HDMI over Cat5e problems and solutions, read before posting - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 400 Old 08-25-2010, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Welcome to the HDMI Extension Discussion Thread!

This thread exists to serve several devious purposes:

  1. document which combinations of equipment work great/okay/poorly
  2. civilly discuss the nature and technology of HDMI extenders

 

Public Service Reminders

In my personal experience with all that this thread has had to offer, the most important lessons learned are as follows:

  • Most all extenders will work at 1080i60 and many also at 1080p24 without issue. If anyone is planning on running only 1080p24, 1080i, 720i/p, or less, then they shouldn't stress and instead just go try any of the LESS expensive extenders first.
  • 1080p60 is a much different beast with double (or more) the data rate for full 1080p60 than other formats (1080i, 1080p24, 720p, etc). Doubling the data rate for full 1080p60 is a pretty daunting task and is where most extenders differentiate themselves or flat out fall apart.
  • All the wireless extenders that I have researched (as of mid 2011) add compression. Whether or not the compression will bother the viewer, of course, can only be decided by the viewer. My recommendation is to always buy-and-try (whether wired or wireless), but make sure you have a good return policy, covering even if you simply and SUBJECTIVELY do not like it. Many retailers will only exchange and only in the case of a faulty unit. Others charge obscene "restocking" fees. Still others make you pay for shipping both ways and only refund the pre-shipping purchase price. Don't expect a full refund plus shipping charges both ways- few offer such generous policies. But be aware of what you WILL be charged should you not like your choice or it not work out as you hoped.


Keep in mind also that these are all generalities and the internet phrase "YMMV" (your mileage may vary) applies greatly to this entire thread!
 

"Try This First" Tips and Tricks

There are a few things to try first; include results of these tests in your posts to let people know what you've already tried (and how each went). If some tricks kind-of work, let folks know that. All of this information will be useful to those trying to help you solve your HDMI extension problems. Good Luck!

 

  • Try turning off your "bandwidth increasers--" deep color, 3D, etc.  If the link is unstable because you're pushing too much water through the proverbial pipe, then reducing the flow can help.

 

  • Try to go down a resolution notch or two..  try 1080i, try 720p, even try 480p. There is always a chance that the adapter is DOA (dead on arrival). Rare, but it happens.  Likewise, there is a chance that the adapter simply doesn't work with your source hardware.  Some boxes require HDCP that the source (like a PC) might not provide. Other adapters don't support HDCP that the far-end display requires.

 

  • Try a short pre-made patch cable.  DIY terminations can and have been causes of some people's problems in the past.  If you have a 6' premade Cat5e or Cat6 patch cable, try it first.  Caveat to that statement is that some extenders are expecting to run over a longer distance and sometimes "overdrive" the cable on the signal, meaning that if you use a short patch cable, it may overdrive the receiver and not work, where a longer cable would. (After all, if you have a short run between adapters, why use the adapters in the first place?) Along those lines, if you have access to long pre-made patch cables (50' or more), try it too.  Even if you only need 15', if a 50' cable works, find a place to coil up the remaining 35' and just leave it!

 

  • Try other sources. You're PS3 is having problems? What about a Bluray player? DVR? DVD player with HDMI out? AVR?

 

Which is better- HDMI or Component Video?

Let's be clear here with a few things:

  • As far as physics go, triple run RG6 for Component Video (5x run if you also want L/R stereo sound with each wire on its own RCA connector) *beats the pants off HDMI*
  • RG6 / RG6QS can carry a much higher bandwidth signal, much farther, with much less loss (or skew). It's not RG6 that's the problem, it's the industry and the content producers. In short, it's content protection that is the problem.
  • Content producers lobbied hard (and quite successfully) for TV equipment makers to restrict component video inputs and outputs to 1080i60, and in many cases, even less than 1080i. So even if you WANT to run component video- often you can't. At least, not a full 1080p signal.
  • HDMI does work well- when it works. But it was never designed to span long distances, or chain through a dozen different devices. It supports 1080p60 and higher, with embedded audio, CEC, audio-return, Ethernet, and said content protection, all in ONE multi-conductor cable. For what it is, it's a remarkable creation! But for what it is, it's also wrought with problems from implementation differences (interoperability problems between devices from different manufacturers) to signal glitches over longer runs, to strange, unexpected random problems when a cable starts going bad. It's technology at it's peak- remarkable when working properly; a nightmare when it's not.

So that leaves the unassuming user at a crossroads. 1080i over component video is rock solid all the time and even at absurdly long lengths-- but it's only 1080i. HDMI cables are markedly more feature-rich and much more convenient, with limitations in connector rigidity (bend/tug/weight stress on HDMI connectors generally decreases reliability life) and overall length.

HDMI extenders are trying to bridge the gap. From all we've seen in this unscientific thread, solution "A" will work absolute wonders for some users and be abysmal for other users. solution "B" will be the opposite. It does not look yet like any one single solution is a true "problem solver for everyone."

New HDbaseT solutions are beginning to hit the market. It will be interesting to see how they fare.

 

Please read this paragraph before posting

The bottom of this first post documents the combinations reporting to this thread as of the last-edited-date. Whether you are just beginning to search for an HDMI extender, or if you're ready to throw your Wii remote at your Plasma because nothing is working, check out the list below to see if there is a combination already tried that may be similar to your setup.

No matter what you do -- please contribute to this thread! What worked well, what worked poorly, and everything else in between. If you don't know whether or not your cable is Cat5, 5e, 6, 6, shielded, termination style, etc-- don't worry. Give us the information you have and we'll go from there.

For the list, scroll down to "Products that are being used in this thread and their success"

Good luck!
..dane

 

Original Thread Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiodane on 25 Aug 2010 View Post

I'm ASSUMING that this is related to power glitches, but I wanted to see if anyone had any experience with this and could give me some other things to look into...

When the air conditioner kicks on OR off, video on my panasonic tc-p50g10 blanks out for a moment, then recovers. When A/C kicks on, the blank lasts a little longer and has to renegotiate HDMI.. When the A/C shuts off, the video blinks but doesn't have the delays associated with renegotiation.

