I Think My AVR's HDMI Out is Finally Done...Advice for Moving Forward/Confirmation?

IntelliVolume

Well-known Member
Bear with me here, friends and fellow blokes...

I own an Onkyo 605 amp, which we bought when the model was brand new and launched circa 2007/2008. As the first one on the market -- at least here in the States -- to support and decode the high resolution codecs, namely Dolby's TrueHD and DTS' Master Audio, the unit has served us well up until this very day...plenty of power, nice looks, solid Onkyo build quality and incredible value. Of course, the amp is HDMI 1.3-compatible, which means it only passes through up to 1080p video via its HDMI ports, which was fine for our needs, even up into the 4K era (let me explain).

When we purchased our Samsung 4K display we were using an older Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player, so the connections were made as before, with our 1080p display...that is:

Oppo HDMI OUT > Onkyo 605 IN
Onkyo 605 OUT > TV HDMI IN


So the Oppo was sending out 1080p signals and the Samsung was upconverting them to 4K. We then purchased a new Cambridge Audio CXUHD 4K Blu-ray player, so some connection changes needed to be made; now, I was splitting the audio from the Cambridge from the video of the player via two HDMI cables, with one going directly to the Samsung for video and the other going to the amp for audio. That's how we've been running the system up until now (again, the Onkyo can't do 4K passthrough).

However, in order to still see and check the Onkyo's menu settings from time to time, I connected the amp's HDMI OUT to an available port on my Samsung (HDMI 4), but this was strictly for checking the onscreen menu.

Recently, I was getting random drop-outs over this connection, where the screen would intermittently flash, sometimes not even allowing me to see the setup menu at all, rather just a bright blue blank screen. Alas -- a couple of nights ago when I did a system settings check, as I do from time to time, the amp's Setup onscreen menu wouldn't come up at all...I just got the blank blue screen.

I think this is that "blue screen of death" I have heard about, which occurs when these Onkyo HDMI boards go bad...so my first question is, does anyone think that's what this is? I know the 605 model had reports of premature HDMI failures, but this only began occurring NOW -- and we've had the amp for over 10 years with nonstop use.

If this IS the HDMI OUT failing, I am going to need another AVR because when I attempted to read the amp's display to check the settings, I couldn't really see anything from my seating position....so I need to have an AVR with onscreen prompts again.

Now, in getting into new AVRs, it's been quite some time since I shopped for one, as you can tell, but I've always been an Onkyo fan, from the time I was introduced to the brand by a friend of mine years ago, and when I bought my first surround amp, a TX-SR600 (which I still own). I know the brand has gone somewhat downhill in terms of quality over the past few years -- to say nothing of its acquisition of Pioneer -- but I have also recently read that it has regained its reputation as of late, and it's a brand you can consider once more.

I suppose my selection would come down to a Denon or Onk -- I'm not going to be able to afford the likes of NAD, Cambridge or Rotel -- but I need some suggestions going forward for a new unit; first off, I do NOT need every bell and whistle under the sun, as we don't do any streaming nor do we listen to any iPads/iPods/iWhatevers. Our viewing in this home theatre room is strictly via the Cambridge UHD Blu-ray player (for DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Blu-rays), which will be going straight into a new AVR and then off to the Samsung display. I also don't really care about proprietary setup systems (Onkyo's Accu system) or Audyssey protocols, as I do all my own calibrating/adjusting of levels and don't utilize room EQ (I realize these systems are baked into every amp, but I'm just saying it's not a priority).

What IS important is power (I'd like something no lower than 100 watts per channel, even two channels rated, as is common, because we're coming from 90 watts and I'd like just a bit more horsepower) and preamp outputs, so I can possibly add a power amp down the line. Our budget would be somewhere in the maxing-out-at-$800 (U.S.) area, so I might be able to consider something from Onkyo's premium RZ Series (not sure).

Anyone have any suggestions with regard to the blank blue screen and my future AVR choices?
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
You could try a premium certified HDMI cable from the AVR to the TV, Monoprice and Amazon sell them for around five dollars. It could be that the TV works better with those cables.

In your case, I am not hopeful that it will fix the issue, but it's probably worth a punt. Even if only for resale value of the Onkyo.

I think, if you have $800 then a new AVR is likely to be a good investment at this stage, and should bring you some additional features that you will enjoy. But, we need to ensure that you don't experience a drop in sound quality.

What speakers do you have, are you planning on adding any more, do you use the system for music at all?
 

