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HDMI fried TV, Receiver, PS3, and cable box...twice

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Old 05-27-2008, 06:17 PM   #1  
HDMI voltage?
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Default HDMI fried TV, Receiver, PS3, and cable box...twice

I recently purchased a new Samsung LCD tv to mount over my mantle, along with a Yamaha Receiver and a PS3. I had an electrician wire a new outlet over the fireplace and ran an HDMI cable through my attic so we wouldn't have any wires showing. When we went to connect the HDMI into the "out" of the receiver, it shot sparks and essentially welded to the back of it. It also fried the TV and cables as well.

We originally thought the HDMI cable was either touching a hot wire or possibly the cable box, but I had two other HDMI cables plugged in to the "IN" on the receiver coming from the cable box so that wouldn't make sense. I did discover that the wiring had reverse polarity, but it still created sparks even when we corrected that issue.

Could this be an issue of an outlet having no ground wire, as the house is over 70 years old and has a 3 prong receptacle with no true ground, or could it be a cause of static electricity being created somewhere? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:27 PM   #2  
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Static is no where near strong enough to do that damage. I'm not sure what you meant when you said you found reverse polarity........
and I'm really confused how you corrected the problem. I dead short from reversed wiring usually ruins everything on each end of the connection.

What REALLY scares me is an "electrician" that could not find the problem.

As for the no ground problem on the old house, most appliances that require a ground have a big red lable on the plug to remind you.

Sorry I can't help, but you really need a licensed electrician out there ASAP. I really think you have an exposed hot wire somewhere.
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:54 PM   #3  
HDMI voltage?
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Well, the question comes in when the tv and receiver all work when plugged into the wall, and only gets the sparks when the HDMI cable goes to plug into the receiver. This tells me that it is not an electrical issue, but somehow voltage is passing through the HDMI cable.

By reverse polarity, I just mean that the wires were run backwards (hot wire on left side, neutral on right). I switched the two to get correct polarity and it still happened. I've now had two licensed electricians out there and they are certain that is not the issue. Any other ideas out there?
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:21 PM   #4  
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Originally Posted by hull0699 View Post
Well, the question comes in when the tv and receiver all work when plugged into the wall, and only gets the sparks when the HDMI cable goes to plug into the receiver. This tells me that it is not an electrical issue, but somehow voltage is passing through the HDMI cable.

By reverse polarity, I just mean that the wires were run backwards (hot wire on left side, neutral on right). I switched the two to get correct polarity and it still happened. I've now had two licensed electricians out there and they are certain that is not the issue. Any other ideas out there?
This just sounds crazy. Maybe there is a short in the HDMI connection/device at the other end. There is definitely AC power going to the HDMI connection on one end or the other to cause the damage you described. Have you tried bypassing the HDMI cable going through the attic/wall and just connect it in the open area on all HDMI inputs or with no HDMI inputs connected to the receiver to make sure it is coming from the HDMI on the display?

I am thinking that some hot/live AC wire behind the wall has melted the exterior of the HDMI cable behind the wall (or is touching a casing stripped area of the HDMI cable). Re connecting each in reverse order might isolate WHERE the AC current is contacting the HDMI cable.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:23 AM   #5  
HDMI voltage?
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That's what I originally thought, but the installers then brought in another HDMI cable to test it and it did the same thing. Both going from the TV to the Receiver and from the cable box to the TV. The TV did work when it was hooked up with RCA cables, but this HDMI issue is beginning to seem unsolvable.

Any other thoughts?
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:53 AM   #6  
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Any other thoughts?
Return it. Sounds like your TV is possessed.
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:03 PM   #7  
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Get yourself another electrician (after filing a claim on his liability insurance policy) and trash the Samsung.
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:46 PM   #8  
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I would do this, unhook everything and start over. Run an extension cord from a grounded outlet (or get a 2 prong to ground adapter if nothing is grounded in the house) and buy a brand new HDMI to test with.
1. Hook cable box to TV using a brand new HDMI and extension cord fr4om 'new' outlet (nothing else hooked up)- does it happen?
2. Hook another video source (DVD or whatever) to TV using the HDMI and 'new' outlet (again nothing but these 2 hooked up)- does it still happen?

If it happens w/ both setups it is a cross in the TV's wiring (since there are no other common components.) Take the TV back.

