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).