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HDMI Copyright Problem?

2418 Views 16 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  PooperScooper
I'm having major problems with my setup which has changed since I removed my video processor. I believe the problems relate to HDMI/DVI handshake and copyright problems but need some advice.

Qualia 004 projector with 1080p on DVI

Toshiba A35 HD-DVD

Sony BDP-S550

Scientific Atlanta 8300HD cable box

Halcro SSP200 sound processor

When I run my sources to the SSP200 with a video bypass to the projector, I get a magenta cast on the display. I believe this is a fault of the SSP200 so I purchased an HDMI 1.3 compliant 4/2 switch to run all my sources to the switch and one HDMI output to the SSP200 for audio and the outher HDMI output to my Qualia 004 projector via HDMI/DVI.

When I do this, the SA 8300HD cable box displays1080i as expected and everything is great.

When I try the Toshiba A35, it synchs to the Qualia at 480/60p even though I have tried all the options on the player up to and including 1080/60p.

The Sony S550 actually synchs to the Qualia at 1080p or 1080i and allows me to see the movie menu page but as soon as I press PLAY, the picture turns to snow regardless of the video resolution selection.

If I bypass the HDMI 1.3 4/2 switch and hook up the sources to the Qualia DVI directly, I get the correct video resolution from all the players but now I have no way to hear the HD audio because I don't have another HDMI cable.

Can anyone tell me what the problem is and how to fix it? I'm trying to avoid using component audio because I want the full HD sound only available through HDMI on my system.

Thanks for your help.
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You've got a pretty difficult setup to get working due to the way HDCP works. When you split an HDCP encrypted source the 4:2 splitter must decrypt then re-encrypt the audio/video for each down-stream device independently. Depending on how the 4:2 device operates, it may send back upstream the keys and capabilities of the downstreams devices to the source device. Your sound processor does not have a downstream device connected to it so it might not be sending back proper HDCP information.

Therefore, depending on the source device it may respond differently, such as the Sony source doesn't care about HDCP until it starts to play a movie and it gets a non-compliant HDCP code from the sound processor and you get pure video noise. The cable box may be ignoring the HDCP information from the sound processor and sees the info from the Qualia and is happy.

One oddball thing you could try is to connect an HDCP compliant display (maybe you have a computer monitor that has an HDMI or DVI[HDCP] input) to the video thru on the audio processor and see if that clears up your issues. It may give you some sort idea to fix the problem without having to place a real "dummy" display to the sound processor.

NOTE: the reason the video on the output of your sound processor is magenta colored is most likely caused by one of the data pairs not connecting or working on the HDMI link. If you lose one of the data pairs (there are 3 data 1 clock) the screen will appear tinted green or red depending on which pair you lose. If you lose the other data pair you won't get any image because the D0 data pair contains the video sync information. If you lose the clock pair you won't get any connection either.
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It does sound like your initial assumption is correct - problem with SSP200. The video pass through isn't passive. It has to take the video/audio from the input HDMI stream and extract the video to output on a completely different HDMI connection. Plenty of room for problems.
Your setup should work with no issues, except for the "normal" idiosyncrasies that might exist between HDMI and DVI source/target combos.

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Some more information for those of you kind enough to help:

1. I connected the Halcro to another LCD TV with HDMI-HDMI and the picture was perfect so it doesn't seem the magenta color cast is related to a bad HDMI connector.

2. I get the magenta color with all of 3 different brand HDMI-DVI adapters. This makes me think HDCP is the culprit.

3. Tonight I tricked the Sony BDP-S550 into working. I unplugged the power to the Halcro sound processor and turned on the projector and Sony BDP-S550. I then started to play the movie and got a 1080p display. Once this was running I turned on the Halcro sound processor and got MLPCM via HDMI. The display remained at 1080p. I'm still using the 4/2 HDMI switch with two separate HDMI outs (one to the projector and one to the sound processor).

This seems like the entire problem is HDCP related. Unfortuneately, this is not a desired sequence of events every time I want to watch a disk.