I am assuming that this is causing powerline glitches, and that it's not some sort of EMI issue. I was EXTREMELY careful when building this new family room though-- it has its own dedicated 30A circuit with nothing else on it besides my A/V equipment (no lights, dimmers, fans, etc)... I also took care to run the power and A/V cables away from each other, and also isolated from OTHER circuits around the house. This circuit goes up and across the ceiling rather than "around the room" through the studs like all the other outlets.

I don't seem to recall it happening before I got my DVDO Edge video processor, but then again I wasn't running HDMI exclusively before the Edge. HDMI was only for bluray before the Edge was put in place.. I have since added a high def Tivo that has HDMI out, so that is another option to try (in case the Edge might be more/overly sensitive to power glitches than everything else in the system). To be clear though, it was already happening before the new Tivo came along, so I know it's not the Tivo.

I am borrowing two UPS's from the office tonight and am going to plug in all A/V equipment to them (TV in one, A/V rack in the other) and see if it still happens. But aside from that-- are there any other things I should look for? Are there any small yet useful tools that can be had inexpensively to measure such "glitches" on the A/V power circuit?

thanks!!
..dane

 

First Thread Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiodane on 17 Nov 2010 View Post

(extracted from thread reply #84)

Well I'm pleased to say that I have been testing out a single-CatX extender (as opposed on the dual-CatX extender that a I have been using) for the past week or so and my problems seem to have vanished. Still using the same Cat5e self-terminated cable (just one instead of two). I don't want to be too premature, but so far I have yet to see any glitching occur--- even when I flip the ceiling fan switch like a mad-man (fast, repeatedly, one-shot, super-slow to hear the arc'ing inside the switch, etc).

I don't know how these single-CatX adapters work (yet, tee hee hee), but if this unit is any indication of the single- vs dual-catX technology, then I'd recommend folks start looking into the single-CatX solutions. Until I saw beemer533's post above about a single-CatX extender for $95, I wasn't sure of any single-CatX extenders out there that hit the same price-point as the (lower-cost) dual-CatX extenders. I would very much be interested in trying out the $95 PI single-CatX extender but at this point I have a solution and I'd just as soon leave it well-enough-alone!

I am now using one of these:
XTENDEX® ST-C5HDMI-150

It is truly "plug and play." --- But to be fair, the Arkview extender was truly "plug and play" as well, but just had this debilitating vulnerability to AC motor on/off cycling --- This unit however (so far!) does not seem to have the same vulnerability, and I also like that I can plug in the AC wall adapter for the pair at the source end rather than forced to plug in power at the destination end (the Arkview extender). All that's now plugged into the power strip at the far end now is the TV, and I'd rather keep it that way...

Good luck to EVERYONE else experiencing this problem. With as many views as this thread has received to-date, it is clear there is a problem out there that is not yet well enough understood to fix it once-and-for-all.

cheers,
..dane

 

Latest Thread Update
Products that are being used in this thread and their success

