HDMI

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.

Can an HDMI signal degrade?

Episode 1270

John from Kingsford, MI

John has an HDMI switcher and is concerned that it will degrade the signal. Leo says it won't though. Digital signal either works or doesn't, and there's no degrading of the signal. What about juttering? Leo says that is likely coming from a bandwidth issue. It's likely the satellite connection. One issue could be distance. If he has a really long HDMI cable, it could cause weird artifacting and juttering. That's where a higher quality cable comes in handy.

How can I connect my home theater wirelessly?

DVDO Air3C

Episode 1267

Greg from San Jose, CA

Greg has a new HDTV and he doesn't want wires. How can he go wireless with his home theater unit? Scott says that a company called DVDO makes a wireless HDMI system called Air3C. It's around $200 for a transmitter and receiver, which uses the 60 GHz band. That means the transmitter and receiver must be more or less in line of sight with each other and can't be used to transmit from one room to another.

How can I stream audio through my TV?

Chromecast Audio

Episode 1242

Mike from Fontana, CA

Mike wants to expand the range of his television by streaming via the internet. Leo says that since Mike wants to play internet radio through his home theater system, the Chromecast Audio would be the best option. He can then browse to the internet radio station (if supported) and then connect to it. Roku has a lot more stations available, but if he has to get a website up to stream with it, then Chromecast is the simplest way to go. If he wants to connect the computer to it, then using Miracast would work.

Why doesn't my TV switch to my laptop connection?

Episode 1241

Jeff from Ontario, CA

Jeff bought a Samsung Smart TV and it's connected to FIOS. Sometimes, though, they connect a laptop to it through HDMI. The TV doesn't like it and jumps back to HDMI 1, though. Leo says that is due to CEC or Consumer Electronics Control, which in theory will switch to the active device. In practice, it's sketchy at best. Some ports may be CEC and some may not be. And Samsung may not call it CEC. Jeff will also have to make sure that CEC is enabled. Another issue is a device going into sleep mode and not grabbing the CEC.

How can I plug an LCD TV into an old cable box?

Component cables

Episode 1240

Joey from Laguna beach, CA

Joey inherited an LCD TV and he needs an adapter to plug in from his old coax cable box. Leo says that coax is an analog connector designed largely for over the air antennas, rather than digital, which is what HDMI or DVI is. Leo says it's going to cost Joey more to get a Coax to DVI converter than it would just to get a new cable box. Then he can get an inexpensive HDMI to DVI adapter. He'll also need a separate sound cable. Since Joey also has component, another option is to go from Component to DVI. That's an inexpensive option as well. But then he could end up with sync issues.