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Blame Gaming - Is the Blinking PS3 Sony's Fault?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the finger-pointing-with-blank-media dept.

PlayStation (Games) 103

mattnyc99 writes "After discovering a blinking problem associated with the HDCP handshake from an HDMI cable to the PlayStation 3, then solving it, Popular Mechanics has now set off a mini-war between Westinghouse and Sony. The 1080p TV set maker appears to be blaming Sony as the source of the blinking PS3, and the two powerhouse companies have organized a meeting to settle the score. From the article: '[Westinghouse had] one suggestion for PS3 owners with blinking Westinghouse televisions: Purchasing an HDMI to DVI adapter to bypass HDCP. Average cost of an adapter: $30. As we reported last week, Popular Mechanics has found an even easier solution: Unplugging the HDMI cable, and then plugging it back in'"

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There's only one way this can be settled... (5, Funny)

haddieman (1033476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752088)

...STARING CONTEST!!!!!

Super Mario Kart (3, Funny)

splutty (43475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752146)

Is obviously the best tool in this 'contest', without any doubt.

Rainbow Road (2, Funny)

SighKoPath (956085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752232)

Is the most appropriate course to play in this contest.

Re:Banana peels (1)

the dark hero (971268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752338)

Sony will win because they keep dropping banana peels on the yellow tiles.

the irony? sony winning using a nintendo game.

Re:Banana peels (2, Funny)

IcyNeko (891749) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756490)

The only blinking problem I have is blinking cluelessly at people who buy PS3s.

Re:Super Mario Kart (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17752278)

Yes. Lets have Sony play Mario Kart to decide on something. Good plan.

Re:Super Mario Kart (1)

SighKoPath (956085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752416)

Third-party mediators are used often. Sure, they're usually neutral parties... but can't we ignore that for a minute? Sony sure seems to be ignoring consumer interest regarding a number of things.

Re:Super Mario Kart (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17764592)

I, for one, am a little pissed at the article title. This is a gratutitous use of the question mark. The article clearly states that the problem is the _television_. Why the FUCK would you make the article title, "Blame Gaming - Is the Blinking PS3 Sony's Fault?". This is INCORRECT. A correct title would be "Blinking PS3 HDMI Problem Caused by Television". What the fuck is this? Fox News? Jesus fucking christ. Go back to school asshole.

For further reference, see this [youtube.com] .

Re:Super Mario Kart (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 6 years ago | (#17768294)

The article clearly states that the problem is the _television_.

No, you're wrong. There are three articles listed in the summary, each written at a later time than the previous one. The second article pinned the blame on the TV, but the last one now has Westinghouse blaming Sony:

"Contrary to their earlier statements, Westinghouse now claims that their 1080p televisions are not the cause of the Sony PlayStation 3 blinking phenomenon. The company had indicated earlier that a problem with the firmware installed in certain Westinghouse TVs caused the anomoly in which images from the PS3 blink without sound. Rey Roque, Westinghouse's vice president of marketing, now denies any problem with the firmware. "It turns out that the problem was in the source box," says Roque, referring to the Sony PS3.

But thanks for the Daily Show link. Good stuff.

Re:There's only one way this can be settled... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17754124)

Fight! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17752288)

The 1080p TV set maker appears to be blaming Sony as the source of the blinking PS3, and the two powerhouse companies have organized a meeting to settle the score.
[chanting]

Two man enter, one man leave! Two man enter, one man leave! Two man enter, one man leave!

[/chanting]

Re:Fight! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17756134)

Then later the other man leaves after being declared the winner.

Relevant Section (2)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752290)

There's a lot of review in the first link and very little "blinking problem". Here's the relevant paragraph.

Our console also had a few technological burps that we weren't sure could be attributed to the PS3 or our test equipment. For instance, on multiple occasions, the HDMI connection to our 1080p set (a stunning piece of equipment itself) caused the image to blink on and off repeatedly--a problem that was solved by simply unplugging and replugging the cable. Was this Sony's fault or Westinghouse's? We're not sure, but no other device has caused our equipment to blink like that. Hmmm.

Pardon My French (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17753518)

I really don't see who else's blinking problem it could be if not blinking Sony's! Sure, they've made it my blinking problem now but they designed the blinking console in the first place. Blinkwits.

Re:Relevant Section (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17753650)

How on earth can you call a westinghouse LCD panel "a stunning piece of equipment". They are entry level LCDs which tend to suffer with all sorts of silly connection issues requiring power off/on to fix, as well as visual banding problems, and a rather poor quality displaying of black.

Check out AVS forum westinghouse owners' threads, and you'll see a fair number of people have problem with their panels, and quite often return them to buy something better.

Yes, It's Sony's fault (2, Interesting)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752318)

As well as Westinghouse's. Anyone that wants to implement the DRM without full testing (or hell, implement it, period) gets the blame.

Re:Yes, It's Sony's fault (1)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752380)

Without full testing?

There you go overspecifying again.

Re:Yes, It's Sony's fault (4, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752440)

I'm giving it slightly more weight against Westinghouse than Sony. It seems odd to me that the PS3 would work perfectly fine with other HDTVs, and then be at fault for not working with one particular brand. It's possible that some small quirk of the PS3 is contributing, but given that we haven't seen reports of the PS3 failing with Samsungs, Toshibas etc. I highly doubt Westinghouse's claims about it being a problem with the "source".

