HDMI to COMPONENT converter or bad Panasonic-AE8000U? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 19 Old 12-04-2019, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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HDMI to COMPONENT converter or bad Panasonic-AE8000U?

Had to replace my DirecTV dvr with a newer model (an HR54-500). This one only has HDMI out, but my home theater runs on component video. Seeking a quick solution I bought one of these guys:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VGWL5P1/

The picture looks great on my 60" flat panel LCD ... well, maybe a little loss of sharpness. But when viewed on my Panasonic-AE8000U projector (using a 10 ft front surface screen), sharpness is acceptable but I'm getting a weird color effect (see attached image).

Now I was expecting some signal degradation given the insertion of another component and conversion from digital to analog. But the greenish glow, visible only during dark scenes, is really annoying. The flat panel is getting the same signal over a longer cable run, but its intrinsically higher contrast ratio probably hides that green glow.

FYI, the bulb in the projector is new and only has around 100 hours on it. But that green glow is only in the central 80% of the projection screen, as you can see. So maybe I have a bad bulb? Or is the D/A conversion what's causing this? Any ideas greatly appreciated. Those bulbs ain't cheap.
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post #2 of 19 Old 12-04-2019, 02:36 PM
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This probably belongs in the projector area. HDTV Technical is largely broadcasters and OTA enthusiasts.

Let's narrow it down before I move the thread.

First, I'm not sure how you have all of this connected. Are you running the same set of component cables from the converter to the flat screen, then disconnecting them and connecting them to the projector? It'd help to know how you have it all connected if this isn't the case. To get green like that from a component input has me suspecting the cabling or the connectors somewhere along the line.

You're bound to have a BD player or some other component or streaming box with an HDMI output. If not, borrow one and connect it in place of the DirecTV receiver. Same glow? It's the projector or the cables.

Move your test source (easier with the disc player, I'd think) closer to the projector and use a different set of cables. No glow? It's the cabling or the way it's all connected. Glow? It's the projector.

Given the specs for that model of projector suggest it has an HDMI input, I'd think retooling the home theater might be in your best interest. Hashtag 4K Anyway, if you can connect the DirecTV box to the projector with an HDMI cable and the glow goes away, it's probably safe to suspect the cabling or the component inputs/circuitry on the projector.

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post #3 of 19 Old 12-04-2019, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry about choosing the wrong thread. This is my first post here (after the requisite 5 to allow attachments). Feel free to move it if you want.


You have suggested two excellent A/B tests to resolve the cause. I will try them tomorrow and post back with the results.


Yes, the projector does have an HDMI input, but I'd need to drill a hole in the media cabinet, go into the attic, and feed the cable through. The "brick wall" in my system is the old Pioneer receiver, which was made before HDMI existed. Some receiver circuits have already died but I managed to find workarounds. At some point though ... yes, I'll need to upgrade the whole system to HDMI. Just trying to avoid the cost and rewiring time as long as possible.


FYI, the system block diagram is attached. That should answer any questions about how things are connected.


Much appreciate the feedback. Hoping this isn't a defective bulb.
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post #4 of 19 Old 12-05-2019, 09:43 AM
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Looking at your diagram, you have a few places where a component signal could have issues that'd give you a green cast. The hard part, of course, is finding the culprit.

Your diagram shows a DVD player with component output. Is that blue ray or just DVD? I'd hesitate to use a standard-definition device for testing.

The fact the flatscreen works with DirecTV and has no issues would appear to rule out everything upstream from the component video "splitter." I'd like some more information about that box.

I'd start with a direct connection (not using your in-the-wall cabling) between a high-definition video source and the component inputs to the projector. Using HDMI will rule out the bulb (or rule it in if it's still green) but it won't rule out the component video connection to the projector. I'd think it's not the bulb, anyway. Even if it's still green, it's likely something else inside of the projector.

If the projector is fine when directly connected as above, then the next suspects are the in-the-wall cabling and the component splitter. Bypass your AVR and the splitter, connecting the DirecTV receiver through the HDMI-to-component converter directly to the in-the-wall cabling.

My suspects, assuming the projector works when directly connected:
Splitter
Cabling
Connections (somewhere, you have a component video line connected to a composite video connector)
Converter (low output on one component leg, but not enough to affect the flatscreen)
AVR (Also attenuating one component leg)

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post #5 of 19 Old 12-05-2019, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I did that test today. Connected my DirecTV DVR directly to the projector. The greenish area is still there ... maybe a little less intense. So if I read your last post correctly this probably means the lamp (which has 400 hours on it rather than the 100 hours originally estimated) is going bad early. Supposed to be good for 4000 hours. Bummer. Got just over 3500 hours on the original lamp.



Moot point now, but since you asked, the component video splitter is a passive device. This one:


https://www.kvm-switches-online.com/vopex-hda-2.html


Using it only for the video. Digital audio is distributed by the receiver. Splitter's been part of the system and working fine for years.


