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Annoying HDMI Display Problem with H57/i3 and Denon

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
OK, so I have this really annoying HDMI issue. I hope that someone out there can help...

My Setup:
- HTPC with H57/i3 motherboard (Gigabyte GA-H57M-USB3) with i3 530 CPU
- Denon 3808 AVR with latest firmware (2.04, DSP1 Ver 36.61)
- Panasonic TX-37LZD800F HDTV
- Units linked together via HDMI in sequence HTPC - Denon - HDTV

The Issue:
- If I switch to another HDMI input on the TV (e.g. to watch Satellite, which is connected directly to the TV) and then switch back to the input connected to the Denon, then I have lost the display of the HPTC, I just get a black screen.

Nothing will bring it back, only a forced reboot of the HTPC. Note: pushing the powerbutton will normally shut the HTPC down gracefully. In this situation, it does not work and I have to hit reset or hold in the Powerbutton for 5 seconds.

The problem seems to lie between the HTPC and the Denon, since if I switch to another input on the Denon (e.g. Net/USB or Tuner), then I will see the Denon's onscreen display on the TV. Switching back to the HTPC on the Denon will continue to show a blank screen from the HTPC.

I've tried to resolve the issue by installing an HDMI handshake utility (HdmiYo) on the HTPC, but while this seems to work when the HTPC resumes from sleep, it does not fix this particular blank screen issue. HdmiYo has a hot-key feature to force a HDMI reinitialise using the keyboard, but this does nothing. I have a feeling that when I get this blank screen, keyboard input is also disabled, since I can't even seem to shut down the HTPC by giving a Ctrl-Alt-Del and Tabbing to the onscreen powerbutton and pressing enter. Given the fact that the physical powerbutton no longer works as expected, I have the feeling that the system has crashed or entered limbo in a big way...

Now, one workaround is to connect the HTPC directly to the TV, and connect the TV back to the Denon with an optical digital audio cable. Then I can switch between HDMI inputs on the TV with no problem. The limitation is that this no longer gives the possibility of full 7.1 sound and Dolby TrueHD...

Can anyone help? Thanks in advance
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 
Some more info on this:

- I put in a Radeon 4800 board from another PC to see if the problem persisted.

- With the Radeon board, the problem disappeared. I could switch HDMI inputs on the TV without losing the display from the HTPC.

So my conclusion is that there's something in the current Intel HD Graphics driver that causes the problem. Together with the lack of true 23.576Hz from the i3 graphics processor, I'm seriously thinking about just sticking in an ATi Radeon 5450 board into the HTPC to kill two birds with one stone.

Unless Intel come out soon with software to address both these issues, then I think I'll just do that.
post #3 of 11
I had the problem for almost a year and tried everything before I broke down and bought a Gefen HDMI Detective. Since I installed it I have had zero problems. I am totally happy and consider it $100 well spent.

http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=8005
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pavlov70 View Post

I had the problem for almost a year and tried everything before I broke down and bought a Gefen HDMI Detective. Since I installed it I have had zero problems. I am totally happy and consider it $100 well spent.

Hmm, it does seem quite a hefty chunk of change (it's now listed at $129). It would be cheaper to buy an ATi Radeon 5xxx card for that sort of money.

Also, looking at the manual, the table of supported resolutions, refresh rates and supported audio seems more attuned to the US market than the European market. I didn't see an entry that would give me 1920x1080p, 50Hz and TrueHD/DTS Master bitstreaming...

Still, thanks for the suggestion.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
OK, so I gave up on using the IGP of the Intel i3, and invested in an ATi Radeon 5670 to handle the graphics and HD Audio. Result:
  • no more annoying HDMI handshaking problems
  • proper 23.576Hz support
  • the Denon onscreen display is present when using YCbCr (it wasn't with the i3 IGP)
  • Great picture with BTB and WTW (trying to watch the opening of the second chapter of Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince on the i3 IGP was like trying to see a black cat in a coal cellar at night while wearing sunglasses).

Bliss.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcoupe View Post

great picture with btb and wtw (trying to watch the opening of the second chapter of harry potter and the half-blood prince on the i3 igp was like trying to see a black cat in a coal cellar at night while wearing sunglasses).


rofl
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcoupe View Post

[*]Great picture with BTB and WTW (trying to watch the opening of the second chapter of Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince on the i3 IGP was like trying to see a black cat in a coal cellar at night while wearing sunglasses).

BTB/WTW won't get clipped w/ Intel graphics if you override application settings in the video configuration app. Once checked you can adjusting the brightness to match the display's calibrated black (what I do) or calibrate the display off the PC's value.

If the presence of BTB is visible on your display, it's not calibrated properly.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by babgvant View Post

BTB/WTW won't get clipped w/ Intel graphics if you override application settings in the video configuration app. Once checked you can adjusting the brightness to match the display's calibrated black (what I do) or calibrate the display off the PC's value.

If the presence of BTB is visible on your display, it's not calibrated properly.

is missing remote your website? if so it is a fantastic review website.. i love it!!
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdtv47lg70 View Post

is missing remote your website? if so it is a fantastic review website.. i love it!!

Glad you like it; I'm one of contributing editors. It's very nice being part of one the only review sites that really understands the HTPC and surrounding ecosystem.
post #10 of 11
i based my current htpc build off of the reviews that you guys did for the i3.. i read that site for days.. and i think i got a couple of other things from there as well...

not sure how long you have been around, but your site reminds me of a site called sharkyextreme and anandtech's website from along time ago.. i think anand is still around but sharky not so much...

your site seems to be very straightforward and i can tell you guys could care less if you say something negative about a product if it deserves it regardless of them 'sponsoring' you or whatever they do... KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!
post #11 of 11
http://www.missingremote.com/index.p...1&limitstart=5

the 23.976 works beautifully to my lg47 tv with real cinema enabled.. when i first hooked up the htpc ( after reading your site for about 3 days ) i had disabled real cinema. and the blu ray playback with with 23.976 was gorgeous no doubt.. but it really became 'like butta' when i put on real cinema so it could properly process the 24hz signal.. so that is my addition to your review.. i have not noticed any excessive darkness issues, any more so than on ps3, or my pioneer fd.. 51?? cant remember the model now because i havent had it turned on since i completed the htpc build..
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