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HDMI Flicker. Anyone experience this?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 14, 2011 2:08:46 AM

So I recently built a llano based HTPC (A8-3850 CPU on ASUS F1A75V EVO Mobo).

After several days of thinking my new Onkyo receiver was to blame for a display issue, I have now removed it from the setup and isolated the problem to either the HTPC or the (also new) Vizio TV.

What happens is this: If the TV has been off for more than about 20-30 minutes, when it turns back on there is a flickering of the screen. This flickering is a distortion of the image akin to a loose analog cable connection. It can start off very strong, distorting the entire screen or it can begin just as a few flickering random lines. The issue will persist from anywhere from 20-120 seconds, lessening in intensity and duration until it completely disappears. The screen then remains normal for the duration of the viewing session and only will reoccur the next time the TV has been powered off for an appropriate amount of time.

While I am not completely convinced that it is the PC at fault, tests would seem to indicate this (more on that below). I am wondering if anyone else has experienced issues like this with Catalyst drivers, chipsets, or ASUS Mobos?

I am trying to obtain some additional input sources to isolate this to the PC or the display. However the following tests point to the fact that it is not just the PC, but the Catalyst drivers specifically:

Test 1: My TV has built in Apps (like Netflix). Additionally, when bringing up the on-screen menu, it minimizes the current display to the right of the screen, so that you are able to see both the menu and the PC output. When the flickering occurs and I bring up the menu, I am able to see the flickering on the minimized image, but not on the TV display as a whole. Furthermore, if I pull up the internal Netflix App, there is no flickering at all (i.e. the flickering from the PC output is not present). This would seem to indicate that the TV display itself it not undergoing any disturbance, but rather just the output from the PC.

Test 2: If I enter the BIOS of the PC (UEFI BIOS, so fairly graphical) and perform my TV sleep on/off tests with the BIOS screen up, then the flicker does not seem to happen. However once I boot into Windows and the Catalyst drivers take over the tests will once again produce the flicker.

I would appreciate any additional advice for troubleshooting, or notification of problems similar to this that people are aware of. I am hoping that if indeed the HTPC is the problem, that the issue is Motherboard related and that I won't experience similar problems with Catalyst drivers on another system.

Thank you!
December 14, 2011 3:27:57 AM

Sounds like it could be the driver, but most likely a setting within CCC. Possibly an incorrect hertz setting. If you can insure that it still is happening while connected to another display. There is most likely an issue of the motherboard or processor. I have had Issues like this in the past dealing with graphics cards in particular. If it didn't have to do with settings and reverting back to a different driver didn't fix the issue then the card was RMA'd.
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December 14, 2011 5:05:17 AM

Well I have to readjust my claims on test #2 regarding not happening within the BIOS screens.

It *is* happening in the BIOS screen, the flicker is just of a different variety and not as noticeable. But, there is clearly a disturbance that manifests itself more like a wavy interference than the flicker I see when within windows.

I'm more concerned that it is something wrong at the root Motherboard level. I would think that an incorrect setting would continue to exhibit bad behavior, whereas the symptoms I describe subside after 20-120 seconds and then do not reoccur.

My system is set at 1920x1080 60Hz, which is the highest the A8 seems to support. The TV is a 120Hz TV, but I don't think that would be the issue as I don't think most video cards can display at 120Hz, and plenty of people are outputting to 120Hz TVs.

Once again though, I would think the issue would persist if it were a setting.

I'm going to see if I can hook up to a projector output tomorrow as a second display source. Additionally, I may go pick up an hdmi DVD player as another input source and see if I can isolate which part is the problem. I fear what I may have is a conflict between these two devices and I may not see the problem elsewhere...
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December 15, 2011 12:47:25 AM

So hooked up my PC to a different TV and I am not seeing the issue.

However, I also hooked up a different input (Roku player) to my current TV and also no issue.

So it seems the two components only misbehave when connected to each other - but I'm sure one of them is to blame.

Any ideas how I can further troubleshoot this??
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December 15, 2011 2:16:36 AM

I posted a video that shows the flicker here. This is a relatively light occurrence, but you can get the idea of what I refer to as "flickering".
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December 15, 2011 4:01:55 AM

I hate to say it but it sounds like the vision is the culprit. Does it have another input you could try and see if its only the one input.
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December 15, 2011 5:18:43 PM

xtc28 said:
I hate to say it but it sounds like the vision is the culprit. Does it have another input you could try and see if its only the one input.


Do you mean the Vizio (TV)?

It has several HDMI inputs and they all experience the same thing.

However, it seems like I may also be experiencing some distortion with the Roku player as well - which would point to the TV since that is 2 different input sources that seem to misbehave.

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December 16, 2011 2:51:54 AM

well if it s two different devices on the same tv And yes I meant vizio (sorry i had one two many) and when the pc is connected to the other display you dont get any distortion then it is definitely the tv. No need to look any further. Sorry BUB but that s the deal.
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