I do have a new backup lamp that I could install as an additional test, just in case something else in the projector is failing. That Panasonic projector was discontinued a few years ago (when my previous Vidikron projector failed). Found one on eBay though, and it came from a trusted seller in an unopened factory box. If it's gone bad, that's an even worse bummer.


If the Panasonic has indeed gone bad, I'll replace it with one that doesn't have component video inputs and run it directly from HDMI. Was up in the attic checking if maybe there were rodent gnawings on the component cable (none found) and saw that a direct run of HDMI cable will be easier then I expected.


So unless you have any other ideas, looks like I'll be going that route: try new bulb, see what happens, replace projector if needed. Any final thoughts? Thanks for your expert advice!
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post #6 of 19 Old 12-05-2019, 01:41 PM
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That passive component splitter still tops my list, though if you're getting the green cast directly connected via HDMI, then the projector moves to the top. If you get it directly connected via component but not HDMI, that changes a few things.

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post #7 of 19 Old 12-05-2019, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, that's what I'm beginning to think. Probably time to install that backup lamp and see if anything changes. If I still get the green glow after that, it would have to be something else in the projector that's gone bad. Sound right to you?


Just occurred to me that it could be a bad DVR. That was replaced around the time I started noticing this issue, but that was also when I had to add the HDMI to component converter, so I guess I'll need to swap the bulb to tell for sure.



I'll try that tomorrow. Too busy today. Again, will post my results here.


EDIT: This just in ... another piece of info. Totally blacked out the home theater and looked at the flat panel picture close up. Same Blues Channel as in my OP. Same component video input (after the passive splitter). There is nothing there comparable to what the projector displays. No change in brightness or color. It's pretty much flat black like it should be. FYI, the contrast ratio of the flat panel is 9,000:1 in normal mode. Not the best flat panel. The projector, which runs in dynamic mode, has a ratio of 500,000:1 at 2400 lumens.



So all the more reason to suspect the projector. Will know more tomorrow.

Last edited by Heimhenge; 12-07-2019 at 03:14 PM.
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post #8 of 19 Old 12-07-2019, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Just wanted to let people know that I am still on this troubleshooting. Tried to change the lamp yesterday, gave up today. Will need to return my backup lamp and order a new one. Word of caution to projector fans ...


The lamp that fits perfectly came from B&H Photo, and was listed as an OEM part. $371.
The lamp that wouldn't fit was from MyProjectorLamps, and cost me $176.


Here's the catch. Upon reading the Q&A for this product on the MPL website I see they use the OEM bulb, but put it into their own proprietary housing. It looks like the original with slight cosmetic differences. I put a caliper on it to check the crucial dimensions, and couldn't find any differences. Yet for some reason it will not fully insert into the projector.


I can insert and remove the B&H product easily, so I know I'm doing it right. Will be returning the MPL product with 20 days left on their warranty and ordering a new one from B&H. They give free 2-day delivery, so I should have more info on my original question early next week. Stay tuned.


PS: Note my edit on the preceding post.
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post #9 of 19 Old 12-07-2019, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, end of story. My back-and-forth with DrDon led me to suspect that the issue was with the projector electronics rather than the lamp. From what I've learned, lamps don't "fail" to produce the green glow I mentioned in my OP. All lamps will get darker, or maybe take on a reddish tint, as they age. But after visiting 4-5 forums asking "How can I tell if my lamp is going bad?" none of them described the effect I was getting, and all of them confirmed that these types of color issues are most likely internal optics or electronics -- not the lamp.


So rather than gambling $400 on a replacement bulb, I decided to take DrDon's advice and bite the bullet. I just ordered a new projector with HDMI input (Epson - Home Cinema 4010 if you're curious). Needed the long throw distance and lens offset that model provides.


I'm gonna put the old bulb (with only 400 hours on it) back into the Panasonic, check if the green glow is still there (who knows ... it may go away after all this jostling and dusting), and see if I can unload it on Craigslist. Like I said, the picture looks great on bright scenes. Sports are excellent. I don't think it's quite ready for recycling yet.


Thanks to DrDon for his sage advice. Hoping this thread (wherever he moves it) will be informative for other forum members.
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post #10 of 19 Old 12-07-2019, 07:03 PM
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AVSForum Rule #23 : Never turn down an opportunity to spend money upgrading your home theater equipment.

The only other thing I keep coming back to is the passive splitter. That delivers half of the signal to each display. The LCD might be more capable of working with that than the projector - which I assume is a longer cable run. If the DVR or the converter deliver less signal to begin with (than the previous DirecTV box did), that could conceivably create an issue such as you describe.

But, hey. New gear is new gear, amiright?