Re:Yes, It's Sony's fault (4, Insightful)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753130)

It seems odd to me that the PS3 would work perfectly fine with other HDTVs, and then be at fault for not working with one particular brand.

Isn't it just as peculiar that the Westinghouse works just fine with other HDCP compliant devices without this issue? Your suspicions on this company are a symptom of Sony Fanboyism. There is a problem with these two companies products, they (not just Westinghouse) need to fix it.

Re:Yes, It's Sony's fault (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753620)

Please refrain from the fanboyism card. Were it true, I'd be an Apple-Microsoft-Linux supporting hardcore Wii-Xbox-PS3 gamer voting Republican-Democratic-Independant.

Having read the articles, Westinghouse initially blamed their own firmware before changing their story to blame the PS3. I also believe the articles imply that Westinghouse's TVs are somewhat slower than usual when handshaking the HDCP key. It's possible that the PS3 doesn't act forgivingly when the handshaking comes slowly. However, I don't think that would brook the greater share of the blame if the PS3 was still expecting a response within specification and was not receving one.

As the PS3 suffers under far greater scrutiny here, I would postulate any problems with Westinghouse TVs would go largely unnoticed. Quite simply, we don't hear as much about X HDTV brand on /. as we do of the big three consoles. While Westinghouse may also have had no issues with any other HDMI equipment, that at best puts the situation at a 50/50 split on the blame.

I'm not arguing that Sony wouldn't benefit from throwing in an update to deal with this. I am cautioning against assuming that this is either significant bad news for the PS3, or that this is largely Sony's fault.

Re:Yes, It's Sony's fault (2, Interesting)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17765728)

As the PS3 suffers under far greater scrutiny here, I would postulate any problems with Westinghouse TVs would go largely unnoticed.

I don't for a second believe that the 200,000 PS3s in the world recieve more scrutiny than the Westinghouse LCDs. These TVs are quite popular amongst AV junkies because they are the most reasonably priced 1080p HDTVs available. If you think they aren't being agonized over by AV nerds, I'd suggest you take a look at AVSFORUM.COM. If I were in the tinfoil hat crew, I'd suggest that Sony was purposely trying to discredit Westinghouse's reasonable quality/low priced competitor to their own high-priced/highly-rated 1080p fare.

Re:Yes, It's Sony's fault (-1, Flamebait)

Dissenter (16782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753782)

Mike, I'll bet you've never solved a problem before in your life. Rather than applying simple logic, you're just blaming everything involved. That's just dumb. There's no nice way to say it. If a product works with EVERY other system out there and only shows a symptom with ONE system, then 99.999% of the time, the problem is with the part that changed.

Re:Yes, It's Sony's fault (3, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754690)

You completely missed the point of his post. The Westinghouse unit is NOT having a problem with other players.

So by your logic, if the TV works fine with EVERY other player out there, then the ONE that's not working (the PS3) must obviously be at fault right?

What we have here is a compatibility issue between the two. Any finger pointing to lay blame on one or the other is pointless.

Re:Yes, It's Sony's fault (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753154)

Not having access to either a PS3 or a Westinghouse TV my questions would be:

1. Does the PS3 work with all other devices that have implemented this feature?
2. Does the Westinghouse TV work with all other devices that have implemented this feature?
3. Is there an issue with the connection (as in - are the cables good or to blame)?

I don't care either way. It doesn't impact me (and likely won't in the future)....unless the problem pops up with other HDMI interfaced devices.

Layne

Re:Yes, It's Sony's fault (2, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755998)

It seems odd to me that the PS3 would work perfectly fine with other HDTVs, and then be at fault for not working with one particular brand.
If you read the comments on all three articles, you'll see that it's not just happening with Westinghouse TVs. Even more interesting, it's also not just happening with PS3s - it happens with Sony's standalone Blu-Ray players as well.

Here's a couple of the comments.

This is not JUST Westinghouse televisions happens on others as well check out this http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=75 2327 [avsforum.com] the issue is in the Sony HDMI connector

----------------

Your investigation is quite on target. However, this isn't just happening on the PS3, it's also doing it on the Blu Ray BDP-S1 stand alone player that Sony released recently that's available at Best Buy. We do the same thing to get it to work and this is with a Sharp Aquos 52" LC-52D62U LCD 1080P. It does it about everyday at random. We either unplug the cable or turn off and on the Blu Ray player to make it go away. I also have the newest HD DVD player HD-A2 released by Toshiba with HDMI and it doesn't suffer from this problem. I'm pretty sure it's a Sony issue.

Re:Yes, It's Sony's fault (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17759252)

I usually skip the comments, thanks for pointing that out. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

If it's true that Sony shares a large part of the blame, they'll want to fix it quickly and quietly.

Re:Yes, It's Sony's fault (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763266)

It will be interesting to see where this goes.
Yes it will. I would say this was the last thing Sony needed right now, on top of everything else that's gone wrong for them in the last year. Hopefully they'll find some way to recover.

Westinghouse has to be compliant (2, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754206)

No comment on whether they did the job right, they might suck at it and this could all be their fault, I'm just saying that as a practical matter they have to support the inputs that devices people will want to hook up will output. Anyone with a PS3 obviously isn't turned off by DRM on principle, and it would be foolish of Westinghouse not to support HDCP. They don't only support HDCP, they support multiple inputs, again for practical reasons. They don't seem to really care about DRM, either, other than they need it to support customers' other electronics. According to the summary:

"[Westinghouse had] one suggestion for PS3 owners with blinking Westinghouse televisions: Purchasing an HDMI to DVI adapter to bypass HDCP."

