New Time Warner cable boxes not showing picture via HDMI on TV.... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-17-2014, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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New Time Warner cable boxes not showing picture via HDMI on TV....

Ok, we have a very interesting problem here at the office and we had TWO cable guys come over from Time Warner and they're baffled by the issue and can't figure it out. So, I'm going to see if someone here at AVS can figure out this unusual issue.

We have three Samsung HD cable boxes hooked up to three different Sharp TVs via HDMI. All were working fine until one of the Samsung boxes just stopped working. So, we had a cable guy come over to give us a new box. He didn't have that exact Samsung box, but he did give us a new Scientific Atlanta HD box. He said it should work the same way. When he hooked up the box via HDMI, it would show the TV guide but a black picture. No picture would show up on any of the channels. So he checked the signal and made sure the box was activated and everything was ok. So, he did a test. He took one of the other two Samsung boxes from our other TVs, hooked it up via HDMI and lo and behold, it works!!!! So, he hooked back the Scientific Atlanta box and nothing works. Still a black picture. So, he tried two other boxes that he had, both Scientific Atlanta, and still couldn't get it to work. He called his boss and they both couldn't figure out the issue. When we suggested to him that the different brand cable box could possibly be the cause, he said it shouldn't matter because they all work the same way. If it can deliver picture via HDMI on the Samsung box, then it should deliver picture via HDMI from the Scientific Atlanta boxes.

So, anyways, a few days later, someone higher up came and tried to see if he can figure out the issue. He tried two boxes.... one Scientific Atlanta and one Cisco and nothing works. Black picture! Again, he borrowed one of the Samsung boxes we had, hooked it up and it works. He was speechless and said he has never seen anything so strange in his life.

So, the only resolution the cable guys can think of is to order the exact same Samsung HD box, but they will have to come back next week as the guy did not have that exact box with him.

So, does anyone know what is causing this strange issue?? The cable guys say the cable boxes, regardless of brand, should all work the same way. So, why does the cable not work properly with the new boxes?
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-17-2014, 11:22 AM
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Something like that happens with other types of devices when the newer boxes come with a HDCP handshake that an older TV doesn't understand and updating the software in the TV sometimes fixes the problem.

Another possibility is that the other boxes have fixed the video mode to something the TV understands, but the channels being tested with the latest boxes are using an incompatible TV mode. Over on the Roku Forum there used to be a lot of complaints from people with older HDTVs that could receive 1080i, but not 720p, but none of the Roku models can be configured for 1080i; it's 720p or, for more recent generations of Rokus, 720p or 1080p. If your TV can accept 1080i over HDMI but not 720p over HDMI, and you try to tune in a station that uses 720p and your box isn't converting it to 1080i, your TV may display a brief message, or display a blank screen or a screen of one solid color. (How you get to the settings may differ, but on the HD DVR I am leasing from Comcast, it's turn off the DVR, then hit the Menu button, and the box powers up in configuration mode, and one of the menus allows one to set what format to send over HDMI: Native [what the channel is broadcasting at], 720p, 1080i, 1080p; and a submenu allows exclusion of specific video formats so one could exclude a format the TV doesn't understand or has issues with.)

Another thought would be a topography error in the distribution network, where the box isn't being activated because the signal is being sent out from the wrong head. Was an attempt made to verify that the box was indeed receiving and decoding the channel? For example, using one of the other outputs from the box to see if channels are being received? Some boxes have component video or composite video output, and if the TV has a matching port, this would at least tell you that the box is receiving and decoding a specific channel. (The guide information is received on all channels, whether or not that channel is authorized for that box, whether or not the channel is even being received.)

Also, was one of the newer boxes tried on one of the other TVs, at least for purposes of debugging? That, too, would identify that the new box was properly activated, assuming that one of the channels tried is a channel you are authorized to receive.