last updated 10 May 2013

  • user: audiodane
    try #1
    - Source-end: DVDO Edge Video Processor
    - CatX Adapter: Arkview HDMI-EXTC HDMI Extender (Amazon, <$50)
    - CatX Cables: Dual ~50ft Cat5e UTP (solid-core, heavily stressed during pull through conduit, 568B DIY crimp terminated)
    - Far-end: Panasonic TC-P50G10
    - Resolution(s) tested: 1080p60@8bit
    - Status: unsuccessful (the reason for this thread!)
    try #2
    - Source-end: same
    - CatX Adapter: XTENDEX® ST-C5HDMI-150 (NTI, $350)
    - CatX Cables: same
    - Far-end: same
    - Resolution(s) tested: 1080p60@36bit
    - Status: so far no problems
  • Cyntax:
    - Source-end: Monoprice 4x4 Matrix
    - CatX Adapter: Conversions Technology CT60S (same as Minotek?) (Amazon, <$100)
    - CatX Cables: ~20ft Cat6 (solid-core)
    - Far-end: Dell monitor
    - Resolution(s) tested: ??
    - Status: so far no problems
  • user: madmart
    - Source-end: Monoprice 4x4 Matrix
    - CatX Adapter: Menotek HDMI Extender (same as Conversions Technology?) (Amazon, <$100)
    - CatX Cables: ~40ft Cat6 UTP (termination style ?? stressed ??)
    - Far-end: Panasonic 1080p
    - Resolution(s) tested: ??
    - Status: so far no problems
  • user: jc8587
    try #1:
    - Source-end: Denon AVR 591
    - CatX Adapter: Menotek HDMI Extender (same as Conversions Technology?) (Amazon, <$100)
    - CatX Cables: ~3ft Cat6, and ~50ft Cat6 STP (self terminated, not stressed)
    - Far-end: Panasonic TCP54G25
    - Resolution(s) tested: 480i/p 720i/p 1080i/p
    - Status: only 480p and lower worked, no audio/video at higher res
    try #2:
    - Source-end: same
    - CatX Adapter: Tripp Lite B136-101 (component A/V extenders) (Amazon, <$75)
    - CatX Cables: same
    - Far-end: same
    - Resolution(s) tested: same
    - Status: poor audio and noisy video, even at lower res
    try #3:
    - Source-end: same
    - CatX Adapter: Mediabridge - Dual-Cat5e HDMI Extender (Amazon, <$50)
    - CatX Cables: same
    - Far-end: same
    - Resolution(s) tested: same
    - Status: Worked on old(er) Blu ray, but not Denon or Motorolla DVR (handshake issues? not HDCP compliant?)
    try #4:
    - Source-end: same
    - CatX Adapter: MonoPrice HDMI extender (Monoprice, <$40)
    - CatX Cables: same
    - Far-end: same
    - Resolution(s) tested: same
    - Status: Working so far
  • user: Phillie14586
    - Source-end: ??
    - CatX Adapter: Menotek HDMI Extender (same as Conversions Technology?) (Amazon, <$100)
    - CatX Cables: ~80ft Cat6 (termination style ?? stressed ??)
    - Far-end: ??
    - Resolution(s) tested: ??
    - Status: 30 seconds of video then blank-out
  • user: david_nc
    - Source-end: Dish 722k HD DVR
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice dual-Cat5e HDMI Extenders (Amazon, < $30)
    - CatX Cables: 50ft Cat6 (termination style ?? stressed ??)
    - Far-end: iSymphony 26"
    - Resolution(s) tested: 720p & 1080i only
    - Status: so far no problems
  • user: Eliteconcept
    try #1:
    - Source-end: PS3, and comcast (motorola) cable box
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice Wallplates < $20
    - CatX Cables: ~50ft Cat6 STP x 2 (T568B terminated)
    - Far-end: Samsung UN55B8000
    - Resolution(s) tested: 480i/p 1080i/p
    - Status: occasional 1-2 sec dropouts from both cablebox and PS3
    try #2:
    - Source-end: Monoprice 4x2 switch
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice dual-CatX Adapter ~$30
    - CatX Cables: ~50ft Cat6 STP x 2 (T568B terminated [1 side shielded, 1 side not)
    - Far-end: Samsung UN55B8000
    - Resolution(s) tested: 480i/p 1080i/p
    - Status: so far so good
  • user: whitejk
    try #1:
    - Source-end: PS3 and Direct TV HD DVR Box
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice HDMI Extender Wallplate ~$19
    - CatX Cables: ~50ft Cat6a STP x 2 (T568B terminated)
    - Far-end: LG 47LH90
    - Resolution(s) tested: 480i/p 1080i/p
    - Status: occasional 1-2 sec dropouts from both cablebox and PS3 when overhead fan is turned on/off, dishwasher is on and when a/c cuts on/off
    try #2:
    - Source-end: same
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice HDMI Extender ~$35
    - CatX Cables: same
    - Far-end: same
    - Resolution(s) tested: 480i/p 1080i/p
    - Status: so far so good, no dropouts experienced
  • user: calimark
    - Source-end: ?
    - CatX Adapter: MonoPrice HDMI extender (Monoprice, <$40)
    - CatX Cables: ?
    - Far-end: ?
    - Resolution(s) tested: 1080p24)
    - Status: so far so good
  • user: bletour
    - Source-end: Sony BDP-CX960 Blu-Ray Changer, Roku XD|S Media Streamer, Scientific Atlanta 4250HD Cable Box (Comcast), Scientific Atlanta 8300HD DVR Cable Box (Comcast)
    - CatX Adapter: Conversions Technologies CTHDMI-100E (HDBaseT based)
    - CatX Cables: ~110Ft Cat5e with punch down panel and wall plate connections (see this post for full details)
    - Far-end: Samsung LN46C630
    - Resolution(s) tested: 1080p60
    - Status: Success w/ Bluray and Roku, Failed HDCP w/ both SA cable boxes
  • user: theOriginalGuru
    try #1:
    - Source-end: Cox Communications CableTV HD-DVR, Samsung BD-P1600 blu-ray player
    - CatX Adapter: Mediabridge - Dual-Cat5e HDMI Extender ($38 on Amazon)
    - CatX Cables: 6' HDMI -> HDMI Keystone (Monoprice) -> Mediabridge -> Keystone -> 6' HDMI
    - Far-end: Samsung UN55B6000
    - Resolution(s) tested: 720i, 1080i/p
    - Status: Success (occasional audio problems w/ Cox DVR)
    try #2:
    - Source-end: Onkyo TX-SR707 (through CablesToGo RapidRun Voltage Inserter)
    - CatX Adapter: Mediabridge - Dual-Cat5e HDMI Extender ($38 on Amazon)
    - CatX Cables: 6' HDMI -> HDMI Keystone (Monoprice) -> Mediabridge -> 2x 14' Cat6 -> Mediabridge -> Keystone -> 6' HDMI
    - Far-end: Samsung UN55B6000
    - Resolution(s) tested: same?
    - Status: Success (once Voltage Inserter was added)
  • user: pumori
    - Source-end: Comcast cable box, OPPO BDP-83
    - CatX Adapter: NXG Technology NX-HDEXT160-1 (Amazon, $84.99)
    - CatX Cables: Single cable runs (~50 foot and ~35 foot) of CAT6 (UTP, solid-core, Monoprice)
    - Far-end: Panasonic PT-AE4000U projector or (old) Viewsonic N3250W LCD
    - Resolution(s) tested: 720p, 1080i, 1080p60, 1080p24
    - Status: Success
    - NOTE: NXG Technology NX-HDEXT160-1 utilizes an EDID for stereo sound only. (see posts 183-191)
  • user: N3W813
    try #1:
    - Source-end: Motorola DCH3200 HD Cable Box
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice HDMI Extender
    - CatX Cables: Monoprice 100' CAT6 UTP patch cables
    - Far-end: Sony 60A3000 LCD RPTV
    - Resolution(s) tested: 1080i with 2-channel audio
    - Status: no dropouts experienced
    try #2:
    - Source-end: HTPC, Nvidia GT240