Um, WHAT?! You mean all you need to get around all this DRM HDCP is a $30 adapter? Not that DRM has ever been something that will do more than stop the most casual of pirates, but even a casual pirate could see $30 to be able to rip all the HD movies they rent from Netflix or whatever makes sense -- just like people bought $30 adapters that stripped Macrovision from VHS. Am I missing something? Tell me I am, because that's just ridiculous for all this bullshit. It'd be like an Express line at airport security where for a small fee you bypass the scanners.

Re:Westinghouse has to be compliant (1)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754472)

It's my understanding that this solution would only work for now. The HDCP-Required flag (which tells devices to downsample if the HDCP chain is broken) is not set on any video sources as of yet. They will start setting it in a few more years when setting it won't destroy their market penetration. At that time, many people will start seeing new games and new movies in a downsampled resolution, but correcting it then will be a matter of completing the HDCP chain (probably by plugging a HDMI cable directly from the source to the destination). At this point people will already be invested in their hardware, and it will be less expensive to accommodate the restrictions than it is to switch to a system without restrictions.

No! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17752384)

The blinking is an indicator that another "first adopter" (YOU) had been f***ed in the a**.

Only the strongest fanboys will survive this and keep to justify their purchases and being loyal to a brand and/or product.

Re:No! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17752928)

You pussy. Self-censorship is for fags.

No Sony's Fault but Sony-fixable (4, Informative)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752398)

Its just a matter of the handshake for HDCP not waiting long enough. The PS3 expects a reply to the handshake within a certain amount of time, and some older sets or ones that cut corners (Westinghouse - why did you think it was so cheap?) take an awfully long time to say 'yes, hi, here's the signal'.

So - not Sony's fault. However, I don't see why Sony couldn't easily tell the PS3 to wait a bit longer for the handshake, which is probably what will happen.

Also - there's typically no need to re-plug the HDMI cable if you happen to have this blinking phenomenon happening to you; just cycle the video Sources on yout TV. That should force it to re-negotiate. (My TV doesn't do this but a friend's does.)

Re:No Sony's Fault but Sony-fixable (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752490)

Honestly, I almost think Sony shouldn't increase the PS3's handshake time. It would certainly fix the issue, but at the same time it might give Westinghouse and those who would see Sony perish in flames fuel for the fire.

It's be much better if first they could get a concession from Westinghouse that its HDCP response was beyond normal tolerance levels and outside the reasonable wait time an HDMI compliant device should expect. Then they could clearly say, "The PS3 was fine, but we're fixing this so that our customers don't have to pay technicians to fix a stupid mistake by Westinghouse." That would be good PR.

Re:No Sony's Fault but Sony-fixable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17753018)

That's all fine and good, except a VP at Westinghouse has stated "Westinghouse products are fully compliant with the HDMI and HDCP specs."

If that's true, then Sony is fucking it up. I wouldn't put it past them to design the PS3 so that it breaks a few HDTVs that are just barely within HDMI/HDCP specs, so that consumers think "I should probably get a Sony HDTV too to make sure it works with my PS3"

Re:No Sony's Fault but Sony-fixable (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753420)

Westinghouse also previously claimed the problem was in their firmware before changing their story to lay the blame on the PS3.

That's a large part of why I'm giving Sony the benefit of the doubt. The articles indicate that Westinghouse TVs take longer for their handshakes than other televisions. Perhaps the PS3 is less forgiving when this falls out of the HDMI specs than other equipment, and could be blamed slightly for not handling exceptions well. However, that doesn't change that Westinghouse appears to be operating out of spec, or where most of the blame will fall.

For all of Sony's mistakes with the PS3, I'm not willing to chalk up to malice what could more easily be explained by stupidity.

Re:No Sony's Fault but Sony-fixable (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755842)

It could just as easily be that Sony's timeout is shorter than the maximum required by the HDMI spec. You really can't tell one way or the other from the information given.

Re:No Sony's Fault but Sony-fixable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17752924)

Also - there's typically no need to re-plug the HDMI cable if you happen to have this blinking phenomenon happening to you; just cycle the video Sources on yout TV.

That's good to hear, because I suspect unplugging and replugging the cable is most certainly not an easy solution for most people. Unlike the fine editors at Popular Mechanics, neither the back of my TV nor my PS3 is very easy to get at. If I had to do this more than once I'd be wanting to throw one or the other through a window.

One other interesting thing out of the articles was the initial Westinghouse suggestion of scheduling a tech to come by and upgrade the firmware on the TV. I have mixed feelings about easy-to-fix software and the way it can cause some companies to be lazy about their initial release, but this is one case where the easiness of updating software wins out for the PS3. If the problem does turn out to be Sony's, they'll be able to fix it without anyone visiting your house. Even if it's not their problem, they might be able to fix it anyway by relaxing their timing to account for the sloppy implementations of the spec by others. Either way, the consumer has the potential to get a much faster, easier fix than otherwise. Almost makes you wish there were a Wi-Fi connector on the TV as well.

Re:No Sony's Fault but Sony-fixable (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752930)


Its just a matter of the handshake for HDCP not waiting long enough. The PS3 expects a reply to the handshake within a certain amount of time

And within the HDCP documentation is their a timeout value specified when the sending unit should give up? If so, is Sony giving up before the specified timeout?

