HDMI Splitter Troubles - AVS Forum

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HDMI Q&A - The One Connector World

joe6620's Avatar joe6620
12:14 PM Liked: 10
post #1 of 35
05-10-2013 | Posts: 18
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I purchased a pair of HDMI Splitters (1x2) wanting to split a HDMI signal originating from a 1081dpi converter connected to a digital satellite receiver. I want to send the signal to a pair of LCD TV's. Sounded quite simple but for the following problem. If I hook up one TV to the splitter. . NO PROBLEM. When I connect the second TV, there is no audio on the first TV and the second unit comes on with "retrieving data" and then "Not Supported". If I connect the second unit first (or reverse the procedure) the same thing happens in reverse. Also the video will black out and then back on, alternating between the units. In any case the application should work since I have done this same configuration connected to another pair of LCD units. What can the problem be?
Joe Fernand's Avatar Joe Fernand
01:34 PM Liked: 64
post #2 of 35
05-10-2013 | Posts: 1,190
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Its best practice to not ‘hot plug’ HDMI – only connect/disconnect devices when all devices are powered Off at the wall.

Alternating Image/no-image indicates you are having HDCP authentication problems!

Do both of your Display devices work with the Source if connected directly to the Source? (again best to not hot plug!).

Joe
alk3997's Avatar alk3997
02:51 PM Liked: 88
post #3 of 35
05-10-2013 | Posts: 3,722
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe6620 View Post

I purchased a pair of HDMI Splitters (1x2) wanting to split a HDMI signal originating from a 1081dpi converter connected to a digital satellite receiver. I want to send the signal to a pair of LCD TV's. Sounded quite simple but for the following problem. If I hook up one TV to the splitter. . NO PROBLEM. When I connect the second TV, there is no audio on the first TV and the second unit comes on with "retrieving data" and then "Not Supported". If I connect the second unit first (or reverse the procedure) the same thing happens in reverse. Also the video will black out and then back on, alternating between the units. In any case the application should work since I have done this same configuration connected to another pair of LCD units. What can the problem be?

To me this sounds like an EDID problem. Do both of your LCDs have the same audio and video specs? In other words does one TV accept 5.1-channel audio and the other only accept stereo?
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
03:40 PM Liked: 10
post #4 of 35
05-10-2013 | Posts: 18
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Both TV are Vizio 32" LCD units that are only 1 year old so both have similar capability for input. Both will work directly with the HDMI Splitter if connected as a single device. Like I said before, I have the same identical hookup except that the TV's are not similar in size but both have HDMI inputs.
AV_Integrated's Avatar AV_Integrated
05:52 PM Liked: 367
post #5 of 35
05-10-2013 | Posts: 3,422
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What is the make and model of all of the gear you are connecting?

The sources sound like they may be having an issue with HDCP as it relates to the Vizio product.

Is there a reason you can't come directly out of your Sat receiver to the splitter?

There is nothing obvious that you are doing incorrectly, but the splitter may just not play well with Vizio, which is the reality of the stupidity of HDCP and HDMI. You may need to go to another model for no obvious reason at all.

Do you have another HDMI source you can try to use like a Blu-ray player or a computer?
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
11:41 AM Liked: 10
post #6 of 35
05-11-2013 | Posts: 18
Joined: May 2013
Working Configuration; Digital Sat. Rx HDMI output to SunValleyTek HDMI Splitter to Vizio 46" LCD & Phillips 19" LCD.

Non-Working Configuration: Digital Sat Rx (same brand as above) HDMI output to SunValleyTek HDMI Splitter to Vizio 32" & Vizio 32"

Your suggestion about changing TV's was followed when I substituted on Vizio 32" with the Phillips 19" in the non-working configuration which didn't change the results.
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
04:51 PM Liked: 10
post #7 of 35
05-11-2013 | Posts: 18
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Update: Both Vizio TVs will work independently using HDMI-1 inputs from the digital receiver but when the MONOPRICE splitter is inserted only one will work the other will say "not supported" Can I use a HDMI switch for this problem?
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
04:56 PM Liked: 10
post #8 of 35
05-11-2013 | Posts: 18
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Excuse the question regarding a switch for this issue. I understand a switch will not work for my purpose. So I am back to square one. What to do to make this situation work . . . if anything short of changing TVs. Thanks for the help so far.
AV_Integrated's Avatar AV_Integrated
06:03 PM Liked: 367
post #9 of 35
05-11-2013 | Posts: 3,422
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Monoprice has several splitters, some of which work better than others. If the splitter you have from them is not working, then call them up, send it back, and try a different splitter.

