Xbox Series X NVIDIA GPUs may show up on black screen...

Some gamers who look forward to 4K 120Hz gaming may be disappointed due to an HDMI 2.1 bug. According to Heise Online, a bug that affects HDMI 2.1 output on select AV receivers is causing a black screen to appear when users try to enable 4K and 120 Hz from an Xbox Series X or NVIDIA Ampere graphics card .

The bug appears to affect Panasonic’s HDMI 2.1 chips found in Denon, Marantz, and Yamaha AV receivers. The bug only seems to affect certain hardware, not just HDMI 2.1 chips in general.

The black screens also seem to only appear to users of the Xbox Series X or NVIDIA Ampere GPUs. The error doesn’t seem to cause the same problem for the PlayStation 5.

It’s important to note that the Xbox Series X is not currently commercially available, making the error difficult to confirm.

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A workaround for this error is to lower the resolution or refresh rate to 4K and 60 Hz. Tom’s Hardware also highlights that you can plug your AV receiver into the eARC HDMI port on your TV and connect the affected device to your TV. In this setup, the TV handles everything except audio, while the AV receiver takes care of audio.

Panasonic should start manufacturing new HDMI 2.1 chips from 2021, which are not affected by this issue. According to Tom’s Hardware, you will need to replace your AV receiver if it is affected by this unfortunate bug.

Official Sound United has an answer regarding the HDMI 2.1 bug (via Audioholics):

Some new gaming source devices that support 4K / 120Hz output may not work fully with Denon (or Marantz) 8K AVRs. You may experience this incompatibility issue due to an HDMI chipset mismatch between devices. If the affected system is connected to the AVR through an 8K HDMI input and is set to 4K / 120Hz, and the AVR’s 4K Signal Format option is set to 8K Enhanced, the system’s source video may not appear on the display the system’s source audio processed by the AVR will not be heard. This problem only occurs when using a display that supports 4K / 120Hz.

We are currently further investigating the problem and will offer a permanent solution at a later date. In the meantime, we’d like to provide a few workarounds to prevent the problem in its current state:

You can connect the system directly to the display via HDMI and use the ARC / eARC function of the display to feed the native audio back to the AVR using the HDMI cable connected between the AVR and the display. This allows users to decode the native audio format sent by the source. This method requires that the CEC / ARC option of the display and the HDMI control of the AVR and / or the ARC option of the AVR be enabled. In the AVR, this option is in the GUI under “Video – HDMI Setup”.

Another workaround is to leave the source video output to 4K / 60Hz instead of 4K / 120Hz or change it until a permanent solution is available. This ensures reliable communication between the source, the AVR and the display. The default setting for the source is set to 4K / 60 Hz. So if no immediate change has been made, nothing needs to be done.

We apologize for the inconvenience and are currently working tirelessly to release a permanent solution so that you can enjoy the 4K / 120Hz experience with the latest sources with your AVR. We will have an update on the schedule of a permanent solution shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Yamaha also shared an official response on the matter:

As we test and research new game system features and the latest HDMI specifications, we will be posting guides on our website to assist new and future customers with the compatibility of our latest AV receivers. We will certainly inform you about an update at short notice.

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