If there's no timeout value specified, I'd say it's the designers of the specification that are to blame. This kind of problem crops up all the time. There's some critical spec that isn't specified, and one manufacturer does it one way, another does it a different way.

Re:No Sony's Fault but Sony-fixable (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755610)

Conversely, I would say it IS Sony's fault. Maybe not the PS3 team's fault directly, but as a major commercial content label, Sony Corporation was clearly a part of the definition of HDMI in the first place. This is just reaping what they sow: they can't make products that consistently grant users valid access when they make technological barriers against what they see as "invalid" access.

Re:No Sony's Fault but Sony-fixable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17756308)

How long does the spec say they should wait for the reply to the handshake? If the PS3 waits as long as the spec says it should, then it's Westinghouse's fault, they are violating the spec by taking too long to reply. If the spec says it must wait longer, or doesn't specify how long it should wait, then it's Sony's fault for being too impatient.

I think I'm on Sony's side on this one... (3, Interesting)

Thraxen (455388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752420)

It seems odd that this issue would only appear on Westinghouse displays if the problem was with the PS3. I own a PS3 and have it connected to a Samsung TV via HDMI and have never seen this issue.

I think I'm on Westinghouse's side on this one... (1)

saintm (142527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752566)

It seems odd that this issue would only appear on a Sony PS2 if the problem was with the TV. I own a Westinghouse TV and have it connected to a HD-DVD player via HDMI and have never seen this issue.

Do you see?

Re:I think I'm on Westinghouse's side on this one. (1)

saintm (142527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752634)

PS3 not PS2, obv.

Re:I think I'm on Westinghouse's side on this one. (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753012)

Yes, but if the PS3s were the problem, we'd be hearing about it from more than just Westinghouse owners.

At BEST its something in the combination of the two (Westinghouse not being quick enough on the reply and Sony not allowing any leeway in waiting for the reply).

Re:I think I'm on Westinghouse's side on this one. (4, Informative)

jafuser (112236) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754272)

Yes, but if the PS3s were the problem, we'd be hearing about it from more than just Westinghouse owners.

From phantomhitman on AVS Forums thread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=75 2327 [avsforum.com] :

I am now worried to death that my tv will have issues with the PS3. Even though Sony demo'ed the PS3 with the tv that I have, it still means nothing to me until real people post up real info. If you have your PS3 hooked up via HDMI please post your results here. I am looking for a Sony xbr2 (46 inch version if that matters at all) that has tried this. Thanks for any info guys and gals.

Sony
xbr2 60 inches-Displays image fine when it is available but losses image randomly. Blackouts happen and then the image reappears.
xbr2 46 inch-No issues at all, syncs right up.
xbr1 50 inch-only displays at 720p (this could be because this set doesnt support 1080p, more research neeed)
xrd 60 and 50 inches-Randomly loses signal like the 60" Sony xbr2

Samsung
BD-P1000-steady flickering image
other display "sparkly" noise images with 1080p resolution but seems fine with 720p.
4696D-reports no signal found via hdmi sometimes and other times it works great.
HL-S5087W-no issues with hmdi

Panasonic
TH42PX500-Randomly loses signal like the 60" Sony xbr2

Westinghouse
LVM-47w1-Randomly loses signal like the 60" Sony xbr2
42w2-flashing screen and signal loss but works fine via hmdi-dvi
37w3-flashing screen and no signal, turn off the tv and turn it back on and it seems to work.

JVC
JVC HD-61FN97-seems to work fine with everything except 480p via hdmi

Re:I think I'm on Westinghouse's side on this one. (2, Insightful)

Zeek40 (1017978) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753058)

Is any of the content you're playing through the HD-DVD Player HDCP protected? My understanding is that HDCP use is still optional and the content being played determines if it's enabled (but i may be wrong on that). If the HDCP handshake is what's causing the flickering, and none of your HD-DVD's are forcing the DVD player to use HDCP, it the issue wouldn't show up with the device.

Re:I think I'm on Westinghouse's side on this one. (1)

Thraxen (455388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753754)

Indeed. Good point.

Re:I think I'm on Sony's side on this one... (2, Informative)

holt (86624) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753406)

It doesn't just appear on Westinghouse TVs. See this discussion on AVS Forum [avsforum.com] . Even Sony TVs are having issues with the PS3...

For once it isn't Sony's fault (4, Informative)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752424)

As Popular Mechanic already pointed out this is the TV's fault. Westinghouse isn't responding the the HDCP handshake fast enough (as defined by the HDCP spec). If you call Westinghouse they will even send out a tech to update your firmware to fix it.

Before you get that tech out to fix it, the DVI convert will work well, or Component cables, or the hack-o-the-week of unplug the HDMI cable.

Re:For once it isn't Sony's fault (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752616)

Before you get that tech out to fix it, the DVI convert will work well

Won't you then be hosed when you want to use the system to watch movies that require an HDCP interconnect?

Really what we need is for the FCC to ban HDCP in the interests of interoperability.

Re:For once it isn't Sony's fault (1)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753740)

Maybe,

What we don't know if the handshake time is part of the spec for HDMI/DVI. It is possible that Westinghouse is within the specified handshake period, and that the PS3 is not waiting long enough because in their testing with their Sony sets, everything worked fine ^ ^. Of course it is also possible that Westinghouse is out of spec. It's also possible that there is no spec at all for that particular aspect of the protocol.

