Weird ARC/HDMI switch issues - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-12-2019, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Weird ARC/HDMI switch issues

I'm not sure if these two are related, but I think they are. Let me start at the beginning (warning lengthy post ahead):



A few weeks ago I discovered the wonders of ARC and had everything hooked up as best I could and was working great, no dropouts, no nothing. Last Saturday the LED backlights on my TV were acting up. Having dealt with this for about a week off and on, I finally caved and bought a new TV. A 55" TCL 6 series Roku TV. Side note: looks like I won the panel lottery with this one. After some colorful words about where they put the damn ports on it, I got it all hooked up. ARC to my Yamaha receiver was working fine, for a bit. Then I started noticing some drop outs. Audio would drop out no matter what I was watching; streaming from the internal Roku, cable TV box, external Amazon Fire TV box. Didn't matter. Even changed the HDMI cable from the TV's ARC port to the receiver, no good.



Since my Yamaha 5.1 receiver was made before HDCP 2.2 came out, it can't pass HDR. So I ordered a nice 5x1 HDR/4k HDMI switch with the intention of using ARC to feed audio to the receiver and not use the receiver's HDMI inputs for anything important. All seemed fine (still dropouts on occasion) but then the switch started doing something strange. Plugged into the switch is my PS4, Fire TV, HTPC, and Nintendo Switch. The switch was freaking out and jumping between inputs 1 and 2 for no apparent reason. I unplugged the Fire TV from it, still jumping. I unplug the PS4 from it, it stops. Plug the Fire TV back in, all is good. Plug the PS4 back in, starts acting up again. Mind you the PS4 is off. It even settles down when I remove the power from the PS4. I turn on the PS4 and it's happy as a clam. Even behaves for a while after turning it off, but eventually will start jumping around inputs if provoked (IE: I try to change inputs). I even tried plugging the PS4 into the other ports, still acts up. Tried a different cable, same issues.



Back to the ARC thing - I noticed a pattern a couple of days ago with the dropouts. Every time I would get up from the couch, it would drop out. AH HA!! Maybe it's a static electricity problem! But wait, there's nothing connecting the couch to the entertainment center! So thinking maybe there's some static making it that far and maybe my admittedly old power strip was starting to circle the drain, I purchased a newer, better one. Replaced it last night, all the problems still exist. ARC dropouts when getting up off the couch, and sometimes while walking around, or not moving at all, the HDMI switch still hates the PS4, etc. I tried jumping up and down to get the floor shaking to see if that would cause a dropout, nothing. Wiggle the TV, nothing. Wiggle the HDMI cable, nothing.


Having an AH HA moment again this morning and thinking there's definitely something funky going on with the PS4, I removed the power from it. Quick testing before I left for work seemed to indicate the ARC dropouts may have stopped, but that will require more prolonged testing. And obviously the HDMI switch isn't freaking out.


Any thoughts on this? I'm thinking maybe the PS4's power supply is generating some noise that's irritating things when it's "off"? Since it's never truly off and still drawing power, there might be something going on inside the PS4 that's making its way out the HDMI port. I have another power cord I'm going to try if the problems have gone away to rule that out. My only other thought was dump ARC, go SPIDIF. Without buying a new surround receiver that can pass HDR my only options right now are to try and get audio to pass from the TV to the receiver and use the HDMI switch for all my many devices. The outlet the power strip is plugged into is its own circuit; we put that in when I bought the house 5 years ago because the previous owners were idiots and just ran an extension cord around the room to the nearest grounded outlet.


Oh and my older 50" with the supposed backlighting issues got moved upstairs to my bedroom and has been working perfectly with no LED issues so far. :/ But it was intermittent and best so I'm not going to do a happy dance or get mad that I dropped many hundreds on a new TV for no reason, yet.



Sorry for the small novel, but it's been a helluva week trying to sort this mess out!
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-14-2019, 09:22 AM
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I would try the old tv and see if you still have the problem. Could be the TV itself.

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post #3 of 4 Old 04-14-2019, 11:03 AM
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ARC/CEC is a great idea but is fraught with all kinds of issues, mostly stemming from the CEC side of things. If you have a single HDMI cable, source to sink, and it is under about 25', you shouldn't have any problems. But once you go over that distance, or you start adding switches, adapters, what ever, you increase the possibility of having problems.


I gave up on ARC/CEC years ago. I just use an optical cable from the tv to the receiver so I can push audio from cable tv (local HDTV stations only) to the receiver. Optical basically offers the same audio as ARC so you're really not losing any audio quality. Everything else goes thru my receiver. For single remote control (to replace CEC) I just use a programmable remote (Harmony). ARC/CEC is disabled on all HDMI connected devices. If you really need ARC, you could try something like the Lindy CECless adapter which blocks the CEC commands (so you don't have input selection issues) and still allows you to use ARC. That works for some but not for all.


Of course, having all of your devices on the same HDMI hardware version is also a big help because it you don't, then the HDMI options available to you will be limited to the in-common hardware version. HDMI 2.0b (the current hardware version) connected to an HDMI 1.4 hardware version will only allow you to use the HDMI 1.4 hardware protocols.

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post #4 of 4 Old 04-15-2019, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I ended up switching over to SPIDIF and all is good now. Since I freed up HDMI 3 in the TV i plugged the PS4 into that.
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