Did you try using a different source? Like a PC or a DVD or Blu-ray Disc player? You don't need to try other TVs, but you need to try different sources as there is a chance (albeit a small one) that the Satellite receiver itself is the issue.

I'm a bit confused as to whether you are providing brand information on things or what... What is sunvalleytech? What is a Digital Sat. Rx? Are these brand names of the products you are using? With Vizio, it is clearly ONE of their models of 32" TVs... but which model? Really, manufacturer name and model number of the exact product may help to identify issues. ie: Monoprice model 8204 is very specific, and pretty well reviewed. Provide a link to the products in use if possible.
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
07:05 PM Liked: 10
post #10 of 35
05-11-2013 | Posts: 18
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Okay, Lets try this:
Configuration 1 (Working) Sonicview FTA Sat. Rx HDMI output to SunValleyTek 3 RCA Composite S-video R/L Audio HDMI Convertor to Monoprice Model 2522 Splitter to
Vizio Model 420VL & Phillips Model 19PFL54220.

Configuration 2 (Trouble) Sonicview FTA Sat. Rx HDMI output to SunValleyTek 3 RCA Composite S-video R/L Audio HDMI Convertor to Monoprice Model 2522 Splitter to
Vizio Model E320i-AO & Vizio Model 321VL.
budwich's Avatar budwich
10:07 AM Liked: 21
post #11 of 35
05-12-2013 | Posts: 1,325
Joined: Dec 2002
I think you have identified your likely problem by providing specific models for your splitter.
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
11:02 AM Liked: 10
post #12 of 35
05-12-2013 | Posts: 18
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So you are saying that I cannot use two Vizio TVs?
budwich's Avatar budwich
11:18 AM Liked: 21
post #13 of 35
05-12-2013 | Posts: 1,325
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Quote from the monoprice site.... "Note that this splitter does not pass the HDCP copy protection information, so it is unsuited for use in home theater systems. Please use one of our powered splitters for home theater applications. " I think this is basically your issue, it doesn't handle HDCP interactions, which you appear to have "tripped" on.
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
11:26 AM Liked: 10
post #14 of 35
05-12-2013 | Posts: 18
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The problem with that is I am using the same monoprice splitter in the working configuration. How does one "trip on" the HDCP?
budwich's Avatar budwich
06:11 PM Liked: 21
post #15 of 35
05-12-2013 | Posts: 1,325
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odds are that in the config that is working, the displays are non-hdcp compliant while in the one that isn't one or both are hdcp compliant.
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
07:59 PM Liked: 10
post #16 of 35
05-12-2013 | Posts: 18
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would a powered HDMI splitter solve the problem?
AV_Integrated's Avatar AV_Integrated
08:49 PM Liked: 367
post #17 of 35
05-12-2013 | Posts: 3,422
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What happens when you pull that Sunvalley piece out of the equation?

Your products are these right...

SunValleyTek: http://www.amazon.com/Composite-S-video-Audio-HDMI-Converter/dp/B003NS0UUQ

Monoprice splitter: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10113&cs_id=1011303&p_id=2522&seq=1&format=2

I don't understand your need for that SunValley piece at all. If you are coming out of your satellite receiver HDMI, then I would just go into the splitter and see what happens. Don't use the scaler at all as it shouldn't be doing anything to help your native HDMI signal.

Then, I would still expect the passive HDMI splitter to not work, but at least you will have eliminated another piece in the chain.

If it still doesn't work, start with a powered splitter, then go from there.
Phil17108's Avatar Phil17108
06:08 AM Liked: 54
post #18 of 35
05-13-2013 | Posts: 961
Joined: Feb 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe6620 View Post

would a powered HDMI splitter solve the problem?
Yes, and I have one in use at this time.

monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10113&cs_id=1011306&p_id=7522&seq=1&format=2

This will get the HDMI signal to your 2 Vizio's and I know that works I do the same thing but with 47 and 65 inch Vizio's
I would also get an HD satellite tuner, assuming you have DirecTV or Dish that should be an easy deal, and the best.
You would not need to be cobbling things together that at best give unsatisfactory results.
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
11:08 AM Liked: 10
post #19 of 35
05-13-2013 | Posts: 18
Joined: May 2013
TO AV: The use of the SunValleyTek convertor is simple. The signal coming from the Satellite RX is not 1080dpi it is 480dpi, plus I do not have an HDMI output on the Sat. Rx only RCA and Component outputs. I think I will try the power splitter first hoping that solves the problem. Will let you know the results soon.
AV_Integrated's Avatar AV_Integrated
02:51 PM Liked: 367
post #20 of 35
05-13-2013 | Posts: 3,422
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Is there a reason you aren't just using a component video splitter or a composite video splitter?

