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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi newbie here!

I'm having interference/artifacts/blocks with my Cable STB output. The weird thing is, it only occurs whenever I use my Plasma TV (connected via HDMI).

I tried using an LCD TV and the problem does not persist at all. Also tried turning on the plasma while the STB is connected to the LCD and the image is clear. It seems its isolated with HDMI.

Any opinions on what's causing the issue? I'm quite stumped at this point. Tried changing cables, even a ferrite core on the power cord and hdmi cable, but the problem still persists. By the way, my TV is a Samsung PS43F4900 Plasma.

I'll try using a coax cable but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Thanks in advanced
 

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Is the LCD TV about the same size as the plasma TV? I ask because some issues are harder to see on a small screen. It is also possible that the LCD is doing a better job compensating for various artifacts (often labeled something like "noise reduction" on various menus).

Have you tried adjusting the "noise reduction" setting on the plasma TV?

Have you tried setting the STB to 720p or 1080i and see if either of those two settings produce better results?

Also, are you comparing equivalent scenes? Macroblocking sometimes occurs when the majority of the screen changes at once, and I often see that when watching the Flash, or when Godzilla is sending out a stream of fire from his mouth across most of the screen. However, that is usually an encoding problem and would appear no matter what equipment one is using, though it would be more apparent on a larger and brighter screen.

Interference and artifacts will have to be better described for someone to be able to comment about that.

Another thing to check is to see if the firmware in the TV is up to date. Sometimes manufacturers will release software updates to fix problems or help with compatibility issues. For example, my LG has had one update and my Vizio has had at least two updates since I had purchased them. (Add another two updates for the blu-ray player, and at least 5 updates that I am aware of for my first-generation Roku.)
 

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I assume you tried both hdmi inputs with no joy, that the problem occurs in both 720p & 1080i STB output modes, and that other video devices like BD players work just fine on the Samsung hdmi inputs. If this is true, I'd connect the STB and the Samsung with component cables, and if this works, either use it as a workaround or exchange the STB for one that is more compatible with your Samsung.
 

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That tv is an "HD Ready" tv, so the best it can display is 1024 x 768. You need to switch your cable box to send 720p to tv instead of 1080i. Your tv is trying to down rez 1080i material and that is what is causing the problems. You don't have those issue on your LED probably because it's a true 1080p tv. Otherwise, exchange cable box for a non HD version and watch SD material.

http://www.samsung.com/africa_en/consumer/tv-audio-video/television/plasma-tv/PS43F4900ARXXA
 

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That tv is an "HD Ready" tv, so the best it can display is 1024 x 768. You need to switch your cable box to send 720p to tv instead of 1080i. Your tv is trying to down rez 1080i material and that is what is causing the problems. You don't have those issue on your LED probably because it's a true 1080p tv. Otherwise, exchange cable box for a non HD version and watch SD material.

http://www.samsung.com/africa_en/consumer/tv-audio-video/television/plasma-tv/PS43F4900ARXXA
I have a 43F4900AKXXU, for 1080i use Film mode AUTO 2, I only use the internal tuner though and I avoid SD whenever I can because of the low resolutions and bitrate used to cram all the channels in (544x576i MPEG2 2mbps looks like ****), the HD channels look good though 1440/1920x1080 50i/25p AVC up to 17mbps).

I would set the box to 1080i so the TV can deinterlace rather than some cheap chip in the STB, unless everything you watch is broadcast in 1080p in which case just set the box to 1080p. Turn off the Eco settings/noise reduction/mpeg noise reduction/motion lighting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi All,

Sorry I wasn't able to reply. I have been busy the past couple of days. I took a screenshot of my issue but I am unable to attach it yet.

You guys can view it here: i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww288/brutalpanda/20150407_0754501_zps5fy4tvak.jpg


Also tried changing the settings of my cable STB to 720p, 1080i, 1080p and even 576p but the problem still persists.

It also occurs more often on HD channels versus SD channels (almost non-existent really) and worse on some channels (e.g. CNN HD on my end is totally unwatchable). It also usually pops up on fast-moving/bright scenes as well. For example, this does not occur as much when the credits are rolling after a film.

Thanks!
 

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That picture eliminates a lot of possibilities that I was thinking of, and it doesn't look like what I would consider "interference".

Does the plasma TV have an issue when you play a Blu-ray disc with the Blu-ray player connected to the TV via a HDMI cable?

How long of a HDMI cable are you using between the STB and the TV, and do you have any devices in between, or is it just the HDMI cable between the two?

Have you tried using component cables from the STB to the TV?

Have you checked if the TV has a software upgrade available from the manufacturer? If so, have you applied the software upgrade?

Is the attempt to use the STB with the plasma TV a recent event, or did it use to work and now doesn't work any more?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No, it's specifically happening with the cable box only. I tried using a WDTV Live with the same HDMI cable and input source and no artifacts was showing up even with HD content.

It's the first time I used an STB with the Plasma since I transferred to a new house recently. As for he cabling, there's no other device in between. HDMI cable is around 3mt long.

I noticed though that touching the cable wire head that's connected to the STB removes the artifacts. Is this a grounding issue? But why would the problem show up on my Plasma only and not the other TVs I have (tested on a 32" Samsung LCD and a 42" LED 4K TV).
 

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No, it's specifically happening with the cable box only. I tried using a WDTV Live with the same HDMI cable and input source and no artifacts was showing up even with HD content.

It's the first time I used an STB with the Plasma since I transferred to a new house recently. As for he cabling, there's no other device in between. HDMI cable is around 3mt long.

I noticed though that touching the cable wire head that's connected to the STB removes the artifacts. Is this a grounding issue? But why would the problem show up on my Plasma only and not the other TVs I have (tested on a 32" Samsung LCD and a 42" LED 4K TV).
Doesn't your F4900 have a cable tuner inside it? Mine has DVB-T2 (aerial) and DVB-C (cable).
 

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It could be that the plasma needs a better electrical connection. At this point, your best bet is to exhange the STB for another one and see if the issue persists. (It sounds like the existing STB has a bad connector or the connector has a "cold solder" joint, marginal in that it can properly drive one TV but not the other unless the connector is held down, which means either bad pin tension in the receptacle or a cold solder joint inside the box. A bad cable is unlikely since you tried different cables, and a ten-foot HDMI cable doesn't sound excessive.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It could be that the plasma needs a better electrical connection. At this point, your best bet is to exhange the STB for another one and see if the issue persists. (It sounds like the existing STB has a bad connector or the connector has a "cold solder" joint, marginal in that it can properly drive one TV but not the other unless the connector is held down, which means either bad pin tension in the receptacle or a cold solder joint inside the box. A bad cable is unlikely since you tried different cables, and a ten-foot HDMI cable doesn't sound excessive.)
Hi, what did you mean with "better electrical connection". Should I swap out a new electrical cord?
 

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Hi, what did you mean with "better electrical connection". Should I swap out a new electrical cord?
Not power cord, but between the electronics and the HDMI receptacle in the cable box. Thus, it's likely you need a new cable box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just to update everyone, I tried using RCA but the problem still persisted. But I have to thank my lucky stars. Since mounting my plasma on the wall, the artifacting has completely disappeared. Weird!
 
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