Humax Aura signal issues - possible way forward

Havenview

Standard Member
There are numerous posts on several forums with regard to some poeple having issues with signal levels for the Humax Aura

There seems a strong voice from some that this is an HDMI issue but HDMI faults manifest very different traits than signal issues and I believe now I have found proof that these issues are FIRMWARE related and I would like to invite members to try out some tests to add weight to my findings

My signal issues manifest themselves only on certain muxes and they are "reliably faulty" in that I can tune to a channel and within a few minutes be guaranteed of viewing picture block freezes, audio pops and several seconds of I/B/P frame blocking.

My antenna system is good and I have checked using 2 aerials and confirmed good signal AND acceptable levels to muliple other boxes so I was sure this was NOT a signal related issue. I experience good level and quality readings from the built in signal testfor some muxes but on the faulty ones the quality jumps from 100% down to as low as 40% in an erratic manner

I also noted that there seemed to be an improvement when the box was restarted but only for a limited period - indeed other users have also posted on this too

Then it finally clicked - the issue happens as a consequence of CHANGING channel - the testing procedure is this

1. Tune to a faulty channel and observe the picture/sound break up
2. Issue a reboot - I use the freeview button and cursor all the way over to the right to the power icon and choose restart
3. Wait for the box to restart - the previous faulty channel should be the default tuned channel - DO NOT CHANGE CHANNEL
4. Observe if there is any break up - in my case at this point the picture and sound stability has always been A1
5. Now change channel to a different mux (an easy bet would be to go between an SD and an HD channel) and then return to the original suspect channel
6. For me the break up and distortion starts happening almost immediately
7. Reboot and all comes good

In my system the worst channels always seem to be on COM5 (Winter Hill) so I've been checking using Sky Arts on channel 11. I tuned and rebooted to that Yesterday morning and left it alone and not changed channel. It has been rock solid every time I have checked - even with other channels recording. I have just changed channels now and straight away I get the picture and sound break up return

I would be interested if other users who have experienced this issue could also try this as a means of wider testing

EDIT: Aura firmware v00.09.21
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
This could be a thermal/ventilation issue. Where do you have the box? What happens if you temporarily relocate it?
 

Havenview

Standard Member
This is absolutely not a thermal or location issue as the box remains completely stable including recording schedules whilst watching a problematic channel for sustained periods (>24hrs) so long as the channel is not changed after a reboot

I would be interested in hearing from other users that have this issue and have tried the methods I listed in my original post
 

Havenview

Standard Member
What does Humax say about this?
Part of my interest in what others have experienced is so that I am forearmed before I speak to them - in my experience they are very much in the "have you tried turning it on and off again" brigade
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Yup. One of the reasons that I went with a Manhattan T3R. The support is first class.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Anything similar reported on the Aura thread(s) on the Hummy forums? As far as I can see = no.
It might be worth joining and asking the Q there via a link to this thread?

What signal strength / quality is reported (on all received mux frequencies ideally = 8 from WRH)
1) Immediately after a reboot when there's no corruption
2) Once the corruption has started (all muxes again).

It might take a lot of time / reboots to get corruption free measurements on all muxes, but it would possibly/probably be helpful in analysing what is happening.

One member of both fora has an Aura and I expect he would undoubtedly have spotted / remarked on such a fault if it occurred on his box and Midlands transmitter. If I owned one I'd certainly try to replicate this fault out of sheer curiosity.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Given the lack of similar reports, at least that I can see, I suspect a local issue affecting the OP. A box swap out would prove that. Faulty hardware is another consideration, again checked by a box swap.
 

Pat Human

Novice Member
I had my first Aura with very fluctuating signal in the SD channels only. I tried all sorts of things including an attenuator. Nothing worked. Humax 4000T worked fine on same aerial on loop through after the Aura. Only solution was to return the Aura and got a replacement. That works fine in terms of signal. No fluctuations.

Got a few other issues like freezing on PCM sound 5.1/stereo changes. Attenuated down to 85% as Humax suggested demodulator over sensitivity. ultimately maybe needs firmware fix.
Got a few HDCP warning from recently. followed by Black screen or flashing on and off. But swapped HDMI and working again.
 
Last edited:

McTrucky

Active Member
Just tried the reboot thing. Made no difference.
My situation is I have the aerial passing through to my Sony tv, so I can use the TV tuner with the same signal as has already been given to the Humax.
On the Humax, I cannot watch Quest HD (as an example, most channels are affected). It is either a black screen with intermittent sound, or heavily pixilated. And the on screen error of insufficient signal.
On the Sony TV tuner, it is flawless, sound and vision are perfect.

