Forum > Decoders > Installation > Explora stuck on "load" due to (possibly) faulty HDMI splitter(?)
Reply  
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 2017-04-24 , 12:12
JG's Avatar
JG JG is offline
Changes remote batteries daily
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,712
Question Explora stuck on "load" due to (possibly) faulty HDMI splitter

Hi everyone,
I've had a strange one this morning. I've searched, but could not find something similar. Perhaps my google skills aren't up to scratch.
It's a long read, so go get something to drink first.

Here we go...
I wanted to watch some TV in the upstairs lounge early this morning, but was greeted by the dreaded waiting for communication from primary decoder instead. I went down to the main lounge and found the primary decoder (Explora 1) stuck on load (displayed on decoder front screen). It did not react to the long power button press at all, so I pulled out the power cable, waited a couple of minutes and plugged it back in. Same thing - won't go past load; no display via HDMI or RF, does not send out the XV HB, so both of the other decoders remain stuck on waiting for communication. I tried the reboot several times and finally made peace that the next step before taking it in to get it swapped would be a HDD format. I followed all of the instructions exactly (I've done it twice before on other Exploras; so I'm familiar with the process), but it refused (luckily!!) to do the format. After several attempts, I gave up and started the frustrating task of getting the decoder out of the cabinet.

Got to the service center and of course it worked perfectly! All of the recordings were still intact, so it never formatted. I was stumped. That meant that either it was an intermittent problem with the decoder (still not sure I can rule that out) or there's a problem with my setup. The consultant suggested that I try a different PSU, which was easy enough to do since there's a Explora 2A right next to it.

Got home and hooked it up exactly the way it was and it did the same as before: load. Tried the 2A's PSU, still the same. I then unplugged everything except for the PSU and it booted up fine on the first try (displayed the channel #, no red !). Connected the LNB cable, RF OUT and LAN cable and again it booted up fine. Connected the HDMI cable (of course I made sure every device was powered off before connecting/disconnecting HDMI cables) and it got stuck on load again. Removed the HDMI cable, started up fine.
It's hooked up to a 2 way powered HDMI splitter (from HD Cabling) and from there one output goes to the lounge AV receiver and the other output goes to a HDMI distribution network to the other TVs. I bypassed the splitter and connected it directly to the lounge TV and it worked fine - booted up, picture via HDMI and RF, other two decoders got their HB.
I now connected the Explora 2A in exactly the same way (same cables, everything) through the splitter and everything works - display on the lounge TV through the receiver and remote TVs work fine too. I rebooted the 2A a couple of times and everything keeps working as it should. I hooked up the Explora again to the splitter and it got stuck on load again. Tried a different HDMI cable between the Explora 1 and the splitter's input, same result: stuck on load.
Running out of ideas, I swapped the splitter's output cables and tried again. Everything works as it should! Rebooted several times and the decoder boots up fine and display works on the lounge TV (via receiver) and remote TVs.

Has anyone had something similar before? Could the decoder's HDMI output be on its way out? I can't understand why swapping the splitter's outputs would make a difference. The receiver is set to HDMI throughput while in standby and the HDMI distribution system also has a constant connection, so both outputs always show link/active on the splitter. Could having trouble with the HDMI / HDCP handshake cause it to hang during startup?

The HDMI setup has been this way since the Explora 1 was launched. The 2A and Pace 4 tuner (both next to the Explora 1 in question) is hooked up to the receiver and distributed via the receiver's zone 2 output. Another Explora 1 is upstairs and all of the outputs hook up to a switch/splitter thingy in the roof. All that's recently changed (2 weeks ago) was that the lounge TV (connected only to the main lounge AV receiver's HDMI A output) was replaced with a new one and that TV moved to one of the bedrooms (connected to the HDMI distribution network). Not sure if that's relevant info, but it's worked fine with the new TVs (technically only one new TV; the bedroom TV was part of the lounge setup before as mentioned) since 09/10 and although I haven't been home for a couple of days, nobody else complained about any decoder and/or display issues.

I suppose I should replace the HDMI splitter
Any other explanations/recommendations?

