Tuesday, October 27th 2020

Bug in HDMI 2.1 Chipset May Cause Black Screen on Your Xbox Series X Console or NVIDIA GPU

A German website, Heise.de, has discovered a bug in HDMI 2.1 chipset that causes black screen issues on specific hardware. On AV chipsets sourced by Panasonic, and used by Denon, Marantz, and Yamaha HDMI 2.1 AV receivers, the chipset experiences a specific issue of a black screen. More specifically, the bug happens once you connect Microsoft's newest console, Xbox Series X, or NVIDIA's Ampere graphics cards. When connecting these sources at resolutions like 4K/120 Hz HDR and 8K/60 Hz HDR to Panasonic HDMI 2.1 chipsets, the black screen happens. This represents a major problem for every manufacturer planning to use the Panasonic HDMI 2.1 chipset in its AV receivers, meaning that the issue has to be addressed. The Audioholics website has reached out to Sound United and Yamaha to see what their responses were, and you can check them out below.
Official Sound United Response Regarding the HDMI 2.1 Chipset Bug
Some new gaming source devices that support 4K/120Hz output may not work fully with Denon (or Marantz) 8K AVRs. You may discover this incompatibility issue due to a HDMI chipset mismatch between the devices. When the affected system is connected to the AVR via 8K HDMI input and set to output at 4K/120Hz, and the AVR's 4K Signal Format option is set to "8K Enhanced," you may not see the system's source video on their display, and may not hear the system's source audio processed through the AVR. This problem is only present when a display that supports 4K/120Hz is used.

We are currently investigating the issue further and will offer a permanent solution at a later date. Meanwhile, we would like to provide a couple workarounds to prevent the issue in its current state:

You can connect the system to the display directly via HDMI and use the display's ARC/eARC functionality to feed the native audio back to the AVR using the connected HDMI cable between the AVR and display. This will allow users to decode the native audio format sent from the source. With this method, the display's CEC/ARC option must be enabled as well as the AVR's HDMI Control and/or the AVR's ARC option. In the AVR, this option is located within the GUI under "Video - HDMI Setup."

Another workaround is to leave or change the source's video output to 4K/60Hz instead of 4K/120Hz until a permanent solution is available. This will ensure reliable communication between the source, the AVR and the display. The source's default is set to output at 4K/60Hz, so if no change was initiated out of the box, then nothing further needs to be done.

We apologize for this inconvenience and we are currently working tirelessly to release a permanent solution so you can enjoy the 4K/120Hz experience using the latest sources with your AVR. We will have an update soon regarding the timeline of a permanent solution. We appreciate your patience.
Official Yamaha Response Regarding the HDMI 2.1 Chipset Bug
As we test and explore new gaming system capabilities and the latest HDMI specifications, we will provide guidance on our website to help new and future customers with the compatibility of our latest AV receivers. We will certainly provide you with an update in the near-term.
Sources: Audioholics, Heise.de
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47 Comments on Bug in HDMI 2.1 Chipset May Cause Black Screen on Your Xbox Series X Console or NVIDIA GPU

#1
ratirt
So basically it affects AMD graphics as well. huh.
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#2
BorisDG
The risk of any new tech sadly.
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#3
bug
No offense, but if you're not into tech, maybe start doing something else?

A bug in HDMI 2.1 means there's something wrong with the spec itself. A bug in Panasonic's chip means a bug in the implementation. Big difference and your quote don't really clarify it. I'll have to read the original article, it's possible the cause wasn't actually pinpointed. But claiming "Bug in HDMI 2.1" is pretty ballsy.
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#4
_JP_
Smells like good standards, poorly implemented.
As if CEC was ever properly done by any of the brands...
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#5
lemkeant
This is partially the fault of the group that does the HDMI spec. They took so long and made so many changes to HDMI 2.1, that companies trying to launch 2020 and 2021 products had a moving target.

