Denon S500BT - TV Goes Black anytime a Lightswitch is Hit - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-21-2017, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Denon S500BT - TV Goes Black anytime a Lightswitch is Hit

Hey all,

I'm hoping you might be able to assist in troubleshooting an issue that is driving me absolutely nuts!

I have a cheap Denon S500BT that I'm using to connect 4 ceiling speakers, a subwoofer, a Sony DVD/BluRay player, and my cable box, to a wall-mounted TV above my fireplace via a single HDMI cable. I've had it for just under 2 years, and haven't been able to resolve this. As the title suggests, this setup seems to work fine, EXCEPT - intermittently, when there is any change in current through my house, the TV screen will go black for about 1-2 seconds. This can be when something high-wattage turns on (refrigerator compressor, well pump, my table saw in the basement, etc.) or even something as simple as switching on the lights in my kitchen. It doesn't happen every time, but the higher the wattage appliance that kicks on, the more likely it seems to be that it will occur. With the kitchen lights, it seems to only happen one time, when I first switch them on. I have to turn them off, wait 5-10 minutes, then switch them on again to get the issue to re-appear.

Things I have tired/confirmed:

1. The AVR is not on the same circuit as any of the above mentioned appliances or lights
2. I sent the S500 back to a certified Denon repair shop for warranty service - they were unable to reproduce the issue, or find any issue at all. They replaced power and HDMI board anyway, just in case.
3. Tried swapping out HDMI cables as best I could (one is in the wall)
4. Added ferules to try and reduce EMI
5. Tried plugging in to various surge protectors
6. Run the cable box directly to the TV via HDMI (bypassing the AVR) - There are NO issues if the AVR is not in the equation.

As far as I can tell, there aren't any larger overarching issues with the power supply to my house. It's all modern breakers, 200A service - the house is only about 10 years old...

One issue that MIGHT be part of the problem:

1. My cable coax line runs into the house right next to my main electrical box, then routes through various splitters to all the cable jacks in the house.
2. The HDMI line ALSO runs right past a number of the wires from the main breaker box in the basement. It runs down from my living room into the basement, across the ceiling over the breaker box (crossing some electrical wires) then back up into the upstairs wall behind the fireplace to the TV

I added a ferule to the HDMI line in the basement ceiling - but it seems like this is likely not the issue, as this same HDMI line and coax cable run through the basement work without issue when the AVR is bypassed...

I'm thinking this is an interference issue, but it seems to only affect the AVR. Any thoughts or suggestions as to how to remedy this?
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-21-2017, 06:55 AM
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Buy and plug in your receiver and TV into a Uninterruptible Power Supply, when the power dips it will kick in and keep it from going black and probably extend the life of both as well. Alternately you could hire an electrician to come in and trouble shoot it, perhaps the guy who wired it got lazy and put too many outlets on the same run and the lazy or non existent inspector over looked it. My house is about 18 years old and I have lights that flicker when the fridge compressor kicks in or I start up my treadmill. I've never had problems with the TV/Receiver but I still put them on a UPS. I hear it kick on once in awhile when there's apparently a power fluctuation.
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-21-2017, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by djc11369 View Post
Buy and plug in your receiver and TV into a Uninterruptible Power Supply, when the power dips it will kick in and keep it from going black and probably extend the life of both as well. Alternately you could hire an electrician to come in and trouble shoot it, perhaps the guy who wired it got lazy and put too many outlets on the same run and the lazy or non existent inspector over looked it. My house is about 18 years old and I have lights that flicker when the fridge compressor kicks in or I start up my treadmill. I've never had problems with the TV/Receiver but I still put them on a UPS. I hear it kick on once in awhile when there's apparently a power fluctuation.
As I mentioned above - I don't think this is a power dip issue...although I'll ask around and see if someone has UPS I could borrow before forking over the bucks to buy one. Looking at the breaker box in the basement, the kitchen lights are definitely wired separately from the living room. The Fridge, etc. ABSOLUTELY are - so the power dips from turning on the lights and appliances in the kitchen should be isolated from the plug my AV system is connected to...