Last edited by JG; 2017-04-24 at 16:35. .
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 2017-04-24 , 12:45
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
Technical Myriad
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: PTA
Posts: 16,087
Software update required on the TVs involved maybe?

I am not at all familiar with the HDMI splitters and how they interact with the decoder software. Any sign of a sw update on the one decoder?
__________________
Easyview, UEC 4T HD PVR, SD PVR, XV
Spare decoders: SD PVR(2), PACE HD PVR 4T, DSD 660, 1110, 1131, Explora 1
2 unmentionable FTA decoders
Win 10 Pro (64-bit) version 1703, build 15063.138
1.2m antenna, 8-way universal LNB, 2x6 MS, FSM permanently connected.
MS Edge 40 with MSEdge HTML 15
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 2017-04-24 , 13:00
JG's Avatar
JG JG is offline
Changes remote batteries daily
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,712
Hi Geoff,

Thanks for the reply. The new Samsung lounge TV did an update when it was installed. All of the internet enabled TVs in the setup are connected to the internet and set to auto update.
All of the decoders rebooted (I know this is normal for the Exploras) this morning, even the Pace 4P and were on channel 100, but it does not seem like any new software was loaded on any of them. I'm not aware of any imminent new software in any case and I haven't participated in any software beta testing in years, so no reason why I should get it before due date. I should have mentioned that it was one of the first things I've checked once the Explora 1 in question successfully booted up. That was checked at the service center this morning too.

I've never had any issues with HDMI / HDCP with any of the Exploras before, here or at my other residence. Unlike the Pace 4P, which was...fun... to deal with.

Last edited by JG; 2017-04-24 at 13:02. .
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 2017-04-24 , 14:27
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
Technical Myriad
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: PTA
Posts: 16,087
I should have added that the past weekend was not free of its fair share of drama with my decoders either. The Explora behaviour was very erratic.

The UEC 4 tuner locked up twice.

The SD PVR (spare) is up and running! but it also experienced reboots.

I also have it on good authority that will be at least 4 channels added this week, with one channel being removed. Maybe MC were preparing for these changes and did something to our services?
__________________
Easyview, UEC 4T HD PVR, SD PVR, XV
Spare decoders: SD PVR(2), PACE HD PVR 4T, DSD 660, 1110, 1131, Explora 1
2 unmentionable FTA decoders
Win 10 Pro (64-bit) version 1703, build 15063.138
1.2m antenna, 8-way universal LNB, 2x6 MS, FSM permanently connected.
MS Edge 40 with MSEdge HTML 15
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 2017-04-24 , 16:27
JG's Avatar
JG JG is offline
Changes remote batteries daily
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,712
I suppose anything's possible, but for now I've come to the conclusion that if the Explora 1(I haven't been able to replicate the issue with the 2A yet) has an issue with the initial HDMI handshake, for whatever reason, during startup, it halts the boot process.

I'll see what happens with tomorrow's maintenance reboot and perhaps do some more testing during the week, but since the decoder has already rebooted 20+ times today (which can't be great for it) and all seems to be working at present, I'll let it be for at least the rest of the day.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 2017-04-25 , 09:43
Optimist's Avatar
Optimist Optimist is offline
Changes remote batteries hourly
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: N/E JHB , Orig. Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 13,017
Hi JG,

A couple of months ago I had what could be a similar enough incident, or merely a partial coincidence.
No getting stuck during a reboot for me. My main TV kept getting a blue screen when using our Explora 1, supposedly due to endless HDCP handshakes.

I seem to have had a bad lightning surge incident, found carbon deposits and a heating problem on my ver. 5-2 Explora Switch's HOR / Lo Band input.

Also went through various change attempts with my two active HDMI splitters from HD Cabling. But in the end, problem solved by replacing the supplied Explora HDMI cable with a thicker one... maybe it had a bit of an internal meltdown
Couldn't have been gravity wear on the plug as I prop up the plug with an (empty) Lion matchbox.

(And one other piece of semi-related equipment is still not behaving well with its power supply, I suspect a damaged capacitor.)