I even upgraded my external aerial, and this then allowed the Humax to play Channel 4HD which it couldn't previously, but is useless on all but a handful of channels.

I wonder if it is a major design flaw resulting in the inbuilt tuner being too close to a power supply or something causing the tuner quality issue.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Just tried the reboot thing. Made no difference.
My situation is I have the aerial passing through to my Sony tv, so I can use the TV tuner with the same signal as has already been given to the Humax.
On the Humax, I cannot watch Quest HD (as an example, most channels are affected). It is either a black screen with intermittent sound, or heavily pixilated. And the on screen error of insufficient signal.
On the Sony TV tuner, it is flawless, sound and vision are perfect.

I even upgraded my external aerial, and this then allowed the Humax to play Channel 4HD which it couldn't previously, but is useless on all but a handful of channels.

I wonder if it is a major design flaw resulting in the inbuilt tuner being too close to a power supply or something causing the tuner quality issue.
C4 HD is on the same mux frequency as all the other PSB HD channels and one of the three most powerful and best (clearest) frequency channels.
That the aerial needed "upgrading" is indicative of a difficult reception location or inadequate original aerial installation.
The Sony coped due to a better tuner and/or pre-amplification provided by the PVR.

COM7 carries Quest HD and is invariably weaker, if transmitted from your transmitter site at all. Sometimes the ch 55 frequency is outwith a grouped aerial install and - as it's on a Single Frequency Network - may get interference from other transmitters, rendering it unreceivable.
(Predictions are available here... Detailed transmitter information for industry professionals )

Your aerial "upgrader" should have advised you as to why you have problems?? (Along with a set of terminated signal strengths for the different multiplex frequencies on the new aerial.)
 

McTrucky

Active Member
I'll re phrase. My Sony gets all the channel 55 feed and displays it happily. The Humax box refuses to play the channel 55 without breakup and pixelation.

The Humax decoder is not as able as the Sony decoder in using the provided signal.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
The Sony is not having to pass its output across an HDMI interface.
The Humax box does.

This is a classic symptom of HDMI interference and should be eliminated as the possible cause before examining signal issues.

Try different HDMI leads.
Keep the lead as far away as possible from incoming UHF leads.
Consider using improved screened UHF leads as that is where the interference from HDMI usually leaks back into the system saturating the tuner.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Different tuners have different sensitivity and capability. The Sony gets an amplified signal via the Aura RF loop through. What's it like direct connected?

What does the Aura report for signal strength and quality (estimate a % age if a simple bar-graph) for ch55 vs BBC B mux (HD which also gave you trouble before).
What does the Sony report for the same? (both Aerial direct and via the Aura.)

hdmi-aerial cross interference is a possible but I'm not convinced the aerial system is up to scratch.

Details of what is installed, any amplifiers (booster) and how many sets are fed, plus (approx) location for transmitter identification and signal strength estimation would allow more informed comment.
 

McTrucky

Active Member
The Sony is not having to pass its output across an HDMI interface.
The Humax box does.

This is a classic symptom of HDMI interference and should be eliminated as the possible cause before examining signal issues.

Try different HDMI leads.
Keep the lead as far away as possible from incoming UHF leads.
Consider using improved screened UHF leads as that is where the interference from HDMI usually leaks back into the system saturating the tuner.
I will have a look at cable routing, but as the Humax often displays an "Insufficient Signal Strength" dialogue box over the heavy pixelation, it seems reasonable to assume it knows the signal is weak before it sends it out over HDMI. But as suggested, maybe I can get a cleaner input signal through better cable management. I will have a play with this, and try to get some other stats as requested by Rodders53 - but can advise that the Aura reports 0% Quality on Channel 55 a lot of the time, but it fluctuates. Auto tuning usually doesn't pick up Ch55 on the Aura but manual tuning does. The Sony TV auto tunes it.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Not tuning = insufficient signal or maybe garbled signal if interference. Perhaps a 'deaf' Humax Aura (tho Humax have a reputation for sensitive tuners normally); or the amplifier improves it for the Sony.

Why did the aerial upgrade(r) not notice it wasn't being tuned in and attempt to rectify that issue as part of the job?

Go over the aerial cables and plugs with a fine toothed comb. Remake any hand made connectors if at all suspect. Try alternative fly leads and hdmi cables if you have them

Info on aerial type installed, where (room, loft, outside) and other kit to distribute signals; and (approx) location (suburb, village) as well as the metering numbers, please.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Sky Glass, Epson Laser Projectors plus Home Cinema Subwoofers and More…
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom