Is discreet channel / input switching a thing of the past?

attlasrex

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
2
Real Name
Attila Lendvai
I run my Windows 10 tower with a dual-display setup with HDTV as primary monitor run through my RXV385 home theatre receiver (HDMI), and desktop extended to a secondary screen. On my 15 y.o. old Pioneer Receiver (which recently died), if I switched to another HDMI device (say, HD cable box), there was an audible and satisfying analog "click" in the receiver, and Windows no longer recognized the TV as "available," automatically switching to my second screen, making it the one and only "primary monitor." When I switched back to "HDMI2," there was another "click" inside the receiver, and Windows recognized my TV once again and switched back to extended desktop mode, with TV as primary monitor. Simple. Logical. Switching to another HDMI input on the receiver was discreet, cutting signals to all other HDMI ports.

However, when I do this exact same setup/scenario on my new Yamaha Receiver (switch HDMI source from computer to cable box, BD Player, or any other HDMI input), it SOMETIMES momentarily causes Windows to think the TV is no longer available (Windows makes the "device unplugged" sound and my desktop icons appear on the second monitor as if it were switching to primary) but then immediately switches back (Windows "device plugged in" sound is heard, second monitor goes back to "extended desktop" and my primary desktop goes away). As far as Windows is concerned, it's displaying my primary desktop on the TV through the receiver, but the receiver is actually outputting the signal from the cable box, BD Player, or other HDMI input source. This same phenomenon was happening even if I turned off the receiver (put it in "StandBy" mode)! Windows still thought the TV was on, was still behaving in extended desktop mode, despite BOTH TV and receiver were OFF (Standby).

In an attempt to solve the issue, I turned off all HDMI controls, ARC, HDMI StandBy Passthrough (so at least it will switch properly if I turn off the receiver now), I even turned ON ECO mode, thinking maybe to save electricity it would only power one HDMI port at a time (no luck), and I switched off every conceivable setting I could find/think of, but still there seems to be no way to get the receiver to ACTUALLY turn off HDMI ports that are not in use. This means I either have to change the monitor setup manually in Windows (an annoying extra step), or use an external physical HDMI splitter box to physically "cut all signals" between the computer and the receiver when the receiver is set to some other HDMI source.

Am I just naive in thinking that in today's hyper-digital age of convenience that discreet switching of physical channels/ports even exists anymore? I can understand why EVERYTHING has gone digital/software controlled, but if that's the case, wouldn't they have thought to at least give an option to MIMIC good old fashioned analog switching (simple; logical)? I can see how maybe you'd want to be able to get a signal passed through the receiver to your TV from your cable box while listening to music on the stereo from your BD Player, but is there no way to disable such passthrough on a port-by-port basis? If there is, what is the feature I should be looking for? My receiver gives me an option to set the HDMI from <Auto> to 1.4 on a port-by-port basis, but this seems to do nothing to solve my issue.

If anyone can help me out, I'd appreciate it. I can find nothing online or in the documentation addressing this. I simply need a feature that says "HDMI 3: CUT ALL SIGNALS TO PORT WHEN NOT IN USE - Y/N." That would let Windows know to switch back to single-monitor mode (mimicking discreet channel switching like my old Pioneer receiver did). Simple. Logical. Is that too much to ask?
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
13,686
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
Receivers have changed from about ten years ago. They used to kill the hdmi signal to other outputs and inputs, but now they keep them active in some way. I suspect this is to avoid handshake problems and make input switching faster. I know it helps with troubleshooting, since they will usually output a title screen with the receiver's brand name when there is no active input. So, for instance, if you're trying to figure out a connection problem, if the TV is properly connected, it'll show the title screen where in the past it would be dead and you didn't know if the problem was between the component and the receiver or the receiver and TV.

In any case, the new way works better for how equipment is usually used, not in your case, however.
 
  • Like
Reactions: attlasrex

attlasrex

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
2
Real Name
Attila Lendvai
Receivers have changed from about ten years ago. They used to kill the hdmi signal to other outputs and inputs, but now they keep them active in some way. ... In any case, the new way works better for how equipment is usually used, not in your case, however.
Thanks for the response. I figured as much, but still thought I might be missing some special configuration or something. Might there be a reason for not including a firmware-enabled option in the receiver to kill the signal on a specified HDMI input when inactive? Or would you chalk it up as basic corporate laziness/cost-cutting? I imagine I cannot be the only person dealing with this issue, considering the rise of streaming services, IPTV, YouTube, HD & 4K PC gaming, etc. But maybe now I better understand why there are literally hundreds of physical HDMI switching boxes for sale on Amazon. It's the only "one button" solution which solves this issue for PC that I have found. Only problem is, both the PC and HDTV box have separate digital optical out for sound, which means it's not as easy as running everything through a physical HDMI switch and then to the receiver. Anyway, I guess I'll learn to live with a one remote function + one physical button solution.
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
13,686
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
I've never heard of anyone wanting to do what you're doing, but no doubt there are others. So I don't think it's laziness. Just not a feature many people want.

For how receivers are designed to be used, this is much better. It eliminates far more problems than it creates. This is the first time I've heard of a problem it created.

Receivers often have an option to essentially deactivate unused inputs, which probably does what you want, but it's a configuration option. Not something you do with a simple push of a button.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
345,541
Messages
4,745,046
Members
141,475
Latest member
Macoco