HDMI

Is my Plasma TV dead?

Episode 1380

Miles from Long Beach, CA

Miles' HDTV suffered a power outage and now his HDMI port isn't working. Leo says a power surge likely wiped out the HDMI ports. He should check if he has another HDMI input that he can use. Leo says there may be a fuse that has blown and a repair man could replace it. That could restore his HDMI. If not, it's not an easy or affordably fixable thing. A 64" plasma is worth at least trying to get fixed. The chatroom says to make sure the polarity and grounding is correct on his plugs. An electrician can test for that.

How long can I run an HDMI cable?

HDMI Extender

Episode 1376

Brian from Montebello, CA

Brian is building a new house and is putting his AV stuff in a closet, but he needs to run a long HDMI cable. How long could he go? Leo says he won't want to go longer than 3 feet. So going with an ethernet connection with baluns on either side is the way to go. It'll amplify the signal and he can go as long as he needs. It's also called an HDMI Extender. He can find one at Monoprice here.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1366

Scott says that the new HDMI standard will be pushing 4K and 8K video at over 5400 Gbps. Will HDMI ever be replaced? Scott says that if metadata doesn't survive going through an AV receiver, it could greatly affect the HDR10 dynamic range going to the TV. Your AVR needs to support HDMI 2.0A to do that, and few manufacturers will tell you that. Dolby has launched a program to educate people on which devices will support Dolby Vision.

How can I configure my A/V Receiver for audio return?

Yamaha RX-V379BL 5.1-Channel A/V Receiver with Bluetooth

Episode 1357

Joe from Sounthbend, IN

Joe installed a TV, Blu-ray player, and a Yahama A/V receiver for his friend, but they couldn't get the audio return channel to work. Leo says one of the HDMI ports on the TV should be labeled ARC. They'd plug that into a port on the receiver, and usually it just works. Joe went through the settings in the Yamaha and he had to turn on HDMI control. After doing that, the Blu-ray player now wakes up anytime he changes the input. This is called CEC, and it automatically turns on the TV and sets the input to that device when you turn it on.

Should I repair or replace my LG HDTV?

LG HDTV

Episode 1356

Robert from California

Robert has an LG HDTV that is only six years and has died. Is it worth repairing? Scott says not really. It's actually cheaper these days to just replace the TV. Robert says that his LG has four HDMI connectors, but he's lucky to find just two in today's modern TVs. Leo suggests just getting an AV Receiver and that will handle the multiple HDMI connectors. Can he trust LG moving forward? Scott says yes.

Why is my TV reception worse after getting FIOS?

HDMI Cable

Episode 1333

Bonnie from Devore Heights, CA

Bonnie has a Sharp LCD TV, had FIOS TV installed yesterday, and now the picture quality is terrible. She cancelled it, but now it's still not any better. Scott suspects that the cable that they replaced her HDMI with was faulty or cheap and that caused the inferior reception. Scott suggests connecting her DVD player via component and then connect the satellite box via HDMI, and get a different cable. That should solve it.

Why didn't my Roku work with a projector?

Roku 4

Episode 1297

Rick from Pleasant Hill, CA

Rick is a member of a user group called the Diablo Valley User Group and they had a shootout between Roku and Apple TV. When he plugged in the Roku 4, though, he got no signal. Could it have been a DRM issue? He's heard that running an HDMI cable through a splitter will strip out the DRM. Leo says it depends on the splitter. Usually sold from China, they can have that advantage, but they can't say so because they'll be blocked.

AppleTV has HDCP, and Rick said it works. So it's probably not a DRM issue. It's more likely an HDMI handshaking issue. It could even be a bad cable.

Can I test the signal strength of an HDMI connection?

Monoprice HDMI signal tester

Episode 1286

Jay from Providence, NC

Jay wants to test his HDMI signal strength because he can't use his Mac with his TV. Monoprice has an HDMI tester. Leo thinks it's more likely a cable compatibility issue, though. He'll need to have the most recent HDMI spec and if his Mac is too old, that could be the issue. Apple doesn't want to really support copy protection issues.

How can I connect my mobile phone to my TV?

Samsung MHL HDMI adapter

Episode 1281

Tony from Oklahoma

Tony wants to connect his mobile phone to his TV inside his semi truck. How can he connect it? Leo says that before the Note V, he could get an MHL adapter to connect via HDMI. But Samsung dropped that feature with the Note V, and he'd need a smartphone that supports it. The Galaxy S7, by contrast, does. Samsung does sell an MHL to HDMI adapter which should work for it.