Lightning strike blows out all HDMI ports? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 67 Old 03-04-2012, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Not sure if anyone has heard of this before, very strange. After a lightning strike it appears that besides being left without Cable/internet for a couple days now, that also the HDMI ports seems to have been blown on 3 comcast receivers, 2 Onkyo AV receivers, 1 TV, 1 projector, a HTPC, and a PS3. This is the most bizarre thing I've ever seen - it's between three different rooms, all with surge projectors.

Since I have no incoming cable signal to my house, I think maybe the surge can through the coax cables (which I did not have through surge protectors) and then through my cable boxes' hdmi port to my other devices.

Have any of you heard of that before - a surge taking out only HDMI ports?
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post #2 of 67 Old 03-04-2012, 07:03 PM
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This is my understanding of your situation from my experience in this field. Damage to connections between non co-located devices due to lightning is more likely than to connections between devices which are co-located. Having a coax cable in the mix creates an additional risk because it adds another path for lightning to enter the environment. Voltage rise on ground lines of thousands of volts will occur during lightning strikes for a duration of a few hundred microseconds which is sufficient to damage any electronic device. Surge protectors only protect the AC line protecting the device power supplies and apparently worked since none of the devices were reported having been killed. Damage to HDMI inputs is often reported in various AVS forums. They therefore seem to be more easily damaged then other inputs. The manufacturers obviously don't think having a more robust HDMI input, which they could do IMO at a small cost, is needed.

If it isn't 720p or 1080i/p it isn't HD. If it is 720p or 1080i/p it may not be HD content.
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post #3 of 67 Old 03-04-2012, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dapriett View Post

...I think maybe the surge can through the coax cables (which I did not have through surge protectors) and then through my cable boxes' hdmi port to my other devices.

Certainly a possibility.
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Have any of you heard of that before - a surge taking out only HDMI ports?

Yes.
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post #4 of 67 Old 03-05-2012, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by txrose View Post

inputs. The manufacturers obviously don't think having a more robust HDMI input, which they could do IMO at a small cost, is needed.

Easier said than done I think. Even the small increase in capacitance from a shunt mode device can affect the signal on the TMDS lines at the frequencies they operate. If they could do it at small cost, I think they would. It would pay off in reduced warranty claims from damage due to surges and electrostatic discharge.
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post #5 of 67 Old 03-05-2012, 05:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Well here is what was in the three rooms that got cooked:

Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 8350
Onkyo TX-NR609
Onkyo TX-SR607
Sony PS3
Hannspree HSG1102
Sharp AQUOS LC-52D65U
HTPC (Motherboard with built-in HDMI: GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3)
2 x Motorola Comcast HDTV receivers
Motorola Comcast HDTV DVR receiver

Out of all those the only device which still has all it's working HDMI ports is the Sharp AQUOS - all the other devices lost any HDMI ports it had. So I guess I know which brand I'll be purchasing for now on...
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post #6 of 67 Old 03-05-2012, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dapriett View Post

Well here is what was in the three rooms that got cooked:

Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 8350
Onkyo TX-NR609
Onkyo TX-SR607
Sony PS3
Hannspree HSG1102
Sharp AQUOS LC-52D65U
HTPC (Motherboard with built-in HDMI: GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3)
2 x Motorola Comcast HDTV receivers
Motorola Comcast HDTV DVR receiver

Out of all those the only device which still has all it's working HDMI ports is the Sharp AQUOS - all the other devices lost any HDMI ports it had. So I guess I know which brand I'll be purchasing for now on...

Wow, I'm sorry to hear this. I didn't know HDMI port was this vulnerable to lightning surges.

You so need lightning rods all over your roof.

Lightning once destroyed my mowing robot's PCB, its charging base PCB, the ADT water sensor, the main ADT keypad panel all in one shot. But laying down such lengthy low-voltage peripheral wires for my mowing robot is an invitation to lightning in the 1st place. Now I know better... Sorry I digress.
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post #7 of 67 Old 03-05-2012, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Areometer View Post


You so need lightning rods all over your roof.

