Official Harman Kardon AVR 254 & 354 Owners Thread - Page 151 - AVS Forum
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post #4501 of 4528 Old 07-22-2013, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmelan View Post

Are you using WinXP? If not, the firmware update will probably fail no matter what USB cable you try.

I was using Win 7. The last time I updated (when it worked) I was using a Win XP machine though. I'll have to give it another try with an XP machine.

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post #4502 of 4528 Old 08-04-2013, 01:13 PM
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So I finally dig out an old laptop from the basement and install Windows XP 32-bit on the thing. Yay! The firmware update is successful all the way through. Bad news.... it didn't fix the freaking issue it was supposed to. The audio timeout over HDMI is still in the millisecond range where it was supposed to be upped to the minutes range. So whenever I pause a movie or show the audio will timeout almost immediately. Most of the time it will come back on but every 5 times or so it cuts out completely and I need to restart the AVR. Does anyone else still own this AVR and have this issue on the latest firmware?

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post #4503 of 4528 Old 08-04-2013, 01:20 PM
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I sadly still own this AVR but I'm buying a new one Cambridge or Anthem, my AVR has a boat load of problems I tried updating the software but it wouldn't work cause I don't have XP but tried it on a windows 7 with no luck. I'll never buy HK product again HORRIBLE service.
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post #4504 of 4528 Old 08-04-2013, 06:27 PM
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I don't know that I'd really go that far. The only real issue I have with the AVR is the timeout over HDMI. It does literally everything else I need it to and does it very very well. I really like the UI and everything.

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post #4505 of 4528 Old 08-08-2013, 04:06 PM
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Hoping someone can help. I've owned an AVR254 for about four years now as bought from Costco in a 7.1 system and have been very happy with it. However, I notice now that the rearmost right speaker is no longer indicating that it's 'seen' by the system and it's not making any sound. I swapped connections and it's not the speaker wire or speaker itself, so I have to assume it's the processor. Wondering if anyone can suggest a fix or further diagnosis.

The current firmware version is 7/10/2008 03 / AFW 0.93.1.1

Thanks in advance!
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post #4506 of 4528 Old 08-12-2013, 06:39 PM
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I've had my 254 for about 3 years now and really enjoy it.

Just recently, I acquired a Sharp BD-AMS20U Blu-ray player that will not output audio via HDMI to the AVR254. Harmon unit has been fine, just replaced a Samsung Blu-ray unit that was performing correctly. Swapped units, same HDMI cable. Tried other known-good HDMI cables. Cycled power on all devices multiple times.

All settings on the Sharp are correct, output to HDMI via PCM with secondary audio off. AVR254 is set correctly, audio from the same HDMI.

The puzzling issue is that there is sound if the Sharp BD is plugged in directly to the new Dynex DX-60D260A13 tv via HDMI.

All other devices plugged into the HK via HDMI work fine. Changing inputs and cables has no effect. HK shows "NO AUDIO" for the Sharp at all. Could this be an issue with the Sharp using the HDMI 1.4 protocol while the HK uses 1.3a?

I'm thinking that some communications issue might be bypassed if I switch to optical audio. Have to. Pick up an optical cable to try that out.

Any insights? Thanks for any help in advance.
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post #4507 of 4528 Old 08-13-2013, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Levinson View Post

I've had my 254 for about 3 years now and really enjoy it.

Just recently, I acquired a Sharp BD-AMS20U Blu-ray player that will not output audio via HDMI to the AVR254. Harmon unit has been fine, just replaced a Samsung Blu-ray unit that was performing correctly. Swapped units, same HDMI cable. Tried other known-good HDMI cables. Cycled power on all devices multiple times.

All settings on the Sharp are correct, output to HDMI via PCM with secondary audio off. AVR254 is set correctly, audio from the same HDMI.

The puzzling issue is that there is sound if the Sharp BD is plugged in directly to the new Dynex DX-60D260A13 tv via HDMI.

All other devices plugged into the HK via HDMI work fine. Changing inputs and cables has no effect. HK shows "NO AUDIO" for the Sharp at all. Could this be an issue with the Sharp using the HDMI 1.4 protocol while the HK uses 1.3a?

I'm thinking that some communications issue might be bypassed if I switch to optical audio. Have to. Pick up an optical cable to try that out.