IntelliVolume

Well-known Member
You could try a premium certified HDMI cable from the AVR to the TV, Monoprice and Amazon sell them for around five dollars. It could be that the TV works better with those cables.

In your case, I am not hopeful that it will fix the issue, but it's probably worth a punt. Even if only for resale value of the Onkyo.

First Rambles, let me say thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my long-ish post and to offer some suggestions; it's appreciated.

With regard to trying the cable, I didn't consider that, and I suppose I could, but the thing is, this seemed like it was coming for awhile now (where the onscreen menu would begin to flash or intermittently drop out, eventually leading to this blue screen) so I suspect it was just this thing's time to die (the amp is over a decade old). Also, I did use these 1080p-compliant cables for awhile with my old setup WITH this 4K TV, which, as I explained in the original post, was an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player and the 605, and didn't experience any HDMI OUT issues.

Now, your suggestion of getting a Monoprice or Amazon UHD-certified cable is a good one, and as a matter of fact, it's one of Monoprice's certified HDMI cables that connect my new Cambridge 4K Blu-ray player with the TV; I could try that, but as you mentioned, it probably won't help the issue in my case...I suspect this is a dead HDMI out on the Onkyo.

With regard to your comment about my AVR's resale value, what did you mean exactly?

I think, if you have $800 then a new AVR is likely to be a good investment at this stage, and should bring you some additional features that you will enjoy. But, we need to ensure that you don't experience a drop in sound quality.

Well, we don't really "have" the $800 to spend, lol, but that would be the limit we'd be able to pay in terms of buying a new unit with payments (through, for example, our Best Buy card on which we're still paying for our Samsung TV); I had already outlined the features I'm really looking for in a new amp (sound quality, power, preamp outputs...don't care about streaming abilities/Bluetooth/advanced calibration controls et al.)...but what did you mean by "experience a drop in sound quality"? Is this even possible comparing my old 605 with a new model?

What speakers do you have, are you planning on adding any more, do you use the system for music at all?

My speakers are in my signature -- I'm running Polk RTi12's as left/right mains, a Polk CSi30 center and two SpeakerCraft in-ceiling surrounds (it's a 5.1 setup right now), plus a powered Polk PSW350 (this needs to be upgraded at some point too). This system is used ONLY for home theater -- not music. I have a separate two-channel hi-fi system in an upstairs loft area which is for our music (CD and LP) listening.

As far as adding any more, I may, at some point, hook up an additional two in-ceiling surrounds (which we already have in our home when we moved in; they were pre-installed) so I can get 7.1, but my other concern is with Atmos and X -- I know the new AVRs are going to support these formats, and I own quite a few Blu-rays with these soundtracks, but I am not sure I want to go through the expense and hassle of doing the in-ceiling speakers route to take advantage of them. I was considering those "modules" that sit atop the left and right main channels and which bounce the sound to the ceiling to "mimic" true Atmos and X effects...do you recommend those?
 

jfinnie

Distinguished Member
I've fixed a faulty 605 with HDMI board issues for a few pounds worth of capacitors and maybe an hour of effort. It still works to this day and my father-in-law has loved it for the last 4 or 5 years.

If it it failing repeatedly now it should be easy for a repair shop to see the failure, have a quick look to see if the parts look suspect, if so change them, and see if it is fixed.

If you don't have the $800 to spend (and even if you do) if the current amp meets most of your need and you like the sound it seems criminal to kick it to the kerb... :)
 

IntelliVolume

Well-known Member
I've fixed a faulty 605 with HDMI board issues for a few pounds worth of capacitors and maybe an hour of effort. It still works to this day and my father-in-law has loved it for the last 4 or 5 years.

If it it failing repeatedly now it should be easy for a repair shop to see the failure, have a quick look to see if the parts look suspect, if so change them, and see if it is fixed.

If you don't have the $800 to spend (and even if you do) if the current amp meets most of your need and you like the sound it seems criminal to kick it to the kerb... :)

I appreciate the input, finnie; thank you for joining the discussion!

I don't really have a repair shop anywhere around me that could look at this issue, and to be honest, I am kind of looking at this as a chance to upgrade to something new with perhaps some more power and Atmos/X decoding (so I can take advantage of these formats at some point down the road).

As much as I like the 605 and how it's treated us to this point -- and Onkyo's products in general -- I'd like to know if what I'm describing at least SOUNDS like it's the HDMI OUT board that's shot...again, the audio IS working on this amp, but the HDMI OUT video (to see the menus, as I use it for now) is now exhibiting that blank blue screen.

