HDMI Surge Protector????? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-22-2013, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently had a lightning strike near my house. It wasn't a direct hit but was near by. It blew out my AV receiver and my Plasma TV. It did so via the HDMI cables. The TV and AV receiver both power up but no picture on the TV. No sound on the receiver.

I have a great surge protector which worked well on the 120 AC power. However, I was wondering if something like the following HDMI specific surge protector would work for me in the future: http://www.amazon.com/ViewHD-HDMI-Surge-Protector-Protection/dp/B009EVNR1U%3FSubscriptionId%3DAKIAIAA4MWUJXHBYFRNQ%26tag%3Dsquid1648182-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB009EVNR1U

Thank you.
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-23-2013, 05:45 AM
 
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Let's see, there is this thread on the subject:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1331747/hdmi-surge-suppression

and this thread
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1411548/hdmi-surge-protection

and this thread
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1417734/hdmi-surge-suppression

and this older thread which really only slightly touches the subject
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1258876/hdmi-cable-and-surge-protectors

and each one states that unless you took a lightning strike directly onto the HDMI cable (or circuit board), that the surge did not originate with the HDMI cable. It originated outside of your house and came in through some path. Now that path could be the AC line but more likely it is a cable, antenna or satellite. Do you have a surge protector on that line?

You'll also note in the above threads that a surge protector on the HDMI line would likely degrade your HDMI signal since the high speed data transmission line is designed for a specific electrical characteristics and by adding a surge protector you'll end up changing those characteristics. So, if you find one (and there are a few manufacturers that will make whatever someone says they want) you may find you do more harm and not much good (if any).

The key is to protect every line coming into your house from the outside and not those lines that are just inside your house.
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-23-2013, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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The only things damaged in my entire house were the boards to the TV and AV Receiver. All other TV's, computers, devices were unscathed. Everything connected via HDMI were fried. Nothing else.

I did read those articles you linked already before I decided to post. None of them were specific to my situation.

My current surge protector does have protection for the incoming Comcast cable to go into. I was advised in the past not to use it due to signal degradation.
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-23-2013, 07:54 AM
 
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The Comcast cable is where the surge came in. It then made it through the circuit board, out the HDMI.

The other choice is that your AC surge protector didn't protect as well as you thought it would.

Bottom line is that unless the HDMI circuit was hit directly, then it's just a symptom, not a cause.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-23-2013, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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After reading this article I feel as though luck may be my best protection: http://stormhighway.com/surge_protectors_ups_lightning_protection_myth.shtml

Comcast tells me they do not recommend surge protectors for their incoming cables. They mess with the signal.

Hmmmm.....
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-23-2013, 09:27 AM
 
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If you already have a surge protection coax input on your surge protectors (many have that) that is rated for cable, you might try it. The coax remains one of the easiest paths for a surge to get into a house if the coax is not properly grounded.

Another thing you could do is to get Comcast to check the ground. Most of the technicians will know what to look for.
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-23-2013, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Visually the ground looks rock solid. Maybe I should have Comcast test it though.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-23-2013, 01:01 PM
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AFAIK there is no such thing as a HDMI surge protection. The devices marketed as such seem to contain nothing more than a ESD protection chip. And a lot of gear already has the equivalent built in. If you feel you need to protect against surges which propagate via a HDMI cable, you can use fiber, though.
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-24-2013, 05:59 AM
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I used to have an HDMI splitter on the HDMI out from my Comcast cable box. Every time a lightning strike hit remotely close by the splitter would fry. I went through FIVE! of them, and all of my components are on a good surge protector. In the last week I've gone through TWO! set top boxes (HDMI ports fried) due to lightning strikes. No problems with any other devices - just HDMI ports and cables. How did such an ridiculously fragile technology ever get approved for the consumer market!?mad.gif
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-24-2013, 02:27 PM
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Fragility is the nature of high speed devices. Surge protection at the HDMI interface is not practical. The solution is to keep the surge out of the system in the first place. Whatever you are doing doesn't seem to be successful.
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post #11 of 15 Old 08-26-2013, 08:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millerandy View Post

I used to have an HDMI splitter on the HDMI out from my Comcast cable box. Every time a lightning strike hit remotely close by the splitter would fry. I went through FIVE! of them, and all of my components are on a good surge protector. In the last week I've gone through TWO! set top boxes (HDMI ports fried) due to lightning strikes. No problems with any other devices - just HDMI ports and cables. How did such an ridiculously fragile technology ever get approved for the consumer market!?mad.gif

You are the exception not the rule or else HDMI would not be so prevalent (even if most of us wish there was a different way). The warranty repair costs would be too high for manufacturers if HDMI were that fragile in most installations.

