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Why does Denon require me to have ARC? (1 Viewer)

tfurnivall

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Back in January I ordered a new Denon AVR. The idea was to connect my cable box, DVD player to the TV via the AVR, to avoid having to switch inputs on the TV.

That, at least was the idea.

The TV was a (comfortably behind the times) 10-year old Insignia TV with 4 HDMI inputs. I set everything up, and switched it on. Perfect! I could watch a video and switch to cable using only the Denon.

Then, after about 5 weeks, the Denon stopped working. When I called with this issue I was told that the Denon only works on TVs with ARC (my Insignia did not - but it still worked). The support person was remarkably incapable of listening, and kept insisting that this was the case, and that even though it may have appeared to be working it wasn't really, because "it couldn't detect the signal" (I did confirm - he meant the ARC signal).

The gist of his solution was "Buy an uptodate TV". (I did - and now I'm back to remote hell, and switching things until they all agree to co-operate. But, along the way he dropped an interesting gem: The TV manufacturers demand this.

OK, I get that. But it makes no sense.

If I have an ARC capable port on the TV, the last thing I want to it do, if I'm sending video from the Denon, is to pass back audio. I've already gotten that signal out of the video stream from my source.

If I've succumbed to the craze for smart TVs, and want the TV to do the switching, why would I waste an HDMI connection on this? I'd simply pull an optical line as the only connection between the AVR and the TV. (This is not my preferred solution).

So - why would TV manufacturers impose such a requirement? It smells strongly like restraint of trade, but I wonder if anyone here knows the "real story"?

Tony
 

JohnRice

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No. I swear, customer service is useless at most companies.

The TV does NOT need to have ARC if you're not using ARC. You didn't need a new TV. Unbelievable.

Clearly something in the configuration of the receiver or TV, or both, was changed and caused it to stop working. Think about what that might be. Then go into the setup menus in the receiver and TV and turn off anything related to ARC, and might as well turn off any CEC features on both the TV and receiver.

Of course, this is for running everything through the receiver, then to the TV.
 

JohnRice

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I should have asked. In what way did the Denon stop working?
 

Todd Erwin

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No. I swear, customer service is useless at most companies.

The TV does NOT need to have ARC if you're not using ARC. You didn't need a new TV. Unbelievable.
Some call centers are notorious for insisting this. I had to call Amazon about some issue I was having with my FireStick (I can’t even remember what the issue was), but several agents in a row all insisted that connecting a FireStick to an AVR was not supported, that I had to connect to my TV and use ARC to send audio back to my AVR. I hung up and escalated to Executive Customer Relations, who managed to connect me with a tech support agent in the States, and they were able to resolve the issue without having me rewire my devices.
 

JohnRice

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Some call centers are notorious for insisting this. I had to call Amazon about some issue I was having with my FireStick (I can’t even remember what the issue was), but several agents in a row all insisted that connecting a FireStick to an AVR was not supported, that I had to connect to my TV and use ARC to send audio back to my AVR. I hung up and escalated to Executive Customer Relations, who managed to connect me with a tech support agent in the States, and they were able to resolve the issue without having me rewire my devices.
No doubt they type a question into a database and are fed back an (often completely wrong) answer.
 

tfurnivall

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John Rice:

Video disappeared! This meant, of course, that I couldn't see the setup menus! That would have been the most telling response to the Customer Disservice agent!

However, I'll go back to Dednon.

Update is that I bought a brand new TV, and the Denon is still not putting out video!

Ain't technology wunnerful.

Tony
 

JohnRice

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John Rice:

Video disappeared! This meant, of course, that I couldn't see the setup menus! That would have been the most telling response to the Customer Disservice agent!

However, I'll go back to Dednon.

Update is that I bought a brand new TV, and the Denon is still not putting out video!

Ain't technology wunnerful.

Tony
It's always possible the hdmi board in the receiver died. That happens. You never said what model it is or how old it is.

I would disconnect the receiver from the A/C overnight. This does a sort of low level reset, and it's amazing what it can fix. Sometimes this stuff gets stuck.

Also, disconnect and reconnect all your hdmi cables to refresh the contacts.
 

Jeff Whitford

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Does your Denon have Pure Direct on it and is the light lite up for it on front of your receiver? It should be a bright blue light. If so turn it off and see if your video doesn't come back.
 

David_B_K

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My TV has several HDMI inputs, one of which is ARC (eARC). My Denon receiver has two HDMI outputs, one of which is for eARC. Since you are not using ARC, why don't you use the non-ARC output from your receiver and the non-ARC input on your TV?
 

JohnRice

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As Jeff mentioned, some receivers do have a mode that shuts off the video circuitry for pure music playback. That could be it as well.
 

tfurnivall

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John Rice:
I suggested to Denon that the HDMI Video output lines were broken on the circuit board (remember, audio worked fine). Response has already been noted and deprecated;-(

I've disconnected the AC powerline to the Denon, and will see what effect this has. I'll also do the same for the new TV!

