Customer Reviews: Gefen HDmi Detective Plus
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on April 9, 2009
I was hesitant to buy this part mostly because of the price. As it is, building my Blu-ray HD HTPC ended up costing me about 3 times what I had originally anticipated! Here's yet another $100+ dollars ... "will it work and will it be worth it?" I wondered. Bottom line, I'm very happy I purchased this item because it does exactly what it is supposed to do.

I was having problems with my HTPC setup. I run HDMI carrying audio and video from my HTPC's motherboard to a A/V Receiver. Then, another HDMI cord goes from the Receiver to my HDTV. Before installing the HDMI Detective, the problem would occur whenever (a) my HTPC would go to sleep/standby and then I would wake it up; or (b) I would turn off my Receiver or HDTV and then turn them back on. In these scenarios, once I woke up the PC or turned on the Receiver/TV I would no longer have a video or audio signal via my HDMI cords. One solution was to do a hard restart on the HTPC, which isn't horrible, but certainly is a pain in the butt. The other solution was to leave all three components running 24/7, which I quickly ruled out as an option since cumulatively they consume about 1000 watts and we all know electricity isn't free.

So, I purchased the HDMI Detective and installed it between my HTPC and the Receiver. Plugging in the Detective was easy and the initial programing took about 5 minutes. This is a very easy-to-use device.

With the HDMI Detective in place between my HTPC and Receiver, now everything works more like a traditional PC. I can put my HTPC to sleep and when I wake it up the Receiver instantly sees the HDMI connection and sends the subsequent signal on to the HDTV. Also, when I turn off and turn back on my Receiver or HDTV, everything picks up on the HDMI signal as if nothing were the matter.

In conclusion, the HDMI Detective is an expensive item that you likely didn't anticipate needing to buy for your setup. But since you're reading this review you must be having HDMI problems. The HDMI Detective is 100% worth the price. I did some hefty research and I could not find any other items on the market that do the same thing that the HDMI Detective does, so that makes it even more worth the price. It is compact, easy to use, and most importantly, works perfectly.

Stop stressing, buy the HDMI Detective. It will solve your HDMI HARDWARE problems. Solving SOFTWARE problems is another story for another time. :)
44 comments| 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 28, 2011
I no longer see the blank screen, signal loss, or loss of audio problems I had switching my TV source over to my HTPC. With this device, my TV and HTPC can get on the same page in about 4 seconds, which is a huge improvement from the 10-20 seconds it took before, if I was lucky. Minus one star because the instructions were confusing. Its not clear enough which devices should be powered on or off at each stage. After 4-5 attempts, I found it worked if I followed this sequence exactly:

1. With your TV and your source/HTPC powered on and all working well, disconnect the HDMI cable between them.
2. Connect the TV to the HDMI Detective Plus output port.
3. Connect the HDMI Detective Plus power adapter. The light comes on.
4. Push the programming button. Wait for the blinking light to go solid green.
5. Unplug the power adapter. You don't need it anymore; it's just for programming.
6. Plug your source/HTPC into the HDMI Detective Plus input port. You're done.

Note that you never turn off your HTPC or TV. Don't power off or restart your source as the instructions say.
0Comment| 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 29, 2012
Ordered this due to issues when changing hdmi inputs on Yamaha receiver when watching XBMC or Microsoft Media Center (was getting force close ). Installed at the AVR and all issues are gone. Did not want to spend 85.00 on it so tried to find software solutions but could not find any. I did have issues trying to make it work. This worked for me.
1. power on all equipment tv, htpc, avr
2. make sure all jumpers are off and write switch is on "E"
3. connect supplied hdmi to output side, nothing on input side yet
4. connect power cord to hdmi detective and plug it in to power outlet
5. connect hdmi detective to "input" source of avr
6. press black button and hold until it is solid green "not flashing"
7. remove power cord from hdmi detective and move write switch to "D"
8. move jumper #4 to on if you have a bluryay player in your htpc
9. connect input side of hdmi detective to your htpc.

The jumpers and write switch are fragile so BE CAREFUL
33 comments| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 30, 2011
I made the mistake of buying a Panasonic 37" Class LED-LCD 1080p 120Hz HDTV. I use a HDMI splitter to watch my TiVo from multiple rooms. I spent many hours running HDMI cables throughout the house off this splitter. The new Panasonic TV was for the bedroom and was a real upgrade expense. So after install the TV was not recongnized by the Splitter. Turns our Panasonic uses Vivera technology and other propriatery communications that did not work with my standard HDMI splitter. I was extremely upset considering that all other brands worked fine (Samsung, sony. insignia)

My last hope was to try and see if the issue was some kind of protocal information break on the part of Panasonic. Of course Panasonic states to connect with only Panasonic HDMI cables and other Panasonic products (DVD, Sound System, etc...) so clearly they had no interest in understanding HDMI standards or the problem with their TV. I tried this device (HDMI detective plus) and it worked, but only if I kept it powered up with the 5VDC power source and configured it to pass through HDCP information (dip switch 4 enabled). That said, this device saved my Panasonic tv. I had to pay a big price to find the solution, but I am happy never the less. Buy this devices was less expesnive and imbarresing than having to admit defeat and sell the TV on craigslist.