I'd also like to get some suggestions of amps to look for that meet at least some of my criteria (for a new one), including:

- Decent power (at least 100 watts per channel)
- Preamp outputs
- Good build quality (preferably a real aluminum volume knob, if they're still making AVRs with these)

I don't need every bell and whistle available, as we're not into streaming; it's all physical media in this setup via Blu-ray Discs and DVDs. My preference is to stick to Onkyo, but I'm open to considering a Denon (don't really care for the Yamahas, Sonys or Harman Kardons).

Any suggestions/insight?
 

jfinnie

Distinguished Member
I appreciate the input, finnie; thank you for joining the discussion!

I don't really have a repair shop anywhere around me that could look at this issue, and to be honest, I am kind of looking at this as a chance to upgrade to something new with perhaps some more power and Atmos/X decoding (so I can take advantage of these formats at some point down the road).

As much as I like the 605 and how it's treated us to this point -- and Onkyo's products in general -- I'd like to know if what I'm describing at least SOUNDS like it's the HDMI OUT board that's shot...again, the audio IS working on this amp, but the HDMI OUT video (to see the menus, as I use it for now) is now exhibiting that blank blue screen.

I'd also like to get some suggestions of amps to look for that meet at least some of my criteria (for a new one), including:

- Decent power (at least 100 watts per channel)
- Preamp outputs
- Good build quality (preferably a real aluminum volume knob, if they're still making AVRs with these)

I don't need every bell and whistle available, as we're not into streaming; it's all physical media in this setup via Blu-ray Discs and DVDs. My preference is to stick to Onkyo, but I'm open to considering a Denon (don't really care for the Yamahas, Sonys or Harman Kardons).

Any suggestions/insight?
I quite liked the Onkyo units of that vintage so I think it is a shame to get rid. Your issues do sound like what I recall seeing - it was a long time ago now.

I'm not really across AVRs in that segment these days so I'll leave you with others who I'm sure will have tons of good advice. Note if you stay Onkyo you'll lose Audyssey and gain Onkyo's own attempt - it has been that way for a few years now - which is a move on Onkyo's part that annoyed me. I believe this affects the Integra brand too. Because of that I moved to Denons which did have Audyssey still immediately after the Onkyo, and really liked them.

Now I've got an Arcam unit which is awesome, but pricey.
 

IntelliVolume

Well-known Member
I quite liked the Onkyo units of that vintage so I think it is a shame to get rid. Your issues do sound like what I recall seeing - it was a long time ago now.

Thank you.

Indeed, I LOVE the Onkyo units of this vintage -- the 605, 705, 805...beautifully built with that "cascading lip" design towards the bottom of the faceplates. I much prefer this over the "straight box" Onkyo designs their units in the form of now. I totally agree.

While it would be a shame to move on from my 605, sometimes it's just time for an upgrade; I had to say goodbye to my much-beloved Sony SXRD 1080p rear projection TV and Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player, as well, in order to move into the 4K realm (I still have the Oppo though; gonna use it for an emergency backup player), but such is the progression of technology. Thus, I kind of welcome a new AVR into the house, even though it's gonna be a pain to rewire the whole system again...

I'm not really across AVRs in that segment these days so I'll leave you with others who I'm sure will have tons of good advice. Note if you stay Onkyo you'll lose Audyssey and gain Onkyo's own attempt - it has been that way for a few years now - which is a move on Onkyo's part that annoyed me. I believe this affects the Integra brand too. Because of that I moved to Denons which did have Audyssey still immediately after the Onkyo, and really liked them.

Now I've got an Arcam unit which is awesome, but pricey.

Indeed, I'm aware of Onkyo's move to drop Audyssey from their AVRs; however, as I stated in my original post and others since, I adjust all my speaker levels manually (as well as my distance readings) and I don't use any form of room EQ (everything sounds fantastic to my ears using this method, notably with the years I spent with the 605)...so that isn't really a factor for a new amp. :)

Those Arcams do indeed look nice, but they'd be out of our price range, unfortunately (we could barely -- not really even -- afford the Cambridge CXUHD Blu-ray player we bought, and we're still making payments on it).

The issue I have with buying super-expensive AVRs is that the technology within them changes too often -- I'm sure we'll have something surpassing DTS:X and Dolby Atmos before we know it, requiring us to yet again buy a new A/V amp, and this is why I never considered saving up enough pounds/cash to invest in a flagship model.

