Video twitch/flicker and "sparkles" with HTPC and Xbox - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-07-2012, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Obviously, please advise if there is a better forum for this topic.

I am trying to diagnose problems in video flicker and sparkles, both of which are very unreliably reproducible. Meaning I can go several days without seeing either.

I recently purchased a Mac Mini for use as an HTPC along with a new Monoprice HDMI cable. Thirty minutes into using it, I saw bit of video twitch and/or flicker (I was just at the OS desktop and not playing video). I swapped the new HDMI cable with the one I had connecting my cable box and AVR. For the rest of the day, things went along fine. A few days later, however, I was watching a show and the flicker began happening again. I haven't seen any flickering from the cable box. The flickering isn't a constant interval nor is it continuous. Also, the video sometimes drops to a black screen for about a second.

So here I am thinking it is a problem with the Mac Mini. I have done some research into this and there appears to be a problem with some Mac Minis and a video flicker. However, most seem to be when connecting to an external display using Thunderbolt. I am running on the latest version of the OS and some of the reports I saw were resolved by OS updates. So whether it was the Mac was a little muddy but I was still becoming more certain until I had a few flickers while gaming on the Xbox 360. Edit: I should also state that all other reports I saw were consistent and continuous flickering issues.

The Xbox flickers have been fewer, however, this is where I have also noticed the sparkles in the video. I saw this on the mostly black load screens when playing Skyrim.

All HDMI cables are inexpensive models from Monoprice. The first mentioned is a 3ft 28AWG. All others are 6ft but I am uncertain of the rating. I have moved the Mac Mini to the one other HDMI port I had on the AVR. This was last night and I haven't yet had more flickering.

What haven't I ruled out:
I haven't tried bypassing the AVR.
I haven't tried all new HDMI cables.
I haven't tried a different TV. (I have another but it is an old, bulky, heavy, beast of a thing on another floor of the house).
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-07-2012, 02:50 PM
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I little more info in reguard to your AVR and HDTV would be helpfull. As far as MAC goes, there's a whole section in here devoted strictly to MAC.

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post #3 of 6 Old 02-07-2012, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I little more info in reguard to your AVR and HDTV would be helpfull. As far as MAC goes, there's a whole section in here devoted strictly to MAC.

What would you like to know?

I have an Onkyo TX-SR508 and a Panasonic 50" Plasma TC-P50G10. Everything goes into the AVR via HDMI and then is fed to the TV via HDMI. The AVR drives a Klipsch HD500 5.1 system.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-08-2012, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Can anyone comment? If I cannot prove it isn't the Mac Mini I have to return it tomorrow. With seeing some (but far fewer) issues from the Xbox I want it to be the cables over anything else. But if I cannot identify the issue I am going to return the Mac until I can determine what it is.

Edit: It flickered when I got home tonight so I bypassed the AVR and watched Stargate Universe. It didn't happen during the show. However, remember it has happened so inconsistently that it is hard to guarantee success at this point.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-08-2012, 07:19 PM
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Bypass the AVR for a couple of days to see if it still happens (or, try to find some video that forces sparkles to happen, and play it over and over if necessary to reproduce the problem). If it stops, then the HDMI board in your Onkyo is probably on the way out. I just had my 608 in for repairs for "sparkles", and my HDMI board was faulty.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-08-2012, 07:24 PM
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This is an example of the video issues I had with my Onkyo. If you see something similar to this, then it's probably time to contact your nearest Onkyo repair shop!
LL
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