July 21st, 2012, 10:37 PM
Switching BoxeeBox between two TVs
I bought a Boxee Box in the spring and it's been mostly great -- an occasional red screen on boot, and sometimes the "could not initialize audio" message.
But this weekend has so far been miserable. I put a TV in my bedroom, which is on the opposite wall of my A/V system, put a hole through the wall, and ran HDMI cables so we can watch stuff on the wall-mounted bedroom TV using the equipment in the living room. I was pleased that the Boxee remote appears to be RF and works through walls. But, no matter how many different ways I try, I can't seem to get sound in the bedroom over HDMI from Boxee.
Some background: Boxee is connected to a Sony STR-DA9000ES receiver using an HDMI to DVI cable for video, and optical (TOSLink) for audio. The receiver only has DVI inputs, hence this compromise. Both Dolby and DTS work fine.
The receiver is connected to a Sony XBR950 70" 3-LCD projection TV. This TV is something like 768p internally; I usually set devices to 720p.
With the exception of the occasional red screen on boot, this works fine.
The TV in my bedroom is a Sony KDLEX500 60" LCD TV. It has HDMI inputs but only accepts Dolby audio and not DTS.
To feed the Boxee signal to both TVs, I first tried using an HDMI splitter: one HDMI signal in, two out. That didn't work at all (not just for Boxee but also not for TiVo) -- apparently, the lowest common denominator is used -- since one of the outputs is a HDMI to DVI cable that doesn't support audio, I never got audio. Also, it wants the resolution of both TVs to be the same.
So I returned those splitters and got mechanical HDMI switches instead. That works perfectly for TiVo: It outputs HDMI and optical audio at the same time, so switching is flawless -- I get HDMI audio in the bedroom, optical audio in the living room.
However, it doesn't work with BoxeeBox: no matter what I try, I cannot get HDMI audio in the bedroom. I figured the switch is just like unplugging and re-plugging the HDMI cable --- TiVo has no problem with that and reconfigures as required, but I don't get any HDMI audio out of Boxee. If I flip the switch to "bedroom" and reboot Boxee, it usually hangs up after the first grey screen, before the bouncing boxes. If I then switch back, I get the red screen. I have to reboot several times with the switch set on "family room" to get Boxee to work again with optical audio.
I'm also confused about the audio options: if I set audio to "All Outputs", does it send out both optical and HDMI audio, like TiVo does? I tried setting audio to HDMI only for the bedroom, but still get not sound even after a reboot.
One of the other forum messages mentions that BoxeeBox seems to remember what kind of audio to produce for a given file, and will only output that kind of audio. Is this true -- if so, that would complicate switching between TVs.
Does anyone have any suggestions about how I can make BoxeeBox handle more than one TV (similar or dis-similar like mine)? Has anyone managed to do this?
Please help before I pull more of my hair out.
July 22nd, 2012, 10:10 AM
try the very basic first and see if you get audio with just your tv and bbox...then start adding components one by one...
Go Canucks Go!
July 22nd, 2012, 10:33 AM
I did do that -- hooked Boxee directly to the bedroom TV using the HDMI cable through the wall turned BoxeeBox on. When I did that, it hung after the initial grey screen -- the TV just said "no signal" for 10 minutes before I gave up. I then unplugged the bedroom TV HDMI cable from the BoxeeBox, plugged in the normal HDM/DVI cable and got the red screen (apparently the TV in the bedroom doesn't show that).
Originally Posted by Jesseblue
I rebooted BoxeeBox again and got the red screen; pulled all cables from it, waited 30 seconds, put everything back and it booted normally with the family room TV. I unplugged that TV's HDMI cable and plugged in the bedroom HDMI cable and got video but no sound.
The whole process seems fragile -- is BoxeeBox supposed to reconfigure itself like TiVo if a HDMI cable is unplugged and another is plugged in?
And does BoxeeBox output audio over HDMI and TOSLink at the same time? I know some audio can be sent over HDMI that can't be sent over TOSLink.
And what do the various audio options really mean? Does it have to be set to "all" to send audio out more than one port at the same time; if it's set to HDMI, is the TOSLink off; if it's set to TOSLink, is HDMI off?
My goal is to start watching something in the family room, throw the switch and finish watching it in the bedroom. Any suggestions as to how I can make that work? I'd even consider a second BoxeeBox but I'm sure they won't share settings (like what's been watched, etc.) and configuring two of these would be painful.
July 22nd, 2012, 10:34 AM
July 22nd, 2012, 03:28 PM
if you cant even get something with the direct connection, then i doubt you'll get something when everything else is connected...
i remember reading that the box cannot output to two different resoution so if your projectqor has 720p then your tv should be set to 720p as well...
as mentioned try to set it up at the lowest level so youre getting something to the bedroom tv then add one component at a time...
Go Canucks Go!
July 22nd, 2012, 03:30 PM
also i dont think its a matter of the box being fragile but how tvs deal with hdmi signals...
when you got video, did you even try turning your tv on and then off?
Go Canucks Go!
July 22nd, 2012, 10:15 PM
Both TVs accept all different resolutions. I have TiVo forced to 1080i; I'll see if I can do the same to BoxeeBox.
I think the main issue I'm having is with the audio. I also did a "factory restore", which according to this page, http://support.boxee.tv/entries/328058-factory-restore, is supposed to reset only the firmware and not the database. Well, it did reset *everything*, so I lost all my settings, and then it updated to the firmware that was released this spring. I had to tell it about the SMB shares I used again -- no biggie; the biggest annoyance is that it forgot what shows I had watched.
Now that the box was reset, I'll try it all again. It does seem a bit more stable so far.
But I still don't know if the optical and HDMI audio are active at the same time. Does anyone know?
July 22nd, 2012, 10:16 PM
Yep, I turned the TV off, then on again -- it didn't have any effect on the audio.
Originally Posted by Jesseblue
July 23rd, 2012, 10:08 AM
You should *never* (not ever) get a red screen from Boxee. Return it if you can, get warranty service if you can't.
July 23rd, 2012, 04:53 PM
That's too bad -- I see it often. I'll call D-Link and see if I qualify for an RMA (I bought the box in January, as it turns out).
Originally Posted by twistybox
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