Any insights? Thanks for any help in advance.
Possibly the newer HDMI spec is problematic? Like 1.3 to 1.5 or something. I'm no guru but got bummed when I found out the 254 didn't pass 3d for whatever reason.
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post #4508 of 4528 Old 08-16-2013, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthrsg View Post

Possibly the newer HDMI spec is problematic? Like 1.3 to 1.5 or something. I'm no guru but got bummed when I found out the 254 didn't pass 3d for whatever reason.

That's what I suspect, and perhaps there's an updated cable that will resolve it. Haven't had a chance to dig deeper yet.

I can tell you specifically why the 254 doesn't pass 3D - as I posted above, it is definitely the newer HDMI spec. The AVR254 does HDMI 1.3a, 3D requires HDMI 1.5. Doesn't bother me at all, I don't care for 3D, either how it looks or the inconvenience of the glasses. I prefer a better 2D view than a so-so 3D. Plus, with UHD and/or 4K coming so quickly, and plus-plus with 3D losing popularity, I suspect there won't be many more 1080p 3D BDs to even be concerned about.
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post #4509 of 4528 Old 08-16-2013, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Levinson View Post

That's what I suspect, and perhaps there's an updated cable that will resolve it. Haven't had a chance to dig deeper yet.

I can tell you specifically why the 254 doesn't pass 3D - as I posted above, it is definitely the newer HDMI spec. The AVR254 does HDMI 1.3a, 3D requires HDMI 1.5. Doesn't bother me at all, I don't care for 3D, either how it looks or the inconvenience of the glasses. I prefer a better 2D view than a so-so 3D. Plus, with UHD and/or 4K coming so quickly, and plus-plus with 3D losing popularity, I suspect there won't be many more 1080p 3D BDs to even be concerned about.
I'm not enamoured with 3D either but the set I have was brand new and I had to touch all the things.
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post #4510 of 4528 Old 09-21-2013, 08:19 AM
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Does this 254 have ARC, AUDIO RETURN CHANNEL? I'm trying to use the native tv apps and want to adjust the volume in one place. How do you set it up?
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post #4511 of 4528 Old 09-21-2013, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthrsg View Post

Does this 254 have ARC, AUDIO RETURN CHANNEL? I'm trying to use the native tv apps and want to adjust the volume in one place. How do you set it up?

No..
ARC is a later HDMI feature developed after the 254/354 were designed/delivered...

Just my $0.05.... 👍😉
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post #4512 of 4528 Old 09-21-2013, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

No..
ARC is a later HDMI feature developed after the 254/354 were designed/delivered...

Just my $0.05.... 👍😉

Thanks for the info. I need to break this thing. :-)
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post #4513 of 4528 Old 09-21-2013, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

No..
ARC is a later HDMI feature developed after the 254/354 were designed/delivered...

Just my $0.05.... 👍😉

Does it pass HDMI CEC?

Nevermind. PS3 slim is the only model to use that anyways.
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post #4514 of 4528 Old 10-10-2013, 08:18 AM
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Folks,
I tried upgrading the firmware on my HK AVR-354 using a Windows XP-32 bit machine and a USB-Serial cable. Following all the instructions, I put the AVR into "download" mode, hit the reset button and tried the upgrade. The upgrade failed when the HK Upgrader tried to connect to the receiver. It said, unable to connect. Tried it with different ports and with different timing etc.. to no avail. Alright, there wasn't a specific problem I was trying to fix so I gave up on the upgrade and put the receiver back into "operate" mode. Now the receiver does not turn on. It is stuck in Standby mode. I looked through the manual about resetting the CPU on the HK and I followed instructions by turning off -unplug for a while-turn on-go into standby mode-press ok for a few seconds. I didn't get a message saying that the cpu was reset or anything. Display is dark, still stuck in amber mode. I don't think I could have loaded bad firmware on the machine. It just failed to connect to my PC.. Anyone have any ideas about how I can get out of stand by mode ? Is there a battery inside the HK 354 that I can remove to reset everything? Has anyone ever had this problem and successfully woken the machine up?
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post #4515 of 4528 Old 10-10-2013, 08:39 AM
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You didn't mention it so did you hit the reset button on the back next to the download tab after returning to the normal operation mode? Every time you switch between operate and download you have to hit the reset button.