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice HDMI Extender
    - CatX Cables: 2x Monoprice 100' CAT6 UTP patch cables
    - Far-end: Sony 60A3000 LCD RPTV
    - Resolution(s) tested: 1080p24, 1080p60; with 2-channel audio
    - Status: has intermittent dropouts @60p, no issues @24p
  • user: dmg79
    try #1:
    - Source-end: Sony STR-910
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice Wall plates
    - CatX Cables: CAT6 UTP patch cables
    - Far-end: Sharp Aquos D62
    - Resolution(s) tested: 1080p
    - Status: dropouts experienced anytime hoodfan or AC powered up and randomly with wall switches
    try #2:
    - Source-end: Denon AVR 891
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice Wall plates
    - CatX Cables: CAT6 UTP patch cables
    - Far-end: Sharp Aquos D62
    - Resolution(s) tested: 1080p
    - Status: dropouts experienced anytime hoodfan or AC powered up and randomly with wall switches
    try #3:
    - Source-end: Denon AVR 891
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice Wall plates with voltage inserter (tried at source and receiver ends)
    - CatX Cables: CAT6 UTP patch cables
    - Far-end: Sharp Aquos D62
    - Resolution(s) tested: 1080p
    - Status: dropouts experienced anytime hoodfan or AC powered up and randomly with wall switches
    try #4:
    - Source-end: Denon AVR 891
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice HDMI Extender (powered extender)
    - CatX Cables: CAT6 UTP patch cables
    - Far-end: Sharp Aquos D62
    - Resolution(s) tested: 1080p
    - Status: no dropouts
  • user: natedogg661
    - Source-end: Monoprice HDMI switch #8462
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice HDMI Extender #8122
    - CatX Cables: CAT6 UTP patch cables
    - Far-end: Panasonic AE7000U projector
    - Resolution(s) tested: 1080p (3D)
    - Status: success so far (3 weeks)
  • user: TVAddikt
    try #1:
    - Source-end: Appletv
    - CatX Adapter: MonoPrice HDMI extender #6532
    - CatX Cables: 117' Dual Cat6 STP Stranded (self terminated)
    - Far-end: Olevia HDTV
    - Resolution(s) tested: 720P
    - Status: Brief Test, no problems
    try #2:
    - Source-end: SageTV HD-200
    - CatX Adapter: MonoPrice HDMI extender #6532
    - CatX Cables: 117' Dual Cat6 STP Stranded (self terminated)
    - Far-end: same
    - Resolution(s) tested: 1080i60
    - Status: Did not work
    try #3:
    - Source-end: AppleTV
    - CatX Adapter: Conversions Technology CT60S
    - CatX Cables: 117' Cat6 STP Stranded and Cat5e (self terminated)
    - Far-end: same
    - Resolution(s) tested: 720p
    - Status: Worked but the picture had sparkles/noise.
    try #4:
    - Source-end: Sagetv HD-200
    - CatX Adapter: Conversions Technology CT60S
    - CatX Cables: 117' Cat6 STP Stranded and Cat5e (self terminated)
    - Far-end: same
    - Resolution(s) tested: 1080i
    - Status: Did not work
  • user: NismoZ
    - CatX Adapter: SANOXY Hdmi Extender Adapter (Amazon)
    - Status: "..seems to be doing the trick at the moment."
  • user: Relleum
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice HDBaseT
    - CatX Cable: 50' Cat6
    - Status: working flawlessly over two months time (with integrated IR blaster in-use)
  • user: markrubin (post)
    - CatX Adapters: Accell E090C-003B (which also passes RS 232) and Monoprice
    - CatX Cables: ~100' Cat5e (shielded?)
    - Status: all worked first time without a glitch
  • user: akyramoto (post)
    - Sources: Anthem MRX300 ARV being fed by Oppo BDP-93 and directv box (switched through anthem). All HDMI sensing is off.
    - CatX Adapter: SnapAV HD-2CAT-1080P-130
    - CatX Cable: (cat5? cat5e?)
    - Far End Device: Samsung Plasma TV
    - Resolutions Tested: 1080p (60?  24?)
    - Status: Initially, failure, using cables terminated with "RJ45EZ" connectors; Re-terminated cables with RJ45 connectors per mannufacterer (SnapAV) recommendation, and it works great!
  • user: speedyr6 (post)
    try #1:
    - Source-end: PS3
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice HDMI Extender Wallplate ~$19
    - CatX Cables: ~20ft Cat6 UTP x 2 (T568B terminated)
    - Far-end: Sammy 40" LCD (not sure model off hand)
    - Resolution(s) tested: 480i/p 720p 1080i/p
    - Status: Works perfectly
    try #2:
    - Source-end: PS3
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice HDMI Extender Wallplate ~$19
    - CatX Cables: ~20ft Cat5e UTP x 2 (???, termination not listed)
    - Far-end: Sammy 40" LCD (not sure model off hand)
    - Resolution(s) tested: 480i/p 720p 1080i/p
    - Status: Works perfectly
    try #3:
    - Source-end: PS3
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice HDMI Extender Wallplate ~$19
    - CatX Cables: 6" Cat6 UTP patch cables(T586B terminated) x 4, 30' cat5e (builder installed, STP v UTP not listed, T586B terminated) x 2, leviton cat5e plates x 2
    - Far-end: Sammy 40" LCD (not sure model off hand)
    - Resolution(s) tested: 480i/p 720p 1080i
    - Status: Works Ok, some artifacting occasionally @1080i. 1080p is really bad, looks like analog station not tuning in, sound works, but pretty worthless at this resolution.
  • user: ericmn (post)
    - Sources: PS3, Samsung DVD Player
    - CatX Adapter: Monoprice hdmi over cat5 4x4 matrix
    - CatX Cables: ~40' (cat5e?), ~60' (cat5e?), end-to-end (no patch panels or wall jacks)
    - Far end: Samsung 6000 32" and Samsung B450 46".
    - Video Status: PS3 gaming at 1080p: works great, no issues; PS3 general use: changing resolution will cut the picture for 1-5 seconds; PS3 dvd: unacceptable (screen went solid green for 1-3 seconds every few minutes during playback); Samsung DVD player: unacceptable (screen went solid green for 1-3 seconds every few minutes during playback); HTPC at 1080p: no issues
    - IR Status: Not working
  • user: Derek Ouellet (post)
    - Sources: Sony BDP-S790, Nintendo Wii, Onkyo HT-R990
    - CatX Adapter #1: Conversions Technology CT-HD100-E
    - CatX Adapter #2: Accell E090C-003B
    - CatX Cables: Cable Matters 50ft Cat6a 550 MHz SSTP
    - Far end: Epson PowerLite 8350
    - Status: both baluns, same results.Bluray: menu appears, "not supported" warning on disc playback. Wii: "not supported"
  • user: GaryChios (post)
    - Sources: FIOS Cable Box from Motorola with HDMI out. Set at 1080I. NY Models.
    - CatX Adapter: XTENDEX® ST-C5HDMI-150 (NTI, $310 shipped from reseller)
    - CatX Cables: Cat 6 Honeywell Genesis non shielded (Blue Color) 4 Pair Solid 18AWG wire. Approx 55' of wire.
    - Far end: Sony Bravia TV
    - Status: 1080i and 1080p @ 120 (sic) - This works well. No loss in signal and great quality video.
    Sparkles @ 480i 480p and 720p. Audio good. But video useless. Adjusting resolutions or turnning off or on HDMI features does not do anything or help with the sparkles.

