Am I the only person to find the Radiance a bag of hammers? - AVS Forum
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I bought the thing over a year ago and had it professionally installed. It took two boxes to get there as the first was buggy out of the carton and the install had to be rescheduled. That was the start of the problems.

I bought it for color correction in an HDMI wired JVC RS2 based system with simple sources - a Panny Bluray player, a Toshiba HD DVD player and a Fios box with audio via a Pioneer Elite receiver. Right out of the box my installer had huge problems getting an HDMI handshake with the Tosh. I was only able to make it work with long delays in turn on sequence and resetting the HDMI input on the Pioneer receiver every time I powered up. A hassle, but it limped along. Numerous troubleshooting calls to Lumagen netted me a position early on the XE upgrade list which would bring HDMI 1.3 capability that would enable high def audio codecs and supposedly fix the handshake issues. It should be noted that all of my HDMI connections are 2 meters or less and I have tried multiple cables (Better, Monster, etc) and everything is powered through a nice line conditioner all to no beneficial effect. And if I take the Lumagen out everything shakes hands via HDMI first time every time without any problem whatsoever.

Imagine my surprise when the replacement board finally arrived and immediately trashed my toshiba HD DVD HDMI connection completely resulting in no video or audio for that source no matter what I did. A few weeks of urgent work by Lumagen and a replacement XE board later to remove a resistor in question netted me an HDMI connection with my Toshiba on a reliable basis for the first time in almost a year. (All for a $1,000 upgrade cost). But all is not wonderful in Radiance land. I still have ongoing HDMI handshake issues that result in failure to sync requiring unplugging components from power, rebooting the Radiance, etc. And now the latest firmware update. When I got the board it came with no instructions of unpdating firmware. I finally got those tonight and did the update and boom - no Bluray video or audio via HDMI (now a Sony 5000ES) and green flashes on my Fios screen during programming. I'm flashing firmware backwards as I type, but I have to wonder - is this typical of Lumagen products?

Are they all just works in progress for hobbyists who overlook these kinds of foibles and happily spend their money doing a manufacturers troubleshooting and field testing for them at their own expense? Or does anything they ship actually work on a reliable day to day basis?

I'm not asking it to be a jerk, but after $5,000 and a year of never being able to turn my system on a single day with more than a 20% chance everything will actually handshake via HDMI and give me both sound and picture I honestly have to ask.

Joe
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:01 PM
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sorry that you have had so much trouble.

my experience has been fantastic. mine was shipped in box about one year ago. i did the setup myself. jason at avs had set the radiance to correct the color on my pj. so my radiance was calibrated so to speak. from day one everything has worked the way that it should. the image coming out of my marantz 11s2 is just awesome. i have never bothered to upgrade the radiance firmware. i figure, why?
despite my excellent experience i am not happy owning the radiance either. i'm not sure a box like the radiance is needed anymore. the pj could be dialed in. if the pj is tuned then the radiance just becomes an expensive switch. also i have similar capabilties to radiance in my prepro. so i think that i spent $3,000.00 that i could have held on to. i think products like radiance will go away as free standing boxes. to make it these companies like lumagen will need to sell their components to the makers of prepros and receivers. ie., i won't buy another free standing video processor and i doubt other will either.
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darryl b View Post

sorry that you have had so much trouble.

my experience has been fantastic. mine was shipped in box about one year ago. i did the setup myself. jason at avs had set the radiance to correct the color on my pj. so my radiance was calibrated so to speak. from day one everything has worked the way that it should. the image coming out of my marantz 11s2 is just awesome. i have never bothered to upgrade the radiance firmware. i figure, why?
despite my excellent experience i am not happy owning the radiance either. i'm not sure a box like the radiance is needed anymore. the pj could be dialed in. if the pj is tuned then the radiance just becomes an expensive switch. also i have similar capabilties to radiance in my prepro. so i think that i spent $3,000.00 that i could have held on to. i think products like radiance will go away as free standing boxes. to make it these companies like lumagen will need to sell their components to the makers of prepros and receivers. ie., i won't buy another free standing video processor and i doubt other will either.