4. One persistant problem is that this work around does not work for the Toshiba A35 HD-DVD which continues to only display 480p regardless of the settings. I've tried both Warner and Universal disks but no luck getting better resolution.

Any additional thoughts or comments will be appreciated. Thanks.
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Failure to establish an HDCP link might be the issue but it could be the EDID (Extended Display Identification Data) which is the part of the handshaking where display capabilities are reported to the source. DVI EDID info is a very small subset of HDMI EDID. The problem may be in the Halcro HDMI output because it's talking to the Sony DVI target or vice versa. DVI will only accept RGB and the magenta problem could be the Sony trying to display YCbCr that was send from the Halcro. If you can "force" the Halcro to output RGB, I'd do that. Forcing the resolution you want on the Halcro and Sony PJ is probably a good idea, also. Basically, don't let any source components decide for themselves what to output. And try leaving all source components powered off and power up the Sony first, then the Halcro, then the players.


Edit: Like other video or audio/video processors, the Halcro may have 2 modes of operation when going through the EDID handshake. One mode is to pass all display EDID info through the Halcro and on to the source devices. The other mode is to intercept the EDID and use it for the Halcro to "talk" to the PJ and then send EDID to the sources that are what to be used between the source and the Halcro. The latter will work the best with a DVI display.

Your best bet at getting things to work is to not leave anything to "chance" where possible. "Force" one resolution on all devices and force RGB.
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The projector autosenses the display and selects the highest resolution from a table that I cannot access. The input is fixed by me as DVI RGB.

The Halcro is doing a pass through of the video signal. The only control I've seen is to define the type of cable (HDMI, etc.).

I think you may be right about the EDID. Others have suggested a video processor that allows the user to fix the EDID may solve the problem.

My next text is to remove the HDMI 4/2 switch and put everything into the Halcro and try the "new" turn on sequence.

Thanks again to all who are helping.
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Originally Posted by PooperScooper /forum/post/15446645

Good luck.


Hah, Larry, your post made me think of one of the kidnappers in

"Taken", telling Liam Neesons character, "Good Luck" at the end of his phone conversation. For those who have seen the film, you know the end result, and it is one many of us wish we could inflict upon our HDMI issues!

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It is sad that you just can't connect components together anymore and "just" have them work.

Total failure today. Can't get the display right regardless of the turn on sequence or settings recommended by everyone.

The only thing that displays properly is my SA8300HD which I believe is non-HDCP.

I agree - it's outrageous that the CE industry would implement a totally f*#@%d up copyright protection scheme without first making sure it was backwards compatible with DVI and other products in the field.

If the average person can't get his setup to work, then the industry has failed.
Any HDMI device has HDCP builtin. If your STB is HDMI, then it uses HDCP for any resolutions over 480p. And I don't think any DVI STB's were ever released that weren't HDMI compliant. How long is the HDMI run from Halcro to PJ? And are you still trying to use the HDMI splitter/switch?

Today I turned on the Toshiba A35 and got 1080/60i through the projector. The minute I turned on the Halcro, the resolution changed to 480/60p.

Yes, I have to use the HDMI splitter switch otherwise the magenta hue when connected to the Halcro ruins the picture. And if I connect directly from the source to the projector, the picture is full 1080/60p and perfect.

And even though I changed the Sony BDP to RGB, I'm still getting a magenta cast when the video goes through the Halcro.

I think this has to be a problem Halcro and either HDCP or EDID.

The DVI run is 60 feet with Gefen fiberoptic cable.

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FYI, an HDCP issue will not cause a hue color issue with your equipment. Incorrect DDC information, or EDID data (this is the information that the display passes back to the video source to give information on its capabilities) could possibly cause an issue like this.

It seems to me that the Halcro may be taking whatever video color coding format it receives and converts it to YCbCr, and this causes problems with the Qualia (expecting RGB). I'm probably completely wrong but I would call the Halcro tech support and see if there is an internal setting that can force it to always output RGB on the HDMI output. It's worth a call and I bet they would be very happy to help.
FiberOpticDude & PooperScooper -

I don't completely understand all of the technical aspects surrounding this problem so your help is greatly appreciated. I agree with your comments on the EDID handshake but I don't know how to change it.