     
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post #2 of 400 Old 08-25-2010, 01:18 PM
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Can you try a component cable from your source bypassing everything else directly to the display and see if you still loss the picture.... If no, then use HDMI from a source direct to the display and see what happens.. then add your components back in one at a time. Standard trouble shooting, process of elimination.
Good luck and let us know what happens.
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post #3 of 400 Old 08-31-2010, 06:12 PM
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You should be able to find an Electrical Contractor locally who can bring out a meter that measures power quality over time and generates a report.

I'd start with making certain all terminations in the load center, A/C disconnect, and equipment branch circuit are installed securely, and that the branch circuit supplying the A/C is sized per NFPA70 310.16 at 75 degrees.

If the above checks out, I think you may have a processor that is very sensitive to voltage fluctuation. If that is the case, installing a drive or slow start on the A/C and/or using a voltage regulator for the equipment rack may be your solution.

Good luck and let us know how it pans out.


Rob

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post #4 of 400 Old 09-07-2010, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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It looks at first glance to be mainly DVDO Edge related. If I take the DVDO out of the chain the problem seems to all but go away. Unfortunately the newer DVDO Edge (as compared to their older VP series) uses an internal power supply, so I'm not sure what I can do to improve it short of opening up the box and adding caps to the DC voltage rails..

any ideas?
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post #5 of 400 Old 09-08-2010, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by audiodane View Post

I am borrowing two UPS's from the office tonight and am going to plug in all A/V equipment to them...

Unfortunately the newer DVDO Edge (as compared to their older VP series) uses an internal power supply, so I'm not sure what I can do to improve it short of opening up the box and adding caps to the DC voltage rails..

any ideas?
..dane

The UPS solution seems much simpler than adding smoothing caps to existing power supplies and cheaper than fixing house electrics. It wouldn't need a lot of capacity so it wouldn't cost much, and has other advantages as well.

Is there a reason you don't want one?
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post #6 of 400 Old 09-08-2010, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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The UPS solution seems much simpler than adding smoothing caps to existing power supplies and cheaper than fixing house electrics. It wouldn't need a lot of capacity so it wouldn't cost much, and has other advantages as well.

Is there a reason you don't want one?

Pretty simple really, it didn't fix the problem. I have nothing against a UPS, and it'd be nice to have one on the Tivo anyway. But I'm mainly trying to figure out when the HDMI feed is blanking out when the A/C cuts on or off, or when I turn the ceiling fan in the room on/off.

That's my primary concern, and the UPS didn't help. Taking the Edge out all but fixed it. The blanking is but a mere 1/4 of a second or so without the Edge (Tivo S3 -> TV [hdmi]). Add the Edge back in and we're back to 1-3 seconds blankout.

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post #7 of 400 Old 09-08-2010, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by audiodane View Post

Pretty simple really, it didn't fix the problem. I have nothing against a UPS, and it'd be nice to have one on the Tivo anyway. But I'm mainly trying to figure out when the HDMI feed is blanking out when the A/C cuts on or off, or when I turn the ceiling fan in the room on/off.

That's my primary concern, and the UPS didn't help. Taking the Edge out all but fixed it. The blanking is but a mere 1/4 of a second or so without the Edge (Tivo S3 -> TV [hdmi]). Add the Edge back in and we're back to 1-3 seconds blankout.

..dane

You might want to check on the forum for your display and see if anyone else is reporting a problem. If not, it sounds like you have a power and/or a wiring issue in your house. Some type of power surge, arcing or ground current fault is causing a disruption in the HDMI lock and adding the Edge into the string is just increasing the total time it requires to relock the ENTIRE system back up since each device must lock before the next one in the string can. At this point you are troubleshooting the symptom and not the cause.
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post #8 of 400 Old 09-08-2010, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I have posted in the display thread as well. I agree I believe it's some sort of wiring issue... the question though is how to diagnose it, and then how to resolve it!

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post #9 of 400 Old 09-09-2010, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiodane View Post

Taking the Edge out all but fixed it. The blanking is but a mere 1/4 of a second or so without the Edge (Tivo S3 -> TV [hdmi]). Add the Edge back in and we're back to 1-3 seconds blankout.

Quote:
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Some type of power surge, arcing or ground current fault is causing a disruption in the HDMI lock and adding the Edge into the string is just increasing the total time it requires to relock the ENTIRE system back up since each device must lock before the next one in the string can. At this point you are troubleshooting the symptom and not the cause.

Right, so the Edge should not be the problem, it merely amplifies the issue.

A UPS should take care of power fluctuations like those caused by turning on the AC, which makes things a bit interesting.

Does it happen only with the Tivo or with a DVD player as well?

I would try it with the UPS again, but disconnecting any RF leads from the wall. Perhaps there's a signal booster somewhere on that line, you could be getting a fluctuation from that coax instead of the power leads.
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post #10 of 400 Old 09-09-2010, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Right, so the Edge should not be the problem, it merely amplifies the issue.

A UPS should take care of power fluctuations like those caused by turning on the AC, which makes things a bit interesting.

Does it happen only with the Tivo or with a DVD player as well?

I would try it with the UPS again, but disconnecting any RF leads from the wall. Perhaps there's a signal booster somewhere on that line, you could be getting a fluctuation from that coax instead of the power leads.

I am pretty sure it happens regardless, but I will need to run some of those tests to be sure, thanks for the reminder. I do NOT believe I ever saw the problem with non-hdmi inputs, but need to re-check that. I can probably decently easily pull the Oppo BDP80 out and set it by the TV using a much shorter HDMI cable. If it still exhibits the problem then the Arkview is certainly not the culprit. Not sure which I'd rather hope for...