So you are actually connected via HDMI and things actually work? I mean in that you can power up without handshake crashes? And can switch between sources (HDMI) without losing audio or video or both? My Radiance isn't even a switch because it's NEVER been able to do those things reliably via HDMI.

Joe
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:21 PM
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Joe, you have a bad unit

scalers are the best thing going when it comes to sync and handshaking, quick and fast and reliable in my usage(I have not used a Lumagen), something is bad wrong and Lumagen should replace the entire unit

-Gary
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:33 PM
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I have never experienced any HDMI handshake issues with the Radiance I own (including with the Toshiba XA2) or with the half a dozen or so that I have worked with while calibrating client's displays.

You have just had really bad luck.

Tom Huffman
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Murrell View Post

Joe, you have a bad unit

scalers are the best thing going when it comes to sync and handshaking, quick and fast and reliable in my usage(I have not used a Lumagen), something is bad wrong and Lumagen should replace the entire unit

-Gary

The entire video board was upgraded from XD to XE (except the audio board) and I still have issues. I can run sometimes for days with stable connections, but then it invariably blows it and things have to be plugged and unplugged from the wall to get it restarted. Frankly, I reached the point I assumed they were all buggy pieces of s***. I note you haven't owned Lumagen. On their support site they seem to post about 20 firmware update /bug fixes per year. Is that typical of other brands? I just always get the feeling it's never a finished product - more a constant work in progress. (And yes, I know firmware updates do happen - they just seem to do them really often).

Joe
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TomHuffman View Post

I have never experienced any HDMI handshake issues with the Radiance I own (including with the Toshiba XA2) or with the half a dozen or so that I have worked with while calibrating client's displays.

You have just had really bad luck.

Unfortunately really bad luck and a big hole in my wallet don't go well together. Neither my XA2 or A35 would sync with the JVC through the XD without a fight though the XE board seems to finally work for that. But the Fios box is a crap shoot no matter what and now the Bluray only works if I downgrade firmware. They offered to give me my $1000 back a while back to downgrade back to the XD. But what does that do for me? The XD never allowed a reliable simple HD DVD connection and the Fios was buggy with that too. Has your experience been with using the HDMI inputs?

I regret the day I wasted my money on this thing.

Joe
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:41 PM
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Sanderman I will straight swap you for my like new VP50pro if you like ...

I know the feeling when things dont work like they should Very frustrating, I think you have just got A Faulty VP, Will Lumagen swap it out for another ??...

Cheers...
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:38 PM
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For what it is worth, I have had the XD since beta, and am getting an XE beta upgrade (on its way right now). I have never had any issues with HDMI connectivity with the Radiance. I have Panasonic BD30, Toshiba HD-A30, Oppo 980H & SA 4250 HDMI sources. Lumagen has been extremely responsive throughout the process.

I have heard a lot of issues with the FiOS STB from many sources and with many devices. It seems to be notably problematic.

I needed the Radiance for its original function: scaling 1.33 and 1.77 and assorted variations for my CIH 2.35 setup, and colour correcting my RS1.
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanderman View Post

I bought the thing over a year ago and had it professionally installed. It took two boxes to get there as the first was buggy out of the carton and the install had to be rescheduled. That was the start of the problems.

I bought it for color correction in an HDMI wired JVC RS2 based system with simple sources - a Panny Bluray player, a Toshiba HD DVD player and a Fios box with audio via a Pioneer Elite receiver. Right out of the box my installer had huge problems getting an HDMI handshake with the Tosh. I was only able to make it work with long delays in turn on sequence and resetting the HDMI input on the Pioneer receiver every time I powered up. A hassle, but it limped along. Numerous troubleshooting calls to Lumagen netted me a position early on the XE upgrade list which would bring HDMI 1.3 capability that would enable high def audio codecs and supposedly fix the handshake issues. It should be noted that all of my HDMI connections are 2 meters or less and I have tried multiple cables (Better, Monster, etc) and everything is powered through a nice line conditioner all to no beneficial effect. And if I take the Lumagen out everything shakes hands via HDMI first time every time without any problem whatsoever.

