: Problems with screen flicker on Denon AVR over HDMI

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2008-11-17, 12:00 PM

I am new to this forum (and fairly new to building a Home Theatre in general).

I was looking for a good sub $1000 receiver that had 4 HDMI inputs. I settled on the Denon AVR-889 (Managed to get it for under $800). I had also looked at the Yamaha HTR 6190 and 6290 - but they were considerably more than the AVR-889 - and the 889 had all the features I wanted.

I hooked it up last night and plugged both my HD-DVD player and my Shaw Pace Tahoe HD PVR into the receiver through HDMI. I then took a third HDMI cable and hooked it up to my Sharp Aquos TV.

Everything seemed fine at first - but then after awhile the screen started to flicker on the HD-DVD player, and to jump around and to strange things on the PVR (I would almost say it was flickering - but it was not quite the same as it was for the HD-DVD player - more like the image just jumping around).

The flicker I was seeing with my HD-DVD player was quite often and would flash from the movie to a screen of snow (or whatever you call it when you unplug a cable vision cable from your tv).

Immediately I thought it might be the $15 dynex HDMI cable I picked up at Futureshop - so I unplugged it and used just the two HDMI cables I had purchased at Costco a while back (part of a Wirelogic HDTV cable kit). I still had the same issue. Sometimes it would be fine, most of the time it would flicker.

At first I figured the Reciever was defective. But I did some searching and found a few posts regarding the HDMI cables.

One of the salesguys said that there are not "versions" on the HDMI cables - there is just higher quality and not so high quality (higher quality being able to handle the bandwidth I guess).

So I guess my question is this:
Does it sound like it's a receiver issue? Or is that a common symptom of a poor HDMI cable?

The two HDMI cables I used were ones I have been using for about 10 months. However up until now - they have always been used for Video only (I used coaxial or optical output for audio).

So could it be that these cables - while they worked fine for just video - can't handle the bandwidth of video + audio? I am totally new to this and of course the logical culprit is the Receiver as it is the only new thing added. But I can't ignore the fact that it could also be an HDMI cable issue.

I am not going to go to Futureshop and buy monster cables to try. However I was planning on ordering some speaker wire from Monoprice soon, maybe it is worth adding in 3 or 4 HDMI cables from there (since they are cheap) and use those instead.

Any suggestions or help would be appreciated. I'd hate to think that I chose poorly with the Denon..I heard good things about them. And I just couldn't justify the extra $300 to $400 for the Yamaha model.

2008-11-17, 01:13 PM
Here's the thread on HDMI issues - read through the various issues and things to check at the bottom. I would suspect a poor connection somewhere due to your mention of flicker. Try unplugging/replugging the cables a few times, or holding them in - HDMI is a poor connector as mentioned - or trying a different combination of cables. It's also possible it's a firmware issue - update all equipment to the latest firmware.


2008-11-17, 01:14 PM
Not sure what the problem is. I would suggest hooking up your pvr to your receiver via component first of all so you can take advantage of Denon's upscaling chip, the 889 doesn't upscale HDMI (pretty sure, but not 100%).

I have the 789/1909 and it works perfectly for me. You can always call / email Denon for support or check out the Denon support thread on other forums, they might have a better idea.

2008-11-18, 11:48 AM
Ok - I hooked up the PVR via component to the receiver. The Receiver was still using HDMI output (monitor) to the TV. I was not able to get ANY video to appear. I played around with all the settings...

I noticed the screen flickers even when I am on the on screen menu display (when the screen goes black to show the nice commodore 64-esque menu). So there is no video source trying to display in the background - yet it is still flickering.

In an act of desperation I instead used component output from the amplifier to the tv - although I had HDMI coming from the device to the amplifier - so I suspect it won't allow me to go "HDMI IN" and "COMPONENT OUT".

All in all I am fed up with this amplifier. I don't consider myself a complete noob when it comes to electronics (perhaps new to Home Theatre - but I work as a Software Engineer and have configured my old Panasonic amplifier without issue). I can totally respect a complicated amplifier when it comes to *tweaking* the output and making it sound better. However after 4 hours of playing with it - I can't even get the thing to output a clear signal over HDMI to my TV. Using all existing and previously working equipment aside from the Denon AVR-889.