No RF going to the TV. Just hdmi. RF of course goes into the Tivo and cable-modem, but that's it. I also have surge-stoppers and DC-blocks on the RG6 CATV cable coming into the house.

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post #11 of 400 Old 09-10-2010, 08:45 AM
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How familiar are you with messing around with wiring in your panel? You might see where the breakers are for the AC relative to where they are for your HT equipment. If the AC breaker is further away from the main breaker than is the breaker for the HT, you could reverse the positions if possible to see what would happen. Supposedly, placing the high current (AC, dryer, heater, etc.) breakers closer to the main breaker reduces the chance that "downstream" breakers will see a temporary drop in voltage. Or at least this is what my electrician told me. As an EE, I find this hard to believe, but I've also not tested it.

Bob
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post #12 of 400 Old 09-10-2010, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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How familiar are you with messing around with wiring in your panel? You might see where the breakers are for the AC relative to where they are for your HT equipment. If the AC breaker is further away from the main breaker than is the breaker for the HT, you could reverse the positions if possible to see what would happen. Supposedly, placing the high current (AC, dryer, heater, etc.) breakers closer to the main breaker reduces the chance that "downstream" breakers will see a temporary drop in voltage. Or at least this is what my electrician told me. As an EE, I find this hard to believe, but I've also not tested it.

Given that the inrush current is so great I too would question how much benefit is gained by doing so, but regardless, my air conditioner units are the first breakers in the panel. I'm going to try and put my Fluke in MAX/MIN mode on one of the outlets tonight and give her a whirl...

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post #13 of 400 Old 09-10-2010, 12:39 PM
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The voltage drop in the AV circuit is due to the IR loss in the line from the transformer to the house. The distance between breakers in the panel is insignificant. The only exception would be if both the AV circuit and the air conditioner are on a subpanel, and the same subpanel. Then moving one to the main panel or a different subpanel might help.

You might want to make sure all the screws in the panel are torqued to the appropriate value. Also check all the connections between the panel and the air conditioner.

When the compressor starts, you get a voltage drop and potentially a lot of noise on the line. When it stops, you get a transient (surge) when all the energy in the coil feeds back into the line. You might want to consider a hard-start kit for the compressor if you don't have one now. You might also want to consider a surge suppressor at the compressor.
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post #14 of 400 Old 09-11-2010, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Update..

First, I pulled the OPPO BDP-80 out of the loop and placed it right up at the TV with a short HDMI cable, and kicked the ceiling fan on and off several times (waiting for it to completely stop), and the glitch did not happen at ALL.

Next, I put the OPPO back in the rack but bypassed the DVDO Edge and ran the OPPO's HDMI straight into the baluns. I also set the OPPO to forced 1080p for the highest bandwidth to the TV (most sensitive signal I would imagine), and re-tested with the ceiling fan... again, NO PROBLEMS.

However running through the Edge, or running the Tivo standalone to the baluns, the problem still occurs.

This is lending me to believe that the OPPO HDMI output must be "stronger" (higher current output? better signal levels?) than the EDGE and TIVO standalone.

I'm curious now about a powered HDMI "booster" perhaps? I wonder if that would solve my problems if I could send a "stronger" HDMI signal through the baluns?

cheers,
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post #15 of 400 Old 09-11-2010, 09:14 AM
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Well, now you have added some information we didn't have before. You are using baluns and the ceiling fan causes problems, too. A ceiling fan can cause similar problems to the AC compressor, but on a smaller scale. UTP fed by baluns seems to often have problems in electrically noisy environments. How long is the run?

Results can very well differ depending on the capabilities of the electronics on both ends of the cable.
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post #16 of 400 Old 09-11-2010, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, I posted in the thread for the TV that I'm using as well, and I must have left that information out from this thread. My apologies. Anyway, the baluns do not have trouble when the OPPO BDP80 is running through them straight to the TV. But both the TIVO and DVDO EDGE video processor have the problems, it seems. That's why I'm starting to think it has very little to do with the electrical wiring and more to do with inadequate signal levels. Otherwise I would expect the OPPO running straight to the baluns would still exhibit the problem. And putting ANY of the devices (baluns, TV, source devices, etc) on a UPS did not solve the problems, so I'm not sure that ground loop is the cause either.

I'm going to start looking around at some "signal boosters" and see if they can be found relatively inexpensively and insert one right before the source-side balun.

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post #17 of 400 Old 09-11-2010, 06:01 PM
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If the problem were inadequate signal levels, why wouldn't it be a problem at other times as well?
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post #18 of 400 Old 09-11-2010, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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As an EE, I would expect different chipsets and even different implementations of chipsets can cause very different "power" output levels, as well as different signal-to-noise ratios. The fact that the BDP doesn't exhibit the problem, the TIVO does ever so slightly, and the EDGE does tremendously, with everything else the same (same baluns, same time of day, same wiring, etc), leads me to believe that signal levels (either raw "voltage" output, current source capabilities, or output SNR) are the culprit.

However, not being an expert on HDMI itself, this is merely my hypothesis.

After some searching, I went ahead and submitted an order tonight to monoprice for one of these:

HDMI Active Equalizer Extender Repeater

Reading reviews on this product reinforce that this might be just what I need. I'm going to put it as the very last device in the chain just before the baluns, and see what happens. It'll probably be a week before it arrives, but I will be sure to write back after I get it installed and tested.

cheers,
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post #19 of 400 Old 09-11-2010, 06:14 PM
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for 13.35 it's worth a try
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post #20 of 400 Old 09-11-2010, 07:52 PM
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So, you are hoping that the output of the equalizer/repeater is better than the output of the devices you have trouble with, and sufficient to give you some headroom when whatever is interfering with the signal occurs. The equalizer function isn't going to buy you much if anything close to the source. Sounds like a crap shoot. Let us know what happens.

FWIW have you considered using a good HDMI cable, with or without equalizer/repeater, instead of UTP and baluns? It takes Cat 7, properly grounded, to equal the performance of a good HDMI cable.
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post #21 of 400 Old 09-11-2010, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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for 13.35 it's worth a try

That's what I figure.. here's hoping..