Enjoy.
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post #11 of 19 Old 12-08-2019, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I like rule 23! Seriously, is there a list of rules somewhere? Like these:


https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertain...bs-rules.html/


The projector is recessed into the wall behind the seating. That run of cable is like 8 feet from the receiver/DVR, which is also behind us. The flat panel is cabled up through the attic and down through the wall behind the flat panel. That's like a 30 foot run. Has custom cables made up by a local AV outfit. Also wall plates for all AV connections. Very clean (hidden) cabling. Is there a rule that mandates clean cabling?


So with the projector upgrade that "splitter" will only have a single output, but that flat panel was working fine when it shared the output with the projector so it's getting around twice the signal now. No worries.


To run HDMI to the flat panel would be a huge job, pulling cables through the attic and wall. Fortunately, I left a length of twine running from one end to the other, and through the wall, so that'll help pulling the new cables with a new length of twine. That should be a rule too. Always pull some twine with the cables.


But the flat panel looks just great as is, so not a lot of motivation to do that conversion.


Which leaves me with another question: Whatever I do, I'm gonna need an HDMI splitter coming off that DVR. One HDMI runs to the new projector (about 8 feet), and the other will run 6" to the HDMI-to-component converter (which is powered), after which the component runs 30 feet to the flat panel. I see there are both passive and active HDMI splitters available. I'm guessing that since the flat panel looks fine now, and the HDMI run to the projector is only 8 feet, I could get by with a passive HDMI splitter. What do you think?
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post #12 of 19 Old 12-08-2019, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heimhenge View Post
I like rule 23! Seriously, is there a list of rules somewhere? Like these:

https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertain...bs-rules.html/
I have a shirt with those on it.

I should start a thread and put together a list. One other one I've seen a lot is, "If WAF is a problem, it's time to get a new wife."


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Originally Posted by Heimhenge View Post
Which leaves me with another question: Whatever I do, I'm gonna need an HDMI splitter coming off that DVR. One HDMI runs to the new projector (about 8 feet), and the other will run 6" to the HDMI-to-component converter (which is powered), after which the component runs 30 feet to the flat panel. I see there are both passive and active HDMI splitters available. I'm guessing that since the flat panel looks fine now, and the HDMI run to the projector is only 8 feet, I could get by with a passive HDMI splitter. What do you think?
HDMI is finicky as it is. Go with powered.

I think rule #4 is to always pull twine with cabling. Some of us even label the twine.

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post #13 of 19 Old 12-08-2019, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd love to see an AVS Forum Rules list in it's own thread. Make it sticky for the benefit of newbies. And I'd be happy to contribute! Somewhere near the top of the list should be: Everyone deserves a home theater for respite from this crazy world.


I found a nice passive HDMI splitter at Walmart for $35. Gonna give this one a try first:


https://www.walmart.com/ip/Tripp-Lit...Black/44127937


Getting a bit crowded in my AV racks for another transformer. If passive doesn't work, I can return it and upgrade to active. Will let you know how that works out.


Also, gonna fire up that Panasonic projector again tomorrow and see if the cleaning and re-seating of the lamp made any difference.

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Nope. Even after cleaning, dusting, and re-seating the bulb, that green glow is still there. Must be something internal, maybe an optical misalignment. Maybe electronics. Gonna see if I can get a few bucks for that Panasonic on Craigslist ... still fine for watching sports or other intrinsically bright content. Hate to scrap it out when it still might have some use.


New Epson HDMI projector arrives tomorrow. Decided to go with a powered HDMI splitter as DrDon recommended. End of my contribs to this thread. Thanks for all the advice!
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post #15 of 19 Old 12-11-2019, 10:58 AM
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Just to be sure, you DID try another HD source (BD player, etc) jacked directly into the projector, right?

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post #16 of 19 Old 12-19-2019, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Only HD source I have now is the DirecTV DVR/receiver. And I did connect the HDMI output from that directly to the old projector. Still got the green glow during dark video scenes.


My DVD player is pre-Blu-Ray.


The new Epson projector puts out a perfect picture, so the fault was apparently in the Panasonic projector. Most likely something mechanical/optical in the light path. From everything I've read, bulbs don't "fail green".


Thanks again for the help!
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post #17 of 19 Old 12-19-2019, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heimhenge View Post
The new Epson projector puts out a perfect picture, so the fault was apparently in the Panasonic projector. Most likely something mechanical/optical in the light path. From everything I've read, bulbs don't "fail green".


Thanks again for the help!
You're right and you're welcome.

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post #18 of 19 Old 12-20-2019, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Go ahead and move this thread to where it would be more helpful then ... probably Display Devices. And don't forget to start a sticky thread on AVSForum Rules. Should be a fun exercise! And to all, have a great holiday break.
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Go ahead and move this thread to where it would be more helpful then ... probably Display Devices. And don't forget to start a sticky thread on AVSForum Rules. Should be a fun exercise! And to all, have a great holiday break.
Moved and same to you! The "Gibbs Rules for AVS" might take a little longer . Here's another one: "Whatever you buy, a better or improved version will be released within 90 days of your purchase."

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