I ask because a cheap video converter will not enhance the video quality in the least, and may harm video quality over the scalers which are built into the displays already.

I would generally recommend against any type of digital conversion in a case where the originating signal is standard definition television as you will typically get zero improvement, especially if you start with composite 480i video.

It will eliminate any issue you could have and allows you to use inexpensive analog equipment which can deliver a pristine signal easily.

At this point I am hard pressed to blame any specific device. The splitter is cheap and is an easy source for the issue, but there really shouldn't be any HDCP because the SunValley item will not be implementing HDCP. This may cause an issue because the displays may be looking for some implementation of HDPC which may never be generated, and an active splitter doesn't have any HDCP to actually manage, so it may not solve the issue either.

What may work: Replacing the splitter
What may work: Getting a different/better scaler
What will work, definitely: Using a composite video splitter to the displays directly.
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
05:46 PM Liked: 10
post #21 of 35
05-13-2013 | Posts: 18
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Basically, the reason for my entire setup was the belief that a video signal, such as 480 or 720dpi could be enhanced or boosted to 1080dpi and that HDMI connections were the best way to move a digital signal. Unfortunately, I am just a layman who sometimes believes what he reads. If I am to believe what you are saying is that unless a component, such as a DISH Receiver, or DVD Player or other such devices generates 1080dpi, there is no way to enhance the signal going to a 1080dpi TV.
Joe Fernand's Avatar Joe Fernand
01:38 AM Liked: 64
post #22 of 35
05-14-2013 | Posts: 1,190
Joined: Oct 2001
Blimey so many potential fail points in one system!!!

Video Scaling - where your Source has less pixels than your Display device you require some form of scaling engine to fill those extra pixels in the Display or you’ll be viewing a postage stamp image.

Your Display device will include a scaling engine – these vary from poor to pretty good, though even the best tend to lack much in the way of User control/adjustment.

Additionally where your Source is analogue you need to have it converted to Digital before the scaling and image processing in the Display can kick in – again this can be handled quite happily within your Display.

Converting and scaling off-board of the Display can be beneficial where the off-board processor is higher quality/more User adjustable than the on-board processing – see the AVS Video Processor Forum, though expect to be seeing lots of $$$ signs.

http://www.avsforum.com/f/37/video-processors

Processing off-board to some intermediate state (480i/p to 1080i) with a questionable processing device can potentially downgrade the end result rather than being beneficial as you are now processing the signal twice with no real benefit being derived from the intermediate step.

Passive Splitter - your non-powered Splitter needs to pull power from somewhere, it’s not magical its processing circuitry requires powering!

Poor HDMI designs try and ‘steal’ Power from the HDMI signal bus – the aim being to not upset the HDMI signal passing through the system and in turn saving on shipping out a PSU!

Most often any form of ‘converter’ device will not be outputting the voltage your ‘passive’ box is looking for on the HDMI socket so the connected passive device fails to work correctly.

Non-HDCP Splitter – in the early days of HDMI many Splitters had 1 x HDCP + 1 non-HDCP Output and were being used to ‘cheat’ the system for folk who had a New HDMI equipped HDCP compliant Display + 1 x ‘Old’ DVI equipped non-HDCP TV, these were eventually clamped down on by HDMI.org. It sounds like these devices are still in production!

Joe
AV_Integrated's Avatar AV_Integrated
10:22 AM Liked: 367
post #23 of 35
05-14-2013 | Posts: 3,422
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Joe (6620), I think that Joe F. who just posted kind of lays it out. It's a lot of reading, but what it boils down to is this:

If your TVs are 1080p TVs, then they will automatically convert whatever you send to them, whether it is composite video (yellow wire) or component video (red/green/blue wires) to 1080p inside the display. They do this with internal video processing and scaling that is built into the TVs. It is something you paid for when you bought the TVs and truly mimics what you are doing when you buy an external video scaler like the one you have.