My very humble setup:
Man Cave:Vizio E500i-A1 "Smart TV" (50-in 1080p 120Hz LED/LCD, has Netflix app.), Blu-ray players (Sony BDP-S3100, old LG BD390), Roku (the original model: N1000), PC (Windows 7), Comcast Internet (25Mbps/5Mbps).
Bedroom:LG 32LV3400-UA TV (32-in 768p 60Hz LED/LCD), HD DVR (Motorola RNG200N), Xfinity Comcast cable (Digital Starter Package), DVD/VHS player.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-17-2014, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mark12547 View Post
Something like that happens with other types of devices when the newer boxes come with a HDCP handshake that an older TV doesn't understand and updating the software in the TV sometimes fixes the problem.
That might be it!! The cable guy did say something about some HDCP message that popped up for a brief second but then disappeared quickly so he couldn't read the whole thing. But he said, that if the HDMI works on the old box, it should work on the new box.

But if the HDCP handshake is indeed the issue, the ONLY way to fix it is to update the TV software?? Is there an alternative? Not sure we can do that as the TV is the property of the company's and I'm not sure if we will be allowed to do that.
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-17-2014, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHT View Post
... The cable guy did say something about some HDCP message that popped up for a brief second ...

But if the HDCP handshake is indeed the issue, the ONLY way to fix it is to update the TV software?? Is there an alternative? Not sure we can do that as the TV is the property of the company's and I'm not sure if we will be allowed to do that.
I don't know if it is the only way to do it, but in many cases it is the easiest way if it works, and it is far cheaper than buying a new TV. You may ask whoever is responsible for maintaining the TVs, tell that person you have HDCP issues between that TV and the cable boxes the cable company brought in, and ask that person to update the TV software. Depending on the TV, you might be able to check yourself what version of the software the TV is running and what version is available for download, and if newer software is available, the release notes might mention HDCP or handshake issues, which would give further credence that a software update is the next step in getting the problem with the newer cable boxes resolved.

My very humble setup:
Man Cave:Vizio E500i-A1 "Smart TV" (50-in 1080p 120Hz LED/LCD, has Netflix app.), Blu-ray players (Sony BDP-S3100, old LG BD390), Roku (the original model: N1000), PC (Windows 7), Comcast Internet (25Mbps/5Mbps).
Bedroom:LG 32LV3400-UA TV (32-in 768p 60Hz LED/LCD), HD DVR (Motorola RNG200N), Xfinity Comcast cable (Digital Starter Package), DVD/VHS player.
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-17-2014, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MrHT View Post
Ok, we have a very interesting problem here at the office and we had TWO cable guys come over from Time Warner and they're baffled by the issue and can't figure it out. So, I'm going to see if someone here at AVS can figure out this unusual issue.

We have three Samsung HD cable boxes hooked up to three different Sharp TVs via HDMI. All were working fine until one of the Samsung boxes just stopped working. So, we had a cable guy come over to give us a new box. He didn't have that exact Samsung box, but he did give us a new Scientific Atlanta HD box. He said it should work the same way. When he hooked up the box via HDMI, it would show the TV guide but a black picture. No picture would show up on any of the channels. So he checked the signal and made sure the box was activated and everything was ok. So, he did a test. He took one of the other two Samsung boxes from our other TVs, hooked it up via HDMI and lo and behold, it works!!!! So, he hooked back the Scientific Atlanta box and nothing works. Still a black picture. So, he tried two other boxes that he had, both Scientific Atlanta, and still couldn't get it to work. He called his boss and they both couldn't figure out the issue. When we suggested to him that the different brand cable box could possibly be the cause, he said it shouldn't matter because they all work the same way. If it can deliver picture via HDMI on the Samsung box, then it should deliver picture via HDMI from the Scientific Atlanta boxes.

So, anyways, a few days later, someone higher up came and tried to see if he can figure out the issue. He tried two boxes.... one Scientific Atlanta and one Cisco and nothing works. Black picture! Again, he borrowed one of the Samsung boxes we had, hooked it up and it works. He was speechless and said he has never seen anything so strange in his life.

