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54 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 111690 12-Nov-2012 07:39 Send private message

I got a pigtail 3 port HDMI switcher recently. I had the TBox on input 1 and it auto switches to and from there as I use devices. The TBox comes up with a message that a non-HDCP compliant device was detected and it switches to SD mode. The TV is definately usually fine without the switcher. The specs on the switcher do actually list HDCP passthrough too. Has anyone else run into a similar problem?

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148 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 7


  Reply # 715655 12-Nov-2012 09:06 Send private message

It may not be your switcher - I am getting that error as well, and I do not have a, HDMI switcher. It may be a "feature" of the last update.

627 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 741111 7-Jan-2013 15:09 Send private message

foamfollower: It may not be your switcher - I am getting that error as well, and I do not have a, HDMI switcher. It may be a "feature" of the last update.


Yes, apparently it is a "feature" of the last update.

Had the issue today, and so contacted TC support. Earlier today, TV was fine, no HDCP problems.
Was given various mis-information tid-bits by the CSR (not really his fault, he's just spouting what's he been told).

Apparently, a number of Sony (we're talking relatively recent) sets don't do HDCP.
Also, I needed an "HD ticket" to view HD enabled Freeview channels - like 1-3. I asked him who told him this, and he said it was part of his initial training.

I had no sound (which is possibly due to the HDCP blocking/downgrade mechanism). I was informed I'd need an optical audio cable (really!?).

CSR mentioned he'd received several calls regarding the issue since November. For Sony TVs, the solution was to go back to Sony and possibly get a firmware update to the HDCP "problem". Sony CSR I talked to had never heard of an HDCP issue with Bravia sets.

Anyway, I followed the TC CSRs suggestion of unplugging, then re-plugging the HDMI cable. It actually did the trick, although I did so from the T-Box end, not the TV end (for what that's worth?). I did do the same thing before calling, but only from the TV end. However, unplugging from the "right" end doesn't sound that plausible so it might simply have been coincidence - perhaps the T-Box just needed a "reminder" as to the HDCP device it was connected to.

The CSR was so adamant that the issue was not with the T-Box (there wasn't much in the way of diagnosis from his end), that he asked if I'd like to file a Complaint Ticket. I asked him why file a Complaint Ticket (instead of perhaps trying to resolve the issue with some basic diagnosis, perhaps even a technician call out if needed), and he politely informed me that the issue was with the TV set.

The disturbing thing is, he's basically saying that if it doesn't work, then you need to get a new TV.
He reminisced an instance where he told someone else the issue was with their brand new big TV.
Not forgetting, that I'd need to purchase an "HD ticket" to watch HD freeview channels in addition to the new TV.

Now, I realize that level 1 CSRs aren't always that helpful (although, they are usually professional) with non-minor technical issues, but, with all due respect TC/VF probably need to give CSRs - like the one I spoke to, a refresher in HDTV/Freeview basics.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 741123 7-Jan-2013 15:30 Send private message

I so often see examples (across all industries) where Tier 1 support staff go off the rails and jump to their own (wrong) conclusions about what may or may not cause particular (usually very general) faults.  Then these conclusions get spread to other Tier 1 staff;  They think they are being helpful but the end result is that customers receive misinformation.  This is usually invisible to management and other tiers of support, since these customers either leave or call back and get their problem solved by someone who is actually following the process...

/rant

627 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 741150 7-Jan-2013 16:07 Send private message

ubergeeknz: I so often see examples (across all industries) where Tier 1 support staff go off the rails and jump to their own (wrong) conclusions about what may or may not cause particular (usually very general) faults.  Then these conclusions get spread to other Tier 1 staff;  They think they are being helpful but the end result is that customers receive misinformation.  This is usually invisible to management and other tiers of support, since these customers either leave or call back and get their problem solved by someone who is actually following the process...

/rant


Fair point.

I kind of lost my composure for a moment right after he told me that I needed an HD ticket to view the HD freeview channels.

He seemed okay (apart from his technical knowledge).

Perhaps it's simply human nature. A little information is very dangerous in the wrong minds.

It's certainly true, there are some really tech-averse people out there. Most times they'll believe whatever you tell them (they simply don't know otherwise). Dealing with that level of "expertise" most of the time possibly feeds a false sense of security.
That's all fine, right up until you chat with a customer/geek who knows (considerably) more than you. All you achieve is angering the geek with the same non-sensical rubbish/scripted responses that "work" on the average Joe/Jane.



54 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 741366 8-Jan-2013 07:41 Send private message

Well I've been seeing it with a recent ES6800 Samsung so it's not just Bravia either. I do have a W4500 Bravia I could drag into the living room to test it out so I might try that at some stage. For now I have T-Box on a dedicated port but I really want the auto switching with other devices. The Samsung also gets firmware upgrades online and I have run a couple in the last 2 months so I would be surprised if it was a firmware issue. 

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 741629 8-Jan-2013 14:02 Send private message

Wanted: Well I've been seeing it with a recent ES6800 Samsung so it's not just Bravia either. I do have a W4500 Bravia I could drag into the living room to test it out so I might try that at some stage. For now I have T-Box on a dedicated port but I really want the auto switching with other devices. The Samsung also gets firmware upgrades online and I have run a couple in the last 2 months so I would be surprised if it was a firmware issue. 


There seem to be issues related to the HDCP handshake.

Unplugging, then replugging the HDMI/DVI cable can sometimes resolve the issue (?). Which I think is what happened in my case. I suspect that process triggered a handshake restart which sorted things.