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So, you are hoping that the output of the equalizer/repeater is better than the output of the devices you have trouble with, and sufficient to give you some headroom when whatever is interfering with the signal occurs. The equalizer function isn't going to buy you much if anything close to the source. Sounds like a crap shoot. Let us know what happens.

When you say "isn't going to buy you anything close to the source," do you mean "isn't going to improve over the existing source signal quality," or do you mean, "would achieve better results placed at the far-end of the baluns?"

If the FORMER, then yes, that's exactly what I'm hoping. Obviously you disagree though, so what makes you think that an active powered repeater won't make for an improved SNR? And, a "crap shoot?" Well, it's true I have limited information. But aside from getting my o'scope out and actually looking at signal levels, I think it's a reasonable hypothesis. But who are we kidding-- you must have a better hypothesis that you've been hiding...

If the LATTER, however.... then can you point me to some reference material that can better explain what these repeaters are doing electrically and what locations in the signal chain are recommended for best performance? I certainly don't care putting the repeater pre- or post- balun... I just assumed pre-balun would provide a stronger signal to travel through the balun network. I would just as easily understand, however, that post-balun might provide a more sensitive pickup mechanism and re-create the signal better than the TV's internal receive circuitry (which could always turn out to be the limiting factor).

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FWIW have you considered using a good HDMI cable, with or without equalizer/repeater, instead of UTP and baluns? It takes Cat 7, properly grounded, to equal the performance of a good HDMI cable.

Yes, I have considered a good HDMI cable. And it costs a fortune (BlueJeansCable, NOT Monster, heh heh). And I have a 45 foot run through a 1" conduit between the A/V rack and the TV. And the HDMI cable alone would have been quite difficult to navigate a 1" conduit's 90-degree corners with a molded 3/4" wide HDMI connector on the end. So, after plenty of research seeing quite positive results among many others using dual UTP Cat5e, I took my shot. And for the most part it's worked out well.

But I appreciate the positive reinforcement.

By the way, do you have and links to test reports indicating that it takes properly grounded Cat7 to equal the performance of a good HDMI cable? I have read only quite the opposite, that long HDMI runs suffer quite dramatically over HDMI cables. The user reviews on Monoprice for the very item I linked to are further support to that argument.

cheers,
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post #22 of 400 Old 09-12-2010, 04:18 PM
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Simple fix:

Leave your a/c fan on all the time. The system kicking on and off is when it pulls the most power, like around 10 times as much as it normally needs.


Just leave it on, you won't (shouldn't) notice a difference in your bill.



(has this been suggested already? I didn't read all the posts)
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post #23 of 400 Old 09-12-2010, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
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When you say "isn't going to buy you anything close to the source," do you mean "isn't going to improve over the existing source signal quality," or do you mean, "would achieve better results placed at the far-end of the baluns?"

From reading an application note for the equalizer chip (MAX3815) used in that product, it appears that it applies just the equalization necessary to restore the signal (square up the rounded off corners?). It doesn't supply added emphasis for the high frequency component to make up for any losses that occur downstream. So, if you equalize before the long run, I don't think it will help. The high frequency components of the square wave are still going to be attenuated more than other frequencies, rounding off the nice square wave we want to see at the other end.

I think effectively, you will have whatever capabilities the repeater portion of the circuitry provides. Hopefully it is enough better than the devices you are having problems with now, but you won't know until you try. The only caveat I have for that is that it appears this device is powered by the HDMI 5V line. Folks seem to have problems with devices powered by HDMI. There might be better choices for repeaters. But who knows? Try it and see.

FWIW monoprice says to connect the device at the end of the long run...
Quote:


By the way, do you have and links to test reports indicating that it takes properly grounded Cat7 to equal the performance of a good HDMI cable?

Will you believe National Semiconductor? It also fits in with what I read some time ago from a cable manufacturer (I forget which one) about the need for pair shielding at gigabit ethernet speeds and above. Their contention was that the shielding was necessary to achieve acceptable crosstalk figures and it was supported by testing. I don't think Belden agrees, though. Of course, ethernet can stand some errors because of error detection and the possibility of retransmitting frames. With HDMI, we don't have that luxury. And there is no error correction on the video.
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post #24 of 400 Old 09-12-2010, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Leave your a/c fan on all the time. The system kicking on and off is when it pulls the most power, like around 10 times as much as it normally needs.

Just leave it on, you won't (shouldn't) notice a difference in your bill.

(has this been suggested already? I didn't read all the posts)

Hasn't been suggested yet, however it also occurs when we kick the ceiling fan up from medium to high speed for those occasional really hot afternoons.. But thanks for the suggestion!

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From reading an application note for the equalizer chip (MAX3815) used in that product, it appears that it applies just the equalization necessary to restore the signal (square up the rounded off corners?). It doesn't supply added emphasis for the high frequency component to make up for any losses that occur downstream. So, if you equalize before the long run, I don't think it will help. The high frequency components of the square wave are still going to be attenuated more than other frequencies, rounding off the nice square wave we want to see at the other end.

I think effectively, you will have whatever capabilities the repeater portion of the circuitry provides. Hopefully it is enough better than the devices you are having problems with now, but you won't know until you try. The only caveat I have for that is that it appears this device is powered by the HDMI 5V line. Folks seem to have problems with devices powered by HDMI. There might be better choices for repeaters. But who knows? Try it and see.

FWIW monoprice says to connect the device at the end of the long run...

Awesome-- thanks. I missed the suggestion as to which side until you just pointed it out. I also was unaware of the chipset apparently used within the device. Thanks for that too. We'll have to see what happens.. And as to voltage, I could always crack the thing open and add an external 5V source.

Looking at the transitions that were recovered on the MAX3815 chip was impressive. Not knowing exactly what my own waveforms look like normally or under a "fan turning on" situation, I obviously can't say whether or not this chip is the solution. But I think it's worth a shot, and with the datasheet handy I have a bit more to reference if I need to get my scope out...

