Xbox HDMI Confusions - AVS Forum
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I received a new Samsung B750 TV and proceeded to hook up a number of devices to it to test it out. I have 3 different HDMI cables:

1) Microosft XBOX HDMI cable

2) Monster High Speed HDMI (this is a brand new $80 cable that I ordered with the TV)

3) Sony High speed HDMI (borrowed from a friend)

All 3 cables worked fine with a BlueRay player I borrowed from a friend. On to the XBOX.....

With the XBOX cables 1 and 2 refused to provide any picture at all. The Samsung would get a signal, but would say "mode not supported".

With cable 3 I was able to get a picture but the color was off and there were wierd lines. After experimenting with all the BOX settings, I found that I was able to get a perfect picture only by using the YCbCr709 HDMI color setting on the XBOX.

So now I have a perfect picture (or so I thought).

I then tried cables 1 and 2 several times. Still no picture period, but cable 3 works great.....until....

Games were beautiful in 1080P @ 60 Hz, but then I tried Zune Movies.

I quickly learned that ALL movies and videos would not play back.

When attempting to view movies I would alternate between snow, a pink screen with a message to contact Zune XBOX support, and then a peek at the movie with the "SCHD Link Restored" message at the bottom of the screen.

So basically every 20 seconds you get a peek of about 2-3 seconds of the video. We had purchased a rental download of the Disney Earth movie and could not watch it.

As far as I knew 1080P was 1080P and games and movies should have the same signal but apparently not. I'll leave it to more experieinced video experts to speculate on why games play fine, but movies do not, but I am baffled.

The sum of all these events leaves me with several questions. Do I have a bad cable (I am thinking no since all work fine on blue ray). Do I have a bad HDMI connector on the XBOX? Why does only 1 of 3 HDMI cables work and why can I play games but not watch movies.

Hopefully someone can find some logic in this episode as I am so far unable to. Thanks!
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:03 AM
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Try disabling "display discovery" in the settings menu.
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks but I did already experiment with disabling auto detection and setting all the features manually. I was unable to discern any change in behavior doing this with each of the 3 cables.
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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HDCP (the stupid, pointless, copy protection that makes HDMI a pain in the balls) is getting in your way. To verify, there is nothing in between the 360 and the display? A single cable goes straight from the 360 to the TV, not to a receiver or switchbox or anything?

Things to try:
Drop the resolution on the Xbox down to 720p, just to test with.
Plug in to a different port on the display.
Flip the cable around so that the plugs are plugging in to the opposite port than they previously were.
Take the Xbox and a "known bad" cable to another HDMI device (maybe your PC monitor?) and try it there.

Without trying more HDMI devices on the TV, or the 360 on other HDMI displays, I can't guess as to which one is throwing a fit. Both are equally likely at this point, being a new TV and a 360 that seems to have never been hooked up HDMI before.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks and yes, copy protection would explain the video failure.

No there is nothing in between the XBOX and the Samsung. Point to point.

I have tried some of the permutations you suggested but not all of them.

I know that the MSFT HDMI cable works fine between the XBOX and my computer monitor using a DVI adapter, so I found it odd that it doesn't work at all with the new Samsung TV.

I'm pretty sure I tried dropping down to 720 but I can't recall all the permutations. I'll test all permutations of all suggestions tommorrow and follow up. FWIW I checked and the TV already had the latest firmware available from Samsung. Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:01 AM
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Try turning things on in different orders as well.
TV - switch input - turn on Xbox
Turn on Xbox - turn on TV - switch input


When/if you do get it working, order some HDMI cables for <$10 and return the Monster one.
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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OK. Here's my conclusions.

* All cables work flawlessly with the BluRay player
* All cables work fine between the XBOX and a Dell LCD monitor using a DVI adapter
* It does not matter what HDMI socket is used on the HDTV
* The Sony HDMI cable will work between the XBOX and Samsung, however the HDSC link will fail when playing video, and the connection occasionally flickers when you wiggle the XBOX end of the cable.
* In one permutation, I was able to get a picture using the MSFT XBOX HDMI cable, however the sound signal was corrupted. Everytime there was sound I would hear crackling/static instead.
* Still haven't gotten a single picture between the XBOX/Samsung using the Monster cable (I figured the expensive cables might be a rip off, but I wanted to have one good one to benchmark against as this is my first HDTV).

I'm thinking that the problem may be with the Xbox HMDI port but this is not fully conclusive. For example, why are results consistently different when using different cables. All cables work normally with the BlueRay player or the XBOX/DVI config, but with the XBOX/Samsung pure HDMI config, only 1 cable worked at all (although it failed at secure video playback).

