Author Topic: Troubleshooting a weird tech problem  (Read 5864 times)

Bill Binkelman

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Troubleshooting a weird tech problem
« on: December 23, 2011, 12:20:06 PM »
If any of you have any ideas on this, I'd love to hear them...

I have a Samsung HDTV (LCD) and use Comcast cable for my TV. For the last 2.5 years, everything was fine. I used HDMI cables for both TV and my blu-ray player. My Samsung TV has 4 HDMI ports, plus component inputs too, of course. Well, Thursday morning, my Samsung TV read as "No Signal" when I tried to watch TV. There were no power outages or surges that night (all the digital clocks were fine). I re-booted the cable box twice. No luck. I tried switching the HDMI cables, thinking the TV one was bad. Nope. My blu-ray player was fine, so the TV itself still had a picture. I even hooked up the Component video cables and still "No Signal." And yes, I always changed the source on the source menu for the TV. So, Comcast said "Switch out the cable box for a new one" (I use a DVR type box). So, I did that last night and still no luck. I thought "Okay, all 4 HDMI ports can't be bad and at least one of the HDMI cables works because it works for the blu ray player." I suspected signal loss somewhere along the line from where the cable hits the house to the cable feed near the HDTV (the regular TV in the bed room, which is analog, was getting a fine signal, so it wasn't the signal from the pole in the alley to the house).

The Comcast guy came and hooked up his signal meter and the signal strength was better than good. He was stumped too. But when he switched out the blu ray HDMI and routed it to HDMI port 3 and put the cable lead into HDMI 2, then the TV worked...BUT the blu ray didn't...and now it gets weird. See, when you select a source on a Samsung device that has no signal, it displays "No Signal" on the TV screen (duh). But when I selected the blu ray player on the source menu (when it was plugged into port 3), instead of displaying "No Signal" the TV "jumped" and displayed the TV signal instead (which is on HDMI port 2) even though the source menu read "HDMI 3." The Comcast guy said he had never seen anything like it. How can a TV "select" a different source on its own?

With the new cable box, the composite video cables DID end up working (I must have forgotten to check THAT option after I got the new box), so I am running my hi def TV cable signal via composite cables which are nearly as good as HDMI but way clunkier and the one "good" HDMI port is used for the blu-ray player. I'm not keen on this, but...

Here is my question. What is the likelihood that, literally all of a sudden, 3 of the 4 HDMI ports would go bad with no apparent cause? Complicating this is that 3 of the HDMI ports are on the back of the TV (including the one good port) and the 4th HDMI port is on the side (for use with game consoles, I assume). If it's a weird hardware issue with how the ports are wired, or a blown circuit, I would think the one good port would be port 4, since it's not located where the other three are.

The TV in question is 2.5 years old. I was going to get a bigger one soon (this one which is our main set is only 37") anyway and move this to the bedroom were the HDMI vs component issue is moot since the box there doesn't have an HDMI output. But do I bother trying to trouble-shoot it some more with Samsung? I have spoken with them twice in the past but it's that whole "This is Peggy..." thing (outsourced to a non-native English speaking country...sorry to sound ethnocentric but talking tech issues with a non-native speaker is very frustrating, IMO). Do I just say "Fuck it...I have a high def signal and that's all that matters" (although I can tell a subtle difference between the component and HDMI signal, to be honest).

Any advice or suggestions or opinions are welcome.

And that doesn't even address my other tech problem which is that every time there is power surge/power failure, the Netgear box that feeds Wi-Fi to my blu ray player (it plugs into my Ethernet port on the blu ray and receives the 'net signal from my Netgear router) "loses" the internet and I have to reset the entire set-up and restore the blu-ray factory settings (which is weird because my laptop just "re-finds" the router and modem with no reset or reboot necessary). It's frustrating because it makes streaming Netflix a dicey proposition until I reboot, reset, and reprogram the blu ray player after every power loss or if the player gets unplugged for some reason. A Samsung rep said "Yup, every time the blu ray player loses power, you will have the problem"...but come on, really? The reason I didn't buy a "wi-fi built-in" blu-ray player (and opted for one that is "wi-fi ready" instead) is because many reviews of the built-ins got worse consumer reviews...people complained about slow streaming, etc. WHEN this Netgear "booster" is working, I can stream Netflix no problem, but it's a royal pain to reboot the modem, router, and have the router "find" the booster and THEN have to reset all the player stuff, including reauthorizing it to Netflix account, etc.

Well, any suggestions or ideas on this one are also appreciated. I know lots of you forumites are super high tech wizards, and as I wrote, I am NOT tech savvy enough to do all my own setups, installs, etc. for audio, video and computer, but one or more of you may be a LOT smarter than me with these problems - I hope so.

I'm really not technologically challenged, IMO, but these two problems have proven vexing to the say the least.

Thanks for your indulgence.
May the odds be ever in your favor.

mgriffin

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Re: Troubleshooting a weird tech problem
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2011, 02:49:38 PM »
It sounds like the problem has been narrowed down to the inputs on your TV -- not one specific input, but the input controller that sorts out the various signals from the ports and feeds them to the television screen. It's probably impossible for anybody to effectively troubleshoot this over the phone, and even the tech who visited seemed like he did all the right things and couldn't figure it out.

I'd say since you're considering upgrading this TV anyway, just wait until you can buy that next TV and move this one to a room where you won't need to use all the inputs.

Alternately, find one reliable HDMI input on the TV and always leave the TV set to receive that input only -- never switch it. Then buy a 3 or 4 port HDMI switcher (reasonably cheap, maybe $30 -- check Amazon) and use that to switch what you want to display on your TV. Yes, that's an extra step you shouldn't need to take, but it might be the cheapest and most direct solution.

As for the second problem, with a device losing settings when you have have power surges or outages... I don't think anybody can help you. Some devices are just like that, prone to losing settings. Streaming Netflix is dicey no matter what. I've had trouble with that service since I first tried it. Netflix keeps making me re-login and confirm my identity, over and over. It's a nice service in concept but not in practice. I ended up canceling it.

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Bill Binkelman

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Re: Troubleshooting a weird tech problem
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2011, 05:04:48 PM »
Thanks, Mike. I appreciate the feedback and suggestions.
May the odds be ever in your favor.

einstein36

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Re: Troubleshooting a weird tech problem
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2011, 09:42:41 PM »
yep..that's what it sounds like the video processor chip is going bad that processes the HDMI ports on the TV..
I have read a lot of this happening on the hi-def forum I visit regularly...

I agree with Mike...buy a new TV, esp a new Panasonic plasma tv
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SunDummy

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Re: Troubleshooting a weird tech problem
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2011, 09:23:16 AM »
My advice is to unplug the whole lot and go play outside.   ;D ;)
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