Imagine my surprise when the replacement board finally arrived and immediately trashed my toshiba HD DVD HDMI connection completely resulting in no video or audio for that source no matter what I did. A few weeks of urgent work by Lumagen and a replacement XE board later to remove a resistor in question netted me an HDMI connection with my Toshiba on a reliable basis for the first time in almost a year. (All for a $1,000 upgrade cost). But all is not wonderful in Radiance land. I still have ongoing HDMI handshake issues that result in failure to sync requiring unplugging components from power, rebooting the Radiance, etc. And now the latest firmware update. When I got the board it came with no instructions of unpdating firmware. I finally got those tonight and did the update and boom - no Bluray video or audio via HDMI (now a Sony 5000ES) and green flashes on my Fios screen during programming. I'm flashing firmware backwards as I type, but I have to wonder - is this typical of Lumagen products?

Are they all just works in progress for hobbyists who overlook these kinds of foibles and happily spend their money doing a manufacturers troubleshooting and field testing for them at their own expense? Or does anything they ship actually work on a reliable day to day basis?

I'm not asking it to be a jerk, but after $5,000 and a year of never being able to turn my system on a single day with more than a 20% chance everything will actually handshake via HDMI and give me both sound and picture I honestly have to ask.

Joe


To be perfectly honest, I had dealers tell me a year ago (apparently about the time you picked yours up) that the software was far too buggy at that time and to stay away (though I do not understand how you are into it for $5k now if you purchased it at that time - though it should not matter what price you paid - like everyone else, we expect things to work - and last one in is always the one to get the blame).

The firmware is clearly much better now (even though PIP still does not work though promised last year and there are other items that could be cleaned up some).

However, there are clearly HDMI handshake issues. The worst for me have been with Directv (even though various installers swore as late as last week at the Sencore EHX Training that they had many Directv users with Radiance units and never an issue - to which I pointed towards the 2-07-2009 firmware update and asked why it was done to correct the Directv Audio Handshake issue if it didn't really exist).

To me, the audio issue seems a little bit better than it was before - and I have the same issues with FiOS STBs/DVRs and the SA-8300HD DVR (though not as bad). As you no doubt have figured out, the key appears to keep the units on and not power them off. A UPS isnt a bad idea, which I constantly use and filter the power output from it.

So no, you are not alone with the HDMI issues - although, I should point out that this is not just a Radiance issue. Many HDMI switchers that claim to be 1.3 compliant have issues with different configurations and sets. I have seen it first hand with several switchers that would work with the early HDMI 1.0/1.1 inputs but not with later version sets.

While Radiance has clearly been slow to correct issues (even getting items such as PIP working), they do eventually get there (or close). Considering what I have seen from all the major display makers (heck, even Microsoft) that is not always the case in correcting problem.

However, its pretty clear there will always be combinations that do not want to properly handshake under all conditions. This is probably because of the implementation among various companies, more than directly related to Lumagen.

Like many things, the HDMI handshake has issues on several levels - and it will probably be a work in process for some time to come - for all companies.
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:47 AM
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My Radiance XD is the 3rd Lumagen vp I have owned. The Radiance is a beta unit purchased in 8/07. I have had very few problems including HDMI issues. My equipment includes a Toshiba A20, Pioneer HD1, PS3, SA 8300 HD, Yamaha RXV 2700 and a 65" 1080p Panny plasma. BeachComber's comments about HDMI are very accurate. The HDMI spec is so loosely written that mft. equipment varies widely causing problems. A major reason why I have been a repeat customer with Lumagen has been the quality of their customer service. They do more to fix customer problems than any company I have ever dealt with. If I were you, I would look for the problem source within any "ancillary" equipment you might be using e.g. the startup sequence and amount of delay programed into a universal remote etc.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsinger View Post

If I were you, I would look for the problem source within any "ancillary" equipment you might be using e.g. the startup sequence and amount of delay programed into a universal remote etc.