Clearly there is some differentiation among the cables that is relevant for the XBOX/Samsung HDMI scenario.

I am thinking that what I need to do next is pick up the XBOX Arcade (cheapest), put my hard drive on it and see if everything works. If it doesn't, then the problem can't be the XBOX. If it does, then I guess I'll have to sell a 1-year-old xbox with a faulty HDMI port.
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:21 PM
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Borrow a friend's Xbox 360 with HDMI and test it with your HDTV before you go out and buy another one. It may be that your TV's HDMI chipset does not properly communicate with the Xbox 360's HDMI hardware and using someone else's as a second verifier is the best way to determine if the problem is solely with the console hardware or between the console and your HDTV.
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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It does sound like the HDMI port on the 360 is bad, except that it works fine with the monitor. Does the monitor do HDCP? If not, then my best guess is that if there is a specific pin that carries the HDCP signal, then it's probably failing on the 360 side. If the monitor does do HDCP, then we just entered in to the land of "This Makes No Sense".

Don't buy the Arcade at Gamestop! They don't allow returns on consoles.
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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Ah, I see. Pin 16 does carry the HDCP signal. That would explain why one of the cables does kind of work, as it is probably ever so slightly physically larger than the others, and therefore barely making contact with the pin in question.

Poke your head around back and make sure that there isn't a dustbunny that collected in your HDMI port in it's year of non-use.

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/hdmi2.htm

The pin in question is the second from the left, on the bottom, if you are looking at the back of the 360, as far as I can tell. If available, spray some compressed air in there to clear out any dust.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames View Post

Ah, I see. Pin 16 does carry the HDCP signal. That would explain why one of the cables does kind of work, as it is probably ever so slightly physically larger than the others, and therefore barely making contact with the pin in question.

Poke your head around back and make sure that there isn't a dustbunny that collected in your HDMI port in it's year of non-use.

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/hdmi2.htm

The pin in question is the second from the left, on the bottom, if you are looking at the back of the 360, as far as I can tell. If available, spray some compressed air in there to clear out any dust.

Actually, there are 2 pins for DDC, pins 15 and 16. Pin 15 is the SCL or clock line and pin 16 is the SDA line for the I2C physical link used for DDC (EDID) and HDCP DRM. Pin 15 would be the third pin on the top from the left, looking at the back of the 360. It can be difficult to see up inside the connector since the pin contacts are fairly well recessed. As I recall, these same exact signals are available on the AV connector as pins 21 (SCL) and 23 (SDA). They're there since DDC is also used for VGA and they're wired in parallel with the ones on the HDMI connector. It should be possible to measure continuity between AV connector pin 21 and HDMI=>DVI pin 6. Also pin 23 of the AV connector should have continuity to HDMI=> pin 7. If not, then HDCP isn't going to work and neither will display discovery. I don't recommend trying to measure continuity directly to the HDMI pins of a cable, as there is precious little space there. DVI passes the same DDC signals and it should be fairly trivial to jam a small paper clip into the appropriate pins on the DVI connector. You definitely want to do this, with the 360 powered off.


P.J.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, you guys know you're stuff.

I understand what you are saying but I am not able to visibly observe any anomolies on any of those pins. I did blow it out with canned air and a brush with no effect.

Somehow something is different with the Sony Cable that it can give a good picture (sans HDCP), and with the other cables the TV just says "mode not supported".

Now here's something else I just noticed. I noticed a slight ghost effect on the Xbox Dashboard as I was moving around to play with the cables. I quickly discovered that when the XBOX Live camera was plugged in, I could see a faint shadow (more like discoloration) that matched with what the camera saw (i.e. I could see something moving left to right as I moved my hand).

The HDMI and camera cables weren't even close so I have to think that if there was some interference or signal bleed that it would be coming from the internal circuity and not from the proximity of the cables.

So I still don't understand how the Sony HDMI cable is "unique" from the other 2 and why there is signal bleed with the USB camera, but I'm becoming more confident that the problem is somehow within the XBOX itself. Of course the 1 year warranty JUST expired, so I'll have to pick up a new one and see if that fixes it I guess
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:15 AM
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What version of HDMI does your TV manual say your TV supports? It could be that the 360's HDMI cable isn't HDMI 1.3 compatible or something like that...
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:19 PM
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plug in your hdmi cable hold right trigger and yellow buton on pad then power on console with the silver x button in middle of pad keeping the trigger and yellow buton held untill console resets then you should have picture and sound
hope this helps
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