compatibility issues, or fault?

14 Jan 2008
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United Kingdom
Evening all,

Sony Bravia tv - about ten years old. Not smart.
Connected via ARC to Yamaha HTR 3065 AV receiver.

On the Yamaha:

HDMI 1 - BT Youview box
HDMI 2 - DVD player
HDMI 3 - Wii
HDMI 4 - Android box
We mainly use Youview box.

The sound periodically "clicks" on Youview, almost like a cable is loose.

Started using the Android box and, while the sound no longer clicks, the picture goes black every few seconds, for a few seconds.

Plugging the Android box straight into the ARC lead (rather than via the AV receiver) gets rid of the blacking-out, which makes me think the issue is something to do with the Yamaha.....

I've tried plugging the Android box into HDMIs 1 through 3 (to rule out a fault on HDMI 4), and the blacking issue persists.
So, am I correct in saying the issue lies either with the Yamaha ARC port (fault), of the Yamaha AV receiver itself (fault, or compatibility issue)?

Basically, I don't want to buy another AV receiver if the issue is a setting / compatibility one, rather than a fault.....

Is there anything obvious that I have missed, or does the AV receiver need a repair (to what? Advice appreciated :) ), or replacement.

I hope all of the above makes sense :)

Thanks in anticipation.
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TL;DR version; sounds like an HDMI board fault on the Yamaha

Longer version;

Unless you know for sure that the TV firmware has changed recently, or you're trying to run sources at a resolution or refresh rate that TV doesn't support, then I'd say from your description that this is the early stages of an HDMI board fault on the AV receiver.

As mainstream AV receiver brands go, Yamaha is perhaps one of the most reliable in general. Ten years ago everyone loved Onkyo because the brand provided more features per £ spent than any of the competitors. Then the HDMI board failures started to crop up. For a while, Onkyo became a dirty name.

The current darling of the AV market is Denon. That's because they offer more power (on paper, at least) for the number of £s spent. However, the amps run very hot, and heat isn't good for circuits. I don't need a crystal ball to tell you which brand is going to be featuring large as one of the least reliable over the next few years.

Yamaha have, on the whole, kept their amps underrated so that they aren't heavily stressed, and that means they run relatively cool. However, HDMI as a connection format is very susceptible to damage due to static and also power surges/grounding caused by hot-plugging HDMI connectors when any of the gear is on. It's a fragile technology, I'm sorry to say.

All might not be lost though. With a gradual failure it's sometimes possible to find that the culprit is a component on the board such as a capacitor or transistor. There are ways to test these components live in use by applying heat and cooling to provoke working- / non-working-state transitions. The board being worked on is low voltage DC, so safe except for the risk of static discharge from the operator and shorting if freeze spray is over-applied. However, the amp's cover will be off, and so the 240V AC side will be open. Standard electrical safety disclaimers apply.

Entire replacement boards do appear to be available, but so far I've only come across sources in Australia and the US. If you're interested though, search for Yamaha ZA305400 PCB

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Discretion being the better part of valour, would the best course of action then be simply replacing the av receiver with new?

I take it that a soundbar would be no more reliable?
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Average failure rates for consumer AV electronics run at 2~4% depending on the product and whether it's entry-level, midrange or high-end. Statistically then, a sound bar is just as likely to fail, or if we take the glass-is-half-full approach, just as likely to give years of trouble-free service.

It's anecdotal, but IME I see more issues with entry-level and high-end gear than midrange stuff. With entry-level is mostly a case of the results of the compromises required to hit a specific price point. For high-end stuff it's either that they're at the bleeding edge of technology, or the products are made in smaller batches because it's a boutique brand. There's better reliability with midrange products because there's more money to pay for better quality core features.

Buy a sound bar if you're looking to simplify your system. But don't rely on it being any more or less reliable.

If this or any other reply was helpful to you, then please do the decent thing and click the T-H-A-N-K-S button. It appears when you hover the mouse pointer near the Quote Multi-quote buttons. This is the proper way to show your thanks for the time and help someone gave you.
I just find out strange that the issue manifests itself as a clicking with one source, and a display issue only with another.
You're correct. It is odd.

In the abscence of any extra information which might give some aditional clues, then where you've checked all the settings and eliminated source and cable faults, what you're left with is what you've listed in the thread title; it's either a compatibility issue or a fault.

I would rule out compatibility on the grounds that it would be a problem for all owners with Youview and Android boxes. You'd have noticed this straight away with the Youview box, and there'd also be a lot more chatter on the Web from people in the same boat.