I've played with turn on sequences and delays to the point of absurdity, never to any real beneficial effect. At times I've fooled myself into thinking I've fixed the problem only to have it go buggy again in short order. And the problems seem to remain as players and set top boxes change (2 Toshibas, 3 Bluray players, Comcast to Verizon). The one constant is my Pioneer Elite receiver (but they have apparently never had one to test) - that and using a JVC projector (RS1 to RS2 to RS20 now). The one thing you suggest I have not done - I do not leave all of my gear on. I never shut the Radiance off, but the Bluray and Receiver are real heat sources and I'm not really into leaving them on unattended for weeks on end when I travel and am often on the road for a week at a time.


What I also find frustrating is that upgrading a component can be the cause of a whole new round of tweaking to get the basics to function. I've been running the new Sony 5000ES Bluray for a few months now (originally had a Panny). OK, so I get green half screens as the thing boots and other odd intermittent flashes of video noise along with a tendency not to get audio during the menu screens, but eventually it locks more often than not by the time the movie starts (sounds like a really enjoyable user experience, no?). So I Just upgraded the Radiance firmware from what came in it to the latest version last night. Result? Green and blue flickering screens followed by a black screen of death with no audio at all on Bluray and green flashes on my Fios input. Rolled back the firmware and it went away. Repeated the process and the results are reproducible.

I mean, if you can't upgrade equipment without everythign going flakey what is the use? Is that typical of others experiences?

Joe
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:29 AM
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Given that many components have changed but not the Pioneer, have you tried taking it out of the loop to see if the problems go away? I am using the 2/07 firmware and it has been trouble free so far.
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:37 AM
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Joe,

"Is that typical of others experiences?"

Not in my experience at all. I had some initial handshake issues (very early beta unit) but once I got the Radiance configured well it works fine all the time. No special turn on sequences needed at all.

I don't know what you have tried with the Radiance but here are a few things that might help....

For Audio and Video EDID use the USER EDID in the Radiance. Don't have the Radiance use the displays EDID or you will run into problems when the display isn't on but your sources are. This might be your problem right here.

Use the second output for audio only to your receiver/pre-pro. If your receiver needs a sink attached to it to function feed its output back into one of the Radiances inputs. All the Radiance inputs are active all the time so it can sink up even if it isn't the selected input. This helps because the handshake to your display and to your receiver become simpler.

Lastly, try the Hotplug OFF for each of the HDMI inputs. Most of my sources need this off to work correctly.

Shawn
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

Joe,

"Is that typical of others experiences?"

Not in my experience at all. I had some initial handshake issues (very early beta unit) but once I got the Radiance configured well it works fine all the time. No special turn on sequences needed at all.

I don't know what you have tried with the Radiance but here are a few things that might help....

For Audio and Video EDID use the USER EDID in the Radiance. Don't have the Radiance use the displays EDID or you will run into problems when the display isn't on but your sources are. This might be your problem right here.

Use the second output for audio only to your receiver/pre-pro. If your receiver needs a sink attached to it to function feed its output back into one of the Radiances inputs. All the Radiance inputs are active all the time so it can sink up even if it isn't the selected input. This helps because the handshake to your display and to your receiver become simpler.

Lastly, try the Hotplug OFF for each of the HDMI inputs. Most of my sources need this off to work correctly.

Shawn

Yeah, I've done all the routine stuff. User EDIDs for everything, hotplug off and my receiver is connected to HDMI2 which is set to output audio only and the projector to HDMI1 which is set to output video only. Unfortunately I've been around all of these trees with Lumagen directly and it never gets me anywhere.

Thanks anyway,

Joe
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:50 AM
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"and my receiver is connected to HDMI2 which is set to output audio only and the projector to HDMI1 which is set to output video only."

Do you have your receivers output fed back into the Radiance?

Shawn
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:10 AM
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I wouldn't say that the ride has been smooth, but with the current firmware the XD's working really well. Even when it didn't (beta phase, some broken firmware updates), I've never experienced/heard of someone with so many issues.

