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Video flicker with Blu-ray Soundbar and LED HDTV

by GaussianBlur / December 28, 2009 11:37 PM PST

Here's hoping someone can help... I currently have a Samsung HT-BD8200 (Blu-ray Soundbar) connected to a Samsung UN55NB8000 (LED HDTV) via HDMI. When I initially set it up using a newer Belkin HDMI cable, the picture while watching a Blu-ray disc would intermittently flicker with no picture, though with sound, which I have seen on various online boards as symptomatic of a possible HDCP handshake issue. When I switched to an older Belkin HDMI cable the issue seemingly disappeared when watching a Blu-ray movie. However, I have discovered that after prolonged use (say for example, two plus hours listening to Pandora streams), the picture again begins to exhibit the flicker. This also happens particularly when viewing Netflix streamed movies (I am fairly certain it is not a streaming issue as the flickering occurs in the startup screen and when simply displaying the movie queue; not just when viewing movies) or again, when listening to Pandora for extended periods, though not consistently with Blu-ray.

I have tried different HDMI ports and reversing the aforementioned HDMI cables but ultimately without completely eliminating the issue. Have also tried turning off AnyNet+ as suggested in a different forum. I actually like AnyNet+ so I'd like to keep it on if possible. I am loathe to buy an overpriced HDMI cable, but am willing to give it a go if someone can definitively state that it truly could make a difference. However, I am interested in alternative suggestions that may have worked with others. In the interest of completeness, the firmware for the TV and Soundbar are both fully up to date to the latest version. Thanks in advance to all!!

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Update - Interaction with staff at "Samsung Experience" NYC
by GaussianBlur / December 30, 2009 10:05 PM PST

gentle bump to top in hopes someone can help...

as an update, I live in NYC and went to the "Samsung Experience" showroom in the Time Warner Center to see if anyone there could help. While they were friendly and good listeners, ultimately they conceded that they were marketers and not technical support and suggested calling the help line.

I mentioned the possibility that what I am experiencing appears symptomatic of an HDCP handshake issue and he claimed that any such problem has been resolved and does not exist in any product that has shipped in the last two years... At the very least, Samsung Tech team, can you verify if that is true?

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Video flicker with Blu-ray Soundbar and LED HDTV
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / January 1, 2010 11:43 AM PST

GaussianBlur,

Sorry for the delay, but I hope this will help you.

Are you able to test the player with component (Red/Blue/Green) or composite cables? If so, do you see the same issue with the flickering? The reason I ask is that if you can test this issue, it may help determine if it's an issue beyond HDMI, or if it is HDMI. The fact that it happens with prolonged use suggests that it may be an issue with the player.

Anynet+ shouldn't make a difference either way, at least not as far as the symptoms are concerned (although, you will need HDMI for Anynet+ capabilities).

If you want to try a different HDMI cable, a lot of people on the forums speak generally favorable of the cables on this thread:

http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7596_102-0.html?messageID=2822976&tag=forums06;search-results#2822976

--HDTech

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Alternative options
by GaussianBlur / January 1, 2010 12:51 PM PST

Thank you for replying. My understanding is that there is no component output and that the composite output is limited to 480i resolution.

Some additional info to add: one suggestion I had read involved the startup sequence of devices (e.g. TV first, then Blu-ray player). Additionally, a power recycling of source devices (i.e. blu-ray) would serve to reset the HDCP handshake, similar to how the startup sequence helps in establishing a clean HDCP connection. This has actually worked fairly well, though from my perspective I would imagine this is not the intended way these machines should function. I have also read postings that attribute power supply issues (i.e. too many devices in the same socket) to HDCP hiccups.

Now I tried the composite cable route when the intermittent black screen occurred recently, but to do the switch I chose to power down the player rather than risk a short -- therefore I do not know if the resolution of the flicker that resulted was due to the power recycling or the composite output.

In any event, do you lend credence to any of the above techniques and rationale for its efficacy? Is the very fact that I am experiencing these issues enough to seek servicing of my unit? I've seen enough to recognize that the technology is not fully plug and play, but there is a limit to the latitude I give it. I would prefer to keep trying other things before seeking service as it is an inconvenience so I would appreciate your honest opinion on when "enough is enough" given your experience.

Again, many thanks.

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Alternative options
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / January 2, 2010 7:58 AM PST
In reply to: Alternative options

GaussianBlur,

I can appreciate trying to troubleshoot as much as possible.

Ideally the sequence of starting the devices should render no difference to the symptom you described. The HDMI connection is a digital connection, in that it works, it doesn't work, or has intermittent issues with drop-outs. Usually that indicates a bad cable (or possibly a bad cable PORT, which would require a service), but you'd still have to figure out which side was bad if the port was actually the issue - the outgoing, or the incoming HDMI port.

You might try using an inexpensive HDMI cable, and several users have posted very positive reviews from one online seller for the quality and price of the cable. Do a search in the threads for "monoprice". For the price, you can figure out pretty quickly if it is your HDMI cable, and if I recall correctly, someone else who got the cable actually had the issue fixed.

I'm not aware of flashing being the subject of power supplies, but more when the unit won't turn on. I don't think that's the issue at all.

Enough is enough when you've tried what you can and feel that a professional inspection is appropriate. I would recommend factoring in your warranty time period so that you don't troubleshoot yourself out of your warranty. Happy

Flickering can be caused by a wrong setting in the source (DVD, Blu-Ray, etc), but a cable, or if the television has a bad port. So if you suspect it's something easy, there are steps to test it out if you want to take the effort. If you feel that you get to a point where it's beyond you, then call in the pros.

--HDTech

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Conclusion
by GaussianBlur / January 5, 2010 2:32 AM PST
In reply to: Alternative options

Much appreciation for the feedback.

For the benefit of others who may come across this thread, the conclusion is a defective unit which is in the process of being replaced.

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