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HDTV display won't turn back on

Posted on 2009-04-16
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
We have a WinXP PC that uses an ATI FireMV graphics card to display onto 3 monitors, 1 regular PC monitor, 1 small HDTV via VGA, and 1 bigger HDTV via DVI -> HDMI converter and HDMI into the TV. The problem we are having is only with the big TV connected via DVI/HDMI.

The PC stays on all the time, but the TVs get shut off overnight. In the morning, you go to turn on the TVs and the big one does not pick up any signal. It displays as if there was nothing plugged into it. The other two monitors take off no problem. What we have been able to do to "make it work" is to go into windows display properties settings, click the problem display, and uncheck the "extend desktop to..." box, apply, then recheck the box. After doing that, the TV will come up with the display. This leads me to believe that the problem is in the PC, as apposed to the TV. I've verified that the PC is not going into hibernate or suspend. This problem used to only happen once a month or so, but it has been happening every day lately.
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Question by:ITHastings
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by:flubbster
ID: 24157872
Have you tried going straight into the tv with a DVI Cable ( no adapter). I think it will be a worthwhile test.
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Callandor earned 900 total points
ID: 24157921
This sounds like the video card has sensing circuitry which turns off the port if it determines that there is no display device connected to it.  It might do it on a timed basis, but you can try checking for an immediate shutoff by turning off the large HDTV after it has been detected and is working.  If it works when you turn it back on, it may be a delayed time event.  To handle the problem of the HDTV being turned off overnight, you might be able to fool the video card by inserting a video distribution amp or KVM on the affected port.
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by:Gary Case
Gary Case earned 600 total points
ID: 24161689
It seems you have a deadlock condition => the video card doesn't provide a signal unless it detects the HDTV;  the HDTV doesn't activate that HDMI input unless it detects a signal.

Look carefully in the advanced section of your video driver to see if there's a "force" option for that display's output.   Also, does the driver have an HDTV option (so it "knows" this is an HDTV and not a standard monitor)?

Another thought:   Is the PC set to blank the displays after a fixed amount of time?   If so, disable that and see if the problem persists.

If none of those help, I'd do as Callandor suggests and try an intervening always-on device that will "fool momma nature" by letting the PC think there's an active display even when the TV's off.   A 2-port DVI KVM should do the trick.

flubbster => there's already no adapter in use.   A DVI -> HDMI convertor is just a pinout converter ... the signalling isn't effected at all.
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Author Comment

by:ITHastings
ID: 24186619
I've tested further, and if you turn the TV off for <10 seconds, the display will come back but if you have it off for any longer than that, it will not.  I've updated the ATI video card drivers, and am still having the same problem. I've double checked, and the computer is not going into sleep/hibernate.

I found some information suggesting it is a ongoing problem with ATI drivers. Somebody was nice enough to write a little app that refreshes the HDMI signal. I've tested it, and this workaround does indeed bring back the display. Kind of a pain to do, but better than nothing. Obviously, it would be best if ATI would just fix their drivers!!!

Here's the fix: http://thydzik.com/hdmion-a-solution-to-loss-of-dvi-video-epid-signal-on-hd-tvs/

Also, like Callandor suggested, inserting some piece of hardware into the dvi/hdmi line has also been sugested to fix the problem. An example has been given at this link: http://www.amazon.com/Gefen-EXT-DVI-EDID-Dvi-Detective/dp/B0002CZJ8O
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