I appreciate all your help thus far; please chime in if you think of anything else. Thanks mate!
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
In terms of the resale value of the Onkyo, I was thinking that if the premium certified cables fixed your issue, you could sell it or part exchange it as a fully working unit. Otherwise, with a known fault, it's value will be limited.

Having read your very descriptive posts, it makes it much easier to recommend a replacement AVR, and I think a Denon AVR-X3500 or AVR-X3600 will meet your needs very well.
 

IntelliVolume

Well-known Member
In terms of the resale value of the Onkyo, I was thinking that if the premium certified cables fixed your issue, you could sell it or part exchange it as a fully working unit. Otherwise, with a known fault, it's value will be limited.

Having read your very descriptive posts, it makes it much easier to recommend a replacement AVR, and I think a Denon AVR-X3500 or AVR-X3600 will meet your needs very well.

Thank you very much; I appreciate your ongoing assistance Rambles.

Those Denons do look nice; I will put them on my list of considerations.

Are there any Onkyos around this price range you'd recommend that are on par with the Denons?
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
I have had a lot of different brands of amps and AVR's, but never tried an Onkyo. They seem to have a bit of a reputation for reliability issues, but as long as you get a decent warranty, I expect it would be fine.
 

IntelliVolume

Well-known Member
I have had a lot of different brands of amps and AVR's, but never tried an Onkyo. They seem to have a bit of a reputation for reliability issues, but as long as you get a decent warranty, I expect it would be fine.


Thank you; indeed, they started off as a brand with a rock-solid reputation with regard to build and reliability...then they started having issues with their HDMI boards. But from what I've read, the company is back on its game and can be "trusted" again...
 

IntelliVolume

Well-known Member
Here's something else I have a question about with regard to new AVRs...

Do any of them pass 4K video with HDR10+? My 4K Blu-ray player and Samsung display both support this dynamic HDR platform, so I was wondering if any receivers are able to pass this via their HDMI OUT ports...
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Here's something else I have a question about with regard to new AVRs...

Do any of them pass 4K video with HDR10+? My 4K Blu-ray player and Samsung display both support this dynamic HDR platform, so I was wondering if any receivers are able to pass this via their HDMI OUT ports...
No current receivers pass HDR10+. Something for the future.
 

IntelliVolume

Well-known Member
No current receivers pass HDR10+. Something for the future.

Thanks Gibbsy.

I don't own any 4K Blu-ray titles that actually come in this HDR flavour, but I was just curious.

Is this something that will be able to be updated via a firmware upgrade?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Thanks Gibbsy.

I don't own any 4K Blu-ray titles that actually come in this HDR flavour, but I was just curious.

Is this something that will be able to be updated via a firmware upgrade?
I honestly don't know. I am waiting for a HDR10+ update on my Pioneer LX500 4K player. Supposed to be this autumn (fall), but still no news, so it's seems it's a firmware update. I've not read anything about receivers getting an update. I will connect directly to the TV for video and to the receiver for audio so no biggy.
 

IntelliVolume

Well-known Member
I honestly don't know. I am waiting for a HDR10+ update on my Pioneer LX500 4K player. Supposed to be this autumn (fall), but still no news, so it's seems it's a firmware update. I've not read anything about receivers getting an update. I will connect directly to the TV for video and to the receiver for audio so no biggy.

My Cambridge CXUHD player received the update for HDR10+ in the last release, so I'm good to go there (my Samsung supports the format, but doesn't support Dolby Vision); I am running my setup the way you run yours right now -- audio separate from video from the source to the display and receiver -- but when I get a 4K-compliant receiver, I wanted to run everything through it (with video going off to the display), which is why I asked about passing HDR10+...

Probably not a big deal either way; how many titles are actually going to be released with that HDR format?
 

IntelliVolume

Well-known Member
UPDATE: After doing a system diagnostic check the other night on all my gear, I left my Onkyo 605 turned OFF for awhile before turning it on and checking the onscreen setup menu, and this seems to have enabled it to work again (see the onscreen menu prompts from the AVR's HDMI OUT)...so perhaps this is a heat issue -- in which when the AVR is left on for awhile it is affecting the HDMI board -- related to how it's maybe "breaking" the HDMI board in the amp?

At any rate, I was able to see the onscreen prompts, unlike the last time I tried, though I don't know if it will last...
 

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