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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Blu-Ray player blacking out every 20 min (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Blu-Ray player blacking out every 20 min
Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6403
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-03-2013 11:11 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sony Blu-Ray player connected to Christie Digital projector via Gefen scaler.

When playing Blu-Ray, picture blacks out every 20 min. approx.
Sound still plays.
Picture returns after approx. 2-3 sec.
Does not skip. Movie keeps playing but picture just goes black then comes back.
Repeats at random intervals. Never the same place in the movie.

Been looking around the internet for answers. Seems to be a fairly common problem. Does not seem to happen with any particular brand of player.

Some have suggested that it is a problem in the HDMI cable.
Some suggest it is a problem with the settings in the player. Make sure the video output mode is correct. (4:2:2 versus 4:4:4)
Some suggest it is a failure in the HDCP link between the player and the display device.

Does not seem to occur when playing DVD. Only seems to happen with Blu-Ray.

We're going to have an evening movie series, starting in June. We need to get this problem solved before then.

Any suggestions?

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Manny Knowles
"What are these things and WHY are they BLUE???"

Posts: 4247
From: Bloomington, IN, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 05-04-2013 12:49 AM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Not that I'd be right, but my first suspicion would be that Gefen scaler.
Have you tried a direct connection between the player and projector?

Is the DVD player connected via the same Gefen scaler as the Bluray?

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Marco Giustini
Film God

Posts: 2536
From: Reading, UK
Registered: Nov 2007


 - posted 05-04-2013 05:02 AM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You mean it's a common issue with the Christie or with the Scaler? I have never heard of it.

Could you connect the player to the projector directly (maybe using the internal scaler temporarily) and see if it happens again?

If it does not, you may want to make sure your Gefen is at the latest software version 3.25. I could not see any similar issue marked as solved in the changelog but it's worth a try.

Another HDMI cable would also be a good idea (both cables, BD->Gefen and Gefen->Projector).

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6867
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 05-04-2013 05:20 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If the audio keeps going, and assuming that the audio stream is not going through the HDMI cable along with the picture, that would seem to narrow it down either to the scaler, the cable or a fault in the actual BD player.

Have you tried playing an unencrypted BD (e.g. a home-burnt one)? If that plays without the problem, then HDCP decryption failure would seem to be the culprit.

HDMI cables cost very little, and having a spare in the booth is probably a good idea anyway, and so if it were me I'd be inclined to swap that out on spec.

If playing an unencrypted disc through a new HDMI cable doesn't make the problem go away, then you're down to the scaler and the player itself. My gut feeling would be to troubleshoot in the following order.

1. Ensure scaler and BD player firmwares are up to date (costs nothing).
2. Try connecting player to projector directly, if this is possible (if the projector does not have an HDMI input card, for example if the scaler to projector connection is SDI, I guess it might not be) - again, costs nothing.
3. Try playing an unencrypted BD.
4. Replace HDMI cable.
5. Try another player (e.g. one borrowed from a friend or colleague).

If 2 or 3 makes the problem go away, that would suggest that the scaler can't decrypt the HDCP and rescale with the bitrate above a certain level - it just gets overwhelmed. If that's the case, the solution is probably a new scaler.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3626
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 05-04-2013 05:27 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
- bypass Scaler - it is not really needed, check if there is a firmware update for the scaler
- disable all auto functions in the Sonys output setup - set it fixed to 1080p, 4:2:2, or whatever the projector will display correctly without the scaler inbetween
- try other cables
- update Sony firmware

- Carsten

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Bajsic Bojan
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 188
From: Ljubljana, Si, Eu
Registered: Aug 2008


 - posted 05-04-2013 05:30 AM      Profile for Bajsic Bojan   Email Bajsic Bojan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
what does the gefen say when the signal is lost? if it is lost on input, then change the hdmi cable from bluray to gefen. If all shows ok on the gefen, replace the hdmi cable from gefen to christie.

how long is the hdmi cable to the projector? are there electric conduits running parallel to the hdmi? can you replicate the blackout by turning (other electrical) things on/off while the show is going?

is the sony doing the 1080 conversion from DVDs? if it is pushing just ntsc to the gefen, while for bluray it is pushing the whole 1080i to it, it might be bandwidth related and maybe he cable just doesnt support so much of it? meaning its enough for SD material, not so for HD.

just random suggestions of things i have observed in the past years from doing similar things.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12053
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 05-04-2013 06:12 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You are almost certainly seeing an HDCP issue. I predict that a direct connection to the projector will eliminate the problem. However, since the Gefen is your sound decoder (most likely) too, that is not a solution for you. A lot of people are using the Gefen (A/V Pro II) and are not reporting this issue so it isn't intrinsic. I have people using a lot of Sony BluRays (mostly BDP- S5x0 where x is dependent on the year purchased) and they seem to be pretty stable.

The advice of updating the firmware of the BluRay player and the scaler are good ones though I did have a Gefen fail on a firmware update and died as a result...the current is 3.27 for the Gefen.

Watch out for cheap cables...they can really screw you. With digital, you don't know just how close to the "cliff" you are since it is perfect, until it isn't. That said, generally, anybody's cable that is 6-feet and less will work. Most cables under 15-feet work...anything longer than that...get very good cables because you are exceeding the specification of the HDMI format. Size matters on the long runs.

