Sudden HDCP failure on TV?
Apologies if there’s already a home theatre questions thread, I couldn’t find one.
The short version: My TV (LG 42LH30) has developed a problem displaying content with an HDMI-HDCP signal, and I’m looking for a repair or workaround option. Will a HDMI-VGA converter work?
The long version: The TV is ~4 years old, but is meant to be HDCP compliant. I had a BluRay player attached to it by HDMI for a year or so, then it suddenly stopped working through HDMI; component output still worked normally, but the HDMI output didn’t work. The audio worked fine, but there was no picture. I assumed that it was a problem with the HDMI output on the BluRay but didn’t worry about it further, as I was perfectly happy with the component cables (hardly ever watched BluRays and my receiver does component, but not HDMI, switching).
We also had an XBox 360 (circa 2006) hooked up to the TV by component cables (via the receiver). This worked out well until the 360 recently started freezing during GTA V and stuttering (video only, audio is fine) during NetFlix playback. We decided to replace the aging 360 and bought a shiny new 360 E. When I tried to hook it up to my TV using an HDMI cable (the only output type other than RCA video supported on the 360 E), the dashboard and games work fine. However, playing a DVD yield only the audio with a big XBox 360 logo, and NetFlix returns an error code R8161 “...due to an output protection error…”. Since it worked fine for the dashboard and for games, I started to get suspicious of the TV.
I tried switching the ends of the cable, and plugging it into all 3 of the HDMI inputs on the TV - same result. I tried the new 360 on another TV with the same cable - works perfectly. I tried the BluRay (which I thought was damaged) with another TV using the same cable - works perfectly. I haven’t yet tried another HDMI cable (rather not go buy one), but I’ll try it if there’s any reasonable chance this will solve the problem.
Based on this troubleshooting, my gut says that the new XBox and the BluRay are fine, but the TV HDCP system has failed. I suspect this was the problem when the BluRay stopped working several years ago, but I didn’t pursue it at that time. When I called LG, however, the tech support guy suggested that this was not possible, and that the problem must be with both the XBox and the BluRay - his explanation for the sudden failure of the previously working BluRay was that it must have downloaded an update that caused the TV to no longer be recognized. I find it somewhat unlikely that this is the cause in both cases - if older devices were commonly nullified by simple updates, wouldn’t there be widespread outrage?
Because the failure was sudden, I’m thinking that the HDCP hardware component on the TV has failed, or that it’s HDCP codes/keys have been blacklisted somehow - if this is possible; I’m a bit out of my depth with all of this HDCP stuff. If I get a converter and plug my XBox into my TV using the VGA input, will I still have this problem? Are there any options that don’t involve spending big $$$ on a new TV? The TV doesn't have a DVI input, and it doesn't have any network capabilities.