However, apparently, hot (un)plugging HDMI/DVI cables is not a good idea since they carry a (low) DC voltage, and you run the risk of damaging stuff.

Perhaps I should've turned both the TV and T-Box off, removed the cable, turned them back on again, then off (again), reconnected the cable and turned them back on to restart the handshake.

I would've thought simply bouncing both devices (without touching the cable) might have done the trick.

From what I've read the entire HDCP authentication (key validation and swap) between a transmitter/T-Box and non-repeater receiver/HDTV must be within a 100ms window. If the T-Box doesn't receive a valid encrypted RO' response from the TV inside that time then the authentication fails.

Hypothetically, if the handling of the RO' response (i.e. I'm looking at you T-Box), isn't handled correctly within the 100ms timeout period, then I wouldn't be surprised if the problem occurs seemingly arbitrarily.
I'm going to assume that HDTV's (like the Bravia series), a more than capable of sending a valid RO' response relatively quickly.
However, if the T-Box is taking too long to handle the RO' response (and not disable the authentication timer), then there could be "issues".
Curiously, I noticed that an update was occurring (said so on the TV), shortly before I was told that my Bravia was not HDCP enabled. I wonder if the update was happening at the same time that the HDCP handshake was taking place. It's possible simple load may have been the (part) cause of a delay in preventing the authentication timer from firing (?)

Like I said, the issue disappeared when I hot plugged the cable, possibly when the T-Box was running at low load.

EDIT:
Thinking about the HDCP handshake, I can see potential issues trying to use something like a T-Box through a switcher, especially if the switcher is incurring too much latency.
Running through a splitter could be a nightmare (?).

627 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 741654 8-Jan-2013 14:26 Send private message

zaptor:
EDIT:
Thinking about the HDCP handshake, I can see potential issues trying to use something like a T-Box through a switcher, especially if the switcher is incurring too much latency.
Running through a splitter could be a nightmare (?).


I realized that the switcher should have enough time for HDCP authentication if it's a repeater. The Source-Repeater handshake is different and the authentication timeout is 5 seconds instead of 100ms (assuming the T-Box adheres to the protocol specs).



54 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 741658 8-Jan-2013 14:31 Send private message

Thanks for those suggestions. I'll try updating firmware again, switching the cable and power cycling the devices and see what happens. Maybe i'll get lucky and a forced HDCP handshake refresh will do it.



54 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 742094 9-Jan-2013 10:05 Send private message

Still no good so i'll give up I think. For anyone with the same issues from what I have read I believe it relates to the switcher using HDCP pass-through and the switcher not using a repeater architecture. Pass-through does the HDCP handshake once and that is it until a new one is triggered. A repeater architecture does constantly repeated handshakes. I guess the TBox doesn't request a handshake when the switcher switches back to it and downgrades the output instead of trying to get a new code or whatever. No other devices seem to have this issue (I have an xbox360, PS3 and Laptop on there usually). If I ever get a receiver that does HDMI i'll make sure I get one that doesn't do pass-through I guess. I'm not 100% sure that is it but I can't seem to get it to work. 

627 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 742099 9-Jan-2013 10:38 Send private message

Wanted: Still no good so i'll give up I think. For anyone with the same issues from what I have read I believe it relates to the switcher using HDCP pass-through and the switcher not using a repeater architecture. Pass-through does the HDCP handshake once and that is it until a new one is triggered. A repeater architecture does constantly repeated handshakes. I guess the TBox doesn't request a handshake when the switcher switches back to it and downgrades the output instead of trying to get a new code or whatever. No other devices seem to have this issue (I have an xbox360, PS3 and Laptop on there usually). If I ever get a receiver that does HDMI i'll make sure I get one that doesn't do pass-through I guess. I'm not 100% sure that is it but I can't seem to get it to work. 


Ouch, I suspect you're right about the Pigtail not being a proper repeater (although, I am suspicious the other HDCP devices work, and not the T-Box). Bummer.

I do wonder if the T-Box is not fully HDCP compliant - what a surprise there.

I've recently purchased a Dynamix HDMI 1.3 Switch. Which I'm guessing is a proper repeater. Let's hope the T-Box is compliant enough to work with that.

1 post

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 745102 15-Jan-2013 14:08 Send private message

Hey Zaptor how did you go with the Dynamix HDMI switch? Any connectivity issues with the T Box?

627 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 745376 15-Jan-2013 22:21 Send private message

BigW: Hey Zaptor how did you go with the Dynamix HDMI switch? Any connectivity issues with the T Box?


Haven't been able to test it yet. Had to move our techno gear out of the way for a paint job. Will post when I do.

627 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 22

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  Reply # 783317 18-Mar-2013 10:44 Send private message

zaptor:
BigW: Hey Zaptor how did you go with the Dynamix HDMI switch? Any connectivity issues with the T Box?


Haven't been able to test it yet. Had to move our techno gear out of the way for a paint job. Will post when I do.


Finally, got it setup over the weekend. Initially, seemed like it hadn't worked (blank screen), but, came right eventually (possibly user error on my part).

Have it hooked up to a Sony Bravia, while being fed by a T-Box, TiVo, and PC. Will add at least one more device (media player) later - which would still leave a free HDMI port (switch supports 5 devices).
Works flawlessly.

The switch only supports HDMI 1.3. However, I don't do 3D, and the ARC input will be a dedicated connection anyhow.

There is a noticeable pause when switching to the T-Box. Although, this was the same behaviour when it was connected to the Bravia directly (when switching from a different HDMI input).

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