Where do you live? Maybe someone in your area could lend you a XD or XE - if their unit works correctly within your setup, then the unit you have is definitely the culprit and it should be replaced. If not, then there might another piece of equipment in your chain that's causing the issue. I had an old-ish plasma whose bizarre behavior caused me to look at the XD funny more than once, but I was eventually able to trace all issues back to it. I got rid of it. Remember that hdcp is a chain that can be broken by one misbehaving link. Source, Radiance, receiver, display: a single one of these coughs, and the whole thing goes down.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

"and my receiver is connected to HDMI2 which is set to output audio only and the projector to HDMI1 which is set to output video only."

Do you have your receivers output fed back into the Radiance?

Shawn

No. I've got: Sources > Radiance, then Radiance audio to receiver, video to projector. Though I have had the receiver in the chain in series with the processor in the past: Source > Receiver > Radiance > Projector and the HD DVD handshake issues were present in full force with the Tosh and Fios even with that configuration. In that set-up the receivers output was to the Radiance.

Are you suggesting some other way?

Joe
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:33 AM
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Joe,

"Are you suggesting some other way?"

Yes.

Sources into the Radiance.
Radiance output 1 to your projector.
Radiance output 2 to your receiver.
Receiver OUTPUT back into a RADIANCE input.

If your receiver is looking for an active sink (display) to handshake with and you have nothing plugged into it it isn't going to like that. By feeding the receivers output back into the Radiance the Radiance will give it an active sink and may make your receiver better behaved.

On top of that be sure you are using USER EDID for everything on all HDMI inputs. Then one by one try the hotplug setting for each source to see if it helps or hurts, different sources may like different settings.

What receiver are you using?

Shawn
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

Joe,

"Are you suggesting some other way?"

Yes.

Sources into the Radiance.
Radiance output 1 to your projector.
Radiance output 2 to your receiver.
Receiver OUTPUT back into a RADIANCE input.

If your receiver is looking for an active sink (display) to handshake with and you have nothing plugged into it it isn't going to like that. By feeding the receivers output back into the Radiance the Radiance will give it an active sink and may make your receiver better behaved.

On top of that be sure you are using USER EDID for everything on all HDMI inputs. Then one by one try the hotplug setting for each source to see if it helps or hurts, different sources may like different settings.

What receiver are you using?

Shawn

What the hell, I'll try adding an HDMI cable from the receiver to one of the unused Radiance inputs tonight. Does that input have to be set up in any particluar way?

I use User EDID for everything and have hotplug off for everything, though I've had it on in the past and it made no difference. I'll try and play with that too. The receiver is a Pioneer Elite VSX-91TXH.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Joe
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:42 PM
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On the Radiance input, that is connected to the output on the receiver, you should set hotplug to "Always On". Press "Menu, Input, HDMI Setup, Hotplug mode, Always On, Ok". This breaks the hotplug loop that is created when you connect the receiver to both the input and output of the Radiance.

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Old 03-23-2009, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanderman View Post

The one thing you suggest I have not done - I do not leave all of my gear on. I never shut the Radiance off, but the Bluray and Receiver are real heat sources and I'm not really into leaving them on unattended for weeks on end when I travel and am often on the road for a week at a time.

Might I suggest you at least try this and see if it works?

I find I need to pull the power on the Radiance when I turn off an component and then let it reboot.
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanderman View Post

The XD never allowed a reliable simple HD DVD connection and the Fios was buggy with that too. Has your experience been with using the HDMI inputs?

Yes, HDMI is all that I have used. The ONLY sync issue I have noticed is that sometimes (not always) when I switch from HD to SD broadcast (but not in the reverse for some reason), I lose sync and have to turn off the Radiance and then turn it back on. This happens about once a month. Other than that, it has been problem free.