That's all I can add.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 2017-04-25 , 10:00
MC Field Services MC Field Services is offline
Has mastered the i-Plate and DStv guide
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 269
Hi, just wanna be sure , is this HDMI splitters via cat6 to hdmi Receivers. From reading it clearly seems to be a handshake issue between the Explora and the HDMI splitter. recommend try swopping HDMI cables or have the unit taken to the supplier to be tested. The explora is working fine as it communicates with your TV set directly , thus ruling out the explora. you could try powering off the decoder switching on the TV sets via the splitter and lastly power on the explora and see if the handshake will work, if not than have the supplier test the hdmi splitter.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 2017-04-25 , 10:19
JG's Avatar
JG JG is offline
Changes remote batteries daily
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,712
Thanks for your input Optimist

Everything still works as it should this morning, so perhaps swapping the splitter's outputs did the trick (at least for now).

I don't suspect any lightning damage. We haven't had a lightning storm of note, except the odd rumble in the distance, in quite a while. It's a bit of an anomaly over here. The decoders are connected to a UPS and all of the equipment has surge protection.

I won't be surprised if it is the splitter. It's been in constant use for at least ~7 years and we all know these things don't last forever.
I'm in in the process of redoing the entire setup over the next two years or so, starting with the TVs. Step 1 is to get rid of all the plasmas. I only have one 43" left in one of the bedrooms; down from 4 in total. As mentioned, the downstairs' lounge TV replaced a bedroom plasma TV and the difference is remarkable. Not just referring to picture quality (even though that plasma was a very decent Samsung and one of the better plasmas available at the time; the "new" LED simply blows it away in every aspect), but the HDMI distribution setup in general. All of the TVs connected to that distribution setup would lose display for a couple of seconds every time that TV was switched on/off. It does not happen with the replacement TV anymore and switching sources is also much quicker. I can now also enable deep color on the BD player. The old plasma did not like that setting at all. The new Samsung SUHD TV is also a remarkable improvement over its predecessor, even though it's the same size as the old one. Must say, I'm not quite sold on the curved sets and actually regret getting one for that room over the standard flat screen. I find that it reflects the background a bit more during the day. It's not as much of an issue at night or when the blinds are closed, but still. I have a smaller 55" curved in another bedroom and don't find that to be as much of an issue there, but that room is much darker. Perhaps something to consider when buying a set for a bright room.
But I digress.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 2017-04-25 , 11:26
MC Field Services MC Field Services is offline
Has mastered the i-Plate and DStv guide
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 269
if you upgrade the system and your gonna want HD in the rooms without decoders, there is another option if you have Tv sets with digital tuners, is to run hd over coax. its more reliable especially to lightening and static.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 2017-04-25 , 12:02
AndriesP AndriesP is offline
Knows how to use a remote
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Kloofendal
Posts: 154
I have a seemingly similar, perhaps not necessarily related, issue when rebooting my Explora 1. When connected via a HDMI cable to my Samsung TV and the TV IS SWITCHED ON (No HDMI Splitter), The Explora gets stuck on ----- on reboot. As soon as I switch the TV off, the reboot and loading continues and completes normally. This also happens during the maintenance reboot.

This issue only surfaced recently. Could it possibly be related to a recent firmware upgrade for the Explora?

Last edited by AndriesP; 2017-04-25 at 12:09. .
Reply With Quote
Reply  
« Previous Thread | Next Thread »
Thread Tools
Display Modes
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads  | You may not post replies  | You may not post attachments  | You may not edit your posts
BB code is On  | Smilies are On  | [IMG] code is On  | HTML code is Off
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HDMI Splitter - Explora roriru Installation 3 2016-04-06 13:35
Explora stuck in a load cycle drew_cpt PVR Decoders 27 2015-04-12 19:17
New Explora stuck on LOAD shintorojin Installation 5 2015-02-03 10:22
Carte Blanche 'spin-off' programs possibly being replaced Brian G DStv Forum Archive (12 May 2014) 0 2010-12-06 23:59
A thought, caution and possibly advice (Earthing) Simon XtraView 8 2009-03-17 09:42