I haven't tested this to confirm, but if the fridge compressor turning on is causing a power dip across totally different circuits, I've got way bigger issues.
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-21-2017, 07:36 AM
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Buy one from Best Buy and if it doesn't solve your problem then return it, just get one with a high enough rating for the draw of the receiver and TV. Don't trust what your breaker box has been labeled for, I have a breaker labeled kitchen which when you flip it you find out it also affects the second bath and second bedroom as well. You'd have to follow the lines to see how it's really wired which is quite difficult to do, or start flipping breakers to see what is affected.
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-21-2017, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by djc11369 View Post
Buy one from Best Buy and if it doesn't solve your problem then return it, just get one with a high enough rating for the draw of the receiver and TV. Don't trust what your breaker box has been labeled for, I have a breaker labeled kitchen which when you flip it you find out it also affects the second bath and second bedroom as well. You'd have to follow the lines to see how it's really wired which is quite difficult to do, or start flipping breakers to see what is affected.
I can re-confirm the kitchen lights, but have already 100% confirmed that my table saw, fridge, and well pump are on different circuits, and still cause the same issue - Since the well pump is in the basement I can actually trace the wire back to the source - it's in an entirely separate breaker box (100A sub-panel) fed from the main (200A) box.

The TV is mounted over the fireplace, plugged in separately from the AV system, which is against the wall below it. So there's no east way to connect the TV to a UPS. The problem absolutely seems to be the AVR anyway, since the TV functions flawlessly when connected straight to the cable box.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-21-2017, 09:40 AM
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Your symptoms are consistent with noise overpowering the HDMI/HDCP handshakes.

A UPS powering all of your A/V devices might help.

Unless your main power distribution panel has anti-spike filters designed into it, spikes on any power line will be fed through to all of the other power lines which are on the same phase of incoming power, although they won't be as bad as on the line powering the device generating the spike. Most homes are fed by two phases of power, 180 degrees out of phase with one another.

If any HDMI cables are running parallel to any power lines or cords, they'll pick up the radiated RFI from those power spikes, too. They need to be as far away from power lines as possible, and cross them at right angles if they need to get past them. (This same recommendation applies to audio cables, where it reduces the amount of 60Hx picked up by them.)

Unfortunately, as you've already found, a simple ferrite wrapping around the HDMI cable isn't going to be good enough. An HDMI cable with filters designed into the connectors might help.

HDMI is an abomination.

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post #7 of 13 Old 02-21-2017, 09:53 AM
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I'm not an electrician but I do know the items you're mentioning have a high current draw when they're first turned on, power drops because of them aren't unusual. Like I said, you could hire an electrician to troubleshoot but I doubt it's of any consequence. If the TV has no issue then ignore it and use the UPS on the receiver or try to find another receiver that may not be as sensitive to it. A UPS would be cheaper and would still theoretically help prolong the life of whatever is plugged into it. At the very least it would confirm if the issue is due to a power drop which I believe it is.
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-22-2017, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
Your symptoms are consistent with noise overpowering the HDMI/HDCP handshakes.

A UPS powering all of your A/V devices might help.

Unless your main power distribution panel has anti-spike filters designed into it, spikes on any power line will be fed through to all of the other power lines which are on the same phase of incoming power, although they won't be as bad as on the line powering the device generating the spike. Most homes are fed by two phases of power, 180 degrees out of phase with one another.

If any HDMI cables are running parallel to any power lines or cords, they'll pick up the radiated RFI from those power spikes, too. They need to be as far away from power lines as possible, and cross them at right angles if they need to get past them. (This same recommendation applies to audio cables, where it reduces the amount of 60Hx picked up by them.)

Unfortunately, as you've already found, a simple ferrite wrapping around the HDMI cable isn't going to be good enough. An HDMI cable with filters designed into the connectors might help.

HDMI is an abomination.
I can see a UPS alleviating issues with power dips from high-wattage systems kicking on, but isn't the "noise" electromagnetic interference (EMI)? I'll certainly give the UPS a shot to see if it helps but it seems to me that this wouldn't help too much with noise generated by parallel wires, etc. Is there a solution to that, beyond running conduit or something to further shield the HDMI, or is this pretty much unavoidable?

For what it's worth - the HDMI line crosses near the main breaker box in the basement, but I made sure to cross any power lines at 90 degrees. That said, it may be parallel somewhere in the wall on the way down, or back up to the TV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djc11369 View Post
I'm not an electrician but I do know the items you're mentioning have a high current draw when they're first turned on, power drops because of them aren't unusual. Like I said, you could hire an electrician to troubleshoot but I doubt it's of any consequence. If the TV has no issue then ignore it and use the UPS on the receiver or try to find another receiver that may not be as sensitive to it. A UPS would be cheaper and would still theoretically help prolong the life of whatever is plugged into it. At the very least it would confirm if the issue is due to a power drop which I believe it is.
For something like a fridge or table saw, I'd agree with you - but it also happens when I turn on the lights in the kitchen, which is a significantly lower draw.