Conclusion - DO NOT buy Panasonic TVs if you intended to ever use an HDMI splitter or switch. Secondly, if you own a Panasonic TV and have difficulty then this device is verly likely to solve the problem. I did for me.
22 comments| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 29, 2013
I bought the Detective Plus because switching input sources on my AVR--e.g., cable to Blu-Ray--causes the monitor to reset resolution in an endless loop. The effect is similar to a slow-mo disco light. The workaround is to turn everything off and reboot source first, TV second and AVR third and everything is fine, but what a PITA. After reading the reviews here and elsewhere on the net, I was convinced the HDMI Detective Plus would be the savior of my monitor handshake problems. So I ripped open that Amazom Prime emblazoned box and followed the instructions exactly:

1. Fired up my Sharp Aquos TV in HDMI mode.
2. Used a 1.4a spec HDMI cable to connect the Sharp to to HDMI Out on the HDMI Detective.
3. Set all four DIP switches in the OFF position and set the WR (Write) switch to "E" (enable) for programming.
5. Plugged in the 5V power supply to the HDMI Detective. The power LED glowed green indicating a valid EDID and a glimmer of hope.
6. Pressed and held the Program button on the HDMI Detective Plus until the LED pulsed bright green, then released the button. A moment later the LED returned to solid green. All systems go!
7. Removed the 5V DC power supply from the HDMI Detective Plus.
8. Set the write-protect switch to "D" (disable).
8. Flipped DIP switch 4 on for HDCP pass through.
9. Used the strange wee HDMI cable to connect my AVR to the HDMI Detective.

I tested results by switching sources and the TV immediately got stuck in the flashing loop again. So I rebooted everything and it was fine until I toggled sources. Hmm, maybe the EDID write isn't taking? Got the flashing LED followed by solid but to be sure reprogrammed EDID several times to no avail. I tried reprogramming variations with everything off but the TV, everything on, HDMI cable pulled with live video, HDMI pulled before turning TV on, etc. I tried HDMI 1.4a and 1.3 spec cables as well as several different brands with no change in handshake performance. The preprogrammed EDID DIP settings didn't work either.

The LED indicator light worked correctly and it passed the signal fine before a source change. Perhaps this is a defective HDMI Detective? Or maybe a HDMI quirk exists in my system that this one trick pony wasn't designed to solve? Do I need to do a special dance or chant to appease the HDMI trolls? Perhaps there is a clue in my HDMI enabled system components:

1. Denon AVR-2313CI receiver (2013)
2. Sony BDP-S5100 3D Blu-ray (2013)
3. Cisco DVR/HD cablebox (2013)
4. Sharp Aquos LC-C37442U (2008)
5. Monster MC 1000HD Ultra-High Speed HDTV HDMI Cables (2013)

I'm guessing the Sharp, since it is over 5 years old, is the weakest link in the chain. However, it has HDMI inputs with HDCP so it should work. Indeed, it works fine hooked directly to the cable box or Blu-Ray HDMI. Judging from all the people here with HDMI handshake problems, the HDMI standard is a twisted path and not well implemented.

Incidentally, both the printed instructions and PDF from the Gefen website are terrible. I'm guessing an engineer dashed it off and didn't proofread. Gefen should hire a professional writer to organize and edit the text.

So I returned to my chunky workaround: plugged the cable box and Blu-Ray directly into TV HDMI inputs with digital sound to the AVR. I was hoping to route everything through the AVR to reduce both button presses and wires (family members complaining).