How good of a job it will do is questionable... up to a point.

The one built into your typical TV (ie: Vizio) will NOT likely do as good of a job as a DVDO Edge processor which costs about $250 or so.

I would expect the one built into your TV to do an identical, or better job, than your $70 converter/scaler unit. It is easily possible that it could do a far better job than your inexpensive scaler. Easy enough to check by simply plugging in the Sat box directly to your TV and taking an honest look at it.

Now, HDMI is not the 'best' connection. It is just a connection.

Most people have heard of 'GIGO'. Garbage-in, Garbage-out.

That's a rule in audio/video as well.

If you start with a lousy signal, such as standard definition television, there is almost nothing you can do to make it better, and it certainly will never be high-definition. It's like taking a photograph and making a cheap black and white copy of that photo. Then compare the two. That cheap photocopy will never be the original, and even with a lot of work done to the photocopy there is nothing that can be done to fix it. Now, if you take that original photo and put it in a really good color copier with good paper, the copy you get back will be much closer to the original.

That black and white copy is like standard definition television. You can add some lines of resolution and move it to a HDMI cable, but you can't fix that it is a poor quality image to start with. Not necessarily a 'bad' image, but a long way from HDTV, and there is nothing you can do about that short of going to a HDTV receiver that receives HDTV to begin with.

Now, does HDMI deliver a great signal? Only if it is a great signal to begin with! HDMI does a great job of carrying HDTV from a HDTV receiver to a HDTV. It does a great job of carrying a garbage signal from a low quality source to a TV as well. But, when you get into splitting signals, and routing of HDMI, it is one of the worst possible formats on the face of the earth. It wasn't designed for video distribution, and HDCP threw a big wrench in making it all work properly.

But, analog video, like those yellow and red/green/blue component connections on the back of your satellite receiver?

They can be split, amplified, re-split and juggled about 100 different ways and still deliver an acceptable on-screen image. You need the most basic of splits - a two-way split.

I would recommend this: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4049758&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PPC&utm_term=1500311&utm_content=Exact&utm_campaign=PLA&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CNCrsrj6lbcCFUm-4AodoBEAAA&gclsrc=ds

That will give you both composite and component video splitting and is only a $40 box.

You should FIRST try hooking component video up directly to one of the TVs to see how good the image quality is. My expectation is that it will be nearly identical to your current HDMI upconversion/splitting setup that you are trying to use and having issues with.

For what it's worth, I run half a dozen TVs on my home using HDTV and I distribute that HDTV with component video and it looks stellar. Only one TV in my home gets a HDMI feed for 3D and HD audio in surround, and the rest get the red/green/blue RCA connections with native high definition sources from FIOS and network video streamers. The Wii, looks like garbage in comparison to the rest. smile.gif
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
10:45 AM Liked: 10
post #24 of 35
05-14-2013 | Posts: 18
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Thank you both for your useful information. I will re-evaluate and begin anew.
alk3997's Avatar alk3997
11:32 AM Liked: 88
post #25 of 35
05-14-2013 | Posts: 3,722
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe6620 View Post

Basically, the reason for my entire setup was the belief that a video signal, such as 480 or 720dpi could be enhanced or boosted to 1080dpi and that HDMI connections were the best way to move a digital signal. Unfortunately, I am just a layman who sometimes believes what he reads. If I am to believe what you are saying is that unless a component, such as a DISH Receiver, or DVD Player or other such devices generates 1080dpi, there is no way to enhance the signal going to a 1080dpi TV.

Joe, let's back up a bit and then read what was posted above. First you are using "dpi" to describe a TV. DPI is dots per inch and is used mostly in printing. The use of "i" for a TV stands for interlaced. It describes the way a TV "draws" the picture on the screen not how many pixels there are. The 1080 or 720 indicates how many lines are shown on the TV. 1080i means that there are 1080 lines and each time the whole screen is drawn, every other line is refreshed (i). If it were 1080p, it would mean "progressive" and that every line is refreshed when a full screen is shown.

So, your question about how you can improve your picture is interesting. Basically, satellite and cable only send 720p and 1080i pictures for high definition. Your TV, most likely, outputs a 1080p picture. The circuitry in the TV converts the 720p or 1080i picture to 1080p tha the TV can show. For 1080i input, the way it does that is to create the "missing" lines in the 1080i picture using the previous picture as a hint on how to fill in the missing information. For 720p, the TV has to convert the 1280x720 picture to 1920x1080 by again filling-in the missing information. In both cases, the quality of the picture is dependent upon the 1) quality of the original input and 2) the ability of the TV's circuitry/programming to convert properly.