It really is too bad Displayport didnt catch on in the home market instead of HDMI
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#6
ebivan
heise.de is not an audio website. It's one of Germany biggest (maybe even the biggest) IT news website.
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#7
Vya Domus
4K/120 Hz HDR and 8K/60 Hz HDR ? Oh dear, everyone is using that.
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#8
Chomiq
Vya Domus
4K/120 Hz HDR and 8K/60 Hz HDR ? Oh dear, everyone is using that.
Only Nvidia and AMD for their latest hardware, who cares right?
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#9
bug
Vya Domus
4K/120 Hz HDR and 8K/60 Hz HDR ? Oh dear, everyone is using that.
Well, the new consoles are using at least the former. Upscaled and not very detailed content will use up the bandwidth.

If anyone is being cheated here, it's the manufacturer that has to pay for a certification that doesn't actually ensure conformance.
Posted on Reply
#10
ebivan
Vya Domus
4K/120 Hz HDR and 8K/60 Hz HDR ? Oh dear, everyone is using that.
Well, 8k was the main promotional promise for these new receivers.
4k/120Hz is used by at least Nvidia, AMD, Sony and Microsoft in their GPUs and consoles which are all in the progress of being released right now, so yes ists absolutely relevant!
If i had bought one of those receivers and already preordered a new Xbox and a HDMI 2.1 TV of course I would demand reparation!
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#11
Halo3Addict
Bought a Denon S960H for my first home theatre system in preparation for next gen hardware, including GPUs :(
It's a great system, movies sound amazing. Really hope it's just an easy firmware update

It's not like I can get any of the new hardware anyways, so I can afford to wait a bit
Posted on Reply
#12
Vya Domus
ebivan
4k/120Hz is used by at least Nvidia, AMD, Sony and Microsoft in their GPUs and consoles which are all in the progress of being released right now, so yes ists absolutely relevant!
Are you really sure ? It's one thing that something is released and a very different thing if something is used. 4K120 and 8K on Xbox Series X with HDR on top of that ? Come on ...

Sure it's a problem but not one that really matters. It's unfortunate for the few that had for some reason intended to use these modes but it should have been clear even before this that these things are still not ready to be used in that manner. This bug is proof of that, the QA never picked up on it.
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#13
ebivan
Well, if these things should not be used in that manner, manufacturers should stop slapping big stickers on products that say otherwise.

I think 4k 120 ist not unrealistic in esport titles or with dlss...?
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#14
Vya Domus
ebivan
manufacturers should stop slapping big stickers on products that say otherwise.
Indeed, that's what people should be mad about, the problem lies in the advertising. They're having a field day slapping a 4K120 this, 8K that, left and right when in fact these things are far from being capable enough to properly use these features and there aren't even displays affordable enough to be used by even 1% of customers.

If you go onto MS's website 4K and 120 FPS are literally the first things they throw into your face when everyone knows that the only thing you'll be playing in 4K120 is some back-compat game from a decade ago at the very most.
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#15
R-T-B
Vya Domus
Sure it's a problem but not one that really matters.
It absolutely matters. Things like this affect the ability for adoption to happen.

I play a few of my games at 4K 120Hz HDR btw, notably KSP and Deep Rock Galactic. War Thunder too. I stay at or around 60 FPS amazingly.
Vya Domus
when everyone knows that the only thing you'll be playing in 4K120 is some back-compat game from a decade ago at the very most.
And so what? That should still work.
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#16
Chomiq
Vya Domus
Indeed, that's what people should be mad about, the problem lies in the advertising. They're having a field day slapping a 4K120 this, 8K that, left and right when in fact these things are far from being capable enough to properly use these features and there aren't even displays affordable enough to be used by even 1% of customers.

If you go onto MS's website 4K and 120 FPS are literally the first things they throw into your face when everyone knows that the only thing you'll be playing in 4K120 is some back-compat game from a decade ago at the very most.
HDMI 2.1 is a spec and it needs to work on anything that's using it.

