DR HDMI Review & Spotlights


There’s nothing like ‘smart’ consumer electronics technology for reminding us all that the robot revolution is, thankfully, still some years away. Now that we’re all using HDMI and DVI monitors and televisions, each display has what’s known as Extended Display Identification Data or EDID. This information is sent down the video cable between devices so that, in theory, each device knows the capabilities of the other device and can configure itself accordingly. Such systems can be a big time saver, but of course things often go wrong. The more complex your setup becomes, the more likely that an EDID is wrongly detected. Perhaps you use a HDMI video splitter to send the signal to two or more devices? Often these splitters will incorrectly reproduce the EDID information or send their own EDID which isn’t the same as the source device. Perhaps you were simply unlucky enough to buy a device that has an error in its EDID information. Most devices have a manual override of course, allowing the user to set the output mode regardless of what the EDID advises, but that’s not always the case. One of the most problematic devices is the common Windows PC. Thanks to Microsoft’s design decisions, there’s no easy way to override the EDID supplied settings in Windows. While most graphics card software drivers allow custom screen resolutions to be added, there’s no easy way to do this for audio devices. If your PC thinks your fancy new AV receiver is only capable of stereo sound, then stereo sound is what you are stuck with.

Is this the cure for the HDMI blues?

As a EDID emulator the Dr HDMI worked flawlessly with my gaming PC. By adding a simple, cheap HDMI to DVI adapter, the Dr HDMI will work as a DVI device too (though only for digital connections of course). I’m not fortunate enough to be able to dedicate a PC entirely to gaming, so my main desktop PC has its video output split between a monitor and a AV receiver and TV setup. Of course, this resulted in the EDID being incorrectly detected and the PC refusing to output surround sound to the receiver. Using the Dr HDMI, it was trivial to capture the EDID from the AV receiver, then by connecting the Dr HDMI to the PC, the PC was convinced it was permanently connected to the surround sound system and selecting 7.1 surround sound was no longer a problem.

The Dr HDMI is also a HDMI repeater and booster and can help with handshaking problems too. Typically you might use the device to keep a connection alive, even when a device is turned off. In my setup I don’t use the video output of my AV receiver since I have a separate video processor. However, the AV receiver has an on-screen configuration menu that is occasionally useful to access. The receiver is connected to the second HDMI input on my TV and the video processor to the first. By switching the TV to the first HDMI input, the receiver would become confused as to why it couldn’t properly handshake with the TV, and in doing so it would stop processing the audio signal. Putting the Dr HDMI between the receiver and the TV solved this issue.

Of course, no device can solve every problem you might encounter with HDMI, but if the problem is EDID or handshaking then the Dr HDMI has a pretty good chance of curing the problem. If you need an EDID emulator for any application, the Dr HDMI is the logical choice, being cheaper than the competition. Despite being cheaper though, it offers far more features and is a great deal more flexible. With the Dr HDMI, HDFury have delivered a superbly useful gadget for home theatre enthusiasts, installers and professionals. If you’re having problems with HDMI connections, this is just what the doctor ordered. 


Ever had problems with video signal loss with HDMI?

Most dealers are pretty familiar with HDCP and the issues that can come up with HDCP handshakes, keys, etc. - but are you familiar with EDID?

EDID stands for "Extended Display Identification Data," and it's a piece of information that is transmitted by a display or "sink" - a TV, a projector, or a monitor - to describe its audio and video capabilities to an AV "source," such as a Cable Box, Disc Player, or VidaBox system. Most important within this EDID is the video resolutions and audio setups supported for the sink device.... 

As many of you may have experienced - if you have multiple "sources" devices set up - such as a cable box, a gaming station, a disc player, and/or a VidaBox - and the user switches between these devices, there sometimes may be a significant delay for the video to re-appear.

Some may say that it's HDCP handling that causes this - but it may actually be caused by the source and sink devices trying to "sync up" on the EDID - not due to HDCP....

For example, on a standard DVD player (which has no HDCP that is present on Blu-ray and HD set-top boxes) - this same delay can be observed, and it is obviously not caused by HDCP. Worse - in some cases - with particular source and sink combinations - the video may not even come back unless the source is reset - making it a huge problem for AV integrators and installers!

In some cases, specific combinations of TV & receiver devices will create invalid EDIDs - causing some sink devices/sources to not show video correctly.