So, the only resolution the cable guys can think of is to order the exact same Samsung HD box, but they will have to come back next week as the guy did not have that exact box with him.

So, does anyone know what is causing this strange issue?? The cable guys say the cable boxes, regardless of brand, should all work the same way. So, why does the cable not work properly with the new boxes?
What model is the TV with the issue? My suggestion is to try component video connections to see if it works. If it works, try changing video resolution between 720p and 1080i.There are known HDMI issues with TWC software on boxes but I can't remember specifics.. In theory, all the boxes they issue should work the same but in reality they vary.

Many cable companies stopped doing HDMI installs because of issues with various tv's.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-17-2014, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Many cable companies stopped doing HDMI installs because of issues with various tv's.
Well that's crazy because HDMI has become the standard now. Component is slowly being phased out.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-17-2014, 01:24 PM
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Well that's crazy because HDMI has become the standard now. Component is slowly being phased out.
Sure HDMI standard but there's no denying there are handshake issues between equipment. Analog component is dated but yet very reliable and rarely gives issues.
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-18-2014, 12:40 AM
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I am having a similar issue with my Direct TV receiver only slightly different. When I order a HD movie on demand it play for 4 mins then the screen goes black. I'm using a HDMI cable from the receiver to the my Samsung flat panel. The funny thing in all of this is everything use to work fine and just recently it stopped working. Since I have access to a free equipment upgrade
I'm going to request the latest HD receiver and see if it will fix the problem. If I select the same Movie non- On Demand the movie plays fine. This would indicate to me that its not a HDMI issue but some type of ON Demand problem.
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-18-2014, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MrHT View Post
Ok, we have a very interesting problem here at the office and we had TWO cable guys come over from Time Warner and they're baffled by the issue and can't figure it out. So, I'm going to see if someone here at AVS can figure out this unusual issue.

We have three Samsung HD cable boxes hooked up to three different Sharp TVs via HDMI. All were working fine until one of the Samsung boxes just stopped working. So, we had a cable guy come over to give us a new box. He didn't have that exact Samsung box, but he did give us a new Scientific Atlanta HD box. He said it should work the same way. When he hooked up the box via HDMI, it would show the TV guide but a black picture. No picture would show up on any of the channels. So he checked the signal and made sure the box was activated and everything was ok. So, he did a test. He took one of the other two Samsung boxes from our other TVs, hooked it up via HDMI and lo and behold, it works!!!! So, he hooked back the Scientific Atlanta box and nothing works. Still a black picture. So, he tried two other boxes that he had, both Scientific Atlanta, and still couldn't get it to work. He called his boss and they both couldn't figure out the issue. When we suggested to him that the different brand cable box could possibly be the cause, he said it shouldn't matter because they all work the same way. If it can deliver picture via HDMI on the Samsung box, then it should deliver picture via HDMI from the Scientific Atlanta boxes.

So, anyways, a few days later, someone higher up came and tried to see if he can figure out the issue. He tried two boxes.... one Scientific Atlanta and one Cisco and nothing works. Black picture! Again, he borrowed one of the Samsung boxes we had, hooked it up and it works. He was speechless and said he has never seen anything so strange in his life.

So, the only resolution the cable guys can think of is to order the exact same Samsung HD box, but they will have to come back next week as the guy did not have that exact box with him.

So, does anyone know what is causing this strange issue?? The cable guys say the cable boxes, regardless of brand, should all work the same way. So, why does the cable not work properly with the new boxes?

Set the output resolution of all STBs to the native resolution of the TV, be it 720p or 1080i. DON'T use "AUTO."


BTW, in the future, please use the MODEL # of the STB, not "old" or "new", or Motorola or SA/CISCO (SA and Cisco are the same company.)


Also, use of a better (tighter fitting) HDMI cable might just do the trick.
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