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Old 03-23-2009, 05:05 PM
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i have used radiance with HDMI for about 15 months now and have had occasional issues with the HDCP lock being broken between the chain from the source through lumagen to pj either when i do a firmware update for the radiance or occasionally if the power on the projector gets cycled. but for the most part the lumagen has been working very smoothly in my setup.

my source devices are a tivo series3/verizon FIOS cablecards, PS3, Toshiba A2 into a sony cheapo receiver for HDMI audio and a sony VPl-VW50/60 and now a pioneer FPJ1 ..as i upgraded projectors over the past 12 months.

so all in all a very good experience to date with the radiance. i also just migrated from an XD to an XE and that transition was very smooth as well.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BeachComber View Post

Might I suggest you at least try this and see if it works?

I find I need to pull the power on the Radiance when I turn off an component and then let it reboot.

Unfortunately, I've plugged and unplugged the Radiance so many times the barrel on the connector on the cable that goes to the back of the unit has come loose and spins freely up and down the power cord. Really, it's been dozens of times (if not hundreds) that both it and my Fios box have been disconnected from ac. It just doesn't help. And if I had to do this every time I powered up and down my Bluray player, that alone would be reason to get rid of it.

Joe
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:53 PM
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Sanderman,

One piece of HDMI advice I have which you may already have gotten: I strongly recommend always powering up in strict sequence from the sink (projector, display, etc) back towards the source (BR player).

I am not suggesting you don't have a XD issue, but this may help eliminate some additional issues clouding your effort to determine what is wrong.

This recommendation is not due to a Radiance issue - it is an HDMI issue. If you DON'T observe this strict power-up sequence, it is poorly defined in HDMI specifications exactly what should happen and as such, you end up with vendor defined behaviour based on their interpretation of the specs, and, lo and behold, interoperability issues. In particular EDID's may not get correctly read and HDCP may not be correctly negotiated. Very weird behaviour can be observed.

I observe this power up sequence strictly - its programmed right into my remote control - and I will say the very few times I have had trouble (e.g. suddenly p24 playback doesn't work, etc etc) it is due to violating this rule.

In addition, if I ever need to change config or power down a mid-chain device. I power everything down and start again from the sink back to source (ok I do cheat, I don't power down my projector sink unless I changed it). It is not always required, but so far, every time, performing a strict in sequence power cycle has cleared any HDMI weirdness I have experienced.

No user should be subjected to this silliness. IMHO, HDMI.org did a very poor job of the systems level architecture specification (to be precise there isn't one). You can't just spec a link level protocol and hope it works at the systems level. Those that ignore history etc etc.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanderman View Post

Unfortunately, I've plugged and unplugged the Radiance so many times the barrel on the connector on the cable that goes to the back of the unit has come loose and spins freely up and down the power cord. Really, it's been dozens of times (if not hundreds) that both it and my Fios box have been disconnected from ac. It just doesn't help. And if I had to do this every time I powered up and down my Bluray player, that alone would be reason to get rid of it.

Joe

Randy, here's a suggestion for future models; an actual on/off switch. Seriously.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:50 AM
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Randy, here's a suggestion for future models; an actual on/off switch. Seriously.

Easier suggestion that can be implemented this month on all units.

Put a reset/cycle in the firmware off the menu.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:47 AM
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One further thought: If you have any "extra" grounding other than that provided by the 3 prong plugs, try disconnecting that and see if the situation improves. In my previous location I had what appeared to be lightning ingress thru the cable tv line. Lumagen suggested further grounding to a water pipe which I did. At my current location, I had no readily available water line so I connected the added ground to my Belkin surge protector. This created a "ground loop" type effect which periodically caused PQ problems with the SA8300HD and perhaps some HDMI issues with other sources. Removing the extra ground fixed the 8300 problems and may have helped reduce HDMI problems.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BeachComber View Post

Easier suggestion that can be implemented this month on all units.

Put a reset/cycle in the firmware off the menu.

Good idea, and might be useful in some instances - but ultimately insufficient: if your unit locks (failed update for example) then the menu can't be accessed.

Also, we don't know if a hardware reset can be triggered in software. It should be... but you never know. In any case, if the XS is not finalized hardware-wise, I would highly encourage Lumagen to put in a physical on-off switch. And definitely on the Pro.
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