I got a new Optoma HD66 home theatre projector for our entertainment room. Since it was refurbished from a place that specializes in projectors, I got it for pretty much half-price. The image is stunning, compared to my previous projector (Benq MX511, which was suffering from a massive wave of dead pixels after just two years of use.)
But after I hooked it up to my Sony BluRay player, I discovered curious problems.
- The projector showed a blue screen (along with the HDMI Signal Searching message) when the Sony player was not showing a movie; the projector should be showing the options screen of my BluRay player.
- The projector also showed the blue screen when I tried to play a regular DVD disc.
Only when I inserted a BluRay disc did the projector show the movie. Curious.
I called Optoma tech support, but the woman answering insisted that projectors only display what they receive -- kind of like loud speakers only playback what they get from the amplifier.
But this is not true for components that use HDMI connections, where a lot more goes through the wires than just video and audio signals. For example, handshaking takes place so that the BluRay player and the projector can exchange information regarding the security of the video content.
Together with the tech support person, I thought of a few solutions, such as swapping DVD players or not using the HDMI cable. But after I hung up, I thought I should first search online to see if anyone else had the problem. They did!
Fortunately, by the fourth or fifth forum I read the solution from a member named "kkellycpa": In the Sony BluRay player, turn off HDMI Deep Color Output, like this:
- Screen Settings
- HDMI Deep Color Output
(The option might be in a different location on your player.)
I called back Optoma tech support to tell them I found the solution, but the techie I spoke with was disinterested. He insisted that projectors only play back what is sent to them. When I persisted by describing the solution to the problem, he claimed I was the first ever to experience the problem. I told him that the problem and its solution was posted nearly three years ago (Feb 2010) -- specific to Optoma HDMI and Sony BluRay.
When I suggested he could record the solution and post it to their Web site, he sounded patronizing, saying "yes, yes," and that was pretty much the end of the conversation.
(The HDMI communications problem is much more common than than you might suspect. It is not uncommon for devices to fail to fully communicate over HDMI connections. My son's first LCD tv had a problem where the screen would flash white for a second every so often while showing movies over HDMI. My daughter's first BluRay movie would not play, because my son's BluRay player was incompatible with the disc version-wise.)
Update: Speaking with the seller of the projector, Consignia.ca told me that they had heard of the problem before.