What we are left with then is a fault, possibly in the way that the HDCP handshaking is working so that the amp is treating these two sources as new connections each time the lease is renewed. This is why I mentioned about firmware updates. It could be an idea to check the Yamaha. This is covered in the manual. Also.have a look at Yamaha's UK website for info on the latest firmware version. Any updates are done using a USB drive.

Once you've done everything you can to eliminate any possible causes then the next stage is to contact the retailer and ask whether they've seen similar issues from other HTR-3065s they've sold. Maybe even consider taking the amp to them along with the two troublesome sources to test in-store. That, or contact someone like me who can come out with an amp to try as a substitute to do some troubleshooting on-site.
Further bit of information; TV is plugged into the master socket of the extension lead, with all other components plugged into the slave sockets. Barring the youview box, which is plugged into an always - on socket.
Further mystery and randomness......

Wondering whether poor wifi speed to the android box was the issue, I plugged it straight into an ethernet cable. This did not rectify the blacking-out issue.

Final throw of the die.....

....disconnected the android box HDMI cable from HDMI 4 of the AV receiver, and plugged it into HDMI 4 of the TV itself. No blacking-out.

Sound comes through the AV speakers (rather than the tinny ones of the TV), presumably via the TV still being connected to the AV receiver via HDMI 1 ARC, to ARC port of the AV receiver. AV display now reads "AUDIO 1", rather than the "HDMI 4" it did previously.
I presume then, that this current set-up is sending the sound only through the AV, whereas the previous connection was sending sound and picture through it?

What, if any, negative effects will the current set-up have?

One final strange point; the TV is plugged into the Master outlet of the extension lead, with the android box being a "slave".
However, if the android box is connected, it switches itself on, and switches the TV on too. It even overrides whatever else was on, such as the Youview box, and displays the android box home screen.
The only way I can stop this happening is to physically unplug the power plug from the android box.

Apart from a fault on the extension lead, how can a slave socket switch on the master socket?
The slave (mains, I resume you mean?) socket isn't switching on the master socket. What you're seeing is HDMI Control at work. Here's a breakdown...

ARC stands for Audio Return Channel. What's happening with ARC is that the HDMI cable that carries picture from the amp to the TV becomes a two-way connection. The audio from the TV returns to the amp via the monitor out channel; hence A R C.

Since ARC deals only with sound from the TV, it goes live when the TV is displaying its internal tuner, or the built-in apps, or something connected to one of the TV's own inputs. ARC doesn't need to work for any source connected directly to the AV receiver.

In order for ARC to work there are some things that need to be set up

1) HDMI control needs to be switched ON within the TV menus and for the amp at the very least, but it's likely to be on for some other devices as well

2) Some TVs need a menu option setting to be enabled that tells the TV to use an external speaker system

3) (On Yamaha amps) there's a setting to switch on the ARC feature. When enabled, the amp will default to Audio 1 when sound from the TV is required to go via the amp.

NOTES: ARC requires HDMI Control to be ON. It's not possible to use ARC without HDMI Control being on. You can though have HDMI Control without enabling ARC; that's because ARC is a sub-feature of HDMI Control.

HDMI Control is what makes all the enabled devices wake up, and the amp and TV to change inputs. It's a command signal sent via the HDMI connection system, and it daisy-chains command controls throughout all enabled devices. However, it's not a 100% infallible. Sometimes the communication between devices gets muddles or just doesn't work at all.

In my system I have a Panasonic TV, a Yamaha AV amp, Sky, a Firestick, a BD player and an Android box. If I enable HDMI Control then the TV wakes up and the amp changes inputs when Sky or Firestick or BD player are switched on or controlled in a specific way. My Android box is old. Neither the version of Android OS or Kodi that it runs as the main media player seem to feature HDMI control. It doesn't matter then if the Android box powers up, the system isn't getting any switching requests from it so nothing changes unless I select the source for it.

Where HDMI Control is causing problems then I would suggest switching it off for the affected source device.

If this or any other reply was helpful to you, then please do the decent thing and click the T-H-A-N-K-S button. It appears when you hover the mouse pointer near the Quote Multi-quote buttons. This is the proper way to show your thanks for the time and help someone gave you.
Very simply then Lucid, I'll look through the android box menu, look for "hdmi control", and set it to "off"?
I can then operate the various boxes myself, rather than them having a mind of their own?

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