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HDMI out is very finicky on my laptop

By JesseM ยท 8 replies
Jun 22, 2010
  1. I'm a little disappointed with the HDMI output on my 1/2yr old ASUS G51Vx-X3A laptop. A couple issues:

    1) Every time I want to connect my laptop to an external HDTV I have to plug in the HDMI cable to the TV and laptop and turn on the TV and make sure that it is on the correct input, and then restart my laptop. If I don't do all these things the connection won't work. In other words, you can't just plug it in and have it work instantly like the VGA output (or even S-Video output on my older laptop). This is terribly inconvenient.

    I'm thinking part of the problem could be due to the fact that there are two pieces of software trying to control the video output: nVidia's display driver and ASUS' software that can change the display output using the 'Fn + F8' key combo. Any ideas here?

    2) The HDMI picture is far inferior to VGA picture I get on the same HDTV. The HDMI picture is extremely oversaturated and way too contrasty, and also doesn't quite look as sharp. I was expecting the opposite; I think of VGA as an ancient technology and HDMI to be the newer and better thing. Is there something wrong or does this sound reasonable? (Even if the picture is worse I'll continue to use HDMI because it transmits audio+video and most TVs don't have VGA inputs)
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,496   +2,293

    Well first, they never promised you Plug n Play with HDMI. This only works with USB and SATA (with SATA drivers). SATA running in IDE emulation is not hot swappable either.

    This is sort of new tech, and the video drivers associated with HDMI computer video output, seem to be a mix of everything from a bit idiosyncratic, to outright incompetent.

    The color saturation issues should be correctable in the driver control panel, but don't expect to not have to readjust them when your using the laptop with its own screen.
  3. JesseM

    JesseM TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 220

    Thanks for the info. I figured since VGA out is Plug n Play HDMI must be, but alas, no. Take care.
  4. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 915   +24

    strangely, but i have 'plug n play' hdmi on my 1.5 yo acer notebook. never need a restart. audio works perfect too.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    re: picture quality

    The ASUS website shows 2 models listed as: G51VX and G51VX (Best Buy). I checked one and its Win7 audio driver is dated 5/24/10. Is this the driver you're running?? (as it's pretty recent version from the date)

    Also, to double check, are you testing with your laptop plugged in? Power can sometimes be an issue with laptops when running on battery

    /* edit */
    While anything can be possible with 'puters, i don't think this should be a problem. Guessing ASUS is simply providing a convenient shortcut to what you could otherwise do via Ctl Panel->Sound and selecting Sound Playback device.
  6. JesseM

    JesseM TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 220

    Just to clarify, there is no problem with sound through HDMI.

    @nismo91: That is good to know, thanks. I also seem to remember my friend's Dell laptop had PnP HDMI...fishy.

    @LookinAround: My model is not the Best Buy model (bought it from Newegg). Not sure what the audio driver has to do with anything, but mine is dated 8/31/09. Yes, the laptop is plugged in. Also, the 'Fn + F8' shortcut is to change the display output, not the sound output.

    Thank you both for your replies!
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Apologies... i've been back and forth between too many threads! /* edit */ I've been working on lots of sound problems! (including my own) /* edit */

    1) I did mean the "Graphics" driver which ASUS lists
     Version V8.15.11.8640
    Description 	nVidia Graphics Driver
    File Size 	78.24 (MBytes) 	2010/05/24 update
    I'm guessing the one driver handles all the display ports for the laptop

    2) Also the ASUS shortcut for switching displays would also be a shortcut to the display options so i'm guessing (tho certainly not 100%) that it's not the problem
  8. JesseM

    JesseM TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 220

    Understandable mistake! Seems you chime in on most threads I've started.

    Anyways, my graphics driver is dated 7/18/2009. I think I remember manually installing this driver when I first got the computer because I read that it was a very "good/stable" nVidia driver. Do you think updating to the newest one could possibly improve the HDMI performance? Thanks again for your help.
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    I'd certainly give it a try
    > It's almost a year newer
    > ASUS doesn't even list the older driver
    > So i'd also be inclined to believe this is the "preferred" driver from ASUS

    but do first take a look through the ASUS support site yourself
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