OWEL

Re:For once it isn't Sony's fault (1)

payndz (589033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17758266)

If you call Westinghouse they will even send out a tech to update your firmware to fix it.

Now even TV sets not only have, but need firmware updates? Jesus tap-dancing Christ...

So.. how is this Sony's fault exactly? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17752432)

Westinghouse has already said in previous statements that there is a firmware upgrade for their televisions that fixes this problem.

I'm all for bashing Sony, but, if the TV has an upgrade that eliminates this problem, why is this Sony's fault?

Ahh, StupidDRM strikes again... (2, Funny)

nweaver (113078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752438)

Why they didn't just have HDMI's "copy protection" be ROT13?

It wouldn't be any less secure than the stupid crypto they used, would still make sure the DMCA anti-circumvention provisions are in force, and would be less likely to be F@#)$(*ed up.

(This post has been double-encrypted with ROT13. Reading this post without authorization will violate the DMCA anti-circumvention protections)

Re:Ahh, StupidDRM strikes again... (1)

Palshife (60519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752550)

(This post has been double-encrypted with ROT13. Reading this post without authorization will violate the DMCA anti-circumvention protections)

Holy shit! You cracked ROT26!

what about we the customers? (4, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752568)

Here's where the providers of "stuff" for "us" have gone astray... They're arguing the wrong argument. None of us give a flying f*** whose fault the blinky is... we're freaking customers! And instead of apologies and fixes with humble apologies to the customers, these people don't have enough fingers on their hands to point blame on someone else.

Message to providers of stuff: Provide us with good products, easy to use, and at reasonable cost and price. If something is wrong with the product, fix it.

Re:what about we the customers? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752914)

Reminds me of the old tire pressure debate. Auto-makers recommend tire pressures that improve the car's ride. Tire-makers, conversely, recommend tire pressures that improve the life of the tire. They are constantly bickering over this and many other issues [wikipedia.org] . It's in both their financial and legal best interests to blame one another rather than concentrate on the consumer and his interests.

-Eric

They should get Muslix64 to fix it (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753092)

I'll be HE could figure out how to fix it without having to unplug/plug every time!

-Eric

Re:what about we the customers? (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17757276)

I know pro-consumer rants are popular around here, but how the fuck are they supposed to fix the problem when it's not clear what's causing it?

Sony doesn't support HDMI-DVI cables (4, Informative)

displague (4438) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752588)

I knew about the HDMI->DVI solution a while ago as I started off without an HDMI->HDMI cable. After installing the 1.50 firmware released last night my PS3 menu would not appear. I got a black screen (but the TV detected signal). When I managed my way blindly through the menu to start a game the game appeared fine. But when I quit back to the menu I was once again welcomed by a black screen.

I called Sony support. They had me power off (I forgot about that switch in the back) and connect the composite cables (yuck) then reselect HDMI from the menu. This worked.

I didn't want to get into the blinking issue with him, but when I told them that I worked around it with an HDMI->DVI cable the rep expressed surprise that it didn't break my TV and told me that Sony does not support this method.

The Popular Mechanics article mentioned that some VIP at Westinghouse said technicians would be sent out to repair all of the affected TVs. When I called Westinghouse (prior to contacting Sony), they said that they haven't figured out the logistics of the sending technicians all around the world to upgrade the firmware. They told me to call back in a few weeks.

After purchasing my first HDMI->DVI cable from RadioShak for $50, I picked up all my other HDMI and DVI cables from mycablemart.com for under $10. They work excellently. You'll have a hard time finding a better price.

Re:Sony doesn't support HDMI-DVI cables (1)

Rectal Prolapse (32159) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753334)

You can get them even cheaper online at www.monoprice.com - extremely good cables (I have several HDMI, DVI, DVI->HDMI adapters, fiber optical, etc.) and you can get long 25 feet ones for $30. :)

Re:Sony doesn't support HDMI-DVI cables (1)

displague (4438) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754102)

very nice.. monoprice is still cheaper after shipping is added in. thanks!

Re:Sony doesn't support HDMI-DVI cables w/o HDCP (1)

Akai (11434) | more than 7 years ago | (#17758436)

If your monitor supports HDCP over DVI then an HDMI to DVI cable works just fine, since the video protocol is identical (or close enough).

I think on the Westinghouse monitors in question they don't support HDCP on the DVI port only the HDMI port, that's why it doesn't work as a solution.

Of course it's silly of Sony to run HDCP full time. It should only be run when the content provider explicitly asks for it.

Acronym hell? (2, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752674)

I don't know what "HDMI to DVI adapter to bypass HDCP" means, and quite honestly, I don't care. But my question is, do manufacturers expect consumers to be able to understand all of this mess? What ever happened to plugging a game system into a TV? How many adapters and acronyms are people going to tolerate just to plug the damned thing to the TV? Sounds ridiculous to me. I'm a big fan of plain ol' RCA jacks: Red and white for audio, yellow for video. It's simple, and you can't screw it up. Just because the new sets and devices (like the PS3) are higher definition doesn't mean that plugging the damn things in should be so complicated. Why do I need 6 ways to connect a TV to a signal (coax cable, RCA plugs, S-video, HDMI, DVI, optical, etc.)? It makes me realize that I'm happy with my regular tube TV. It's cheap, it's simple, it looks good, and you don't have to go through 12 pages of directions to plug it in.