Lightening rods won't help if he doesn't have a roof antenna and the surge came thru his cable connection. The cable company should have adequately grounded the cable box at the house or, if you live in an area that is prone to strikes, a whole house ground might have helped.
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post #8 of 67 Old 03-05-2012, 01:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dapriett View Post

ever seen - it's between three different rooms, all with surge projectors.

Since I have no incoming cable signal to my house, I think maybe the surge can through the coax cables (which I did not have through surge protectors) and then through my cable boxes' hdmi port to my other devices.

Have any of you heard of that before - a surge taking out only HDMI ports?

I'm a bit confused. .. . no incoming cable but has coax cables??


At any rate, Otto and others are correct. Surge protectors will not have helped on incoming other connections like phone, power, or cable service and boxes. In fact, lightening does not even have to have a direct hit to cause damage. For instance, power lines, cable and phone lines, and even an outdoor antenna can pick up a huge EMI spike if lightening strikes nearby (even within a few hundred feet) to those wires or objects. A fairly high voltage can be induced in conductors near a strike and passed on to connected equipment. I had that happen to a phone and answering system, a TV distribution amplifier connected to an attic garage TV antenna, and the connected equipment.
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post #9 of 67 Old 04-28-2012, 04:27 PM
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I think I just had this happen to me! Last night we had a lighting strike take out all power in the house. They finally got to us 24 hours later and found that the breaker out at the transformer had blown, and in fact, they had to replace the entire transformer.

We're back up and running now. We have a house full of electronics in most rooms. Nothing in the house is damaged except for anything using an HDMI connection?

I don't know much about electricity, but this just doesn't sound logical. Unless, the HDMI ports are the most sensative thing in the house? Even then, the fellow from the power company assured me that if it blew back at his transformer that there would have been no spikes at our house.

I don't have cable. The entire system was plugged into a J10 surge/battery protector. It was running when the hit happened, but I was able to safely shut everything down due to the battery taking over.

Frustrated! Any comments?

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post #10 of 67 Old 04-28-2012, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony123 View Post

I don't know much about electricity, but this just doesn't sound logical. Unless, the HDMI ports are the most sensative thing in the house?

Could well be. My only suggestion is to try resetting back to factory defaults for all of the HDMI devices.

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post #11 of 67 Old 04-29-2012, 04:55 AM
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Thanks Ken. I'm bringing my PS3 to a friends this morning to see if it works through his system. Then will pick up one of his pieces and see if it works in mine. We'll see what that tells us. I'll also reset. Although, I'm not sure how if I can't see anything over the projector.

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post #12 of 67 Old 04-29-2012, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I feel for you - I've just finally recovered from all of mine. Lucky most of my stuff was still under warranty, so I did most of the repairs through that in order to avoid insurance. Was a pain dealing with all of them though. For the PS3 I ended up sending that to Sony - they charge $100 to fix it if out of warranty.

For me I believe the surge came through the coax, which is the one think coming in which I didn't have protected. Some of those surge protectors have warranty coverage on them if anything gets damaged from a surge - you could try doing a claim through that.
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post #13 of 67 Old 04-29-2012, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phase700B View Post

I'm a bit confused. .. . no incoming cable but has coax cables??

Sorry, I meant that my cable signal was out as a result of the lightning.
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post #14 of 67 Old 04-29-2012, 06:09 AM
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And I stated I didn't have cable, but I do have coax coming in from my OTA antenna. That wasn't running through my APC. I suppose it could come through the ethernet line too?

I've seen alot of posts regarding the topic, but very little in the way of associated costs. My list so far seems to be.

Integra 40.1 processor = $1000
PS3= $250
Bluray player = $150
HDDVD player = $150
Projector = $2500

If I have to ship each item in for repair at an average rate of $150 x 5 = $750

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post #15 of 67 Old 04-29-2012, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dapriett View Post

Sorry, I meant that my cable signal was out as a result of the lightning.

Sorry to hear that, for the record nothing protects against lightning. A ground block is there for potential differences and to bond to the electric for that reason nothing more.

All Comments made are my own and not of my employer.
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post #16 of 67 Old 04-29-2012, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Is the OTA antenna on the roof, or is it plugged into the outlet (amplified)? Maybe came in through your outside internet source, then over the ethernet? Either way, not much you can do to protect against a direct lightning strike.