I am going to put it back in it's box and return it to the store. Now I need to figure out what to get as a replacement.

I was disappointed to read in the manual of the AVR-889 that it actually only has 5 video input channels that can be assigned. I need 5 currently so that means I don't have an option to - say - plug in a video camera or a PS3 or something.

The other options I have looked at seem to be:

Yamaha 6190 (if I can find a store locally that still carries it)
Yamaha 6290 (this is quite an upgrade in price - close to $500 based on current pricing..)

I know the Denon AVR-989 has more video inputs (7 channels instead of 5). However I don't want to get another Denon - this one has completely turned me off that brand. Too complicated to even get working.

Any suggestions/thoughts? Any other brands/models to consider? I just need one with 4 HDMI inputs and that also has a decent number of video input channels (preferably more than 5 assignable ones).

Aside from that - I don't care about multi-zone. I do want one that can handle all the HD audio formats. I mostly watch movies/tv and play video games. Occasionally listen to music, however that is not the primary focus (well we do play Rock Band and Guitar hero a fair bit :)).

2008-11-25, 11:22 AM

I returned the Denon AVR-889. I then upgraded to a Denon AVR-2809CI (from a home audio store - not Futureshop this time).

I needed more inputs anyway - so it wasn't hard to justify the upgrade (the 889 has 5 video input channels to use, the 2809 has 7).

I hooked everything up and went to test it. And there was my old friend the screen flicker back. However after trying out a few things I found out (I think) what causes it!

It seems to be an issue with the handshaking over HDMI between my Denon receiver and my Sharp Aquos 37inch tv.

If I turn it on in this order:

Receiver -> TV -> Set Input on Receiver -> Turn on device

It works fine.

If I do it in a different order - the tv screen flickers and I have to shut it all down and start again.

I should be able to program my Harmony remote to do it in this order - so if that goes well, then it is just an annoyance I will have to deal with. Aside from that - I love the sound of the Denon. I didn't get a lot of chance to try out the 889 as I decided to return it after trying new HDMI cables and figured I had just gotten a bad unit.

2008-11-25, 05:55 PM
Good to hear it worked out for you - This could be a life saver for me. I really hope this works for me and I was about to return the receiver on Firday.

I experienced the same thing since I bought the Denon 789 (Future Shop) & Aquos 52" (BestBuy) last week. Stayed up every night until 3am juggling cables and methods lol

MY fingers are crossed - but thanks for the write-up.

2008-11-26, 01:59 AM
Just tried the suggested sequence start-up that jonathanq mentioned - no success.

Returning the Denon 789 tomorrow to Future Shop. Torn between an Onkyo or Yamaha.

2008-11-26, 12:03 PM
So the issue is between Denon and Sharp then

I hope the issue you're having doesn't happen with the Denon avr-789 and the Panny 50pz800

2008-11-27, 12:57 PM
Exchanged the Denon 789 for the Yamaha HTR-6160 last night

I really liked the build quality of the Denon...just too bad it didn't work for me.

Plugged in the Yamaha and BAM - HDMI flawless with STB, BD and Xbox360.

2008-11-27, 02:21 PM
Good to know! Did you try turning things on in pretty much any order? I too like the Denon quality. However I have a really hard time with spending that much on a receiver and the only "solution" to make it work is to turn things on in a specific order. I can deal with that if I spent a small amount on one..but when I spend over $1100 for a receiver I kinda want it to work flawlessly (is that too much to ask??)

2008-11-28, 12:04 AM
I did follow your start up sequence, and changed up the sequence order too. I even waited at least 10 seconds between each step to ensure a good handshake - which wouldn't have made the receiver any better if it worked :P

The Yamaha is pretty decent (this is my second) and I would recommend it, although I still wish a Denon was in my rack. At least I didn't have to exchange the Aquos.

2008-11-28, 08:24 AM
I bought the Denon 789 , Hooked up all of my connections and fired up the receiver..Had all kinds of problems, No picture just sound, poor handshake (flicker?)with my lcd TV, etc.. Then I read the poorly written manual :confused: your best bet was to study the manual. On a very good forum from the U.S they have a complied 8000 + posts/tips on the denon line of Receivers 2000 or more just on the 889 and it seems to me that most of the issues that were reported were due to people not following or understanding the manual. (me included) This isn't like the good old days where you just plugged the "TV" audio into the plug called "TV" and called it a day. you have to assign connections within the menu then follow the steps.

