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Author Topic: HDMI Signal drops  (Read 576 times)

Rodney Phillips

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HDMI Signal drops
« on: March 16, 2020, 09:16:16 am »

At our church we run presentation software on a Windows 10 desktop and display on 2 ceiling mounted Optoma projectors.  For quite a while we have had a "blip" 2-5 times in an hour long service where the projector screens go blank for a few seconds.  It has been really annoying.  I have tried to figure it out and have swapped new equipment in and reconfigured on occasion but have not been able to figure it out.

With the virus concerns we needed to live stream this past weekend.  We have had the equipment for over a year but never fired it up.  During the streaming (which overall went great!), the live stream ended 3 times and I had to restart it.  I am thinking it is related to the "signal drop/blip" we normally see a few times during the service.

Over the past year or more I have replaced all of the equipment between the Windows desktop and the Optoma projectors with equipment a little higher quality hoping to eliminate the issue but have not solved the issue.

I have attached a PDF showing the architecture.  The top section, as noted in the diagram, was added last Saturday so this would not have been causing the issue all along.

Thanks for any help.
Rodney Phillips
Loudon, NH
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Erik Jerde

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Re: HDMI Signal drops
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2020, 10:17:19 am »

When you say you replaced the equipment does that include the cables?

An issue shared between both projectors (at the same time) indicates a shared piece of equipment. 

Have you tried a different computer?  How about a different resolution?  Are you running frame syncs on all the inputs to your switcher?  That may help you through a signal loss without killing your stream.
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Rodney Phillips

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Re: HDMI Signal drops
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2020, 10:34:06 am »

When you say you replaced the equipment does that include the cables?

An issue shared between both projectors (at the same time) indicates a shared piece of equipment. 

Have you tried a different computer?  How about a different resolution?  Are you running frame syncs on all the inputs to your switcher?  That may help you through a signal loss without killing your stream.

Thanks Erik.

I have changed some of the cables but not all.  Mostly as I replace a piece of equipment.  I have thought about simply changing all.  Have seen different thoughts on what constitutes a "quality" HDMI cable.

This is the second computer with the same results.

I have not changed the resolution.

I am a good sound tech but much less knowledgable about video.  I will read up on frame sync.
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Luke Geis

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Re: HDMI Signal drops
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2020, 12:34:13 pm »

10:1 it's your switcher. The lower dollar units just don't work all that well and heat seems to be the big reason. I have had issues with the ones like yours before. A way to test that would be to bypass the switcher and connect the computer directly to the Extender. As mentioned before, since all at once tends to quit, it is likely the first thing in line, which is your switcher.
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Rodney Phillips

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Re: HDMI Signal drops
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2020, 02:42:17 pm »

10:1 it's your switcher. The lower dollar units just don't work all that well and heat seems to be the big reason. I have had issues with the ones like yours before. A way to test that would be to bypass the switcher and connect the computer directly to the Extender. As mentioned before, since all at once tends to quit, it is likely the first thing in line, which is your switcher.

Thanks Luke.

I have bypassed the switcher before and I believe we still experienced an occasional blip.  Also, the signal does not drop for any length of time.  It is a quick blip which causes the projectors to have to re-acquire the signal.

There are a lot of switches out there, any suggestions on a higher quality one?  The current switch is itself an upgrade from a lower quality one.
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Luke Geis

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Re: HDMI Signal drops
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2020, 05:42:34 pm »

If the switch isn't the commonality, then we move onto the next possibility. Typically if it is a quick blip, it is a sync issue. HDMI cables and long length don't work well together. So try a new shorter cable between the computer and switch or between the computer and the DA for the projectors. Syncs can be lost because one or more units are not in the working range of the signal I.E. 1080p vs 1080i, or scaling from 1920x1080 or some other pixel count that isn't the same as what it is trying to scale down or up to. Often times I find using a Decimator helps with that. Most devices, especially ones connected via HDMI, all like to play in the same size and format unless you have another device like a Decimator that converts and scales the image for the next device in line.

My experience is that ALL the types of switchers like what you have are just not reliable for mission-critical stuff. You have to step up to something meant for show level work by companies like Analog Way, Black Magic Designs or similar. Analog Way has older units like the Pulse II that you can find used which may work for you? A bit more affordable are the Black Magic Design Atem units which are pretty common. Having a Decimator or two is always a treat to have as well. These units are more show level and of course have a cost associated with it, but if you want seamless uninterupted video, its the only way to go.
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Erik Jerde

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Re: HDMI Signal drops
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2020, 10:10:58 pm »

If the switch isn't the commonality, then we move onto the next possibility. Typically if it is a quick blip, it is a sync issue. HDMI cables and long length don't work well together. So try a new shorter cable between the computer and switch or between the computer and the DA for the projectors. Syncs can be lost because one or more units are not in the working range of the signal I.E. 1080p vs 1080i, or scaling from 1920x1080 or some other pixel count that isn't the same as what it is trying to scale down or up to. Often times I find using a Decimator helps with that. Most devices, especially ones connected via HDMI, all like to play in the same size and format unless you have another device like a Decimator that converts and scales the image for the next device in line.

My experience is that ALL the types of switchers like what you have are just not reliable for mission-critical stuff. You have to step up to something meant for show level work by companies like Analog Way, Black Magic Designs or similar. Analog Way has older units like the Pulse II that you can find used which may work for you? A bit more affordable are the Black Magic Design Atem units which are pretty common. Having a Decimator or two is always a treat to have as well. These units are more show level and of course have a cost associated with it, but if you want seamless uninterupted video, its the only way to go.

What Luke said.
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: HDMI Signal drops
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2020, 02:38:10 am »

If the switch isn't the commonality, then we move onto the next possibility. Typically if it is a quick blip, it is a sync issue. HDMI cables and long length don't work well together. So try a new shorter cable between the computer and switch or between the computer and the DA for the projectors. Syncs can be lost because one or more units are not in the working range of the signal I.E. 1080p vs 1080i, or scaling from 1920x1080 or some other pixel count that isn't the same as what it is trying to scale down or up to. Often times I find using a Decimator helps with that. Most devices, especially ones connected via HDMI, all like to play in the same size and format unless you have another device like a Decimator that converts and scales the image for the next device in line.

My experience is that ALL the types of switchers like what you have are just not reliable for mission-critical stuff. You have to step up to something meant for show level work by companies like Analog Way, Black Magic Designs or similar. Analog Way has older units like the Pulse II that you can find used which may work for you? A bit more affordable are the Black Magic Design Atem units which are pretty common. Having a Decimator or two is always a treat to have as well. These units are more show level and of course have a cost associated with it, but if you want seamless uninterupted video, its the only way to go.

Another vote for what Luke said. 

Cheap quality gear is cheap for a reason.  I've seen too many Black Magic failures to not have backups on hand, they are the Behringer of video. 

Roland, Ross, For.A, Panasonic all make good switchers.  Decimator makes great misc converters and adapters.  Extron and some others make good HDbaseT extenders. 

It sounds like you're pushing a distance limit.  A Decimator or one of the many HDMI "toolbox" devices is invaluable for troubleshooting.  Sometimes one projector losing sync due to distance will throw off the whole switcher, depending on switcher quality, making one small issue seem like a global issue. 
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Re: HDMI Signal drops
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2020, 02:38:10 am »


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