HDMI audio issues - Humax 1800t, Panasonic TV, Onkyo amp, Sony HDD, Samsung Blu Ray

Ian Williams

New Member
I've managed to set up this recently acquired amp so that the TV sound routes back through the amp and thru the speakers using the tv's HDMI/ARC port and the amps corresponding R1 option. With HDMI CEC activated the amp and tv auto switch to the Blu-ray player and the Sony HDD quite happily on demand.

The problem is the 1800t which has no HDMI control option, essentially messes things up.

If the Humax is connected to the amp, it knocks out ARC and interferes with the auto switching of the blu ray and hdd.

If I connect the Humax to one of the TV HDMI ports instead, the situation improves, ARC works on TV and with the Humax when the TV is switched to the Humax port. Auto switching between the blu ray and hdd works ONLY if the Humax is off. If it's switched on or recording it again confuses the system and we have to use TV Speaker sound.

The Humax software is upto date.

I've tried disabling the HDMI CEC and manually switching between units, but we still lose ARC sound if the Humax is involved. As it's a new Panasonic, HDMI is the only input option.

Any suggestions?
The Humax software is upto date.
I doubt that it would make any difference but there has previously been others who claimed that their Humax software was up to date and it turned out not to be.

Which version of software does your HDR-1800T state that it has installed?
MENU > Settings> System > Syetem Information > Software Version
This problem sounds familiar. I had similar issues connecting an 1800T to my Sony TV, which in turn was connected to a Sony sound bar. Waking the 1800T from standby would always cause a 'no signal' on the TV for several seconds. If the 1800T was powered-up before the TV then the sound bar would report communication failures and then revert to TV speakers. I got round the 'no signal' problems by using an aerial splitter, but in the end gave-up using the 1800T because the HDMI interface and operation is such a dog's dinner, and it made it impossible to use the other kit consistently. When I raised the issue with Humax they blamed my Sony TV. Hmmmm. How come everything else connected to the TV and sound bar, including other Humax kit, works flawlessly?

I have seen some people use a Lindy HDMI CEC adapter to block CEC signals. That might work. The adapter is up-fo-grabs on Amazon for about £9 (sorry, as a newbie I can't post links yet). That way, you leave the ARC stuff in place for everything else, and select the Humax input as and when you need it.

How come everything else connected to the TV and sound bar, including other Humax kit, works flawlessly?
Because HDMI isn't as "standard" as it should be, and it has been interpreted in different ways by different manufacturers - without the different manufacturers being at fault. The only way to know where to point blame is to buy all your kit from the same brand (or have full diagnostics kit to work out whether anyone is breaking the spec).
Yes, sure, but the point that I was trying to make, badly, obviously, was that if other Humax kit connected via HDMI works OK in my set-up, why not the 1800T? Accepting that HDMI standards are open to interpretation, it's pretty clear to me that Humax wildly misinterpreted those standards when it came to the 1800T and 2000T models.

Compatibility depends on a variety of things: including which subset of the HDMI functionality is being used, which revision of the spec, and whose chipset is embedded. You cannot conclude that anyone has misinterpreted the spec.
Humax kit is, IMHO, notorious for its poor implementation of HDMI. In my experience, it's the only kit that I've had issues with, spanning Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, LG, Manhattan and Yamaha hardware. I think that my comments are valid in that context. The 1800T/2000T models do not play nicely in the HDMI space, and a quick search will find many users with similar issues as the OP. It's a pity, because that issue aside I think that the box is pretty good overall. That said, I'm on my third sample, as the first one failed to recognise its hard drive, and the second had a tuner fault somewhere, continually reporting 'no signal' on channels that I could watch without issue on my TV. Just why HDMI is such a dogs' dinner is probably down to manufacturers 'value-adding' stuff. In any event, I stand by my comments, based on my personal experiences and those of others who have also reported issues with the kit, as in this thread.