I have been talking to Halcro's Technical Services Manager in the USA who has offered a number of suggestions. Here are his thoughts:

The problem is a compatibility issue between the Qualia and the

current firmware, specifically the Below Level Black (10 bit video). It may

be that DVI is not able to support BLB or it may be specific to the Qualia,

so far the Qualia is the only piece to exhibit the issue, but there are very

few DVI displays currently in use.

The HDMI connectors are active devices, in order to pass BLB, BLB must be active on the output side, regardless of the input. HDMI 1.3 devices are fairly sophisticated, they are able to talk to the display and determine what it is able to reproduce and limit the signal to that. The Halcro HDMI board is a HDMI 1.1 device that has been updated to HDMI 1.2 spec, and therefore does not have these abilities. 1080p/24 and BLB are not part of the HDMI 1.2 spec, but were provided due to consumer demand.

Unfortunately he no longer has access to the software engineers (the company was sold last year) so he has limited support on this issue. He did mention to me that one other customer had complained about this. BTW, the DVI board in the Qualia is HDCP compliant.

After the Halcro was upgraded last month and I experienced the magenta hue with the Qualia, I tested the Halcro with an HDMI to HDMI connection to a Sony KDL-32XBR6 LCD TV. THe picture was perfect with no magenta cast.

If there is a way to force RGB from the Halcro, I have not discovered it. There is a video scaler but it is bypassed and so far I haven't located an RGB option in the menus. I did switch the BluRay Disk player to full RGB 0-255 but didn't notice any difference.

The HDMI 4/2 switch vendor told me that the chip in the switch reads the data from Output 1 first then Output 2. He suggested I flip the outputs (Qualia and Halcro) to see if the switch could be tricked but this didn't work. It is my understanding that the switch output is identical with full HDMI 1.3 from both outputs.

Do you think a non-HDCP compliant switch would help? Based on your EDID comments I'm assuming your answer would be "no."

Thanks again for your help.
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HDCP is just point-to-point encryption. It should not be the cause of your problems. My money is on the problem being a "not unheard of" issue between a random HDMI source device and DVI target. It's not a surprise. Halco is highend audio company that had to get on the audio/video processor bandwagon like their competitors. They probably depended on the video stuff to basically "just work" after setting up the components like the data sheets said and did limited testing. (Compare this to the testing a cable STB maker has to do given the customer base).

The problem with "blacker than black" BTB (BLB is not a term used very much, at least at AVS) is that some devices take the 16-235 (black -> white) values that movies are encoded with and expand them to 0-255 for RGB on DVI thinking that DVI/RGB = a PC device. This causes BTB and WTW (whiter than white) video to be clipped and lost. BTB and WTW do exist in movie encodings. If that is happening, it would only cause things to look darker and gamma would seem to be off. eg. the PJ is expecting black to be 16 and now it's getting 16 for video that is lighter than black and the whole grayscale has been stretched non-linearly. There's been thousands of lines of posts on this subject at AVS over the years and I just tried to state it in a nutshell.

If it were me, I'd first try not using the bypass (use the scaler) and see if it made a difference. I'm not hoping for much. Realistically you probably will have to dump either the Halcro or Qualia. i.e. Get a processor that can correctly deal with a DVI target or get a HDMI based PJ and hope the Halcro can talk to it. I'm assuming a software upgrade from Halcro fixing the problem won't be coming.

I just thought of something. There is a device called the HDFury which may help you. However, IIRC, there's certain situations where it will convert Studio RGB (16-235) to PC RGB (0-255). You do not want this to happen. Especially after all the $$$ you have spent you don't want incorrect video being send to your PJ.

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I tried with the Halcro scaler on and without the HDMI switch - no difference.

I hope the Radiance will solve the problem. Will let everyone know soon.

At least the Lumagen has second HDMI output that you can feed audio to the Halcro and get rid of the splitter. The Lumagen should have no problems with the PJ.

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