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FAQ

Q. How does a HDMI Handshake work?

A. HDMI connections are now main connection used in home theater setups that include HDTVs, video projectors, Blu-ray Disc players, home theater receivers, network media players, and even cable/satellite boxes. One purpose of HDMI is to make it an easier to connect all your components together by using one cable for both audio and video.

However, there is another purpose, copy-protection (known as HDCP). This requires that HDMI connected components be able to recognize and communicate with each other. This is referred to as the "HDMI handshake". If the "handshake" doesn't work, the HDCP encryption that is imbedded in the HDMI signal is not being recognized properly by one, or more, of the connected components. This most often results in not being able to see anything on a TV screen.

Before frustration sets in, there are some things you can do yourself if you find that your HDMI-connected components are not communicating properly.

Q. How can I watch Sky HDI in two or more rooms?

A. You can split the HDMI output from your SKY HDI box to multiple rooms using one of the splitters on this page. We also sell a range of long HDMI cables on this page that can be run to the other rooms in your house.

Q. How can I control my SKY decoder from another room?

A. You can use an X-Ray remote extender found here to control your decoder or any other IR controlled equipment through walls at a distance up to 30M away.

Q. My TV only has one HDMI input how can I connect multiple HDMI devices to it?

A. You can use a HDMI switcher found on this page to select between multiple HDMI inputs and output them on one display. The most basic splitters have a button to switch between the different inputs while the more advanced models have a remote control or can automatically switch when they detect a connected device has been switched on.

Q. My HDMI Splitter does not appear to be working?

A. Firstly check if the LED lights are on and that the power supply and HDMI cables are well connected and in good condition. Ensure that the length of the cables you have connected are within the MAX supported length for your particular splitter. Finally, please try to connect the input device to the display directly by cables less than 3 meters to see if you get a picture under perfect conditions.

Q. If max. resolution of 2 displays on HDMI splitter are different, what is the output resolution?

A. The splitter will output at the lowest supported resolution if both displays are running at the same time and where one display is 720p and the other is 1080p. If you turn off the display with the lower resulution the 1080p display will display at full 1080p.

Q. Still my HDMI splitter will not work, what might be wrong?

A. All HDMI Splitters can sometimes have handshaking issues if the source is set to 1080p and there are displays of mixed resolutions (1080p & 720p) If all displays are 1080p the source will handshake perfectly when set to 1080p. If there are displays with mixed resolutions and problems occur it’s always recommended to set the source to 720p or 1080i.

Q. What is the best AWG size I should use for an HDMI cable?

A. AWG stands for "American Wire Gauge" this is the thickness of the cable. The lower the "number" the thicker the cable. Long run HDMI cables will not output 1080p if the cable thickness is too thin, 26AWG & 28AWG at certain lengths would require a repeater in the chain to work. When selecting HDMI cables dont buy anything less than the following recommendations. 1M to 5M works well with 28AWG, 7.5M to 10M requires 26AWG and 12M to 25M requires 24AWG, anything below these figures are not worth buying. Remember a 24AWG cable will always cost more than the same length 28AWG cable. Lower the AWG = more copper = higher costs. HDMI cables dont often go lower than 24AWG and really its not necessary either, only a few connectors are large enough to take a 24AWG cable.

Q. What size projection screen should I buy for Hi Def 1080p?

A. Hi Def formula many work with is screen width x 1.5 = seating distance.

Q. Why can't I get my HDMI to Handshake?

A. HDMI connections are now main connection used in home theater setups that include HDTVs, video projectors, Blu-ray Disc players, home theater receivers, network media players, and even cable/satellite boxes. One purpose of HDMI is to make it an easier to connect all your components together by using one cable for both audio and video.

However, there is another purpose, copy-protection (known as HDCP). This requires that HDMI connected components be able to recognize and communicate with each other. This is referred to as the "HDMI handshake". If the "handshake" doesn't work, the HDCP encryption that is imbedded in the HDMI signal is not being recognized properly by one, or more, of the connected components. This most often results in not being able to see anything on a TV screen.

Before frustration sets in, there are some things you can do yourself if you find that your HDMI-connected components are not communicating properly.

Q. How to solve HDMI splitter issues?

A. Times have changed as 99.9% of all modern switchers & splitters are compatible with current HD TV’s, projectors and AVR’s. It can work for you too, but take care; some are selling earlier unmarked versions before 1.3 that may cause you problems. We select, test and sell models that have proven to us very reliable and have a very high pass rate.