Re:Acronym hell? (1)

OiBoy (22100) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752804)

In theory, HDMA makes this even easier than your three little RCA jacks. One plug does everything. It really couldn't be any more simple. Unfortunately, some people cut corners and managed to screw it up.

Re:Acronym hell? (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753584)

In theory, HDMA makes this even easier than your three little RCA jacks. One plug does everything.

I wouldn't want it do everything, though. The speakers built into my TV set are pretty lousy; I'd rather put the audio through my 5.1 surround receiver. With discrete audio and video connections, it's easy to set this up: the component video cables go from my DVD player to the TV, and the TOSlink optical audio cable goes from my DVD player to the receiver.

I don't know how I'd even do that with HDMI connections. Would I need a surround receiver that is also a configurable HDMI router?

Re:Acronym hell? (1)

MayonakaHa (562348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754286)

Looks like my original reply to your post got lost in the aether so here we go again. Most good HDMI supporting television's I've seen include digital optical outputs intended for use with your home theater system. The ones I've worked with before will switch the output depending on which HDMI input you're using so there's no worries about switching both the reciever input and television input when you want to change devices.

Optionally you could get yourself a receiver that does HDMI switching or possibly an HDMI switchbox (haven't seen those yet). But if you have a recent enough television none of that is needed unless you have tons of devices with HDMI.

Re:Acronym hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17754634)

With my dvd player with HDMI out, it automatically disables audio on the cable if you use the digital audio out to a receiver. No problems with audio going to the TV.

Re:Acronym hell? (1)

jafuser (112236) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753640)

I'm a big fan of plain ol' RCA jacks: Red and white for audio, yellow for video.

Of course you're referring to composite signals there. Simply adding two more RCA cables will get you a *much* better component signal.

Check out the wikipedia articles on composite video [wikipedia.org] and component video [wikipedia.org] .

I never noticed all of the noise in composite signals until I got a nice TV display. The noise isn't interference, it's due to the frequency-division multiplexing that composite video uses to send three signals down one wire. It's most visible where there are brightly saturated primary colors. In my comparisons I seemed to notice it most with bright red.

Re:Acronym hell? (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755192)

Speaking of bright red... not sure if you know, but any other video geeks can always chime in: with two different TV's (one tube, and one LCD) and two different DVD players (different manufacturers), I've noticed that highly saturated reds always look more pixellated at the edges than any other color. Is this some weird compression artifact, or is some kind of visual perception thing? Or is it just me?

Re:Acronym hell? (1)

be-fan (61476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753756)

But my question is, do manufacturers expect consumers to be able to understand all of this mess? What ever happened to plugging a game system into a TV?

When was this ever true? Even the original NES had people dealing with RF-output versus composite, and back then customers also had to deal with TVs that took mono-in, and figuring out that you could just connect the RCA jack for one stereo channel and it would work.

Re:Acronym hell? (1)

stewbee (1019450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754148)

There plenty of answers to"why do I need so many different connections"

The quickest answer I can think of is legacy. Many people have VCRs (for example) which are most likely coax and/or RCA. That is because when the technology was developed, that was the best that was the cheapest. Since people don't want to replace a VCR or any other piece of hardware when they buy a new TV, the TV manufacturer will provide those ports.

The next answer is that the technology has gotten better. Since this is the case, there will be the video and audiophiles who will want to have the best signals from their periferals as possible. Coax and RCA evolved to component and S video. With the advent of HDTV, a higher bandwidth signal was needed to push all of the information required to generate the HD picture. Also note that the outputs from the HDMI is digital. DVI is just another interface that your TV can use. And to be honest, if you look at the back of the TV, they have made it quite idiot proof on figuring out what is supposed to connect to what.

The concept of the "HDMI to DVI to bypass the HDCP" is not that hard to understand either. Ideally, content providers want to restrict access to their product. HDCP (High definition content protocol I believe is what it stands for) is a means to restrict this access. Think macrovision for DVDs and you get the idea. If the handshake is not verified, then the HD information should not be sent. Somehow, this appears to confirm/bypass the handshake. I haven't read the article describing how this bypasses, so I don't know much about it.

Re:Acronym hell? (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754460)

Ironic that you mention RCA jacks because my recently-replaced TV didn't have them. It had a coaxial input only. I had to get a $20 box to run the RCA cables through so it can get to my TV via coaxial. And before anyone goes defending coaxial as the best possible method, my TV before that had two screw terminals that I had to buy an adaptor for to plug in my NES. I was super steamed when I had to wait until the day after my birthday (nowhere to get such an adaptor on a Sunday back then in my town) to play my shiny new NES because it came with some stupid connector I didn't have on my TV. There was still quite a lot to understand before HD came around. I do admit though that connection adaptor issues aren't in the same league as dropping HDCP handshakes but it's not like TV connections were ever flawless.

Re:Acronym hell? (2, Insightful)

Manmademan (952354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755162)

Just because the new sets and devices (like the PS3) are higher definition doesn't mean that plugging the damn things in should be so complicated. Why do I need 6 ways to connect a TV to a signal (coax cable, RCA plugs, S-video, HDMI, DVI, optical, etc.)? It makes me realize that I'm happy with my regular tube TV. It's cheap, it's simple, it looks good, and you don't have to go through 12 pages of directions to plug it in.