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post #4516 of 4528 Old 10-10-2013, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by itznfb View Post

You didn't mention it so did you hit the reset button on the back next to the download tab after returning to the normal operation mode? Every time you switch between operate and download you have to hit the reset button.

Yes I did. By now, I have probably toggled the download-operate button and hit the reset button about 20 times..

I wonder what the reset button actually does.. the whole upgrade process seems random and arbitrary..
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post #4517 of 4528 Old 10-10-2013, 12:12 PM
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Sounds like you bricked the AVRs' CPU...
The upgrade procedure must be followed step-by-step..
And the USB > Serial adapter should be one of those validated by HK tech support...
Note there is no battery inside the HK AVR..

Just my $0.05... 👍😉
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post #4518 of 4528 Old 10-10-2013, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Levinson View Post

I've had my 254 for about 3 years now and really enjoy it.

Just recently, I acquired a Sharp BD-AMS20U Blu-ray player that will not output audio via HDMI to the AVR254. Harmon unit has been fine, just replaced a Samsung Blu-ray unit that was performing correctly. Swapped units, same HDMI cable. Tried other known-good HDMI cables. Cycled power on all devices multiple times.

All settings on the Sharp are correct, output to HDMI via PCM with secondary audio off. AVR254 is set correctly, audio from the same HDMI.

The puzzling issue is that there is sound if the Sharp BD is plugged in directly to the new Dynex DX-60D260A13 tv via HDMI.

All other devices plugged into the HK via HDMI work fine. Changing inputs and cables has no effect. HK shows "NO AUDIO" for the Sharp at all. Could this be an issue with the Sharp using the HDMI 1.4 protocol while the HK uses 1.3a?

I'm thinking that some communications issue might be bypassed if I switch to optical audio. Have to. Pick up an optical cable to try that out.

Any insights? Thanks for any help in advance.

Update on this; optical audio cable worked. Sharp BD fails to impress on many levels. More details:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1483461/sharp-bd-ams20u#post_23824398
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post #4519 of 4528 Old 10-10-2013, 07:05 PM
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Whew. Today I got a proper Serial Cable instead of a USB-Serial cable and flashed the latest firmware successfully. The receiver started right up.. Everything works great.. Was worried there for a second Whew..
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post #4520 of 4528 Old 11-26-2013, 09:14 AM
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Hope one of you guys can help with this question. Sorry if this has been addressed already, but if so, I must be using the wrong search terms.

I have the AVR254 with a 7.1 setup, however with 5.1 content, the receiver steers the rear audio to the middle speakers, instead of the rearmost speakers. In other words, I have Front L/R, Middle L/R and Rear L/R, and with 5.1 discs, the audio is sent to the Middle speakers rather than the Rears. Is there any way to change this behavior?

Thanks in advance!
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post #4521 of 4528 Old 12-02-2013, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKBAGUY View Post

Hope one of you guys can help with this question. Sorry if this has been addressed already, but if so, I must be using the wrong search terms.

I have the AVR254 with a 7.1 setup, however with 5.1 content, the receiver steers the rear audio to the middle speakers, instead of the rearmost speakers. In other words, I have Front L/R, Middle L/R and Rear L/R, and with 5.1 discs, the audio is sent to the Middle speakers rather than the Rears. Is there any way to change this behavior?

Thanks in advance!

I think you might be misunderstanding how the speakers are supposed to be placed. See below. The speakers that you are referring to as "rear" are the difference between a 5.1 setup and a 7.1 setup. As such, if 5.1 content is played in its native format, no content will go to those speakers. The speakers you refer to as "middle", should be no more forward than straight beside you.


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post #4522 of 4528 Old 12-28-2013, 01:29 AM
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I'm not sure how many folks are still reading this thread, but here goes...

I have an AVR254 remote issue. The zone 2 "slider switch" has stopped responding (like I expected it would some day). So now can't turn on/off or adjust volume of zone 2 via the remote. Which is a bummer. mad.gif

Zone 2 itself is still functioing (I can manipulate it via the onscreen menu, but that's a huge pain). I'm pretty sure I need a new remote, but I don't think it's that simple. HK basically told me I'm out of luck (though a tech person is supposed to get back to me hopefully at some point). As I understand it, my options are:
  • AVR 254 remote via ebay or other used market
  • some other HK remote (hopefully confirmed by HK)
  • Universal remote, ie Logitech Harmony. This is actually my preferred option, but I'm unclear based on threads here if the Harmony Remotes have programming available for the 254 zone 2. Some people here are saying they've needed to manually program/learn the zone 2 settings from the HK remote into the Harmony Remote. This, obviously, won't work due to my broken zone 2 portion of my HK remote.

