an HDMI bug causes the black screen on the TV

The PS5, Xbox Series X, Nvidia RTX 3000 cards and other video equipment are victims of a bug that prevents them from displaying a 4K @ 120 FPS or 8K @ 120 FPS image when connected via HDMI via certain high audio amplifiers -loyalty. The problem stems from an HDMI 2.1 component made by Panasonic.

The German IT magazine c’t discovered a serious bug with some video equipment and several hi-fi audio devices equipped with an HDMI 2.1 chip. When HDMI 2.1 devices like the latest Nvidia RTX 3000 graphics cards, the PS5, or the Xbox Series X are connected to the TV through these devices in certain display modes, the tv screen remains desperately black.

The problem occurs in 4K at 120 FPS, 8K at 60 FPS, and HDR with all Denon, Marantz and Yamaha hardware that has an HDMI 2.1 port. The devices at the source of the problem are all equipped with an HDMI 2.1 chipset manufactured by Panasonic. Apparently, under these conditions, the audio equipment refuses to pass the video signal. According to c’t, the bug concerns both equipment that are already on the market and devices that are still under development or are about to be released.

PS5, Xbox Series X, RTX 3000: the HDMI 2.1 bug is linked to certain Hi Fi equipment

The bug was observed in conjunction with an Nvidia RTX 3080 card, and an Xbox Series X. The PS5 has not yet been tested, but a priori, the problem can occur under the same conditions with the audio equipment mentioned above, since the device also has an HDMI 2.1 port, and the problem is not directly related to the console. C’t reports that Panasonic Solutions has recognized the problem. The error would be due to the implementation of the Fixed Rate Link (FRL) protocol.

Sound United (Maranz, Denon, Boston Acoustics…) explains in a press release that it is developing a solution: “We are in the process of conducting a thorough investigation. We will offer a permanent solution at a later date […] we will have more information soon on the implementation schedule for a permanent solution. We appreciate your patience ”.

Sound United recommends two solutions while waiting. It is possible to cconnect your console or PC directly to the screen via HDMI “Then use the functionality of the ARC / eARC screen to return the audio source” to amplifier otherwise incompatible. This solution provides the best results since it does not require you to change the resolution. The other, more restrictive solution is to use video modes that do not cause a problem, such as 4K at 60 FPS..

Yamaha also posted this official reaction: “As we test and explore new gaming system capabilities and the latest HDMI specifications, we will be posting guidance online on our website to help new and future customers achieve compatibility with our latest AV receivers. We will certainly send you new information in the short term ”.

Read also: HDMI 2.1, 2.0 and 1.4 – all about the cables and standards of this video standard

For the time being, no manufacturer has ventured to give a timetable. It is likely that the supply of Panasonic HDMI 2.1 chipsets not affected by the problem will not occur until the second half of 2021. Given the number of affected devices, it is possible that some of the devices with which the bug benefit from an update allowing them to work with the faulty chipset. We will keep this article updated as new information becomes available.

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