HDMI Not Working
HDMI Not working? How to protect them from surge damage.
This article was written in 2012. All the information here is still valid today. The only difference, TVs have gotten cheaper. But still not cheap enough to not take precautions to protect them. Spending $30-$40, can save you the cost of replacing a TV. And HDMI surges are still causing just as much damage as they did in 2012.
HDMI not working after a power surge is one of the more common things I see as a TV tech, at least during surge season (when thunderstorms happen). When a power surge comes through HDMI, you could have one port stop working, all HDMI ports, or even a TV that won't turn on. HDMI produces the highest quality Video and Audio today, but failing to take special precautions to protect these ports can lead to very expensive repairs.
Hopefully you are here before this has happened to you, but if not, I'll show you some ways to protect yourself in the future.
The most important thing to remember,,,,HDMI damage can occur even if your TV is unplugged from the wall. Read on to see how to prevent it, it doesn't have to be expensive.
Think of electricity from a power surge like a person walking into your house. The power cord is the front door, HDMI (or any signal source) is the back. Of these, HDMI is the most sensitive to power surges. Are your doors open?
All photos in this article are personal pics, taken with an Olympus stylus digital camera.
Have been swamped with HDMI surges this year
I have been completely bombarded with HDMI damage this year. So, I haven't been able to update as much as I would like.
There are some newer (and cheaper) HDMI surge protection equipment out this year. Just check the ebay and Amazon links. Very inexpensive options out now. Just make sure that anything you get, goes inline with the HDMI ports on your TV.
How to protect HDMI ports in TV or Surround systems - Finally, devices that actually protect HDMI
These inline HDMI surge protectors have come down in price dramatically the last year. With about half the repairs I've done this year being HDMI related. These really need to be used more. It doesn't take a lightning strike to damage the TV. Just a 30 volt spike, will destroy a television.
And if you get the suppressor, you'll need another HDMI cable - No, you don't need to spend a lot to get HDMI cables
You could also get one for a spare, I carry these when I do service calls. I have been called out for HDMI not working, only to find a bad HDMI cable. It doesn't have to be an expensive HDMI cable to get the job done. And in some cases, the cheaper (lighter) cables, put less strain on the HDMI ports in your TV.
HDMI not working prevention, or saving your TV from damage.
THE best thing to do is unplug everything when a storm is coming. This isn't practical for most of us, but at a minimum unplug the power cord to your TV & Cable or Satellite box. And remove the RF cable going IN to your cable box.
Yes, more often than not the surge that damages the HDMI ports in your TV will come THROUGH the cable line into your STB
HDMI not working, again.
Yes, I've gotten many calls for HDMI not working. I go out, and fix the problem. Then 3 months later, the same customer calls and guess what?? Their HDMI is not working....
Me: Did you have your STB replaced like I asked?
Customer: No, I hooked it up and it worked.
Me: Yes, that happens sometimes when a surge goes through the STB. That's why I tell everyone that takes a surge through HDMI to replace the STB.
Please replace your STB if you have a HDMI surge
What HDMI looks like inside the TV - The connectors
This is how the connector looks on the inside of a TV. If you look really close you can see they are all 3 connected together.
Also notice how fragile the connectors are, I see them broken all the time.
Another Inside picture - This is a closeup of the HDMI processor, the part damaged from power surges
This processor runs on low voltage, typically under 5 volts. So a minor surge from your cable or satellite box will damage this. And in many cases this will cause a TV to not turn on.
Note to those technically inclined: You can't get a meter to the pins on the processor, but if you ohm check across the small surface mount capacitors and read a short, it will (usually) indicate a shorted IC. They are almost always labeled with a C and right next to the ports themselves. I usually read all the capacitors around the processor and ports.
How to protect HDMI - Yes, I'm going to recommend you buy something.
In this case spending a little now can save you a LOT later.
The main PCB in the TV in these pictures costs a little over $200 just for the board. You are probably not a technician, so you would also have to pay someone to install and configure the main.
- Get a good Surge suppressor, not an outlet multiplier (often sold as surge suppressors. Look for a guarantee against damage to equipment connected to it). Get a surge suppressor with RF cable protection, but first check with your cable or satellite provider to see if this will block their signal
The ones listed below all fit this criteria
- If you haven't done the first thing,,DEFINITELY follow the next two!!
- Unplug power to both your TV and STB if a storm is on the way. Don't just turn it off. This also applies to all electronics.
- Remove the RF cable going IN to your cable or satellite box.
Surge suppressors that have protection for HDMI
All of these suppressors have a built in RF protectors. Use this to run the RF cable through BEFORE it gets to your cable of satellite box. Usually when HDMI is not working after a surge, it can be traced to an RF line surge that will also damage the cable or satellite box.
This can interfere with the signal level on some satellite systems, check with your provider before connecting the RF line
Oh no, HDMI isn't working, what do you do?
First, shut off the TV and unplug it from the wall. Then also unplug the satellite or cable box. Sometimes they only need a reset. Leave them unplugged for about 10 minutes then try again. Also disconnect the HDMI cable going between the two devices (a shorted HDMI processor in the STB can cause erratic behavior with the TV).
Finally some ICs available to fix some televisions
Being a television repair technician, with a long background in component level repair. It has been a frustrating journey over the last few years with so many TVs damaged by HDMI surges, and no availability of parts to repair them at component level (thus saving you money). But this year we've been able to locate parts suppliers for some of the Panasonic HDMI processor/switch. This is the little IC inside the TV that controls HDMI. It isn't an easy job, but can be done.
What if that didn't help
How to tell if you have a bad cable, port, or no HDMI
ONLY unplug and reconnect HDMI with the TV OFF
First, remove the HDMI cord going to the STB.
Then use another device to test the ports on your TV. Preferably a DVD player that you've tested on another TV with HDMI. Don't connect the STB to the other HDMI ports on your TV!
If none of your HDMI ports are working, you probably have a bad HDMI processor (see picture above). You will either need to call a service center or replace the main. Normally a HDMI surge will blow all HDMI ports on your TV.
If this has happened, your STB is bad also. Do not reconnect that box to your TV after it has been repaired, you will end up with HDMI not working again.
Has this happened to you? - If so, what service provider did you have?
I'm curious as to what service this has happened with. I see it most often with Satellite, but have had a few on both Verizon and Comcast in my area.