So, one way to improve you picture is to get better input quality. A Blu-Ray player is an example of a better quality input device. Of course, if you want to watch satellite/cable, that won't do you any good.

Improving the quality of the conversion to 1080p is another way to improve the picture quality. That's what a scaler should do. Unfortunately you are still left with the quality of the original input as being a big driver even with the best scalers in the world. With a scaler or other conversion devices, you can spend a lot of money getting a little improvement but for some people that little overall improvement is important and worth the money.

As for HDMI, HDMI is simply a way of getting the digital audio/video information to your TV. With the older component video connections, the conversion from digital to analog is done in the satellite or cable receiver box (assuming digital cable). With HDMI the conversion to analog is done in the TV. With good quality component cables and a properly tuned system you can generate a picture that is indistinguishable to most people from an HDMI signal (at least on satellite and cable). So, HDMI, by itself does not improve your picture quality. But, HDMI provides one method to get an improved picture to your TV.

Of course if your input is 480i or 480p, then you would gain a lot by going to a high defintion input source. A lot of people purchase high defintiion TVs but still feed the TV a standard definition source. They are usually very disappointed in the picture quality that results and can't understand why everyone is so excited by high definition.

Hopefully that's enough background to help with understanding all this.
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
02:24 PM Liked: 10
post #26 of 35
05-14-2013 | Posts: 18
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Thanks, I think I get the picture!
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
06:21 PM Liked: 10
post #27 of 35
05-14-2013 | Posts: 18
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I don't know if I misled you folks but one of the units I referred to as SunValleyTek was actually this: Orei XD-901 Multi-System Digital PAL to NTSC Analog (Composite or S-video) to HDMI Video Converter - Up to 1080p Upscaling - Superior Quality - Dual Voltage (110/220V Worldwide Use) and when I connected my Sat Box directly to my HDTV though composite video cables the picture registered 480d and I certainly could tell the difference from when it was connected to the Converter.
AV_Integrated's Avatar AV_Integrated
06:32 PM Liked: 367
post #28 of 35
05-14-2013 | Posts: 3,422
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Hey, if you are happier with the image processing that is done by the video converter you have, then by all means feel free to use it. But, you will need to upgrade that HDMI splitter to a powered active unit as was recommended before. Good to hear that you are happy with the results of the Orei unit. Frankly, it surprises me that it outperforms the integrated video processing on the Vizio units, but heck, I will keep it in mind for the future in case anyone is looking for a cheap upconversion unit.

For your records, your setup is...
Satellite FTA receiver Sonicview something or other (still don't know the exact model) - Composite video output
To a Orei XD-901 Scaler - http://www.amazon.com/Orei-XD-901-Multi-System-Composite-Converter/dp/B004UNYX9M
Output HDMI to a video splitter from Monoprice - (let's say you go with this one) - http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10113&cs_id=1011306&p_id=7522&seq=1&format=2
Then two HDMI cables are connected to Vizio 32" LCD dipslays - Models E320i-AO & 321VL

I really am hopeful that the active splitter will solve your issue, but there is still no guarantee that it will take care of the issues.
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
07:31 PM Liked: 10
post #29 of 35
05-14-2013 | Posts: 18
Joined: May 2013
Well it works to a degree. .. . I connected the Sat Box's Composite Cables to #1 Vizio. Although it is 480d the picture is acceptable (its in the bedroom and gets watched maybe 2 hours a night). I connected the RCA outputs to the Orei unit and then the HDMI cable to #2 Vizio. That indicates 1080p but let's not debate that, the picture is great. PROBLEM is the audio. The Sat. Box only has only one audio output for either composite or RCA cable output and even when I insert a audio splitter the sound on one is okay the other is very low. I presume that there is a conflict going on here also and hope you guys have an answer. Otherwise I'm good to go with the present setup.
joe6620's Avatar joe6620
12:14 PM Liked: 10
post #30 of 35
05-16-2013 | Posts: 18
Joined: May 2013
I guess maybe since this is an audio problem it is posted in the wrong forum. Thought someone might answer it though. I would like to thank all the members who tried to help me with my problem. I learned a lot in the process. Nice forum.

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