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Will you believe National Semiconductor? It also fits in with what I read some time ago from a cable manufacturer (I forget which one) about the need for pair shielding at gigabit ethernet speeds and above. Their contention was that the shielding was necessary to achieve acceptable crosstalk figures and it was supported by testing. I don't think Belden agrees, though. Of course, ethernet can stand some errors because of error detection and the possibility of retransmitting frames. With HDMI, we don't have that luxury. And there is no error correction on the video.

Well, everybody wants to sell you silicon. Regardless, I'll read your link in more depth.

thanks,
..dane

 
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post #25 of 400 Old 09-17-2010, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I just did a good bit of testing..
  • Once again, the OPPO BDP-80 (hdmi out) to Arkview dual-Cat5e baluns to TV work perfectly.. 36bit color, clicking the ceiling fan speed anyhwere (even from OFF to FULL, the hardest momentary power draw for the fan) has absolutely no dropouts of any kind.
  • Oppo to the DVDO Edge to the Baluns to the TV glitches up when the ceiling fan speed is changed
  • Additionally, the DVDO Edge to balun to TV combination, upon further examination, cannot pass 30- or 36-bit color depth, but only 24bit. I am trying to secure a long HDMI cable to drape across the room straight from the DVDO Edge to the TV to see if the baluns are causing the lack of deep color problem or if it is the EDGE itself. Wouldn't that be a fun revelation...
  • Adding the newly received HDMI Repeater (which based on recent education should probably be called an HDMI Signal Rebuilder rather than a Repeater, but I digress...) placed at the DVDO Edge (source) end did nothing to help the situation, as expected (mentioned in an above post).
  • Placing the HDMI Recovery device at the far end (just after the far-end receiver balun) helped things, but did not completely erradicate the problem. 30bit color could be passed with sparkles, but still not 36bit color depth. Video dropouts still occurred with ceiling fan activation, but to a lesser extent. (But I want a complete solution/resolution...)
  • Any combination thus far with the Edge causes video dropout during ceiling fan activations.
  • Since the ceiling fan issue is so much easier to replicate (the switch is in the room), I focused on that root cause for tonight's experiments.
  • Even disconnecting all other inputs to the DVDO EDGE and having only the OPPO BDP-80 (apparently the strongest single source in my equipment rack) into the DVDO EDGE and then out to the baluns and TV still exhibit glitching during ceiling fan activations.

My next curiosity centers around why the OPPO device can pass 36bit color (much higher bandwidth than 24bit color) and have absolutely no glitching that I could see even with ceiling fan activations, while the DVDO EDGE cannot even pass 30bit color reliably withOUT problems... much less during ceiling fan activations.

curious-er and curious-er...

..dane

ps.- time to email DVDO I think...

 
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post #26 of 400 Old 09-18-2010, 02:08 AM
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Hey just some random thoughts here...

The UPS doesn't help because typically they are passthrough devices (no more special than a surge protector) until running from battery. On battery, some provide nice, smooth sine waves, others provide approximated stair-steps. The latter may be worse than dirty A/C. Try it unplugged from the wall and see if it makes any difference. If you want one that runs off the inverter 100% of the time, you're looking for an "online" UPS (vs. line-interactive or standby) and it'll cost you more.

If you want really clean power, look into a power conditioner. They usually run about as much as a good UPS. It isn't adequate if it's a bullet item on the back of a $13 power strip.

I'm not sure exactly what the Edge is, and I'm typing this on a phone so I haven't researched it at all, but by the context it sounds like a scaler or processor of some sort. Any chance you can run that at your TV end with a short cable instead? If I mistook the functionality and it's some sort of HDMI aggregation device, that probably isn't practical. But it's an idea and the resulting behavior could be interesting.

From what I understand about HDMI, it's entirely normal for devices to play nicely (or not) with other devices. It's no indicator of quality. Also in high-speed applications, there are typically design trade-offs between implementations that are well-suited to long cable runs and those that expect minimal cable loss. IE., there may be a conscious decision to accept poor performance over 45ft of cable in order to optimize... well, some other aspect anyway. :-)

Read any amount of circuit design theory and you'll see... you never get the best of both worlds. Good designers straddle lines all day.
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post #27 of 400 Old 09-18-2010, 02:17 AM
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Oh I forgot... The purpose of having large mechanical devices closest to the main breaker is to minimize the effect on grounding. All the "noise" and stuff is fed straight to ground. Ground is also the reference point for voltage.

If a device dumps transient voltage to ground, and some other circuit takes its reference point between the earth rod and that device, there is a period of time where its reference point is not exactly 0V. (I suppose you could argue that 0V is always relative to something, and you may never REALLY have 0V, but that's just pedantic.)

Grounding principles dictate that you should only connect grounds in a star pattern, with all leads equidistant from the earthing point. Bus bars smack face first against this principle, but before devices clocking in at GHz, and running square waves over tens of feet where mere mV of noise could be the difference between good and bad... Well, who cared? Your Oppo may just have particularly good PSU isolation.
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post #28 of 400 Old 09-18-2010, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, the DVDO EDGE is both a video processor as well as a multi-format media aggregation device (composite, svid, hdmi, etc).. And I understand all day long that device designers make compromises.. I'm an EE that designs electronics for a living. It could be the reality that it has a lesser capable output because they've shoved so much other high performance stuff in there. But if that's the case, while understandable, it's still quite unfortunate. I have emailed them about this thread as well as a summary of my situation. Hopefully I'll hear back from them by early next week..

Interesting point about the EDGE possibly just having poor PSU isolation. I have been focused on the output section, but as you say it could be the input that is the problem. And I have learned recently that not all UPS devices are created equal. And I'm not looking to spend tons and tons of money on this. I'd be more likely to get rid of the EDGE before spending a whole lot of money on the problem..

thanks!!
..dane

cheers,
..dane

 
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post #29 of 400 Old 09-18-2010, 08:51 AM
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What version firmware are you running on the DVDO Edge?
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post #30 of 400 Old 09-18-2010, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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v1.50, build 1.27

 
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