Well hopefully some of your stuff is still under warranty. There's also insurance - although I'm sure you have a deductible. You can also tried filing a claim with the maker of your surge protector - I know the ones I have give up to $100,000 warranty. Not sure how successful anyone has been filing a claim with them. I believe they require you to ship them the surge protector, so they can inspect it internally for signs of surges. Most likely get denied if the surge occurred outside of it (through coax, ethernet, etc).

I wish you the best of luck, this was not fun dealing with. At least for the PS3 repair it was pretty painless. Paid $100, they sent me shipping box with postage/label included, and I got it back within a couple weeks. You may lose everything on it though as they may replace it with a refurb if they can't repair it.

This ended up being my final damage:

Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 8350 (Warranty replacement - within a few days)
Onkyo TX-NR609 (Warranty repair - almost 2 months)
Onkyo TX-SR607 (Warranty repair - almost 2 months)
Sony PS3 ($100 to repair - 2 weeks)
Hannspree HSG1102 (Warranty repair - 1 month)
OLEVIA 32" HDTV 232V (Bought Sceptre 32" LED HDTV - $220)
HTPC Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 - (Store exchange - within 2 weeks of purchase)
Sony Subwoofer SA-WX700 (Purchased Polk Audio PSW505 - $230)

So ended up spending about $550 total, and alot of headache with warranty claims. Epson is definitely the best - had a new projector to me in a couple days, and then just stuck the broken one in the included box, shipping included. Onkyo repair sucks, taking nearly 2 months - will not buy from them again.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tony123 View Post

And I stated I didn't have cable, but I do have coax coming in from my OTA antenna. That wasn't running through my APC. I suppose it could come through the ethernet line too?

I've seen alot of posts regarding the topic, but very little in the way of associated costs. My list so far seems to be.

Integra 40.1 processor = $1000
PS3= $250
Bluray player = $150
HDDVD player = $150
Projector = $2500

If I have to ship each item in for repair at an average rate of $150 x 5 = $750

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post #17 of 67 Old 04-29-2012, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ybsane View Post

Sorry to hear that, for the record nothing protects against lightning. A ground block is there for potential differences and to bond to the electric for that reason nothing more.

That's quite true.

Grounding and other protection measures are only good enough for the induced field of a nearby strike. Nothing will hold back a direct hit to an antenna or the house electrical system. Here grounding helps prevent a fire but will not protect any electronic equipment. The rise time of the voltage spike is just too fast for anything to protect sensitive electronic components.

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post #18 of 67 Old 04-29-2012, 02:02 PM
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I just brought my PS3 to a fringes and it worked fine through his tv. I may have narrowed it down to my projector inputs, and possibly my processor. Still working the problem.

Yeah, the deductible would be too high to make a claim....and nothing is under warranty.

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post #19 of 67 Old 04-29-2012, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ybsane View Post

Sorry to hear that, for the record nothing protects against lightning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

That's quite true.

Indeed.


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post #20 of 67 Old 08-01-2012, 01:15 PM
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This just happened to me the other day. I have a Onkyo TX-SR705 and all 3 HDMI ports are blown. Im glad i found this forum, I was racking my brain trying to figure out why none of my stuff would work through the receiver.
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post #21 of 67 Old 08-09-2012, 05:54 PM
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We had a STRONG thunderstorm today, and I lost sound through one of my 3 hdmi jacks and sound and video through another. Afterwards, i discovered the ground screw had fallen out of the receptacle. Hopefully the Sanyo 50" plasma tv which sustained the damge will be fixed after a reset tomorrow.
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post #22 of 67 Old 08-15-2012, 09:17 PM
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I just happened to run across this post. I was also trying to figure out why the HDMI port on our 7 yr old Maxent plasma TV died at the same time we had a major lighting event a few weeks ago. It blew all the lower bark off a large oak tree in the front yard and the tree died within a few weeks so we figure thats where it hit. It also got several cable splitters and the water well control (well wire runs underground 10 ft from the tree that was struck). I just couldn't figure out how the impulse made it to an isolated, shielded, HDMI cable between the TV and Video Receiver. HDMI interface chips must be very susceptible to induced voltages.
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post #23 of 67 Old 08-16-2012, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
I just couldn't figure out how the impulse made it to an isolated, shielded, HDMI cable between the TV and Video Receiver.