Incompatibility, if that's the term being used here, is then down to the poor job done by Humax. Why doesn't any Humax device have a CEC control option for the HDMI interface, for example? That omission is inexcusible in 2018, IMO. As for incompatibility, given that HDMI is supposed to be a common standard it seems odd that one manufacturer has such a high rate of incompatibility with other manufacturer's hardware. Let me give you a few examples. If my Sony TV and Humax 1100S box, which is connected to the TV via HDMI, are both in standby and I wake the Humax box up, it will wake-up the TV then make it select the HDMI input that it's connected to, but that's it. If I route the Humax box through my Yamaha sound bar using HDMI, nada. Compare that to my Amazon FireTV box. Whether I route it through my Yamaha sound bar or connect it directly to my TV using HDMI, I can use my TV's remote to operate the FireTV box, thanks to CEC. Similarly, I can control my Panasonic PVR, which is routed via my sound bar, again using my TV's remote, thanks to a CEC implementation. Same deal for my Samsung blu-ray player using HDMI. The only 'odd one out' here is the Humax. That, in my opinion, is not incompatibility, but poor design, and/or a poor implementation of a generally agreed standard. I'm actually surprised sometimes that the HDMI interface actually works at all on my Humax kit. The fact that I can generally connect and operate equipment from disparate manufacturers using the HDMI interface without any real hassle, Humax kit aside, demonstrates, I believe, what I've previously stated.

I'm not going to labour this point any further. I'm happy to accept that other Humax kit owners have no issues, and I'm happy for them. In real terms, neither do I, apart from when I use the 1800T Freeview box. I stand by my earlier comments, in that I believe that Humax has not done a proper job engineering the HDMI interface on either the 1800/2000 boxes (in particular), as detailed here previously, or by a quick Google search.

Incompatibility, if that's the term being used here, is then down to the poor job done by Humax.
Look, I'm sorry I'm boring you, but as a grey-haired ex-engineer who's seen it all let me tell you the way it works: an industry talking shop is set up to hammer out a specification - in this case for HDMI. The basic spec is quite straightforward, but different factions want different sets of extras, some of which cannot be accommodated without compromising other extras. Eventually they roll out a V1 spec which they all more-or-less agree on, and has enough latitude that they can all comply with it in their own way.

They don't want other makers kit to be 100% tickety bo with their own, they want their own kit to have all the bells and whistles but somebody else's to be more or less okay but missing something.

Then waters get muddied by accommodating new requirements in V2 and then V3 specifications, with interoperability between kit designed to different versions.

Yes, no doubt you can google Humax HDMI problems and get lots of hits. The same would go for just about any manufacturer (look for bad opinions and you will always find bad opinions). My point is that unless you have specific expertise, just because Humax kit seems to have trouble interacting with other kit, YOU ARE UNQUALIFIED TO IMPLY WHOSE FAULT THAT IS just because Humax appears to be a common factor. It could equally be that Humax has respected the spirit of the HDMI spec when others haven't.

As for CEC: it's a crock of shit anyway, I would prefer it wasn't a thing (and always turn it off).
You're not boring me at all. As an ex-computer systems engineer with many years engineering low-level systems firmware I get all that you're saying, and I'm not disagreeing with any of it. It doesn't change the fact that getting Humax kit to play nicely with other vendor's hardware seems more of a challenge than it ought to, assuming that standards mean standards, which in the a/v industry sometimes seems to be a bit of a stretch. I make my statements based on my personal experiences dealing with Humax kit over a number of years. As such, I believe that my comments about those issues that I've encountered are as valid as your observations. As for CEC, we'll have to differ, because I think that that's what actually makes HDMI worthwhile, assuming that it's [properly] implemented.

I have CEC switched off because if it is switched on, when I fire up my HDR, the TV switches to it and I am bored by the boot up messages. I would rather watch the end of Coronation Street (any of it actually) than watch the boot up message that ain't even in colour.
Yes, I get that, but given that Humax kit has no CEC implementation to disable, that means messing around with the TV settings, which for me, would kill CEC for other devices that do have a working CEC scheme. All-in-all, it is a bit of a dog's dinner.

I can’t believe I made that post in 2018. it seems like a lifetime and several lockdowns ago and I never followed it up. For the last few years, I have been using the HDMI inputs on my TV to run a Hume box, a Sony, hard drive recorder, and a Blu-ray player and running an optical out to the amp Thanks to a good friend. I’ve upgraded my Onkyo amplifier and of course run up against the same problem of interference from rhe Humax box. We spent several hours faffing about only to come to the same conclusion I reached five years ago, and had clearly forgotten all about. Now I read my original post I remember it. What a maroon. CEC block now on its way from Amazon.