I really really wanted HDMI Detective Plus to work. Putting up with the extra button pressing, monitor flashing, cable pulls and restarts is frustrating. The Detective has great reviews and obviously fixed HDMI problems for many people. But the bottom line is the Detective didn't work for my setup: he's either a Defective Detective or simply not designed to fix all HDMI handshake problem. Sorry Mr. Detective, you're on the next train back to Amazonville!
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on February 17, 2015
I have a complicated setup. Desktop computer with AMD 7970 graphics card, into 4-port Monoprice HDMI switch, to Pioneer VSX-44 receiver, and out to LG 55" 3D-capable TV. I had issues where the computer would get the settings messed up if I changed the switch, turned my receiver on/off, or turned my TV on/off. I had to set up everything in the right order, possibly reboot my computer, and wait til the stars were aligned for it to work perfectly and the computer to recognize that it's a 1080p TV with 3D capability. Sometimes my video card driver would even crash while I was turning things on/off to try and get it to properly detect my TV. I'm a software engineer and I couldn't hack any software solution to the problem, but in my searching I found this device and ordered one to try.

So I inserted this expensive little box between the computer and the HDMI switch (set it up according to instructions, of course). Now the computer always recognizes the TV as connected and on, even when I turn off everything (TV and receiver and HDMI switch) and even when I switch the HDMI switch to a different device, receiver to different input, or TV to different channel. The Gefen box tricks the computer into thinking it's still connected, which is exactly what I hoped for.

This means no more rebooting or forgetting settings, and no more crashing. When I want to use my TV and receiver, I just go into display settings and enable the TV as a monitor, and Windows also automatically starts using my receiver for audio output. When I'm done, I go back in and disable the TV monitor and Windows automatically switches to using my computer speakers. But thanks to the Gefen box, it always knows that my TV is still connected so I can re-enable it any time.

This thing is a bit expensive, but it solved my issue. You can reboot your computer or fiddle with turning things on/off every time you want to use the computer on your TV, or you can buy this box to save the hassle.
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on December 29, 2012
My Blackmagic Design ATEM M/E2 switcher wants to see 1080i. My GoPro Hero 2 outputs 1080p (unless it's told by the device it's plugging into, that it needs to see 1080i...then it ouputs 1080i).

I plugged the Detective into the ATEM, it recognized the ATEM wants to see 1080i. Then I plugged the GoPro Hero 2 into the Detective, and the Detective made the GoPro think it needed to output 1080i, and VOILA! Now I can use the GoPro Hero 2 with my ATEM M/E2 switcher. Brilliant! Great product, well-made.
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on August 14, 2011
Firstly, I'd like to say that Gefen have great support. I always got a response within 24 hours of sending an e-mail to me. Their replies were helpful to try and identify and solve the problem I was having.

My system was an Onkyo TX-SR308 Receiver, Panasonic plasma television and a computer. I bought the HDMI detective because after a few hours when my television + Receiver was off, but left my computer on, I turned on my Receiver and/or TV the display would be blank and/or audio was not coming out of my speakers connected to my Receiver when playing a movie or mp3.

At first after installing the HDMI Detective, I encountered some purple colouring of the text or some interference in the display signal. But after I connected computer -> HDMI Detective -> TV (by avoiding the Receiver), and this arrangement worked, I then did the arrangement I wanted which was computer -> HDMI Detective -> Receiver -> TV. And it worked perfectly.

Also, if you have a Blu-Ray Drive in your computer to watch Blu-Ray movies, you need to flip the dip switch 4 to ON, to enable HDCP. This will avoid the problem of the Blu-Ray movie stopping automatically after 4 seconds of playback.

In summary, well worth the price to avoid having to turn off/on the Receiver and/or TV to get the HDMI signal to synchronise back again. 5.1 encoded audio passes through just fine to the Receiver, and the 1080p video signal to the TV.
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on July 30, 2011
This is a fantastic hardware solution to a problem that could and should be resolved via software. Unfortunately, this item is approximately $100, but if you want an HTPC connected to a A/V Reciever via HDMI that just works all of the time, exactly how you want it, you have to buy this!

I had the same issues as everyone: Couldn't switch off my TV or reciever, or switch inputs, without interrupting the EDID information from being sent to my HTPC, and thus causing lock-ups and general annoyances; i.e. Turning of the HTPC every time I switched a device off or wanted to watch regular cable, and turning it on everytimee I switched back to its input.

Fantastic product! You only need to tell people what input your HTPC is on, and then it works as expected! I love this thing, well worth the money for the relief of my headache!


TV: Samsung LN46C630
A/V: Pioneer VSX-820-K
HTPC: AMD A8-3850
Gigabyte GA-A75M-D2H
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on February 18, 2015
This solved all my HDMI problems. I won't go into a lengthy explanation of my issue, but I basically needed this to emulate a 5.1 surround sound EDID to solve some problems with my HTPC getting "confused" about how many speakers I had available. This did the trick flawlessly, and as a bonus it decreased the recovery time when HDMI components are switched on and off. By recovery time, I'm talking about that two or three seconds where the screens go blank and you lose sound when turning something on/off -- that issue is gone as well.
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