HDMI has become the standard for transmitting high definition signals from different playback devices to a high definition TV. It was first developed in 2002 and is gradually replacing VGA and other cables that support devices of older versions and models.
Manufacturers have been constantly working for the improvement of HDMI cables and switchers. They have also improved high definition TVs to put one to two HDMI ports. With an HDMI switcher added to a home theatre, TV sets are expanded for multiple HDMI devices.
HDMI cables have been a substitute for VGA cables. However, users still encounter some problems including HDMI switchers not working, HDCP handshake error, etc.
HDMI switchers, just like any other devices, encounter troubles and malfunctions. Before you panic from your HDMI switcher suddenly not working, understand the problems that many users typically encounter with HMDI switchers.
You may find the HDMI switch a magic device to accommodate your devices to be connected to your high definition TV. But some people are disappointed when they encounter problems with a HDMI switch that interrupt their home theatre entertainment. Before your HDMI switcher possibly malfunctions, it is wise to know in advance the common problems with HDMI switchers encountered by most users:
The common problem why HDMI switchers don’t work is complete signal loss. It means that there is no video or audio signal that reaches the television. What are possible causes? It could be a poor quality or damaged HDMI cable. It could also be a loss of power to the HDMI switcher or an excessively long cable.
What should be done to solve the signal loss? Remove the HDMI switcher from the set up and see if the problem continues. If it has stopped, the switcher could be defective and should be replaced by the manufacturer.
If the problem still persists even when the HDMI switcher is removed from the set-up, other solutions might solve the problem. Use a high quality HDMI cable and an HDMI switcher with independent power supply.
Another common problem is an HDCP handshake error. It stands for high definition content protection which is used in both computers and appliances for the content protection between the video device and the screen.
It prevents content from being duplicated by people who intend to duplicate or pirate it. For people who are honest and do not have any intention in pirating the video content, HDCP could be a major reason why HDMI switchers may not be working. It makes HDMI switches difficult to work with a number of combinations of devices. Also, not all HDMI inputs on high definition TVs support HDCP.
How to solve HDCP handshake error? Try to put every cable output on the switch – these include the cable box. Shut down all devices and remove the components from the chain. Then reboot all the devices.
This should rectify the problem because a direct connection between the playback device and the TV is guaranteed. This solution is also very easy and usually makes all devices work with the HDMI switch just fine.
The common problems of HDMI switchers are caused by low quality, poorly made HDMI switchers. Manufacturers such as Sony, Philips, Silicon Image, Thomson, etc. have been continuously improving HDMI switchers to have more features and fewer problems.
Because of this, there are now many HDMI switcher models and brands on the market. It is difficult to determine which model or brand works better than others and which of them are durable and can last for years.
Many users complain about defective HDMI switchers and end up calling costumer service. It is inconvenient especially when the customer care is unresponsive or hard to reach. Poorly made HDMI switchers break suddenly and interrupt your home viewing experience.
Therefore, it is important to know HDMI switchers before you purchase one. You can do so by personally going to stores and asking salesmen. You can also by read online reviews or ask friends about features, pros, and cons of some HDMI switchers.