After I mucked my way through the connections and setup which I thought were right I was upset with the outcome :( Walked away and sat down with the manual. I did the Master Reset then followed the manual step by step. It all worked out very well and I'm happy to report this Receiver is very well built and packed full of features I'm still finding out about. I would recommend this receiver hands down over comparable HK's and Yamaha's
*no Flickering between switching (ps3, dvd, wii and Bell pvr) Possibly due to proper setup??
*pass thru hdmi signal keeps spouse happy
* Full Audyssey setup makes setting up and calibration of my 7.1 speakers very easy!
* NO processing and NO degrading/clipping of HDMI video at all.
*No known bugs at all with the PS3


2008-11-28, 10:37 AM
That's good to know

thanks Tele

2008-12-04, 12:14 PM
I just bought the Denon AVR-889 yesterday from Future Shop. I have had my Sharp 46D82U for only a few days. I had been running the audio only on my older Denon AVR-2802.
After some serious frustrations programming the 889 (they have never been easy and their instructions are pathetic at best) and NOT realizing the new remote has a back door (blushing). I ended up by accident using the remote for the 2802 which by the way works pefectly and got things going.

Yes you have to assign channels and all that and I have no clue what this thing is capable of yet. I also tried connecting compoment out from the Shaw HD box and have it run through the HDMI out. That was a no go and I don't think the 889 can do that, if it;s compoment in it has to be component out, however I may very well be wrong and it's another set up one has to do. The 2802 was the same way. Thank you Shaw for putting in a non HD industry standard DVI port and the adapter cable is outrageously priced. Oh yes not on Ebay from Hong Kong, $8.88 Canadian shipped, it's on it's way.

No issues with flashing, jitters or anything so far and I not using overpriced Monster cables either.

By the way the 889 can upconvert it uses the some upcoverting processor as the 989.

I love Denon, however, ease of use has never been one their high points and it has not gotten any better since the 2802.

Cheers All


2008-12-27, 01:48 AM
I just picked up a 889 today, hooked everything up my ps3 works fine. But when try to watch Shaw it just shows the picture then turns off (no sound either).
I am using a Shaw HD box and a DVI too Hdmi wire. I think i am having the same issue? i tried changing some settings and no luck.

Any advise for me?

2008-12-27, 08:07 AM
Turning the HDMI Control setting on "links up" your HDMI 1.3 Denon AVR with your compatible display. The primary benefit of HDMI Control is that the Denon AVR will "pass through" HDMI video and audio when the Denon is on Standby. If you experience some funny HDMI issues, try turning this and "Power Off Control" to the "off" position, it may resolve things.

Try this link....



2008-12-27, 03:40 PM
Thank you that is a good link

I hooked it up with component and an optical cable instead. working now i am not sure if those are the best wires to use.

2008-12-29, 01:32 AM
Have a look at the following thread on HDMI issues - even more with DVI, so your switch to component video was probably a good one.


Here's another thread useful for those new to the forum:


2009-01-22, 10:56 PM

I bought a Denon AVR 789 about a month ago and hooked it up to a PVR (rogers HD), a panasonic plasma TV, and a blu-ray player - all using HDMI cables. Things have been working well until tonight. Suddenly the TV signal is flickering and I can't get a consistent signal (on and off). Here's what I've tried so far to isolate the problem:
1. Hooked the PVR directly to the plasma via HDMI - works fine.
2. Tried another HDMI cable directly to the Denon - same issue
3. Tried another HDMI input - same issue
4. Tried Blu-ray player - no issue in any HDMI ports

Should I reset the Denon and start all over again to configure? Very frustrating that the thing was working fine and now doesn't play. Although one thing I did notice - when playing a blu-ray movie I usually get one or two 'skips' where I get a grey screen for just a split second.

Any thoughts appreciated.

2009-01-22, 10:59 PM
Try the small power button before doing a CPU reset.