I'm absolutely going to try a UPS and see what happens. Hopefully that resolves the issue. Beyond that - is there anything I can do to reduce noise on the HDMI line?
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post #9 of 13 Old Today, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey all -

Thought I would revive this thread, as I've made some progress and would love some more advise from the pros.

Since I last posted, I've tried:

1. A UPS - no dice - the TV would still go black with the slightest change in electrical signal anywhere in the house.
2. Changing circuits - ran extension cords to other rooms to get the AVR off of the "family room" circuit, and on to different ones - including circuits on a completely different breaker box. No change
3. Finally, I bypassed the in-wall cable by connecting both the cable box and the AVR directly to the TV.

For some reason - #3 completely eliminates the issue. Now you will ask - WHY did I not try this in the first place? The answer: Because connecting the cable box (without the AVR) directly to the wall cable eliminates this issue as well - so I made the false assumption that the problem lay with the AVR...and in a way, it still might.

So here is where I stand now -

*I have an in-wall (hard to re-run) cable that works fine if the AVR is eliminated, but also crosses a number of electrical wires (run right near the breaker box in the basement).
*I have an AVR that works fine if I eliminate the in-wall cable and connect it directly to the TV.

Any thoughts on what the issue might be? Could the electrical interference be somehow "backfeeding" to the AVR down the HDMI cord and causing a momentary short? Or is this simply a stackup of tollerances, signal lost to multiple HDMI cords, which ultimately results in momentary signal loss to electrical interference when the whole thing is hooked up?

For what it's worth - this is the 25ft cable in the wall - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Is this something an HDMI signal booster/amplifier would cure? I've tried attaching ferrites to virtually ever end of every cable without any change...

Would love to know your thoughts!
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If the dropout is caused by electrical noise being picked up in the HDMI cable where it passes power cables, then you might be able to reduce the effect by providing a ground shield around the HDMI cable in that region. (i.e. a conductive shell around the cable which is grounded)

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post #11 of 13 Old Today, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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If the dropout is caused by electrical noise being picked up in the HDMI cable where it passes power cables, then you might be able to reduce the effect by providing a ground shield around the HDMI cable in that region. (i.e. a conductive shell around the cable which is grounded)

I can't confirm whether the interference is coming from where the cable passes the breaker box wires on my basement ceiling, or whether it's somewhere in the wall. I could certainly try to put metal conduit around the portion in the basement (then ground the conduit??), but would a repeater or amplifier at one end of the cable or another solve the same problem? Or is dropout not helped by one of those devices?
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post #12 of 13 Old Today, 08:20 AM
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I can't confirm whether the interference is coming from where the cable passes the breaker box wires on my basement ceiling, or whether it's somewhere in the wall. I could certainly try to put metal conduit around the portion in the basement (then ground the conduit??),
Yes, ground the conduit.

Alternatively, you might consider conduit around the power lines coming into and leaving the breaker box, if that's where the cable is passing by.
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but would a repeater or amplifier at one end of the cable or another solve the same problem? Or is dropout not helped by one of those devices?
An amp on the input end might help since it'd be amplifying the signal and not any noise that's being induced farther along in the cable. An amp on the output end wouldn't help in that situation since it'd be amplifying both signal and noise. Of course, that's assuming the dropouts are being caused by induced noise and not by something else like a glitch in the wall power going to all the devices. If you're having substantial wall power glitches, I'd be seriously concerned about the quality of the electrical wiring in your home and related safety issues.

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post #13 of 13 Old Today, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, ground the conduit.

Alternatively, you might consider conduit around the power lines coming into and leaving the breaker box, if that's where the cable is passing by.
If you saw the number of power lines in question - you'd believe me when I said putting conduit around the HDMI cable is the best choice.


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An amp on the input end might help since it'd be amplifying the signal and not any noise that's being induced farther along in the cable. An amp on the output end wouldn't help in that situation since it'd be amplifying both signal and noise. Of course, that's assuming the dropouts are being caused by induced noise and not by something else like a glitch in the wall power going to all the devices. If you're having substantial wall power glitches, I'd be seriously concerned about the quality of the electrical wiring in your home and related safety issues.
I would imagine it's being caused by induced noise, since even putting the AV unit on a voltage stabilizing battery backup didn't improve the situation. I don't have any other issues in the house with power delivery, and the house itself is only about 8 years old. I've already taken a voltmeter to the outlet in question and I didn't see a significant (any) drop in power delivery when switches were flipped.
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