Denon is AVR S660H - from a few years back (but still available at Amazon). Warehousing for this period of time may well preciptate the problems. I'll report back on the effect of fully powering down.

WRT Powering down for audio only playback, I had the reverse with a SOny DVD/HTS that I was trying to use as a DVD source for the Denon. The Video went through fine, but no audio. A simple Cost/Benefit analysis shows that deliberately unsoldering or disabling the audio pins is not worth the (non-existent) benefit. However, I have a separate DVD only player. That's the next project!

Jeff Whitford:

The Denon AVR S660H does not have Pure Direct. It has a Direct mode, but at the moment the audio 'style' is set to Movie. Selecting Direct seems to have the effect of dropping off any surround/center channel info, and using only the main stereo front pair (l/R). We didn't like that for watching TV!

David B_K
As I understand it, the TV HDMI input that flags itself as ARC or eARC, uses the Input connection to send audio back. In HDMI terms, the sink is sending a return channel to the source. There is no separate ARC input for the AVR - it simply detects/uses whatever is on the ARC lines in the normal HDMI cable.

However, I'll try using a non-ARC output from the Denon (I don't think that there is one - a single HDMI output) if I can find it.

Thanks to all for their suggestions. They are confirming my suspicion that the Denon CS rep was totally unprepared for real questions that don't show up in the database! His response of "Well just do it the way we tell you" would have been grounds for firing in my book!

Tony
 

tfurnivall

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So, since we had house guests, I left the Denon unplugged for a couple of days. Unfortunately it had no effect.

Then, like a dog who can't get enough of being abused, I called Denon again, and got the same jerk. I couldn't escalate past him, and I'm now out almost $600 for the new receiver and the new TV. I think I'm going to escalate to the CEO of Denon America. Fortunately, as a public company, this info is available. I can't believe that he would willingly let this state of affairs persist.

Stay tuned - my blue touch-paper has been lit, and the fireworks are going to commence!

Tony
 

Jeff Whitford

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Did you try a different HDMI cable? I know this sounds stupid but have you tried turning the items on in a different order
 

David_B_K

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John Rice:
I suggested to Denon that the HDMI Video output lines were broken on the circuit board (remember, audio worked fine). Response has already been noted and deprecated;-(

I've disconnected the AC powerline to the Denon, and will see what effect this has. I'll also do the same for the new TV!

Denon is AVR S660H - from a few years back (but still available at Amazon). Warehousing for this period of time may well preciptate the problems. I'll report back on the effect of fully powering down.



David B_K
As I understand it, the TV HDMI input that flags itself as ARC or eARC, uses the Input connection to send audio back. In HDMI terms, the sink is sending a return channel to the source. There is no separate ARC input for the AVR - it simply detects/uses whatever is on the ARC lines in the normal HDMI cable.

However, I'll try using a non-ARC output from the Denon (I don't think that there is one - a single HDMI output) if I can find it.

Thanks to all for their suggestions. They are confirming my suspicion that the Denon CS rep was totally unprepared for real questions that don't show up in the database! His response of "Well just do it the way we tell you" would have been grounds for firing in my book!

Tony
I looked at pictures of your receiver and it indeed has only one HDMI out. Mine is a later model Denon (S960) and has two (although I only use the eARC one)

Another thing to check: see if you can disable ARC in your Denon settings. I actually like ARC when I watch video using my TV as the source. There is an app I watch called Symphony (it shows live classical music concerts) that works better as a TV app than it does on my Roku. I had a hard time getting ARC to work. I enabled it on my TV, but no sound was making it back to my receiver. I discovered that ARC had to be enabled in the Denon video settings. Once I changed that setting, ARC works. I have to select TV sound on the Denon in order for it to receive the sound from the TV. It may be that you can find that setting (if it is there) and disable ARC.

If I use another video source than the TV, like a Roku player or Blu-ray player, I select another input on the Denon (Blu-ray or Cable/Sat) and the receiver now sends the video and sound to the TV and receives nothing.
 

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tfurnivall

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Lots of good suggestions. Unfortunately, most of them require the Denon to put out video so that I can see what setting I'm going to be changing! I swear that this was part of the research for Catch-22!!

One of the benefits of Denon being a publicly traded company is that key people are named, and can be reached. Now that taxes are over, this is the next project!

T
 

Todd Erwin

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How to factory reset Denon AVR-S660H:

1. Turn off the power using
Power Button
.
2. Press
Power Button
while simultaneously pressing TUNE + and TUNE –.

3. Remove your fingers from the two buttons when “Initialized” appears on the display.

Once this is done, have a few USB thumbdrives on hand to backup your settings using the Save/Load function.
 

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