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May 7, 2021

Xbox Series X HDMI 2.1 Issue Gets a Fix

Last autumn it was reported that AV Receivers offered by Denon, Marantz, and Yamaha prevented the passthrough of 4K/120 and 8K/60 HDR video when the source is the XBOX series X game console.  The problem was blamed on the HDMI chipset but the issue is more complicated than that. Now, a solution has been introduced by Denon and Marantz.

The solution is a new box that sits between the XBOX console and the AV Receiver.  It corrects the 4K/120 or 8K/60 HDR signal so users do not see a blank screen when the AVR is then connected to an 8K or 4K TV.

Similar XBOX Series X connection issues have been reported in Japan when connected directly to a Sharp 8K TV.  The Sharp TV and the AVRs use different HJDMI chipsets, suggesting it is the XBOX signaling/formatting issue, not the chipsets.

According to sources familiar with the situation, the XBOX Series X does indeed output a “strange” signal with 4K/120 HDR or 8K/60 HDR video selected.  This is reported to be a “corner case” as both the XBOX Series X and the AV Receivers have passed HDMI 2.1 compliance testing.  Clearly, this corner case was not considered in the original compliance test plan, so it would be logical to conclude that HDMI Forum is addressing this issue internally.

There were also reported issues with the PS5 game console delivering 4K/120 HDR signals to a range of Samsung TVs. A firmware update to the PS5 in March seems to have solved this issue, Forbes reported.

The fix proposed by Sound United (the parent company of Denon/Marantz) is shown below.

The SPK618 HDMI adaptor is free for affected AVR owners by registering at the following web site:

Affected devices

Denon AVR-A110Denon AVR-X2700HMarantz SR7015
Denon AVR-X6700HDenon AVR-S960HMarantz SR6015
Denon AVR-X4700HMarantz AV7706Marantz SR5015
Denon AVR-X3700HMarantz SR8015Marantz NR171

Yamaha has yet to announce a fix for their AVRs so, in the meantime, they suggest connecting the XBOX Series X console directly to the TV and feeding the audio signal back to the AVR via the eARC connection.