I too recently experienced essentially what you have described and I was using the same equipment I've used where I didn't have these problems. My system was a bit more complicated though...it had a matrix switcher in it and a preview monitor as well as the projector. The preview monitor never would flash...only the projector. The problem seemed to have been a HDMI/Cat 5 extender (the sender box)...despite it always claiming a good HDMI lock. Changed it out and the problem left. (note, all firmware in all pieces were indeed updated to current too).

Thus, I'm thinking it may be the Gefen...in a defective way, not intrinsic. The other are to look are the cables. On the outside, the projector could also have an odd HDCP issue. It can strike anywhere it is a really nasty system.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6403
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-04-2013 09:08 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have not personally seen this happen. Only reported to me by others. I tried to replicate the problem using a DVD in the Blu-Ray player but could not. That makes me think it's an HDCP issue.

I think we're going to start by checking and replacing the HDMI cables then, if that doesn't work, trying to connect the player directly to the projector.

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Marco Giustini
Film God

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From: Reading, UK
Registered: Nov 2007


 - posted 05-04-2013 10:16 AM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Steve for reporting the Gefen issue with the Firmware. I understand that depending on the device updating the firmware could be very safe or very unsafe. Many devices will tranfer the update file and upon reception, they install it; others will do it real time and a glitch in communications will be fatal.
Nice to know that Gefen's do belong to the latter.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17657
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 05-04-2013 01:34 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
The Gefen firmware pre 3.25 has center and subwoofer flipped on a few versions...so make sure you are at 3.25 or 3.27 I've found both to be stable.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 05-04-2013 03:41 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Make sure all HDMI "controls" are off. I used to experience this problem quite a bit with a Sony BD player connected to a TV via HDMI. I can't remember what Sony calls their HDMI control scheme, but each brand has a different name for it. Basically it's meant to turn on the TV when you turn on your BD player or vice-versa and all that nonsense. This stuff must be OFF permanently on every device possible ESPECIALLY when you're dealing with Sony BD players. Your HDMI cable is fine.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6867
From: Loma Linda, CA
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 - posted 05-04-2013 04:01 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Steve Guttag
You are almost certainly seeing an HDCP issue.
That's my gut feeling, too.

Whenever I watch a BD on my PC (or at least, when I'm able to resume doing so when its replacement PSU arrives...), if it's an encrypted one with HDCP activated on the cable between the graphics card and the monitor, Windows Aero is disabled when the disc boots and the screen goes totally black for about 5-6 seconds before each new programme stream starts playing (so for example, if the distributor's logo is encoded as a separate stream from the movie, there's a black gap between the two). Furthermore, the GPU fan runs fast enough to make a noticeable noise throughout the playback. If I play an unencrypted BD, however (e.g. one I've burnt myself), none of this happens: the disc will play happily in a window with Aero still active.

This suggests to me that HDCP uses a lot of processing power: so much, in fact, that it pushes the graphics card (NVidia 9500GT) to its limit.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6403
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-04-2013 05:02 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Leo has clued me on a couple of things to think about.

I mentioned the possibility of there being an incompatibility with 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 color sampling. Leo saying that he sees his graphics card switch into high gear when playing a Blu-Ray.

I also read in the manual that there is a setting for 16/12/10-bit "deep color" output.

Could it be that greater bandwidth required by 4:4:4 sampling and/or 16-bit color could be bogging down the processing unit in the scaler or the projector?

This is just a wild-ass guess but it sounds to me like HDCP is, for whatever reason I don't understand, renegotiating the encryption link between the player and the display device and, thereby causing the processor in the display device to run out of computing power. The combination of the high-bandwidth color sampling and the processing power needed to maintain HDCP encryption is outpacing the display's ability to keep up.

Therefore, my guess would be to switch to 4:2:2 sampling or switch off "deep color" mode.

I would assume that the processor in the Christie Projector has the balls to keep up but, judging by all the things people say about the Gefen, maybe it's processor is gutless.

In the end, maybe those firmware updates that everybody mentions are the solution.

I'll be going to work again tomorrow. (Sunday.) I'll have a chance to play with it then.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
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 - posted 05-04-2013 05:23 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Seriously. Switch off the HDMI controls. If the color scheme is wrong you wouldn't get any video period. Not that Blu-ray offers more than 4:2:2... if even that.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12053
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 05-04-2013 06:50 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have heard of Deep Color causing issues.

HDMI uses EDID, among other things. With this, the source and sink (monitor) negotiate the best quality image that can be supported. This is a continual thing.

Another thing that is continual is the HDCP handshaking.

Listen to Joe too...the more HDCP/HDMI crap that is trying to "help" you the greater your chance of issues. You really want to strip things down to the essentials like resolution and sound. And don't push things. Only go as far as your system can honestly handle. The Gefen scaler is NOT that great (AV Pro II) as scalers go...it is a prosumer piece). Really, what it is bringing to the table is its ability to scale non-HDMI sources, provide switching and decode the low-bandwidth audio (Dolby AC-3). Remember too, most BluRays are mastered for crap so don't go crazy on the stuff. Get the resolution right (1920x1080...that is what a DCinema projector is going to deal with and the Gefen won't be "scaling" for that). Note, 1080/60 is high-bandwidth so you are going to tax the system a little there anyway but that is as close to native (and if the movie is 24p...likely...let it do that...lower bandwidth). Ideally, for BluRay, you would not have the scaler in line at all, unless you had a good scaler that could blow scope up to 2048x858 and there can be arguments either way there. If you got yourself a good BluRay player like the Oppo and let it do the audio decoding and connect it straight up to the projector...you'd not have these issues. You could use the other DVI input with the Gefen for the non-BluRay stuff. It would be MUCH safer.

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