Example A:

Brand new games:
The Falconeer hits 4K60 with ease with the developer working on 120Hz support. Meanwhile The Touryst renders natively at 6K resolution and locks to 60fps, with an optional 4K120 alternative!
This already invalidates your "back-compat game from a decade ago" argument.
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#17
R-T-B
Chomiq
This already invalidates your "back-compat game from a decade ago" argument.
People forget that retro graphics are bigtime "in."
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#18
Chomiq
R-T-B
People forget that retro graphics are bigtime "in."
Yeah but saying that 120 won't be utilized for anything else than retro is simply ignorant.

It's like making a car that technically goes to 170 mph but engine explodes when you hit 160 and saying "But you don't hit 160+ on a daily basis".

Just as an example, promo from 2 weeks ago:
Buy LG GX 65" and get Xbox Series X for free.

Both are HDMI 2.1 capable devices, they need to work correctly out of the box.
Posted on Reply
#19
Vya Domus
R-T-B
Things like this affect the ability for adoption to happen.
No, hardware not yet ready for proper use is what affects adoption.
R-T-B
I play a few of my games at 4K 120Hz HDR btw, notably KSP and Deep Rock Galactic. War Thunder too. I stay at or around 60 FPS amazingly.
So you're not actually playing at 4K120.
Chomiq
HDMI 2.1 is a spec and it needs to work on anything that's using it.
This is a hardware problem, not a specification issue.
Chomiq
This already invalidates your "back-compat game from a decade ago" argument.
"Invalidates", yeah sure thing buddy. Indie games with mind blowing visuals.
Posted on Reply
#20
R-T-B
Chomiq
Yeah but saying that 120 won't be utilized for anything else than retro is simply ignorant.

It's like making a car that technically goes to 170 mph but engine explodes when you hit 160 and saying "But you don't hit 160+ on a daily basis".
I see it mostly being used on retro/limited graphics in consoles due to limited horsepower at times, but there can and certainly will be exceptions.
Vya Domus
No, hardware not yet ready for proper use is what affects adoption.
Uh, yeah? That was my point.
Vya Domus
So you're not actually playing at 4K120.
It can peak there. The average is lower. Some KSP scenes framecap.
Vya Domus
Indie games with mind blowing visuals.
If you consider the slice of the market indies have now collectively, they are anything but Indie in overall signifigance.
Chomiq
Buy LG GX 65" and get Xbox Series X for free.
Fun fact: LG's chipset is not affected by this. It had some early issues too (mostly with gsync) but they were fixed with a firmware patch. I use a C9, personally.
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#21
MKRonin
Panasonic...smells like quality.
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#22
Chomiq
R-T-B
Fun fact: LG's chipset is not affected by this. It had some early issues too (mostly with gsync) but they were fixed with a firmware patch. I use a C9, personally.
Yeah but people that purchase this setup might also want to use a 2.1 capable AV receiver.
Posted on Reply
#23
R-T-B
MKRonin
Panasonic...smells like quality.
I can't actually remember the last time a Panasonic product had a bug this bad, actually. It's pretty rare for them.
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#24
Makaveli
Chomiq
Yeah but people that purchase this setup might also want to use a 2.1 capable AV receiver.
Good to know when my Plasma finally dies a LG C9 OLED will probably be my next tv. I bought a Denon AVR like 2 years ago so its only HDMI 2.0 which maybe a blessing cause by the time I upgrade the AVR this issue will be resolved.
Posted on Reply
#25
Chomiq
Makaveli
Good to know when my Plasma finally dies a LG C9 OLED will probably be my next tv. I bought a Denon AVR like 2 years ago so its only HDMI 2.0 which maybe a blessing cause by the time I upgrade the AVR this issue will be resolved.
Don't worry, you'll still be stuck with LG's arc sync issue.
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