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HDTV performance problem (a real mind boggler)

I have television service through a cable provider. Each of my five TVs receives signal thru either an HD or SD cable box. They are set up as follows:

1) 46" Panasonic Viera plasma HDTV, about 1 year old. TV signal comes into a HD cable box, which feeds to a Denon receiver using a HDMI cable. A DVD player also feeds to the receiver via HDMI cable, and a single HDMI cable is used to transfer cable TV and DVD signals to the TV.

2) 42" Panasonic Viera plasma HDTV, about 3 years old. TV signal comes into an HD cable box and signal is fed directly to the TV via HDMI cable. There are no other devices connected to this system.

3) 20" Samsung LCD TV, about 5 years old, is standard def but is connected to a HD cable box via component cable. No other devices are connected to this system.

4) 20" Philips CRT standard def, about 2 years old, connected to a standard cable box via component cable. A DVD/VHS player is also connected to this system.

5) 32" Panasonic CRT standard def, about 15 years old, connected to a standard cable box via component cable. No other devices are connected to this system.

My problem is with TV #1. Channel changing takes a good 5 seconds, sometimes more, for some HD channels to show the video (the audio comes on quickly thru the external speakers). I notice that all of the TVs connected to an HD cable box take longer to change channels than the SD boxes, but TV #1 takes the longest (but only for some HD channels). I'm assuming that's because the signal is going through the receiver, but I don't know why only some channels are affected. (Both TVs with the SD cable boxes change channels quickly, regardless of what other devices are connected).

But the real problem with TV #1 is that the video signal too often does not reach the TV when viewing an HD channel. (The audio signal makes it to the external speakers, so I can hear the program, but not see it). I have to change to an SD channel to get a picture, then change back to my HD channel of choice. That usually works, but it's awfully inconvenient and frustrating, especially when viewing a crucial part of a program.

Another thing that happens is that while viewing an HD channel the video will cut in and out. I have to follow the same procedure as above.

This does not happen with any other TV. I spoke to Panasonic and they say that the TV sometimes apparently does not know what to do with the video signal coming from the receiver (but they can't say why that is). The cable people never give any direct response to my question...just that they'll "send a tech out", which never results in a fix.

I haven't spoken to the Denon people, but it occurs to me that the DVD player, which feeds thru the receiver just as the cable box does, never presents this problem.

If anyone has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them.


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Try this

In reply to: HDTV performance problem (a real mind boggler)

First on TV #1, the signal is going through the receiver and when you change channels on the cable box, the signal needs to be routed through the receive which is causing a delay. Not totally sure about this.

Try this on TV #1: Try connecting the cable box directly to the TV, then plug the TV's Audio Out connection to the receiver. Your TV's audio-out may be either optical or RCA-type. At least this will give a direct connection between your cable box and your TV, but you will still get TV audio to your receiver.

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I've had both problems but....

In reply to: Try this

not at the same time. I have an Onkyo TX-SR605 that eventually would give me no picture but sometimes sound. The problem got progressively worse over time. It was still under warranty and it turned out to be the HDMI switching board which they had replaced by a local warranty repair company.

My grandmother had a problem where she was having her cable cut out and sometimes macro blocking. The cable company couldn't figure it out and wanted to drill a hole in her wall to shorten the distance of the cable once it entered her house. Then, one day she mentioned it got worse as the day went on so I decided to see if it was heat related. Sure enough, after I removed the glass doors off the front of her cabinet, the problem went away. I would definitely rule out heat first if it was me.


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I agree- 'cut out the middleman'

In reply to: Try this

This works nine times out of ten for me. The implementation of HDMI, along with the way some of the cable boxes process video/audio is certainly less the ideal with some equipment combinations. FWIW, it too me five or six box swaps w/ Comcast to get a Motorola that finally stuck.

Just for kicks, I'd also test a different A/V receiver brand in the middle to see if the problem persists. Once I removed my Onkyo and replaced with a friends Pioneer before the super bowl when I was having 'issues' (LOL). That goodness for friends like that ;).

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Thank you

In reply to: HDTV performance problem (a real mind boggler)

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read through my problem. All good suggestions, although re-routing the cables will make for a more complicated viewing experience when switching devices...something I hoped to avoid for the sake of my non-techie family.

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They'll survive and get used to it

In reply to: Thank you

Been there, done that with my similarly non-techie family. Just make them a nice dinner and politely tell them to deal with it ;).

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