If it happens in only one of the setups, it is probably the other component involved (cable box or DVD.)

If it doesn't happen w/ either, you have a wiring issue w/ the outlet or HDMI or a short in that HDMI port of your reciever. You should be able to test them 1 by 1 until you know which is the problem.

I'm betting on crossed wires in the reciever or TV (putting current through the HDMI port)

Let us know if you solve it

Last edited by WTF??; 05-28-2008 at 01:57 PM..
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:49 PM   #9  
HDMI voltage?
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I will let you know once I figure this out. The idea of crossed wires is great, however it has now happened to two TV's and two Receivers. The last time we tried, we hooked everything up, with nothing plugged in, then when we went to plug in the playstation to the power strip, it sparked at the receiver and the tv. Could it be the power strip?

I'm planning on adding a power cleaner and I'm having an electrician re-wire that outlet to have a true ground. I am also starting over with brand new everything so this should not happen again, but weirder things have happened. Thanks for all the suggestions!
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:47 AM   #10  
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Sorry, didn't realize it happened to 2 TV's/Recievers
It has to be a power issue- either outlet (almost for sure) or power strip (pretty unlikely, but I'd replace it to be certain)
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:01 PM   #11  
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I am experiencing the same thing with my tv and ps3/ cable box did you figure out what happened?
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:55 PM   #12  
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If it was me, I'd put a meter in the outlet.

Then, I'd put a meter on the HDMI port of my first device.

Then, I'd put a meter on the first cable before I connected to the second device.

And so on, and so forth until I saw some kind of influence. Or, have an electrician do it. Unfortunately, you (and the electrician) aren't going to know what your equipment should or shouldn't be putting out. But, you should know if there's something amiss at the outlet.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:28 PM   #13  
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yes it just happend to me but everything else works fine my tv is ok and also my surround sound but when i went to plug my ps3 system in i got a spark and it cooked the hdmi outlet in the back of the ps3 ???????????
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:37 PM   #14  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hull0699 View Post
I recently purchased a new Samsung LCD tv to mount over my mantle, along with a Yamaha Receiver and a PS3. I had an electrician wire a new outlet over the fireplace and ran an HDMI cable through my attic so we wouldn't have any wires showing. When we went to connect the HDMI into the "out" of the receiver, it shot sparks and essentially welded to the back of it. It also fried the TV and cables as well.

We originally thought the HDMI cable was either touching a hot wire or possibly the cable box, but I had two other HDMI cables plugged in to the "IN" on the receiver coming from the cable box so that wouldn't make sense. I did discover that the wiring had reverse polarity, but it still created sparks even when we corrected that issue.

Could this be an issue of an outlet having no ground wire, as the house is over 70 years old and has a 3 prong receptacle with no true ground, or could it be a cause of static electricity being created somewhere? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Given you're running an HDMI to the attic, most likely is one plug has its polarity reversed, thus when you hook up the HDMI you are closing the circuit, zap. Alternatively, it could be your CATV ground on your TV, and your hot is going to CATV ground, and zap. Lastly, it could be one of your components dumping voltage to ground, which isn't unheard of. You can ususally see this with your average voltmeter set to AC between your equipment and the CATV cable shield.

But at any rate, you need an electrition. One with a clue. It looks like this guy bought you some new gear.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:37 PM   #15  
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I had almost the exact same thing happen to me - I purchased an hd projector panasonic AT-200u. When I went to plug it into my receiver (with component) sparks and smoke shot out of it - and it powered down with 'auto protect' showing. I got a new cable tried again with HDMI cable and same thing happenend only this time receiver was fried - It was an old rebadged reciever I had paid only $100 bucks for several years back but did everything except decode hd codecs but it did have 5.1 analog and my player has internal decoding so no prob. but I loved it and was proud of the deal I had gotten even though the reviews on the net I could find essentially had all the same endings smoke and death for owners of the receiver.

When I had contacted the manufacturer previously about some other info they told me they weren't sure of some of the particulars because they had bought a lot of a few thousand in china and rebadged them with their name and they knew as much as me.

