The fix for HDMI woes

0
1072

Unfortunately, the promise of HDMI has never lived up to it’s reality.  To be fair, if you have a simple setup—a source device connected to a display—and you’re within about 6-15 feet or so then generally you’re fine.  However, once you start setting up an HDMI-based network that’s comprised of a receiver, pre-pro, or HDMI switchers, then that’s where many of the problems arise.

Problems can manifest themselves in seemingly maddening ways:

  • You’ll get no audio or video
  • You’ll get video, but no audio
  • You’ll get audio, but no video
  • Switching sources can take 2 seconds per device in the chain so if you have source, switcher, receiver, and TV, that’s 4 devices or 8 seconds between switching
  • Powering the devices “on” in a certain order will make things work fine while powering them on in a different order will make things go all out of whack.
I’ve had the terrible and painful experience of almost all of these HDMI-based problems with my AppleTV. If you lookup the problems online, you’ll be met with one of a few knowledge based articles on Apple’s site.  For example, there’s this one:
AppleTV: HDMI Audio Stops Working: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2090 or this one:

AppleTV (2nd and 3rd Generation): Troubleshooting video issues http://support.apple.com/kb/TS5148 or this one
Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation): About Apple TV and HDCP http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4428
The articles sound so promising but what they’re really telling you is you’re at the mercy of HDMI.  My favorite is certainly TS2090.  The tech article matter-of-factly states: “Your Apple TV may stop playing audio to an HDMI device (TV, AV receiver, or HDMI switcher) for these reasons:”  My hopes are then dashed when I see the reasons being:

  • Switching devices using AV receivers 
  • Using HDMI switches 
  • Using HDMI splitters 
  • Removing an HDMI cable and plugging it back in when all the devices in use are on

Wait a minute, you just described every setup that isn’t AppleTV connected to…. the TV!  So, I can’t play my AppleTV content through my stereo system for high fidelity?  I’m limited to those tinny speakers in the TV?  Oh I could go on and on.

Nothing I tried worked in my case.  So I decided to research ways to address HDMI-based issues and came across a wonderful little product that from its description appeared that it would be my HDMI panacea. This divinely-inspired HDMI Gremlin zapper would solve all my ills.  It’s name?  Dr. HDMI. Wow, what a perfect name. For $99, I could have the problem of HDMI-inspired ills completely cured.  But alas, I’d need a Dr. HDMI at my display and possibly connected to every device.

I settled on a solution that I’ll talk about in my next post as I take you through what I did to try and solve my HDMI trials and tribulations.

LEAVE A REPLY