The Golden Rule: CONNECT EVERYTHING WITH ALL POWER OFF, that’s the only way the HDCP will handshake & remain. it’s that simple.

If you run into problems follow this check list:

1. Test all HDMI cables first before connecting to switch/splitter. Make sure every HDMI cable is first passing audio & video by connecting directly from the source to the display. E.g. connect the DVD player direct to the TV.

2. All power must be OFF when connecting HDMI cables for correct HDMI handshaking to take place. Connect all HDMI cables to the switcher/splitter, with POWER OFF.

3. First power up the switcher/splitter, then the TV, then wait a minute. Power up one source at a time. This gives the switcher/splitter time to properly negotiate a handshake with each device. If all the devices are on and you don't have audio, just turn off the source device, turn it back on and audio should be restored.

4. If you have trouble with a particular device, try swapping the cables. Make sure the device works with a direct connection to the display without the switcher/splitter connected. Make sure you have the switcher/splitter and TV turned on before turning on any source device. Try every port on the switcher/splitter.

5. All devices MUST be HDCP for the switcher/splitter to work.

6. ONCE THE HDMI HANDSHAKE IS LOCKED, THE SIGNAL REMAINS ONLY IF NOTHING CHANGES.

7. If you ever disconnect a cable from the switcher you need to reset the handshake again in exactly the same way as in (2).

8. If you ever turn off the main power from the switcher the HDMI handshake could be lost again. That’s why it’s always best to leave the switcher running 24hrs.

9. If you turn the power off from the rear of the switcher (or wall) the HDMI handshake possibly will also be lost and needs resetting again as in (2) Leaving on standby is safer and better.

10. If you had a power surge you may also need to reset the HDMI handshake, similar to resetting Sky. But remember to turn “off” ALL devices and then re-power for the handshake to happen.

ALL HDMI equipment requires the same treatment and you must follow the rules for success.

Q. How to troubleshoot HDMI-to-DVI or DVI-to-HDMI connection problems?

A. This covers 2 scenarios: connect an HDMI-enabled device to a TV or monitor that has a DVI connection, or a DVI-enabled source device to an HDMI-equipped TV. In this case, you need to use an HDMI-to-DVI conversion cable (HDMI on one end - DVI on other other) or use an HDMI cable with an added HDMI-to-DVI adapter or a DVI cable with a DVI-to-HDMI adapter. The added requirement is that the DVI-equipped device you are connecting is HDCP-enabled. This allows the proper communication between both the HDMI and DVI devices.

One other thing to point out is that where HDMI can pass both video and audio signals, DVI connections can only pass video signals. This means if you are successful connecting an HDMI source component to a DVI equipped TV, you still have to make a separate connection to access audio.

Ordinarily, there should not be a problem converting HDMI to DVI, but there can be. Most of the time there is success, but you may have the experience where some adapters and conversion cables don't work as advertised. If you encounter this problem, it may not necessarily be the TV or other component. You may have to try a couple of different brand cables.

On the other hand, you can also run into a situation on older-DVI equipped TVs that even if they are HDCP compliant, they may not have the proper firmware to recognize the identity of the HDMI source component you are trying to connect. If you run into this situation a call to tech support for your TV or source component is a good idea before proceeding further.

Q. How to connect your PC/Laptop to a TV using HDMI?

A. With more consumers using their PC or Laptop as a home theater source component, problems can arise when trying to connect an HDMI-equipped PC/Laptop to an HDMI-equipped TV. First, make sure that you go into your PC/Laptop settings and designate HDMI as the default output connection. If you can't get an image from your laptop to show up on your TV screen, try the following:

1. Try booting up your PC/Laptop with the HDMI cable connected to a TV that is on.

2. You can try booting up the PC/Laptop while the TV is off and then turn on the TV.

3. If the above options don't work, try booting up the PC/Laptop first, and, with the TV on, connect the HDMI cable to both the PC/Laptop and TV.

If all those options fail, if your TV has a VGA input, you may have to use that instead.

In the vast majority of cases, you won't encounter any problems that are the fault of HDMI connections. However, there instances where you can run into a problem. If you do, don't panic, before you make any phone calls, or pack everything up and return to the store upset, try the above suggestions. If none of these solutions work, then proceed to contact tech support for your respective products. Only after exhausting all of the options you can try yourself should you call a tech or return to the store.

Also, to make your system "HDMI future proof" - if possible, upgrade all your HDMI cables to high speed 10.2 Gbps cables - this doesn't make a difference with handshake issue, but it does solve the problem with any HDMI features now (such as 3D), or in the future (such as 4K resolution) that may affect what HDMI features are able to be accessed.