If you can confirm or refute any of the above, or have any other ideas or suggestions (such as a line on a cheap working zone2 remote;-) I'd greatly appreciate it!

PS -- once I have a line on a suitable replacement, I'll likely attempt an autopsy on the HK remote (I have children.... who knows what they've done to it) but I'd prefer that to be a last resort.
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post #4523 of 4528 Old 01-01-2014, 05:06 AM
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Pretty sure the zone 2 codes are discrete as I got a separate zone two remote with my 355(240v version), so Logitech or similar should have the codes in their databases for the universal remotes
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post #4524 of 4528 Old 01-01-2014, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghenster View Post

Pretty sure the zone 2 codes are discrete as I got a separate zone two remote with my 355(240v version), so Logitech or similar should have the codes in their databases for the universal remotes

That's really great news, thanks.

Anyone else? I think there are a number of HK+Harmony users (though who knows how many are still using the AVR 254/354) Have you tried the 2nd zone function on your harmony using the Logitech database entry for the second zone, versus "learning" the second zone from the HK remote?

I wonder if one of those small auxiliary HK zone 2 remotes (assuming this is what Ghenster is speaking of) would work with the 254. They seem to be pretty cheap on the eb*ay.
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post #4525 of 4528 Old 02-05-2014, 02:18 PM
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Problem with HDMI failing

I have a problem with the sound and video cutting out on the HDMI pass-through. This has been happening more and more frequently. It happens on different HDMI ports, from different sources using different cables. I'll be in the middle of a game or movie and suddenly sound/video go out, or I see a lot of artifacts on the screen. The solution is to reboot the AVR which fixes the issue.

I've updated to the latest firmware and still have the problem. I'm guessing that whatever board handles the HDMI input is failing. Here are my questions:

1. Does it seem like HDMI is failing, or could it be another issue?

1. I'm an IT guy and have a lot of experience building computers and fixing things. Is this a part that is affordable and easy to come by, and can be replaced without soldering parts?
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post #4526 of 4528 Old 02-14-2014, 12:38 PM
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Going to toss my AVR 354, does anyone need any parts from mine? Just throw me some money for the shipping cost. PM me and I'll get back to you when I can. I have never cracked opened one of these so I would probably need a picture of the part you need.

Problem with mine - when watching tv one night everything dropped out, audio and video. Powers up, display and volume work. and I can change the source with the remote, but it wont bring up menu or anything. Otherwise it is a 35lb paper weight. I have tried the above mentioned recommendations in this thread, also the serial # is after the recall #'s

70" Sharp

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post #4527 of 4528 Old 02-17-2014, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kegard View Post

Problem with HDMI failing

I have a problem with the sound and video cutting out on the HDMI pass-through. This has been happening more and more frequently. It happens on different HDMI ports, from different sources using different cables. I'll be in the middle of a game or movie and suddenly sound/video go out, or I see a lot of artifacts on the screen. The solution is to reboot the AVR which fixes the issue.

I've updated to the latest firmware and still have the problem. I'm guessing that whatever board handles the HDMI input is failing. Here are my questions:

1. Does it seem like HDMI is failing, or could it be another issue?

1. I'm an IT guy and have a lot of experience building computers and fixing things. Is this a part that is affordable and easy to come by, and can be replaced without soldering parts?

I have downloaded the service bulletin from HK. For some reasons, I cannot attached the files here. Give me you email address and will send to you.

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post #4528 of 4528 Old 02-24-2014, 07:48 AM
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PM sent.
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post #4529 of 4528 Old 03-14-2014, 01:39 AM
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Hi, service bulletins already been sent via email. Sorry for the late reply.

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post #4530 of 4528 Old 04-28-2014, 05:49 AM
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I have a question about the use of Zone 2 on an AVR-254. Is there any way via the remote or directly on the receiver face itself to turn Zone 2 on and off?

So far, the only method I can find to control Zone 2 power is via the on-screen display. That is cumbersome, requires you to power on both the AVR and TV, and then navigate a couple of menus. I am hoping that there is a simpler way.

Thanks in advance.
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