I assumed my AVR had a short and bought an Onkyo 606. Hooked up my projector and for 8 mos. not a problem. Went to bed one night and when I got up the next morning no video- on anything dvd/blu-ray/sat/xbox360 etc - OH NOOOO!! I still had warranty coverage and onkyo service center is 4 miles from where I work so they swapped out hdmi boards and when I brought it back - viola same thing. Figured they had done it wrong or gotten a faulty board so they replaced it out again and when I got back (after they had left it running on a display for a day nonstop as a 'stress test' to insure the board was good)
When I got home I was smart and hooked up one thing at a time - AVR to TV (used calib menu no prob) - hooked up xbox 360, no problem; hooked up blu-ray no problem, hooked up sat/dvr no prob. hooked up projector everything seemed all right until I flipped not the power on the projector but the power on the power strip it was plugged in to. It was the only device in that power strip/surge suppressor on the other side of the room in a different outlet on the other side of the room and the instant I flipped the switch my AVR went into 'protect' mode. I immediately turned the power off and purchased for lack of a better term an 'outlet checker' and when plugged in It showed reverse polarity as well I and I figured maybe the two different plugs on the same circuit with one having reversed polarity would be the issue and that maybe my first AVR wasn't to blame but the outlet. I gathered an extension cord and plugged in the projector into yet another outlet that checked OK and the second that I flipped the switch I blew out the HDMI board in the Onkyo 606 yet again- the Component outlets in my sat/dvr box, the HDMI board in my new 50" Panny 800u Plasma tv and the hdmi outlety in my xbox360.

Luckily I called the Panasonic concierge desk - My Plasma TV was ~ 3 wks old and told them I felt my HDMI board had blown and wasn't completely sure why. They arranged for a technician to come out to my home and either replace or fix my tv at his discretion. He fixed my tv (replaced the HDMI board), my Blu-ray deck was less than a week old at the time so I took it back and the store gladly exchanged it for another- 2 for 2 looking better, had a replacement warranty (due to rrod scares - now on my fourth 360 by the way- 3 prior rrod) on my xbox360 and got it swapped out no problem 3 for 3 - looking better still - ordered another hdmi cable from monoprice and my sat/dvr hdmi port still worked (4 for 4) and went back to the Onkyo service center and talked to the technician- a really nice guy {whose business I wholeheartedly reccomend for a number of reasons} and he told me he would swap out the HDMI board again ,but for the last time since he wasn't charged anything by Onkyo for swapping out the board but he was only paid for the labor/work one time and they had now put a lot of time in something that really wasn't faulty. - Now 5 for 5 at no cost to me yet.

Alas and alack, I had no warranty on the apparent culprit (projector) as I had bought the projector used with only a couple hundred hours on the bulb and the warranty wouldn't transfer. I took the projector and related the entire story to the tech since this store only charges $10 for a diagnosis and estimate on electronic repairs.

They took one look at my projector and saw the scorch mark that had been left next to one of the HDMI ports on the metal and the head tech said there was the problem - no way that that much juice should be running through an HDMI outlet and that there is no logical reason to suspect my wiring especially since multiple outlets yielded the same result. He feels that swapping out the HDMI board and possibly the power supply in my projector should fix the problem. Would probably cost me ~$300-400 though. Have'nt plugged my proj. in since then; been a few months. I have let things stand and suffered with 50" of plasma instead of 100" of screen but now football is upon us and I must address the issue.

After reading this I wonder if what I have been told and deduced for myself seems right to any/all of you . I can probably afford to either fix my projector or hire an electrician to check/fix my wiring but not both. The AV tech at the service center feels my wiring is okay and not the culprit and I have a lamp plugged in there now and use the outlet where my projector was to charge my cell phone and power my laptop all the time without incident. I would like to have my projector fixed but am afraid to try it again. What I may do is unplug everything after my projector is fixed and only plug my xbox360 in and test it on that since I still have 2 exchanges left on my no/fault replacement warranty and if everything seems okay then plug things back in one thing at a time. One other thing that was initially proposed is that one of the pins on my hdmi cord (either 30 or 35 ft. can't remember exactly) may have been bent and that might explain the receiver shorting out recurrently. But that doesn't explain the whole chain of everything connected even via intermediary shorting out.

I don't want to hijack the thread but any thoughts or reccomendations are appreciated - come on all you EE majors. Hope this may have provided some insight to your problem hull0669

Last edited by jkkyler; 08-18-2009 at 11:47 PM..
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