Q. How to troubleshoot HDMI?

A. 1. Check your cable connections: HDMI connections don't fit as tight as component or composite video connections and can slip out sometimes if equipment is moved slightly. If this is a problem - consider getting locking HDMI cables.

2. Try a different turn-on sequence for your components: In other words, if you have a habit of turning on your TV first, then your Blu-ray Disc player, or other HDMI source component, try the reverse turn on sequence and see if that works.

Also, if you have a Blu-ray Disc player, or other component, connected through a home theater receiver and then to the TV - try different startup combinations and see if that works. If you find a sequence that works, remember it. Of course, make sure when everything is turned on, and that you have selected the correct input on your TV that the Blu-ray Disc player, or other source component, is connected to.

However, if changing the turn on sequence of your TV and connected components doesn't seem to do the trick, with both the TV and source component on, just try switching to another input on the TV and then switch back to HDMI and see if the signal locks in correctly.

3. Use the process of elimination: If you have a Blu-ray Disc player (or other HDMI source) connected through a home theater receiver to a TV and you still don't get anything to show up your TV screen regardless of the turn on sequence you try, use the process of elimination. Connect the Blu-ray Disc (or other HDMI source) directly to the TV. This bypasses the home theater receiver. See if that does the trick. If so, the home theater receiver, or the HDMI source component/home theater receiver combination is most likely the culprit.

What you can do now is keep the HDMI source connected directly to your TV and then make a separate audio connection from your source device (such as a Blu-ray Disc player) to your home theater receiver. This is not necessarily the most efficient connection method, but you can still use the separate video and audio connection workaround a the best option for the time being, or as a permanent solution if you prefer.

On the other hand, if you find that none of the above solutions works or works consistently - check to see if there are any announced firmware updates for your HDMI source and home theater receiver (or even your TV) that may resolve this issue. Also check to see there have been complaints filed or posted by other users regarding HDMI handshake issues with your components.

Another HDMI connection issue sometimes arises when it is necessary to connect an HDMI-enabled device to a TV or monitor that has a DVI connection, or a DVI-enabled source device to an HDMI-equipped TV. In this case, you need to use an HDMI-to-DVI conversion cable (HDMI on one end - DVI on other other) or use an HDMI cable with an added HDMI-to-DVI adapter or a DVI cable with a DVI-to-HDMI adapter. The added requirement is that the DVI-equipped device you are connecting is HDCP-enabled. This allows the proper communication between both the HDMI and DVI devices.

One other thing to point out is that where HDMI can pass both video and audio signals, DVI connections can only pass video signals. This means if you are successful connecting an HDMI source component to a DVI equipped TV, you still have to make a separate connection to access audio.

Ordinarily, there should not be a problem converting HDMI to DVI, but there can be. Most of the time there is success, but you may have the experience where some adapters and conversion cables don't work as advertised. If you encounter this problem, it may not necessarily be the TV or other component. You may have to try a couple of different brand cables.

On the other hand, you can also run into a situation on older-DVI equipped TVs that even if they are HDCP compliant, they may not have the proper firmware to recognize the identity of the HDMI source component you are trying to connect. If you run into this situation a call to tech support for your TV or source component is a good idea before proceeding further.

Q. How to connecting your PC/Laptop to a TV using HDMI?

A. First, make sure that you go into your PC/Laptop settings and designate HDMI as the default output connection. If you can't get an image from your laptop to show up on your TV screen, try the following:

1. Try booting up your PC/Laptop with the HDMI cable connected to a TV that is on.

2. You can try booting up the PC/Laptop while the TV is off and then turn on the TV.

3. If the above options don't work, try booting up the PC/Laptop first, and, with the TV on, connect the HDMI cable to both the PC/Laptop and TV.

If all those options fail, if your TV has a VGA input, you may have to use that instead.

Final Take

In the vast majority of cases, you won't encounter any problems that are the fault of HDMI connections. However, there instances where you can run into a problem. If you do, don't panic, before you make any phone calls, or pack everything up and return to the store upset, try the above suggestions. If none of these solutions work, then proceed to contact tech support for your respective products. Only after exhausting all of the options you can try yourself should you call a tech or return to the store.

Also, to make your system "HDMI future proof" - if possible, upgrade all your HDMI cables to high speed 10.2 Gbps cables - this doesn't make a difference with handshake issue, but it does solve the problem with any HDMI features now (such as 3D), or in the future (such as 4K resolution) that may affect what HDMI features are able to be accessed.