Getting that DVI/HDCP message with HDMI cable?!

My dad turned his TV on today and it just said NO INPUT.

Here’s the deal:[ul]
[li]We have Optimum Cablevision[/li][li]We have an LCD HDTV connected to the cablebox via an HDMI cable[/li][li]We also have a small, old tube TV connected via coax[/li][li]Cablebox is a Scientific Atlanta 4250HD w/smartcard[/li][/ul]
It’s good that we had the tube TV connected because it was only on that that I could see the message. The message was the standard YOUR DEVICE IS NOT DVI/HDCP COMPATIBLE - USE YPbPr etc. I only learned about HDCP when I tried to hook up my Dad’s new flatscreen to our old cablebox a few months ago. It only had the old DVI plug and no HDMI, so I had got a DVI / HDMI cable. But then that message came up, so I searched it online etc., and I went and just exchanged that box with a new one that has an HDMI plug instead. Used a regular HDMI to HDMI cable and everything worked fine.

Until, suddenly, now. I’m really good at hooking up AV & computer stuff so I really don’t understand what could be wrong.
[li]If Optimum sent an update a cablebox reboot (which I did 3x) would have fixed it.[/li][li]Its definitely the cablebox because when the HDMI cable is plugged into the cablebox the tube TV shows the message, but as soon as you unplug the HDMI cable the TV program appears on the tube TV! (the flatscreen never shows anything but NO INPUT)[/li][li]The extra old SDTV shouldn’t matter because the RF coax output is analog.[/li][/ul]
I called Optimum, long story short since I rebooted and they sent a reset to the box there wasn’t anything they could do short of sending a tech out. I told them I’d use the RGB component outputs for now (which I didn’t realize actually do support HD) and just take the box in myself and exchange it.

But why has this suddenly happened? A bad HDMI cable wouldn’t do this, would it? Besides, unless you walk on them, cables don’t just go bad. We did have a big lightening storm this morning, could that have caused it? Wouldn’t it have just either totally fried the box or not?

HDCP is a pile of shit. If handshaking fails, the source unit (cable box in your example) is mandated to turn off or obscure its digital outputs.

aside from that, the one thing I can see is that if you have something connected to the source unit with HDMI at the same time as something else is connected with an analog connection, the box could bitch about that and turn off the digital output.

I use only an HDMI cable from my cable box, but several times a week when I turn on my TV I get a message that my television is not compatible with DVI input or something like that. It’s just a software glitch in the cable box–I just turn the channel at the cable box itself and then I’m good. I’m sorry you aren’t getting any signal at all–perhaps your TV has another HDMI input that you can try? Could be the power surge affected your TV’s HDMI hardware, or that you simply need a new cable. Let us know how it turns out.

Thanks, I’m glad, well not glad for your problems :D, but glad that it does happen elsewhere.

I think I tried switching channels and it didn’t help. After reading in Wiki about the ‘multiple outputs’ problem I figured I could try and disconnect the coax to see if that helps. But I need for that little TV to work simultaneously, its in the kitchen so my dad can keep an eye on the game when he gets up for something (big Yankees fan).

Being that the RGB component cables do still give him HD and he sees no difference in the picture (though I think I do) and the sound always went to an AV amp via the cablebox’s digital audio orange plug (not the HDMI) I think I’ll just leave it this way. I can’t help but feel that a new cablebox could easily just do the same thing someday.

Something I don’t understand: I though that the HDTV standard was fully digital, so how does an RGB component video hookup support it? Reason I ask is because I feel a little bad that I snapped at the Optimum phone support girl when she suggested that I use those, telling her that (I thought) “They don’t support full HD!”

Component takes the digital signal from your cable box/bluray player/etc and converts it to analog, then your HDTV must convert back to digital to display the video. I think that the main reason why component can be inferior to HDMI is because if the movie you are watching has some sort of DRM protection on it, the signal will be downgraded to standard definition on component cables, because they don’t support the digital protection of HDMI. Otherwise, it would be too easy to record the HD signal directly from the analog component cables.