap HTPC that will do just enough of what I need it to do...which is allow me to get on the net because I guess I was expecting too much from the Samsung....and I'd like something that I can use to play my old classic movies collection with...I'm a film noir buff.

    I've been collecting parts from other teardowns for awhile and this is what I've got so far.

    Asus IPIBL-LA motherboard
    Intel Core2Duo e6750
    Windows Vista Ultimate
    4x1 GB DDR2-800 memory
    Intel X40-V SSD
    250 GB WD Blue 2.5" HDD
    350w Seasonic PSU
    Logitech K400(will mention that Newegg is selling refurbs of these for $20 on ebay)

    I need a case and a low profile video card...would an HD 5450 or something similar with an HDMI output be enough? Do I need more or less? It's also hard to find a home theater case that's cheap, if anyone has any ideas...I'm an avid listener. As of right now, I'm leaning towards the Silverstone ML03B, but it's a bit over my budget at the moment.

    Best,

    LC
     
  14. Jetster

    Jetster

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    Good job Mussels. You pretty much called all the issues. Some of the lower cost AVR have that delay on both sound and audio. Higher end AVRs will have passthrough and up scaling so no scaling issues. Also when I shut my tv and AVR off it remembers the resolution as long as I don't shut my PC off or sleep. Which I don't it just runs all the time. That and my TV is 720p This is one area AMD does well is HTPC. I love the FM2 boards for this
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  15. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    with the screen turning off bug, it always resets the windows back to where they were, but with glitches for programs that were maximised or fullscreen. more of an issue for a PC that decided to sleep itself, since a user couldnt un-maximise a movie or game.
     
  16. Frag Maniac

    Frag Maniac

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    Looks good Mussels, except you didn't elaborate too much on LPCM in the pass through sense us gamers go through. I'm also not entirely sure if it's only high end AVRs that support it.

    It would be really nice if there was enough info from the manufacturers on this so we'd know just how expensive an AVR we need to look at in each brand to get LPCM pass through, but it appears it's hit and miss. The only real hope for now is to buy at sources that have liberal return options for such reasons. I would hate to have lie about why I returned something, and I would worry they'd know but couldn't prove it and reluctantly agree, which might sully my rep with them.

    On price though, let's try to ballpark this. Are we talking AVRs in the $800 USD and up range to be assured of LPCM passthrough?
     
  17. FR@NK

    FR@NK

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    That seems like way too much, you should be able to get LPCM on much cheaper receivers. Any unit that does trueHD or dtsma should also be able to do 8 channel LPCM.
     
  18. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    If what you say is correct that only the more expensive ones have it you might be better of opting for the ONKYO as they tend to give more for the price you pay. Mine was $500 when i got this one which replaced another ( none HDMI ) and mine has it.. Better still get a model thats over 6 month old and you should be able to get plenty of details from audio forums and pick one up 1/2 or near 1/2 price.

    Best way i would of though is to hit some audio forums and see.
     
  19. Frag Maniac

    Frag Maniac

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    Not so in my case. Most all AVRs for quite some time have supported Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio, as does mine, but my Yamaha RX-V371 does not support multi channel HDMI audio pass through, which is basically LPCM when the source is a PC.

    Mine doesn't even have software calibration of any kind, though, so I'm hoping that most modern AVR's that have calibration, or at least the units 3 or so models up in their product line, would hopefully support multi LPCM. My point is TrueHD and HD Master are NOT the criteria by which LPCM pass through capability is measured though, I know this for a fact. I'm assuming it's one or more of the features that came with the modern era of PC connectivity, of which software calibration and features like net connectivity relate to more than HT surround processing types such as TrueHD and HD Master, which again, have been around for some time.

    I was toying with the idea of upgrading to a Pioneer unit, but they always make their menu and remotes so confusing to use. I like Denon's sound and discrete amp design, plus you can get Audyssey MultiEQ in an affordable price range. Older Denon models can be had brand new for about half price, but there's still lots of talk about poor reliability and customer service. I used to think it was just due to a lack of proper cooling, but there's just too many part failures mentioned for that to be the only cause.

    So deals like this look great, until you read all the bad experiences with the product and Denon themselves. What's worse is salesmen that carry Denon in store deny all this, despite their obvious financial troubles, which lead to their merger with Marantz. That said, I place my AVR on top of a 30"x48" office desk, so I might not get problems from over heating that some do whom may be placing it in an HT shelf unit with less ventilation.

    So I come back to Yamaha, which has a bit less detailed sound, but is good on reliability and easy of use. I don't have a 3 year warranty with my cheap Yamaha, but in the 3 years of daily use with mine, I've not had to worry about such issues, and I worry the 3 years Denon gives you on the 2112 I linked to above isn't worth the paper it's written on.

    Just Google Denon AVR warranty and you see testimonials that are anything but inspiring.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  20. FR@NK

    FR@NK

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    Hey Frag I have a question for you! What does it say under your audio properties?

    [​IMG]
     
  21. a_ump

    a_ump

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    so HDMI is inferior to DVI? if so...wtf, why not just stick to DVI?
     
  22. Jetster

    Jetster

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    Not true. Its the same signal. Dual link has more bandwidth then standard DVI and HDMI. The Displayport has more bandwidth then all
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  23. FR@NK

    FR@NK

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    DVI is better, but for a HTPC setup you want to use HDMI because it also carries audio. Most TVs dont even have DVI ports any more.

    Displayport would be best but theres like no support for it on the HT side of the industry :(
     
  24. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    the second link, used for higher resolutions in dual link DVI, was converted over to audio.


    heres mine

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. Frag Maniac

    Frag Maniac

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