Owners of black and white TV's thought their sets "looked good" too until they saw one in color. The difference between an old tube with just "RCA" (composite) plugs and a high definition using HDMI is night and day in terms of both video and audio quality. but just to clear a few things up:

Nothing uses Coax anymore outside of your cable connection or the odd VCR. It's really only there for legacy purposes, as just about everything supports higher level connections by now. The last time I remember a videogame system using one was the SNES, back in 1992. Avoid it whenever possible.

"RCA" and "S-video" accomplish pretty much the same thing, only S-video is better at it by far. S-video also needs but doesn't always come with audio (the white and red cables) so watch out for that.

Component (which you didn't list), HDMI, and DVI are required to pass a high definition signal. Outside of sets that have built in HD-Tuners for OTA signals, If you have a high definition tv and aren't using one of these you can't actually view anything over 480i.

Optical, odd as it sounds is an audio cable and has nothing to do with high definition or your television.

none of these are really all that hard to connect- component is color coded and impossible to mess up, and HDMI and DVI are simpler than "Rca" jacks due to only having one plug to deal with. it doesn't take a 12 page manual to determine how to plug things in, just a willingness to learn.

Re:Acronym hell? (1)

gauauu (649169) | more than 7 years ago | (#17759398)

The nice thing about Coax was that you could chain things. You didn't have to have switches or 37 different jacks to plug your 37 things into. You just chained the antenna, atari, nintendo, vcr, etc all together, and it would work.

I miss those days.

Re:Acronym hell? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755660)

Why do I need 6 ways to connect a TV to a signal (coax cable, RCA plugs, S-video, HDMI, DVI, optical, etc.)?

Actually, I count twelve video sources, but some might consider them reaching or would combine some of them: NTSC via VHF tuner (rabbit ears), NTSC via UHF tuner (loop antenna), NTSC over RF coax (carries VHF and UHF), ATSC tuner (UHF), RF coax to CableCard, Composite, S-Video, Component, VGA, DVI, HDMI, or Firewire/i.Link/IEEE 1384.

And that's the standards in the US. There's PAL and SCART to consider as well.

And then, if audio isn't sent along the same connection, then you get that by Left & Right RCA connections, 5.1 via 6 RCA connections (or more by more), or S/PDIF by RCA or fiber. There used to be the option of getting TV audio via FM frequencies on RF coax, as well as broadcast radio via cable.

There are also sets that take BNC connectors instead of RCA connections, especially RGB over BNC.

Re:Acronym hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17756128)

Damn those newfangled looms!

I can see it now.... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17752800)

"The 1080p TV set maker appears to be blaming Sony as the source of the blinking PS3, and the two powerhouse companies have organized a meeting to settle the score."

So, are we talking a death match here or will it be paper rock scissors to settle this?

Re:I can see it now.... (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753194)

It will be the greatest sissy-slapfight since Sesame Street rumbled with The Electric Company.

-Eric

Re:I can see it now.... (1)

yermej (985079) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755692)

are we talking a death match here or will it be paper rock scissors to settle this?

Or? You must not be playing rock, paper, scissors correctly.

Guess what: it doesn't matter! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17752960)

It doesn't matter who is to blame. HDMI's HDCP does nothing for the consumer. It doesn't improve what they are trying to do with the respective products, it adds costs to the products, it introduces another potential failure point, and it is therefore a design bug, not a feature. Whether Sony or Westinghouse did something incorrectly is irrelevant. The best technical solution is to remove it or leave it out so that it can't cause problems.

The hardware companies were blackmailed into adding this flaw by the content companies. That problems have occurred even for legitimate users was predictable *and* predicted from the start. The hardware companies shouldn't have caved in to the media companies, and sold out their customers. Now, they shouldn't bicker between each other about who is at fault: they ALL are at fault for this fiasco, and the onus is on them to fix it (at least they appear to be doing the right thing: meeting to sort it out, but if I bought one of these things, I'd be thinking warranty service or recall).

These hassles are one of the reasons I refuse to purchase HDCP-enabled products without a full-resolution non-HDCP output/input option: I don't want to support it, and I don't want to deal with the inevitable hassles when something goes wrong with something that doesn't need to be there in the first place.

I think HDCP should be treated like wisdom teeth often are: extracted as a preventative measure to avoid problems later (e.g., HDMI->DVI).

Re:Guess what: it doesn't matter! (2, Insightful)

DingerX (847589) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754610)

translation: The HDMI cable is useless hardware created to make life more difficult for consumers who respect copyrights, decreasing the inherent value of retail media, and increasing the value of pirated goods.

Neither (3, Insightful)

Criffer (842645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753330)

The problem is neither Sony, nor Westinghouse. It's Intel.

The problem is due to the Digital Compatibility Prevention (HDCP) [wikipedia.org] . The protocol is designed to prevent devices working together unless each manufacturer pays royalties to Digital Content Protection LLC, a subsiduary of Intel. The connection used is HDMI, whose specification mandates the use of Digital Compatibility Prevention, which is a shame, because otherwise it would be a nice connector.

Until there is a digital connection standard which does not require that end-users be treated like criminals for having expensive displays, I will not be buying an HDTV, nor a PS3, and I urge others to do the same.

I'm betting on delivering video over gigabit ethernet winning, because it's cheap, cat 6 cables are dirt cheap, and it doesn't require royalties. I would suggest HD-SDI (co-ax is even cheaper than UTP), but the licence agreement prevents it being used in "consumer" applications.