Your system's problem is not the HDMI port. It's why a surge is getting in so often from Comcast. Have they checked the cable ground? If not call Comcast and have them send a tech out. Do you have a surge protector on the cable input? Those are available as part of many AC surge protectors.
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-31-2013, 08:17 PM
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A couple weeks ago, we had a lightening strike very close by. The power did NOT go out, not even a flicker. At the time I thought nothing of it. A few days later, I tried to watch something on my home theatre system, and my Epson projector was not recognizing the HDMI signal (it worked good for 4 years prior!!). The projector is supplied from a Pioneer VSX-23TXH receiver so I tired various inputs (PS3, cable box, computer HDMI output, Apple TV), all with no luck. I then tried plugging directly to the projector with all of the same devices, and also different cables. No luck. I assumed I simply had a problem with the projector. However, I also tried connecting a laptop using a VGA cable, and the projector worked fine, so it was clear to me the problem was specific with the HDMI port. At the same time, I have a Sony television connected as a second HDMI video output from the same Pioneer receiver, and the TV had stopped working. I chalked it up to coincidence. In the case of the Sony, the television would not even turn on (3 flashing red lights under STANDBY - that is it). At that point, I figured I had a 6 year old Sony which was past its expiry date and a faulty HDMI board in my projector. Today, I purchased a new TV. When I reconnected it to my system (ie through the Pioneer receiver), the TV would not see any signal. I plugged in a computer direct to the TV with an HDMI cable, and it did work, so then I started to scratch my head, and start to wonder what the heck was going on. I tried multiple HDMI inputs and both HDMI outputs on the receiver, and nothing worked. I then also tried connecting the PS3, and it also did NOT work. Everything starts OK, and the sound was working good in the case of my cable box, but no video!! Confused at this point, I am wondering to myself is it possible that all the HDMI ports could be affected?? Everything is connected through high quality electrical surge protectors, so I thought I was covered. Discouraged, I turned to Google to see if I could discover anything, because I was not even sure who to call or what to tell them!!! It is great to find this forum (and other similar threads touching on this same subject). At the end of this drama, I lost the following components:
- Sony television
- Sony PS3
- Pioneer receiver
- Epson Projector
All of these components seem to work fine otherwise, except none of the HDMI ports work. Considering I have invested several thousand dollars in this system, and it is all well past warranty, I am very much hoping that my home insurance will cover this!!

The main point of this lengthy reply is to confirm that a nearby lightening strike can, in fact, wipe out HDMI ports. Every HDMI device I had connected to my system (with the exception of my cable box) has had its HDMI ports destroyed (no visual damage, but they will no longer conduct signals).

Next search will be for solutions to prevent this once I have the system replaced!!
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-31-2013, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tannerthemann View Post

Everything is connected through high quality electrical surge protectors
If different parts of your system are on different MOV-based surge protective devices, that could well be the cause of the damage. Likewise, if any conductive path to the equipment is not protected, e.g. satellite cable, tv antenna cable, cable TV cable, ethernet cable, that could also be the cause. The best protection you can have for something like this is a whole-house surge protective system that stops the surges on the AC, coaxial cables and any other conductive pathers before they enter the house.
Quote:
I am very much hoping that my home insurance will cover this!!
It should. If not, get a different policy. This is precisely the kind of thing insurance is for.
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post #14 of 15 Old 09-01-2013, 05:50 AM
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Thank you for the feedback. I will have to look into the non-AC connections entering my house. Appreciate the recommendations.
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post #15 of 15 Old 04-07-2014, 01:54 PM
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In the last year I have lost 3 HDMI splitters, 2 HDMI switches, and the HDMI input has failed on 1 television and my HD projector. All related to lightening storms in the area but no strikes to the house. I'm pretty sure that my issues are related to the fact that I live in a trailer and the long HDMI cables run through the floor and then run along the ground before running back through the floor to the receivers. Lightening strikes nearby can cause a spike creating a different of potential between the ground and the metal frame of the trailer even though the trailer itself is grounded. I am going to get the cables off the ground and hopefully that will help.

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