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HDMI splitter troubles

FinnMacCool

Standard Member
Good evening

I could use some informed advice on a problem I recently encountered involving HDMI splitters/ switches. The fundamental issue is really quite simple: my television has four HDMI ports but I now have five HDMI devices jostling for a connection (specifically a Virgin Media Tivo, a Panasonic Blu-ray player, a PS3, an Eggbox 360, and an Apple TV). Until relatively recently, I had a DVD player and the Eggbox hooked up to a HDMI switch, and both worked well. The trouble started when I decided to sell on the DVD player and upgrade to a Blu-ray player. I hooked up my shiny new Blu-ray player to same port on the two-way splitter as the DVD player had previously been connected to - but then discovered that the TV could not pick up any signal from the Panasonic unless it was plugged directly into the TV. Initially at least - hugely confusing! So I tried plugging other devices into the switch, hogging that a simple cable rejig would sort things out. But no - it eventually emerged that only one of the current five devices will work (i.e. send a signal to the TV) when connected to the switch/ splitter: the XBox :face palm:
So my questions are:
a) What's going on? Why are these four devices refusing to work with the switch/ splitter?
and
b) Is there anything I can do about it, besides manually connecting the Apple TV (the device I use least) when I need it? Not impossible, but a big hassle? Is there, for example, a more advanced/ modern splitter/ switch that would work?
Any input gratefully received!
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
You have a Switch not a Splitter.

HDMI and its buddies HDCP (encryption) and EDID (capabilities info) can be tricky to deal with – what you have experienced is not that unusual; the quality of the firmware your Switch is running and the options the Switch manufacturer provides for dealing with HDCP and EDID can make a difference but those features tend to not be available at the budget end of the Switch market.

Most often the problem lies with the Firmware your Source devices are running but as you have very little control over that you have to look at your Switch as the only place where you may be able to manipulate HDCP or EDID to get your system working.

When you are making changes to your system it’s always best (though a bit laborious) to Power Everything Off at the wall (not into Standby) when you are making any connectivity changes!

It’s also worth checking if your TV and Source devices are running any form of HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) features – look for VIERA Link, BRAVIA Sync, Anynet+ etc. (depends on the brand of TV you have) – where you see an option to ‘disable’ HDMI control do so then repower the whole system once you have disabled control features on all devices.

If none of the above sports out your problem it’s time to look at a new Switch.

Joe
 

FinnMacCool

Standard Member
Thank you very much for that very informative and useful response Joe. Kudos to you. I have a Samsung C750 TV - a pretty good model - and I did at one point have another Samsung device hooked up, so was able to use the (only very slightly) useful Anynet+ function. I do remember that that would appear in the source list as 'HDMI-CEC' so clearly the TV does run some form of CEC. I made a point of switching that off, however, when I got rid of the other Samsung player.
A couple of supplementary questions if I may:
a) Do you have any suggestions for models/ brands of switch that might be able to cope with HDCP/ EDID etc?
b) What do you mean by 'HDMI control'? Is this just a generic reference to copy protection tech like CEC or something else? Is there usually an option to switch it off?
Odd that the XBox should be the only device to work quite happily with the switch. You'd be expect it to be bristling with copy protection tech...
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
HDMI CEC is a device to device ‘Control’ layer.

HDCP is the Content Protection/Encryption layer.

EDID is the device capabilities channel.

Any one of the above could be your problem (HDCP being the most likely) – though knowing if the problem lies with the Source(s), Switch or Display is not easy to say without some very expensive test gear.

A New Switch would be worth a try - Media Factory - Octava HDS3-UK, 3x1 HDMI switch

Joe
 

FinnMacCool

Standard Member
Hello Joe - thank you for the additional info. I am pleased to report that the problem has been solved. A little research suggested that the Apple TV would play nice with a switch equipped with a remote allowing the input channels to be switched manually. One trip to the local branch of Maplins in a high wind and I found a "high performance" 3-way switch from Banbridge complete with IR remote - hey presto, I can now use my Apple TV again.
 

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