Re:Neither (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753480)

Until there is a digital connection standard which does not require that end-users be treated like criminals for having expensive displays, I will not be buying an HDTV

DVI + S/PDIF FTW!

I believe Sony does get some royalties for the the digital audio standard, but they don't mandate any form of copy prevention on it though.

Re:Neither (1)

Criffer (842645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754374)

Except that the HD ready [wikipedia.org] standard also requires HDCP over DVI. A standard which disallowed Digital Compatibility Prevention would be good, but unfortunately, Sony are unlikely to go for it.

Re:Neither (1)

Criffer (842645) | more than 6 years ago | (#17766010)

And another thing: Any device which supports HDMI output must also, by way of the HDCP implementation licence (paid to Intel), restrict the quality on all digital outputs. That means, if there is a DVI output which doesn't have HDCP, it must be downscaled to 480p. The S/PDIF output must be downsampled to 16bit @ 48kHz (not that you'll hear any difference).

So if you have an expensive TV, you don't get High Definition unless you pay Intel to use their Digital Compatibility Prevention.

HDMI - DVI would do nothing (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753340)

All an HDMI to DVI adaptor does is take the video signal alone, without the audio channels, and feed it through the DVI side. If the video is HDCP encrypted, it will be encrypted on the DVI side as well as the adaptor is just passing the signal through - with the same results if the problem is the handshake speed as described.

The problem is the HDCP encryption, not the cable itself. The way to think of HDMI is a cable that bundles together DVI video and PCM audio all in one cable (that's not quite correct, but a good way to think about it).

Re:HDMI - DVI would do nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17765200)

an HDMI/DVI adaptor doesn't do anything to the signal (audio or video), it just changes the physical connector format...

Using HDMI (PS3) to DVI (TV) is pointless (2, Insightful)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17753568)

The summary stated that Westinghouse said "Oh, just use an HDMI to DVI cable" - except that would defeat half the point of trying to use HDMI in the first place - the handshake is to let the DRM know that it's ok to send the 1080p signal because there isn't a recording device in between the PS3 and TV set (for pirating media such as movies)...

The other half of using HDMI is for the audio and video to be on one cable. It's actually rather funny, because my brother-in-law still thinks that HDMI is just for putting the a/v on one cable, and that there's no DRM involved...

Re:Using HDMI (PS3) to DVI (TV) is pointless (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755228)

Actually, it's worse than that. HDCP runs over DVI just fine. After all, HDMI is just DVI + Audio. Using an HDMI->DVI cable does absolutely nothing to bypass the real problem, the friggin' HDCP protocol.

Re:Using HDMI (PS3) to DVI (TV) is pointless (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755528)

Actually, it's worse than that. HDCP runs over DVI just fine. After all, HDMI is just DVI + Audio. Using an HDMI->DVI cable does absolutely nothing to bypass the real problem, the friggin' HDCP protocol.


I suspect that the Westinghouse TVs don't support HDCP over their DVI ports. My TV (Sharp Aquos LC37D90U) supports HDCP on the two HDMI ports *and* the DVI-I port (digital side only, of course, since DVI-I supports both analog and digital). Heck, many newer PC monitors support HDCP over DVI. I'm willing ot bet that the Westinghouse ones don't - they only support HDCP over their HDMI ports...

Re:Using HDMI (PS3) to DVI (TV) is pointless (1)

hayden_l (703045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756016)

From the user manual for the LVM-47w1 page 20, Input Signals section: http://www.westinghousedigital.com/pdf/59_User_Man ual.pdf [westinghousedigital.com]

DVI-D x 2 (HDCP support) / RCA (L/R) x 2 DVI1 & DVI2 supports up to 1080P
I have the LVM-37w1 and have not had any problems with DVI-HDCP between my HD cable box and the monitor.

Westinghouse not a Powerhouse (1)

mlmitton (610008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754076)

While I appreciate the pun in saying Westinghouse is a powerhouse company, it should be noted that in the present situation, they're actually a very small company. Westinghouse (the giant company) sell its trademarked name for other companies to use. So the TV maker Westinghouse's only relationship to Westinghouse Electric Company is the logo.

Depends (1)

zizzo (86200) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755886)

Did Sony back HDMI and HDCP? If so, then damn right they are to blame. Blaming a TV manufacturer for incorrectly implementing a standard that doesn't serve any useful purpose seems to ignore the real problem here.

Re:Depends (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#17766002)

Did Sony back HDMI and HDCP? If so, then damn right they are to blame. Blaming a TV manufacturer for incorrectly implementing a standard that doesn't serve any useful purpose seems to ignore the real problem here.
While they brag like "HD Ready" on stickers/adverts, they are claiming full HDMI/HDCP support, e.g. "you will have no problems with HD devices outputting HDCP content over HDMI".

If it is _only_ happening on Westinghouse, that TV is problematic and they should change them. What happens if same person buys a $200 Blu-Ray, HD-DVD (will happen) in future?

In fact, the "HD Displays" generally have service upgradable firmwares, I guess this is the exact reason why.

Third solution (1)

liegeofmelkor (978577) | more than 7 years ago | (#17759010)

Blame the MPAA! Sony and Westinghouse might be complying with this HDCP crap, and an Intel subsidiary might be making royalty money off it, but these companies wouldn't care a bit if the movie industry didn't bully content protection on all of us.

Re:Third solution (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762448)

Sony is part of the MPAA (they produce movies, ever noticed?). So, let's go back to blaming Sony.
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