It's not isolated, and the shield is not effective against a lightning strike.
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HDMI interface chips must be very susceptible to induced voltages.

Current is induced, and yes, the interface chips, which have to handle high speed, low amplitude signals, are sensetive.
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post #24 of 67 Old 08-17-2012, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evofxdwg View Post

..... I just couldn't figure out how the impulse made it to an isolated, shielded, HDMI cable between the TV and Video Receiver. HDMI interface chips must be very susceptible to induced voltages.

This might help: http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_lhm/IEEE_Guide.pdf

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post #25 of 67 Old 08-26-2012, 04:03 AM
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NOt sure if you check this site often. I have an epson, 8350. Hit by lightening, blew out HDMI ports as well. I see warranty covered yours? Is this a typically warranty item? Mine is less than 2yrs old, warranty is 2yrs, that would be great if they covered it??? Any info would be great.
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post #26 of 67 Old 11-27-2012, 10:12 AM
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Hi Tony123, no update after reset everything?
My Denon receiver cannot accept any of HDMI input.
My Mit projector got 1 HDMI port bad (the connected one during lightning).
Currently, I gotta use optical and digital coax cables for all audio input to my Denon. Luckily that my Mit projector got 2 HDMI inputs so I can use another one.
I will reset my Denon receiver now to see if it would work again before buying composite to HDMI converter for my Wii!
-Mike
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post #27 of 67 Old 11-27-2012, 03:54 PM
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I hate when people abandon their own threads....and look what I went and did! I honestly thought I had followed up.

The reset did nothing. I ended up calling Integra and the processor was covered under warranty. They said that they've had lots of problems with the HDMI boards anyway, and they would replace it for me. biggrin.gif No questions, and they just bought a loyal customer.

The projector ended up having a blown PC board. I sold it for a few hundred dollars to somone that thought they could repair it. I had a close local friend with the same projector I had, and he wanted to upgrade. I bought his with only 60 hours on it!

I did make an insurance claim. With all the credits, I came out fine financially.

Got everything reconnected and it's been working like a charm ever since. smile.gif

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post #28 of 67 Old 07-14-2013, 08:30 AM
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Hi all, We just had the same thing happen to us 3 weeks ago. Luckily - our Homeowners Insurance will cover the over $7000.00 of blown electronics and a brand new NG 10,000KW Backup Generator. Their field adjuster was here and could not believe it himself - but no problems making good on it !!! WE are also out of Comcast Cable TV, Internet, Voip for over days and my home business was at a stop! The lightning strike hit our next door neighbors 4' above ground pool and the lighting blew-out lots of her own electronics and ours too! We do have (3) Vizio Hi-De LCD TVs that the lightning also blew-out ALL of their HDMI Ports !!! NOT GOOD !!! We lost way more electronic equipment too and too much to list here but holy crap is this a fluke !!! Time to play the lottery here in New Jersey !!! Yes, someone should look into this more and make more available surge suppressers for this. In the meantime, I am getting this for mine and I will attach this right out of my Xfinity Cable Box and then goto my splitter/Amped 3 TVs !!! Hard lesson learned for sure !!! Jim smile.gif

Ethereal HDMI Surge Protector - MADE IN U.S.A.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ethereal-HDMI-Surge-Protector-MADE-IN-U-S-A-/230646825344?pt=US_Surge_Protectors_Power_Strips&hash=item35b39f4180
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post #29 of 67 Old 07-14-2013, 10:41 AM
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I would think if lightening strikes like that are common for your area, you'd be best off to get your entire house properly grounded with some sort of whole house protection at the junction box and place every cable (coax, HDMI, phone line, etc) on some sort of surge protection device. A $130 box that you buy off of eBay (no less) for just your Xfinity line is probably not going to offer you the protection you truly need.
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post #30 of 67 Old 07-14-2013, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KB2UNK View Post

Ethereal HDMI Surge Protector...
IIRC this product contains nothing more than a ESD protection chip. It cannot handle the current of a real surge. AFAIK there are no commercial devices that will protect an HDMI port from a surge.
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